Idols are proliferating this modern age. There are American idols, Canadian idols, Filipino idols; name them but I will not talk about idols like that. As I browse through my articles during university days; I can’t help it but admire one of the persons I interviewed for my personality profile. My first impression about him is, “Wow, he is surprisingly cool and genius”. But when I began the interview, I found that something more is rather more stunning about him.
Though computers have their mind of their own, there will always be someone working behind them. Working behind the scene, a lot of blogs were posted on the internet pertaining to him or either to his innovation. Whether you are a University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) student, teacher or staff in the University you would surely know him. He is Rodolfo N. Duldulao Jr., commonly called “Sir Duls”, one of the computer gurus of the Institute of Computer Science in UPLB.
Newborn UPLB Systemone
As UPLB Systemone was designed and invented, many had also raised shoulders and eyebrows regarding the technology. Mr. Duldulao was the one who designed and invented the said system. “The primary purpose of Systemone is to answer the problem of information access of the UPLB constituents as a whole, that’s why it is called Systemone”, said Mr. Duldulao. He also added that its secondary purpose is to make life more convenient and easier especially during registration where students from different provinces of the country can save the trouble of going to UPLB to check and process their academic units and enlist on their respected courses.
He further explained that the central idea in SystemOne is to have somewhere to store and “ask” the information from. “We do this by using “Web Services” – whereby we encapsulate university “processes” using methods/procedures/functions that programs can use readily and access via our network”, said Professor Duldulao. To make the process more vivid he cited an example about what they have created. They created a standard “routine” for the task of matriculation fee computation of the students.
The purpose of such routine according to him is that it was designed to be reused by any other current or future program in whatever purpose it may serve. For example, students can use the specific feature for displaying his/her payment details and at the same time the accounting division can use it for accounting purposes, etc. “The good thing about it is, there is only one implementation for that routine and that, that routine can be accessed over the network,” he added.
The popularity of the said technology even attracted the media. He was interviewed and featured on INQ7.net, though he admitted that he was not satisfied with the said interview due to some misunderstandings on the details of the system.
ICS New Assistant Professor
It’s been seven years since he started teaching in ICS and finally he earned his M.S degree just this year also here in UPLB. And when asked on what is his unforgettable experience in teaching for that span of time, surprisingly he answered a plain—– “none”. “When I began to see how things work and in the process discover the pattern of anything, the enthusiasm seems to disappear, and anything doesn’t seem to be exciting anymore”, explained Mr. Duldulao. Beyond doubt he is a man who loves challenge.
Then how would it be then to be one of his students? Students have different feedbacks when asked about their professor. Some just give a parsimony smile, but most of them gave a straight comment. It’s either “cool”, “halimaw” (“monstrous” used to describe people with such high brains in UPLB), and “unapproachable”. These comments are not hidden to him, except with one. He was overwhelmed when he heard that his students are actually thinking that he is cool. “I don’t know what made them say that, except maybe for a fact that they are just afraid to give bad comments”, he bashfully explained. His face was momentarily blushing as he heard this word. His students think that his way of teaching made them view him as a cool teacher.
He admitted that when dealing with students most of the time, he uses psychological tactics whenever they are
irresponsible and lazy students. He would as much as possible scare them for them to learn their lessons. That’s why he appears to be unapproachable to some of his students.“I appreciate those who persevere and persists on consulting and approaching me even if I turned to be “nakakatakot”(terror) at times. For me they are the people who really want to achieve something”.
Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice
Mr. Duldulao is a native of Batac, Ilocos Norte. They are six in the family and amazingly all of his siblings have also graduated in the University of the Philippines Los Banos.
Games including those that are not computer based games are one of his interests. And significantly, his attitude towards challenge is also visible on his attitude toward games. Once he finished a game there’s no way he will play that same game again. Once he discovers the pattern the challenge becomes a trivial thing.
One of his dreams is to have his own group or company —- a Consultancy Group. He also revealed that if there’s other profession he would want to pursue apart from computers, he would want to be a writer/novelist and publish his own book.
Students Vs. SystemOne
Seeing the purpose of SystemOne, it seems like many students appear to have many misconceptions about it.
“As I have said, SystemOne is for online access of information, and my job is only to enable the access of information for students, and to maintain the service connected to enlistment. Apart from it, the preparation of information, the numbers of slots, the class schedules are beyond my control, but students seem not to get it,” he further explained. He was heavy-hearted seeing this situation.
They were trying to clarify and answer issues by posting blogs linked with SystemOne. He finds it unfair that some students who keep on complaining and posting foul words on the internet, wherein in reality what they are complaining about are beyond the SystemOne concerns. Take for example the instances of blogposts where students are complaining about their schedules of 7am classes and that they are deprived of slots. Worse, there are even some students that use bad language associated/swear against his name and even post it on the internet.
Human instincts said that whatever pleases, I will do. He was different though, even if computer is his passion, “I can easily detach myself with computers, because I can live without them”. According to him, he hasn’t experience getting tired or addicted to it. In terms of games, the addiction comes when he hasn’t finished the game, but once he finishes it, he won’t play it anymore.
He has a plan of leaving UPLB in the mere future, but not now. “I want to do something for UPLB before I leave”, said Professor Duldulao. He stressed out that he would not leave UPLB until he have finally done a breakthrough that will greatly help UPLB. It can be improvements on SystemOne, breakthrough that will be significant enough.
And here is what I like most from his statements, “I really don’t care much about the salary as long as I can still afford to eat and I’m working on what I like”.