TechTalk: Improving Digital Literacy in Indonesia
Having the fourth highest population in the world doesn’t necessarily mean that this makes Indonesia one with many experts and skilled workers. Based on data from the World Bank, Indonesia experienced high GDP growth per year (around 7%) in 1990 up to 1997, a pace that had never been seen in other Asian countries. However, after the Asian financial crisis in 1997, that trend underwent a sudden stop, dropping around 13% GDP in one swoop, spreading poverty and unemployment all around the country.
With the evolving labor market that is happening around the world, according to The Jakarta Post, the Indonesian workforce is struggling to keep up and currently is lagging behind. While the economy in late 2017 can be considered increasing and well-maintained, (around 5% GDP per year from 2015), the skill gap issue still not off the board.
Even though degree holders and vocational workers seem sheer in number, however, compared to the secondary level education workers, it still pales in comparison. In 2015, the gross enrollment ratio of people with tertiary education only showed 24% of the total population, indicating that most people who graduated from secondary level are not enrolled at college or its equivalent. Thus, formal education does not really solve completely the core problems of the skills gap in Indonesia.
Therefore, to reduce this skills gap, the Indonesia government must not only focus on nurturing people through formal education, but also through communities and courses. This can also be applied to the information technology sector, whatmore with the emergence of the digital era that makes this sector become vital as it affects our lives more than ever.
Community in Digital Era
While there are almost half of the population using the Internet in Indonesia, most of these users are still illiterate towards the technology and are mostly casual users. It might be enough for a couple of decades ago to teach students to have the ability to type faster. However, in this digital-dependent era, the market demands much more than that, such as having the capability to use programming applications, having web-design skills, having the knowledge of online marketing among other demands. Even highly-skilled developers are in demand.
While the competition between job-seekers has become much tighter, there are already communities and informal education to nurture promising developers such as Jakarta JS, PHP Indonesia, Female Geek, Ruby Community, Yogyakarta Android Community, Facebook Developer Circle and many others. These are opportunities for individuals to have more options and alternatives, other than through formal education, to hone their skill.
Besides, if a developer is willing to engage the community, it can help the developer splendidly. Because most of the time you need to keep in touch personally with stakeholders. While the baseless stereotypes of the developer is still brewing in society, by joining communities, one can share insights, gain more knowledge and learn from the experiences of others. This can be a shortcut to experiencing things for themselves.
Not only that, you can also obtain new connections and meet new people with new ideas. Expanding broadly your vision and perspective. It is also worth noting that developers tend to trust the words of their peers. Rather than a fancy marketing campaign. In short, a community is important to developers. One of the benefits of being part of a community is the opportunity to access expertise constantly. Who are always ready to contribute and give feedback. Helping you find solutions to your problem at a faster rate with the best possible practice.
Qiscus: Pioneering Collaborations
Qiscus, as a technology-based business that operates in Southeast Asia (SEA), Is affected too by the issue of the IT skills-gap in Indonesia. Hence, we are eager to participate in solving this problem by supporting events organized by IT communities. For example, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung and Surabaya are the places where Facebook Circle Developer we are contributing.r. We collaborated with the organizer to facilitate a free MAU (Monthly Active User) SDK for up to 10,000 people for every startup who joined the event.
Other than that, we also regularly hold an internal event that mainly discusses IT topics, called TechTalk. This event is one where we collaborate with the local community, such as PHP Indonesia. It shows how Qiscus is really concerned about the skills-gap issues in Indonesia. And we hope that our support can improve the condition of the current labor market in the country.
We have also developed a knowledge-sharing culture in our working climate. And it has already become our core philosophy that when our clients grow, we also grow. Qiscus is greatly respected as an organisation who prioritises the growth of others, especially so for our developers. We believe that when the developer gains more knowledge, our company can obtain more benefits, too. Hence, we are also open to collaborating with other communities and event holders who share our concerns. Drop us a note at www.qiscus.com or read our white paper and see what we can offer for you.
Also, we hold an interesting event where we invite stakeholders to discuss about the latest digital trends. Our upcoming TechTalk #103 will focus on artificial intelligence: Things about Chat and AI that C-Levels Must Know. You can join this event which will be happening on Saturday, January 20th 2018. At D.Lab, Menteng, Jakarta from 9.30 to 11.30 a.m.