By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The taxicab driver, who returned the luggage of an Australian passenger in January, is now a junior programmer and has been designing a transport service app for Baguio tourists.
It can be recalled that last January, the city government gave recognition to Reggie Cabutotan for returning the luggage of Trent Shields, an academic director of Coder Factory Academy, a technology school in Australia.
Shields offered Cabutotan a scholarship grant and study at his firm’s partner company, Vivixx Technical Academy in return.
Cabutotan and 19 other students are now set for a four-week internship program, the last stretch of their six month boot camp at Vivixx.
Cabutotan said he is completing an app he called the “Taxi Coder Tour Guide” for the boot camp. “It is an app similar to Grab, but was specially designed for tourists who come to Baguio City,” he said.
“I really cannot discuss the features of the app in detail now because it is still not finished,” he said. Cabutotan said he was working on the security features of the app “to ensure the safety of tourists.”
“Hopefully the app will be finished when I graduate from boot camp,” he said.
Cabutotan said he has never worked with computers before joining the boot camp. “I started from the most basic. As basic as typing on the computer,” he said.
Cabutotan and the 19 others would be the very first graduates of the Vivixx coder boot camp. Unlike Cabutotan, the 19 others paid for their tuition, among them a Japanese student.
“We can now call them junior programmers, they have worked so hard,” said Jason Bruno, Vivixx head teacher.
Bruno said Vivixx’s first batch of students was composed of a chemical engineer, medical technologists, college drop outs, fresh high school graduates and the only scholar Cabutotan, a taxi driver. He said the students’ ages range from 17 to 47.
“What we do is equip our students with the right tools to be able to keep up with the fast changing times,” he said.
Shields said that the coder boot camp they hold equips students with the right tools they can use to respond to the demands of the industry.
“We do not teach you to pass a test, we teach you to solve the actual problems of customers,” Shields added.
Ace Estrada II, Vivixx president, said the program, has applied for accreditation with the Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). # nordis.net