A group of Computer Science and Information Technology students from Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT) University bested 4 other schools during City Savings Bank's (CitySavings) Hackathon last September 10 at Summit Circle Hotel, Cebu City.
The competition is a first for the Bank where the student participants demonstrated their quick thinking, collaboration, and creative problem solving skills by developing a digital solution for a given business scenario within the six hour hackathon duration.
Each team's digital solution project was judged by a panel of experts based on system performance and design, look and feel, and team presentation. CitySavings Board member Ana Aboitiz – Delgado, who also served as one of the judges, believes that going digital opens up a lot of doors for the Bank to make better decisions and to come up with better services delivered over digital channels. "It's going to enable us to reach more teachers and change more lives" she added.
CIT University's winning mobile app, "CitySavings Loan", aims to make the loan application and approval process more convenient for the teacher-clients with the use of a smartphone. They received PHP 10,000 as overall champion while other participating teams from the University of San Carlos, University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, and STI College Cebu received PHP 2,000 each as consolation prizes.
When asked about the most challenging part of the competition, CIT University fourth year BS Computer Science student Jireh Bautista recalled "During the moment we came in and the countdown started, we were so nervous, trying to catch up with the time and [we ended up] during our first run, everything was showing an error and we repeatedly created new projects but the same errors were coming out and it was one of the hardest moments during the hackathon. Thankfully our coach, Eugene Busico helped us resolve those system issues".
CitySavings EVP - Channel Management Levi Villanueva sees Cebu as a fertile ground for a lot of I.T. talents. "The hackathon is a better way to provide these talents with an opportunity to showcase their innovation, responsibility, and teamwork which are all core values of the Bank. Throughout this exercise we want them to have an increased awareness of the society and more specifically of the teachers; they are doing work that we believe is something very honorable" he further mentioned.
For CIT University fourth year BS Computer Science student Ryan Lobitaña, the hackathon was a great opportunity to enhance their skills and explore ideas with his team. Meanwhile the school's I.T. Department Chair Larmie Feliscuzo is thankful to the Bank for coming up with this activity which highlights IT and engineering students' strengths and encourages them to go into mobile programming.
"CitySavings hopes establish stronger linkages with the academe to be able to tap talents for the organization and at the same time create activities that we can embark on to involve students and the academe." said VP- Human Resources Head Maila Quijano.