Cebu-based developers work on a website to centralize Super typhoon Yolanda damage and relief information.

Cebu developers harness tech to help in Yolanda rescue, relief efforts

THE day after super typhoon Yolanda battered Cebu, developer Albert Padin of went to their office on Escario St. to play games and work on some personal projects. Saturdays, Padin said, are days when their team does hackathons on projects that do not involve their day-to-day jobs.

While combing through news and social network updates, Padin read a call on for developers to pitch in coding skills to build a system to help in relief efforts. Since he already had a team that was ready to build things, Padin said they decided to hold a hackathon to build a website to help in relief efforts.

They started the hackathon at 2 p.m. on Saturday with the goal of wrapping up by 5 p.m. They finished at 10 p.m. instead because they worked on 2 things: 1) a system that can help track the search for missing persons and 2) a site that can centralize relief and rescue information in the different areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

They later closed the person finder service and redirected people to the Google People Finder website. Padin said the Google system was better and the people running it had experience using it in previous disasters. Continue reading →

Encourage hacker culture

Facebook kicked off its historic initial public offering by holding another of the company’s fabled hackathons, which are all-night events that gather the social networking giant’s employees to work on products outside their office assignments.

Hackathon 31 was held on the eve of Facebook’s IPO and was a strong statement that even as it stands to raise billions, the company was still rooted in its “hacker culture.”

The word “hacker” has been sullied by years of use in media to refer to people who break into computer systems. The word originally meant a person who does clever tweaking of a system to improve its performance. “Hacking is ‘playful cleverness,’” said Richard Stallman, one of the world’s original hackers.

Continue reading →

DevCon Visayas to host hackathon, talks on software, web development

SOFTWARE engineers from all over the country are scheduled to meet in a conference in Cebu City on Friday, June 26, to talk about technical issues on software development.

DevCon Visayas offers free admissions to its technical sessions on such topics as cloud computing, social networking and content management systems through sponsors Oracle and G2iX. Organizers are asking those interested to join the conference to register online at

Continue reading →