Shaping The Future World Class Engineers

Giovanni Sakti —System Engineer at GO-PAY and Coach at GO-ACADEMY

When Giovanni Sakti (Gio), one of GO-PAY’s System Engineers, just graduated from the university in which he was majored in informatics engineering, he couldn’t be more shocked to find out that what he had learned in university was way behind compared to the technology progress in the industry.

That was when Gio realize there’s a huge generation gap in tech industry. Generation gap happened because based practice engineers in Indonesia are far behind if compared to other developed countries. For example, an Indonesian engineer who was good at what he did 10 years ago may not be as qualified nowadays.

Since the rise of unicorn start-up companies in this archipelago country, the demand of software engineers skyrockets. However, the talent pools out there just can’t seem to balance it out.

This, of course, made us wonder, what if we groomed our own software engineers?

The goal of the program is to Invest in good talents early on and develop them into world class talents. But, before we talk about how GO-ACADEMY work, we need to ask ourselves a question:

What are the major obstacles that cause the generation gap in the first place?

Gio is one the right people to answer this question since he is one of the the coaches who teaches at GO-ACADEMY. Based on his observations and personal experiences, he divided the obstacles into three issues.

Source: GO-JEK

The first one is mainly because Indonesia only renews its college curriculum once every five years. It might be acceptable for other majors, but in technology, five years is such a long time to catch up with new technological innovations and advancements.

The second is the fundamental understanding to technical matters. According to Gio, a lot of software engineers he met sometimes don’t know how a programming language works. They might be able to use it, but they don’t know why they use a certain programming language. Fundamental understanding becomes important to GO-JEK because we always use sophisticated technology. So if their concepts aren’t strong enough, they won’t be able to think fast when there’s a case that needs to be solved.

The last one is that most of the lecturers in the university aren’t engaging enough when teaching the materials. Gio thinks this obstacle appears because they are not a practitioner in the technology industry.

Source: GO-JEK

At GO-JEK, we see obstacle, therefore we tackle it.

Gio and his team developed a program that split the subject into two, technical skills and soft skills. We all know, to become a software engineer, one needs to be able to understand the technical side. But then the question is changed to:

Why are soft skills important for a software engineer? Don’t they just sit in front of the computer all day and write codes?

Well, that stereotype is wrong.

A software engineer’s job is way more than just writing codes, as Bimo (GO-JEK’s software engineer) has told us in the previous article.

Soft skills are needed because in this era, software engineers are collaborating with each other when making a software. So, it is crucial for a good software engineer to understand how to handle people from different background as well.

Recent trend towards open source showcases another importance of collaboration. It is a movement to use an existing technology that has been published for free to support their work instead of making it from scratch.

However, using open source is not as simple as it may seems. Software engineers may need to collaborate with people from other countries to fix bugs and even more when using open source program. And for Gio, collaboration is a challenge since one needs to be able to speak clearly and understand other people’s cultures, so they can work well together.

Gio shared his expertise during Mini Bootcamp

Even though there’s no exact formula on how to teach soft-skill, Gio says it’s usually embedded into students’ daily jobs. For example, one of the problem solving exercises that is applied during the program is to always redo it until students get it right.

So when a mistake occur, the coaches will ask them to erase everything and start it all over again from scratch. When this happens coaches will give some clues to help them improve. This encourages students to solve the problems themselves. And every revision they did, students need to present it, this, of course is a part of practicing their public speaking skills to the audiences.

While soft skills are important, technical material is also essential to be taught during the program, so we can create future quality engineers and bridge the generation gap that is happening now.

GO-ACADEMY also tries to teach students the latest technology used in the industry. The program also focuses on the question ‘why’ because the students need to understand basic things, such as the reason why they choose to use a certain programming language.

Source: GO-JEK

It is important to kept in mind that GO-ACADEMY wants to empower Indonesian universities to prepare their graduates who wants to enter the modern tech industry.

The program is appealing to students because we offer the mentorship concept. Students need to have one mentor that will help them to grow to be a better engineer, and it is something you can’t get when you’re only doing freelance work.

OK so… GO-ACADEMY teaches students everything they need to know on how to be a world class software engineer.

But, what are the outcomes that GO-JEK expected?

The answer is defined by two words: T-shaped Developers. We want our engineers to marvel in every field, but they are expected to be an expert in one field. Here at GO-JEK, we want our engineers to be able to use and keep up with any kind of technologies that they will stumble upon them. The most important thing is for them to understand the fundamental of their work.

Through GO-ACADEMY, we also want to be the disruptor to provide more supplies than demands in scouting excellent software engineers that meet the standard of technology industry.

Interested to learn more about software engineering while driving social impact? Visit GO-ACADEMY page to learn more.