The first APIE Advanced Camp was held from March 11 to 15, 2024, at Keio University Hiyoshi campus in Yokohama, Japan.

APIE Advanced Camp, a new component of the APIE program, is a five-day training course that focuses on BGP, IXP, SQL, cloud computing, network operation, and web service development. Participants put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired throughout their APIE learning journey, which includes online courses, e-workshops, and a camp.

This video summarizes the activities of the first APIE Advanced Camp, held in Japan.

All 16 participants from SOI Asia partner universities in Indonesia (Universitas Brawijaya, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universitas Siyah Kuala) and Malaysia (Universiti Sains Malaysia) were challenged to design a small web service with network monitoring. They were supported by mentors from AITAC, APNIC, the University of Tokyo, and Keio University.

A team of teaching assistants (TAs) comprised of students from Keio University fully assisted the event, from preparing and facilitating activities to providing technical support for each of the groups. After the participants’ arrival at the campus, TAs took them to the Kawasaki Business Incubation Center (KBIC). All participants and contributors were also welcomed with small gifts prepared for this camp: an APIE flash memory (USB-A and C) keyholder and APIE stickers.

APIE, AITAC and APNIC teams designed this syllabus to empower students toward their mission of creating a scalable and redundant small web service with network monitoring. The curriculum covered the following topics:

  • DAY 1: BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) routing and IXP (Internet Exchange Points) operations
  • DAY 2: Database (SQL)
  • DAY 3: Computer architecture for cloud computing (virtualization, container)
  • DAY 4: Network operation, monitoring, and management / VPN router configuration
  • DAY 5: Site visit to a cybersecurity data center

DAY 1: BGP Routing and IXP Operations

Sheryl ‘Shane’ Hermoso from APNIC started the camp with an intense session on BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) routing and IXP (Internet Exchange Points) operations. Following the mission cards tailored for this camp, students worked with hands-on exercises in the APNIC virtual lab environment.

Day 2: Database technology

On day 2, participants learned the fundamentals of database. Dr. Seiichi Yamamoto (AITAC) started the day by explaining the differences between frontend and backend, the definition and importance of database and data retrieval and updating. Later, Yamamoto went further, extending the session to topics such as security, data integrity, and big data.

In the afternoon, students worked on several practical exercises (storage, surveillance, container and database, SDN) on remote desktop environments (RDP) provided by AITAC.

Day 3: VPN Configuration and Computer Architecture

SOI Asia director and WIDE board member Prof. Keiko Okawa opened day 3 with a welcome greeting and handed it over to Achmad Husni Thamrin (Keio University). Husni introduced the project Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives (AI3) and had students configure VPN routers to connect to global RENs.

Later, Prof. Yuji Sekiya (AITAC and University of Tokyo) started this session by sharing some trends in the digital world: younger generations are attracted by application areas such as data analysis, IoT, and artificial intelligence but not infrastructure. Sekiya brought his knowledge and expertise in ICT infrastructure and the skills future engineers should have to strive in this area.

Day 4: Network Operation, Monitoring, and Management & VPN Router Configuration

On day 4, Dr. Yamamoto returned with the basics of systems and server monitoring and the perils of not implementing it correctly. In the afternoon, Dr. Husni, who had started a hands-on session about VPN router configuration for connecting to Global REN on day 3, helped participants complete their tasks.

Day 5: Site Visit to a Cybersecurity Data Center

On the last day of the camp, all participants visited the IIJ Shiroi Data Center Campus in Chiba Prefecture and learned more about the physical space where the web services and networks they will create and work on in the future could be potentially hosted. This facility represents a cutting-edge, large-scale facility aimed at addressing the explosive demand for AI and DX while focusing on energy conservation and renewable energy use. One of the highlights was how it emphasizes carbon neutrality through initiatives like direct outdoor air cooling and the use of lithium-ion storage batteries. Also, the adoption of solar panels for power generation, alongside automating operations with robotics and AI, to streamline efficiency and reduce manual labor.

Closing Ceremony

The lead of APIE, Dr. Noriatsu Kudo, started the closing ceremony with warm messages about this camp. The ceremony was held at a dinner in Jiyugaoka (Tokyo), where professors Jun Murai and Keiko Okawa handed certificates and stickers to the 16 participants who successfully concluded this phase of the program. All four teams briefly introduced their projects, giving a glance at what we can expect for the final presentation.

Since the camp began almost simultaneously with Ramadan, some participants needed an extra layer of effort during the sessions, so they had a lot to celebrate themselves. The closing dinner was held in T’s restaurant, an establishment that served impressively well-executed, savory vegan dishes.

Women supporting women in tech

At the first APIE Advanced Camp, women’s impact in tech shone brightly with three pioneers: Wan (USK), the first female APIE camp participant, alongside Patricia (ITB) and Nor (USM). Their participation not only challenged gender norms but also underscored the vital role of diversity in technology. These women exemplified talent and passion in IT engineering, inspiring future generations to break barriers and innovate.

Final Presentation

On May 22, during the SOI Asia and AI3 Monthly Seminar, all four groups presented the web services they had designed over the past couple of months. The projects vary from a material hub platform for APIE learners to an app that reminds users when it is time to take their medication.

In their presentations, all teams addressed the motivation for choosing a determined topic and clearly stated goals and problems to be solved with their design. They put effort into the backend development, showed details for monitoring the services, and dedicated time to creating appealing and functional front ends. The results impressed the APIE Advanced Camp organization team, making the conclusion of the first APIE Advanced Camp more than remarkable. Excellent work, everyone!

About upcoming APIE Camps

All certificate holders of APIE Online courses and APIE e-Workshop are eligible to apply. For details on eligibility and upcoming opportunities, visit this website or contact the SOI Asia representative faculty in your home institution.