International conference on Innovative rapid application development (RAD) held at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania

April 26, 2024 | 3 minute read
Danny Gooris
Regional Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA
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Rapid application development is an area of intensive growth and equally high expectations from both the IT industry and its customers. Demand for programmers keeps growing at a pace that exceeds capabilities of many educational institutions to supply graduates possessing the necessary skills. That lead to the rise of tools like Oracle APEX, a popular and widely used rapid application development tool that provides opportunities to comprehend and apply programming development practices quickly and efficiently with less programming skills and low/no code.

Oracle APEX is freely available to all Oracle Academy member educators, who easily can request and obtain a dedicated instance in the cloud, designed specifically for classroom use with up to 99 students. That creates an easy-to-use environment for both educators and students to practice assignments accompanied by Oracle Academy database curricula, part of which is also the Applications Development Foundations course. This curriculum specifically focuses on explaining the techniques and tools to design, build, and deploy database-driven web applications.

These practical benefits were the reason why Vilnius Gediminos Technical University (VGTU) from Lithuania and its consortium partners: Riga Technical University from Latvia, Tallinn Technical University from Estonia, Technological University Dublin from Ireland, and University of Rijeka from Croatia, selected Oracle APEX as the tool to use in their "KA220-HED Embracing rapid application development (RAD) skills opportunity as a catalyst for employability and innovation" (or “RAD Skills” in short) project, submitted and approved for EU funding through the Erasmus program back in 2022.

The main goal of this project is to leverage the ease of using tools like Oracle APEX to provide learning opportunities for students with different backgrounds, not only those studying information technology (IT) but also those studying business management programs.

At the beginning of the project, in late 2022 and early 2023, the Oracle Academy Principal Instructor for EMEA delivered an online training for a group of almost 30 teachers from participating universities to acquaint them with our resources, including Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and APEX, and course materials associated with them. Project team members started creating two three-ECTS credit modules. The first one targeted students with a basic/fundamental level of understanding of databases and application development, and the other one targeted more advanced level students. Consortium members then included the modules into the study programs at each institution.

As an associate partner of this project, Oracle Academy provides not just the free resources that are available to our members, but also connections with its own partners from the Oracle Partner Network and the global community of Oracle APEX experts. On April 3, 2024, as part of this project, VGTU hosted a very successful first International Conference on Innovative Rapid Application Development, details of which can be found on the conference web page here.

Piotr Kurzynoga, Principal Cloud Solutions Engineer at Oracle, delivered a keynote at the conference: “Low Code - Modern Application Development” and provided the audience with a general overview of the broader context in which Oracle APEX arose, as well as reasons for its growing popularity and expected roadmap for future development. He also included insights into the role AI might have in this dynamic and rapidly evolving area of software development.

According to Professor Diana Kalibatiene from VGTU, the “RAD Skills” project coordinator, the conference attracted more than 70 participants, not just from the consortium member institutions, but from the IT industry in the region as well. The conference can be considered not just as a successful project output, but also a good example of successful cooperation between educational institutions and prospective future employers of their students.

As an associate project member, Oracle Academy will continue to contribute to successful project rollout by supporting and facilitating more interactions between consortium members, their educators and students, and local IT industry representatives throughout 2024.

Danny Gooris

Regional Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA

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