Published On: Mon, Jun 12th, 2017

A Guide to Working in the Asian Tech Industry

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 By Contributing Author

The technology sector is exciting, fast-paced and full of great opportunities for ambitious graduate students. As technology constantly evolves, so do the challenges, something that many companies in Malaysia and further afield are taking advantage of.

The whole of South East Asia has a thriving technology sector and is fast becoming a leading producer and innovator of apps, gadgets, and software. With all this going on, what does working in the tech industry actually involve? It all depends on which area you work in, from mobile technology to software and app development.

 

Changing Times

Until the 1980’s, this region was known for agriculture more than any other industry. Crops such as rice and sugar were major exports from present-day tech giants like Malaysia and Thailand. Japan had made huge strides, with the likes of Sony selling its goods worldwide.

As a route out of poverty, many governments in Asian countries saw technology as the way forward. Rapidly, as demand for computers, audio players, televisions and so on grew, so did the industry. Employment opportunities exploded as well, with millions across the region working in factories, labs, and offices.

Today, innovative new forms of tech are being devised throughout the continent. From a smart smoothie maker to apps that make complicated processes simple, Asia is becoming the place to be for working in technology. With new apps and gadgets, however, there comes a multitude of challenges.

 

Start-up Growth

Start-ups are amongst the businesses coming up with some of the boldest, brightest and most original ideas. Malaysia alone has thousands of tech start-up companies, but how do they work? Looking to their Western equivalents for inspiration, the culture at these businesses encourages creativity.

The rigidity of working a normal job is abandoned in favour of flexible working hours, brightly coloured office spaces and all the latest tech that any aspiring worker could want. The start-up culture allows employees to do their jobs with a degree of creative freedom, which lends itself well to producing the best possible work.

Start-up culture is geared towards younger people. Web developers, software developers, designers, marketers, and data scientists are among the roles advertised, with graduates much sought after. The region’s top universities would do well to take note – the variety of roles on offer in this industry provide the best students with many potentially rewarding career paths.

 

Great Ideas

Ideas are at the centre of what makes many tech firms tick. The best ones generate investor interest, attracting injections of cash amounting to millions of dollars. With this money, companies are able to create and develop technology that does such things as interpret data and improve people’s daily lives.

An example of this is the software behind live market data. The live statistics on the LCG Malaysia website provide real-time numbers on stock markets, currencies and indices, all in one place. It looks pretty simple, but with the aid of tech workers in Malaysia, it tracks changes in values and charts trends using complicated code and algorithms.

Putting hard work into great ideas is a must for would-be tech workers. From the smallest piece of JavaScript language to a multi-faceted app, there will be the occasional day where working longer than eight hours per shift is needed. Tight deadlines are a common feature in this industry, but for employees wanting a challenge, this can be very exciting.

 

Bright Future

To get into the local tech industry, as with most others, you should get into an entry-level position. One such role would be as a junior developer, learning from more senior colleagues about what makes websites and apps tick. From that point onwards, if you work hard and take the time to learn on the job, a bright future in tech could beckon.

Future developments in this field will dictate what opportunities, if any, are there for those seeking a new career. The signs are largely positive, with firms such as Axiata Digital pushing their internal tech offering. The number of in-house tech roles with telecoms companies, alongside those at tech-specific start-ups, will likely grow.

There are a few things that every aspiring tech worker in Asia must do. Keeping up to date with the latest developments, showing a willingness to acquire new skills and gearing products/services to new markets are all essential. Without that, job-hunters may have to look elsewhere.

 

 

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