RMIT Vietnam NewsAlumnus wins competition with travel app

Alumnus wins competition with travel app

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 16:24
The winning team: FPT University student Vu Huy Quan (second from the left), RMIT Vietnam Alumnus Doan Phuong Lan (third from left), and current RMIT Vietnam IT Student Dang Kim Khanh.

RMIT Vietnam alumnus Doan Phuong Lan and her team have won the CoderSchool Demo Day with We Trip, an online platform that simplifies travel planning.

“The app is targeted at young people who like to travel,” the Bachelor of Business (Information Systems) graduate said.

Lan, a travel aficionado herself, was inspired to create the app after planning and traveling to numerous destinations with friends.

“I researched on Google, Trip Advisor, Agoda and many other places, analysing photos and reviews to see if the location was worth our time.

“After trying to agree on the itinerary, we created a budget in Excel and then tried to figure out who covers which expense; in the end we still went over budget.”

“The whole planning process was very manual, so I wanted to see if we could automate it.”

Lan’s opportunity to develop this idea occurred during a two-month course at CoderSchool, an organisation that offers programming language training to engineers.

Lan explained that the app was about research, budgeting and sharing with the community.

“Let’s say you want to travel to Kyoto, Japan. When you log onto the site you can see other users’ itineraries for Kyoto as well as their rough budget for the trip.

“You can choose and clone the itinerary that you like and customise it according to your own travel preferences.

“A shared budgeting function will allow you to better plan your trip and split expenses with friends.

“We are also looking into a function where users import photos from their Facebook page and when the trip is over, share the experience with their community.”

George Nguyen, Information Technology Lecturer in RMIT Vietnam’s Centre of Technology and an Advisor at CoderSchool, said Lan’s group won the competition because their idea is unique.

“The user interface is attractive and the user experience is good; users can simply look at the interface and know the steps they need to take in order to plan their trip,” Mr Nguyen said.

Mr Nguyen added that RMIT Vietnam played an instrumental role in this year’s CoderSchool program. Not only were the classes held at the University’s Saigon South campus, but RMIT Vietnam also facilitated industry speakers.

“At CoderSchool our students get a chance to work with very experienced developers which is great for our students’ careers,” Mr Nguyen added.

RMIT Vietnam students and alumni made up at least one third of the class.

“We look forward to working with CoderSchool again.”

Now that the class is over, Lan continues to make improvements to We Trip and hopes to launch the app over the next couple of months.

She plans to use We Trip to prepare for her next great adventure: pursuing a Master of Digital Innovation degree in Ireland.

Lan is the winner of a full Irish Aid IDEAS scholarship and will begin her program in August.

Story: Howie Phung