The Information Technology Authority (ITA) celebrated the closing of the Oman Summer of Code Programme under the auspices of Dr Salim bin Sultan al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, in the presence of a number of specialists, academics and IT professionals and with awards presented to competition winners in software and applications development at the Crowne Plaza Muscat yesterday. The Oman Summer of Code Programme aims to encourage application developers in general and applications based on open source software in particular to direct them to adapt to various work environments and gain experience in a real work environment. It also provides an opportunity for Omani youth to highlight their talents in application development and enrich the Omani market with national products, thereby creating job opportunities for young people through self-employment and the creation of small and medium companies with high quality national products.
The programme hosted two competitions, Oman Summer of Code and Using GPS Technology. In his comments on the importance of the programme to Omani youth, Fahad bin Sultan al Abri, Director General of Digital Society Development Division, ITA, said, “The most important objective of the project is to spread awareness about the possibility of adopting Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in IT solutions for institutions and individuals, as the Free Software derives its strength from the rapid development and interaction in the communities. The effective factors attracting the use of FOSS are to facilitate the process of owning the technology, localisation of global expertise in local communities and encouraging SMEs to enter the ICT sector.”
On the number of projects submitted this year, Al Abri noted, “In this first edition of the programme we received 48 software projects targeting commercial and institutional uses and mobile applications. Of the 25 projects that qualified to compete in the programme, 11 competed in the business-oriented competition, and 14 projects competed in the Using GPS technology competition. The participants have gained expertise through programming training given to them before entering into the implementation phase of their projects, which contributed significantly in using the software with an added-value.” Besides the training opportunities and prizes given, the participants will have the chance to open their company in Sas Programme and benefit from all the services provided by the programme including office space, specialised technical training in the field of administration, financial loans and consultancy in the field of management and entrepreneurship.
The ceremony included honouring sponsors and members of the jury, in addition to honouring the winning projects in the first competition, which were chosen to be in Sas Programme for Entrepreneurship at ITA. These projects are: ‘Customers Relationships Management System Project’ for the Public Authority for Craft Industries; ‘Management System Assets Project’ for the Information Technology Authority; and, ‘Documents Archiving Management System’ for the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs. The Documents Archiving Management System Project for the Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) was honoured as a promising project.
In the second competition, Using GPS Technology, Ahmed al Qari won first place for his project “Cast Vast”. Second place went to Othman al Mandhari, Ibrahim al Hinai, Nasser al Jabri and Ahmed al Busaidy for their project “Gas Souq”. “Dalta” project took third place, with project manager Nasser al Sahi, and fourth place went to Jafer al Zadjali for his project “Geo Trace”. Nouf al Saidi took the fifth spot for her project “Tasweeq”. On the sidelines of the event, an exhibition was opened to display the 25 projects qualified for the final stage, so as to provide an opportunity to introduce the projects to visitors and market them to achieve access and exchange of experiences.