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Impressive Apps Developed by Youngsters at Edition #5 of Mentorship Program Supported by Fortech

  • Back in 2015, Fortech initiated Discover you Call in IT program. Next year, the program was managed by an independent organization evolving in what is today DPIT Academy,  a national level program developed and implemented by DPIT Association. Now is referred to as a best-case practice of cooperation for education, supported by 30+ IT companies, besides Fortech, academic, and institutional partners.
  • Since its start, 700+ youngsters have been engaged in building real applications under the guidance of tech mentors while being exposed to various work cultures and gaining fundamental skills required to embrace the future of work.

Two teams of high school students mentored by our colleagues took the podium of DPIT Academy Contest. Synergy and Bond Coders get the 2nd and 3rd place, confirming once again that with the right guidance, a teenager can imagine technical solutions to meet the community’s higher needs. For Fortech, this is the 5th year of involvement in shaping the future generation of programmers and testers.

You might think that squeezing between hundreds of students, desks, teachers, IT managers, spiders, roll-ups can be annoying. Not this time. On October 23rd, this was the zero point of Z Gen innovative minds. Enthusiastic students exhibited their business ideas and waited to hear their names shouted on stage as the winners of DPIT Academy Contest. It’s impressive to see what 170+ high school students had managed to achieve, guided by mentors, in seven months of intense work. Since March, when the program started, they experienced days of trials and errors, that ended with the most genuine joy of implementing an application that works.

28 teams accepted the challenge of creating an app from scratch. Two of them were Synergy and Bond Coders, mentored by our colleagues from Cluj and Oradea and the ones who received 2nd and 3rd prize in a fierce competition of brilliant ideas.

DPIT Academy Graduates

DPIT Academy’s 2019 Graduates | Photo credits: DPIT Association

Programming the Future

The goal of the Synergy team was to bring a better shopping experience to the final customer. Grable, their app, allows the client to scan its products on the spot and pay for them, with maximum efficiency, without staying in the queues.

“My experience as a mentor started as a quest to understand how younger generations relate to technology. I was impressed to realize how fast they learn and work together to find creative solutions. I am grateful that I could contribute and open their path towards a successful career. Hopefully, we will hear more about Grabble or another project they will put together. I am confident it will conquer the world and find its way to users’ heart.” – Vlad Muresan, mentor of the Synergy Team team, 2nd place, DPIT Academy Contest

Synergy Team, 2nd prize, DPIT Academy Contest

Synergy Team, 2nd prize, DPIT Academy Contest | Photo Credits: DPIT Association

The Bond, not James, but Bond Coders, imagined a solution for those who spend endless hours, getting stuck in the bureaucracy of public administration services. Paying taxes or filling in documents for registering a new car, or a new name can be a test of patience. Using the latest AI technologies, the Citizen Assistant app is an alternative to the actual system, transforming the public administration into a more efficient place.

“This was my second time when I took the mentor’s hat as part of the DPIT Academy. It was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to coordinate a wonderful team, involved, determined, and curious. I might say that I only showed them the way to success; they did all the rest. When you embark on this journey of mentorship, you have to leave something behind. Only by sharing our values and knowledge to the next generation, we will continue to progress.” – Daniel Bran, mentor of the Bond Coders team, 3rd place, DPIT Academy Contest

Bond Coders Team, 3rd prize, DPIT Academy Contest

Bond Coders Team, 3rd prize, DPIT Academy Contest |Photo Credits: DPIT Association

More Than Coding

For this edition, 30% of the teams enrolled in the contest from Cluj, Oradea, and Brasov received guidance from our colleagues. Our professionals from Cluj, Oradea, and Brasov shared their time, software development expertise, and Agile practices, igniting or nurturing teenagers’ passion for IT.

The students learned about entrepreneurship, project management, programming languages that they don’t study in school. They also understood what a day-to-day IT job entails, whether we talk about custom software development, UI/UX, testing, or tech project management.

“We invested a lot of time in developing this educational program aiming to cultivate and inspire young children’s appetite for a career in IT. DPIT Academy it’s one of the initiatives that we hold most dear. If ten years ago, a software development engineer was focused solely on writing code, the market has now changed, requiring the IT professionals to come forth with a complementary skillset. Besides excelling at a range of evolving programming languages, they need to prove an understanding of the business sectors they are writing for, doubled by practical project management competence. It’s refreshing to witness that the young generation is up to the challenge, as they ready themselves to become the trusted tech partners of the next decade.” – Calin Vaduva, CEO Fortech

What About the Apps?

From apps that are encouraging a healthy lifestyle to apps that are a real help in your travels around the world, all presented ideas address a unique concept, that responds to a contemporary’s lifestyle. To mention a few of the apps designed by the teams mentored by our colleagues:

  • CLJR, a platform where you can find the answer to the most haunting question: Where are we going out tonight? You can see all the places in Cluj, the least or the most crowded, the cheapest or the most expensive.
  • Heathyz, an app that helps you find the best solution in controlling your weight, listing plans for nutrition habits, and fitness exercises.
  • FindMyPupper, an app developed by a team mentored in Brasov. The application enables a pet owner to trace his missing dog or cat. By attaching a Bluetooth tag to a pet’s collar, other users can find it and send its location.
  • iSightTravel, an app designed by a team from Oradea. The application enhances traveler’s experience by pushing notifications with details about touristic points while being on the route.

Other projects that captured our attention and received special prizes from Fortech:

  • CropSeed, a web application designed for the needs of medium and big size farms. The app monitors the soil, the wheater, the crops’ needs, helping the farmer to make the right decision for its harvest.
  • EarthQuest, an app developed to make the world a greener place. Integrating gamification elements, the user can be guided in the recycling process and rewarded for its responsible behavior.
  • WezX, the app meant to ease the traffic of a never-sleeping town. Designed by a team mentored in Fortech, WezX automatized the process of renting an electric scooter.
  • Lazy You, an app that meets the needs of a socially active person. The idea behind it is to save time for relevant interactions by gather in one place all the service providers. Lazy You spares the user of unuseful phone calls and conversations, offering real-time information about the free spots to the personal car service, hair salon or barbershop.
  • Clair – the 1st place winner of DPIT Academy Contest, a low-cost, no compromises sensor, that measures CO2 concentration in the air,  but also the quality of air for a defined space. The sensor works with a mobile app, where you will get notifications about air quality, but also statistics on air’s composition and how it changes in time.

Longstanding Commitment to Education in IT

DPIT Academy, organized by DPIT Association, is one of the educational projects that Fortech encouraged and supported over the years. In 2019, Fortech partnered up with the Oradea University and fully equipped a laboratory so that students could be better prepared for the requirements of an everchanging market.

Throughout the years, Fortech built strong and close relationships with the universities in Cluj, Oradea, Iasi, and Brasov, the most popular IT educational centers and where the company has offices. Together with its academic partners, Fortech organized hundreds of internship and pre-employment training programs. A significant percentage of the talented students enrolled in these programs are now part of the Fortech’s 750+ team of IT professionals.

Pillars of a Solid CSR Program

Besides Education, Fortech’s CSR strategy is fortified around three more components:

  • Health and Sports. Last year, together with the team of paramedics, we started a series of internal CPR training sessions. Since then, 300+ colleagues from our offices in Cluj, Iasi, Oradea, and Brasov attended hands-on first aid sessions. Furthermore, in 2018, we gave a hand to Beard Brothers, an unconventional NGO, for buying an ambulance for the Romanian Medicine Emergency System (SMURD).
  • Creative Industries. We partnered up with Electric Castle, one of the most appreciated music festivals in Europe. They offered us the context; we provided our technical expertise. This year we counted three years since we are developing the official mobile app of the Festival.
  • Social Care. Our purpose is to contribute to a better life for the ones in need. We offer support to elders or young people living in extreme conditions or being in a critical state of health.

About the DPIT Academy

DPIT Academy evolved from Discover your Call in IT Program, a program initiated in Fortech back in 2015. Since 2016 and until nowadays, the program was managed and organized by the DPIT Association and implemented with the combined support of over 30 IT companies and academic partners, which recognize that enriching and educating the next generation is neither a small task nor the sole responsibility of a single institution.

The architecture of the program was designed to provide practical ways of engaging with young students to help them build a solid knowledge-base while exploring the possibilities that a career in IT could offer. The aim is to encourage them to pursue their career dreams in the field.

About the DPIT Association

DPIT is an association that promotes and supports education in IT for youths from local and regional communities. The objective of the Association is to increase the number of young people who pursue a career in IT, thus contributing to the recognition of our city as an important center for education in IT.