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8 Observations of Indonesia's Tech City - Bandung

akin Development Indonesia

Our offsite team of partners and developers in Bandung are a capable bunch. Over the last 3 years, we have worked together to deliver more than 15 technological innovations and projects. These range from big tech brands such as ASUS, to those for high-growth startups, such as Temploy.

This past February, my CTO and I set off to the prime tech-city of Indonesia for a quick catch up with them. But this time, with an extra motive - we were meeting with Indonesian accelerator Pedals, which we’re collaborating with as their regional marketing and branding partner.

Here are some of the insights gleaned after seven days of meetings: 

1. Inefficiencies at maximizing potential

While there are many talents who harness the right aptitude and attitude in what they do, the severe lack of work opportunities with senior developers results in them being unable to really excel and reach their full potential. If overseas companies planning to enter the market can provide the right mix of talent development and retention strategy, they will definitely recruit quality developers here.

 

2. Knowledge of relevant methodologies and frameworks

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Meeting with our core team of developers

The developers display a high knowledge of the Agile methodology and SCRUM framework, allowing quick iterative product development.

 

3.  PHP. PHP. PHP.

PHP is the most commonly known and used programming language in Bandung. This is particularly a plus since PHP is installed in almost every web server in the world; the two top CMS-es (content management systems) in the world, Joomla and Wordpress, are built on PHP too! This is a strong point that makes Bandung an attractive base for website development.

 

4.  Working Remotely

There is a culture of remote work among developers, relying on trendy project management and ticketing softwares such as Jira, Trello and Asana, most of which we’re very familiar and comfortable with as well.

 

5.  Language Barriers

One thing to note, however, is the language barrier. As most developers may not be able to communicate in English, this could make Bandung significantly less attractive than Jakarta for software outsourcing work. That said, there is also an increase in English-speaking project managers (freelancers) who can assist in translate and manage freelancing developers. The language barrier still sets a gap between the pace of development between Bandung and Jakarta, with Bandung trailing behind.

 

6.  Lower Costs

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Kenneth (far right) and I with Temploy’s country Manager and co-founder of Roketin, Tony D.(right)

Compared to developers from first tier cities such as Jakarta, Bandung developers are drawing about 20% lesser wage. As shared by Tony, co-founder of Roketin, the demand for developers has increased in Bandung, owing to ‘the exponential growth of startups in Jakarta’. “Companies like to hire developers from Bandung as they tend to cost much lower than if the hire was made in Jakarta,” he said.

 

7.  It's Cool. Literally.

On a slightly lighter (and cooler) note, the average temperature in Bandung is 23 degrees Celsius, which makes a much more pleasant environment for the team to keep focused at work (as opposed to the sweltering humidity in Singapore).

 

8.  Yum.

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Our sumptuous meal at SAKA

The great weather also makes for an enjoyable team lunch at one of the many trendy cafes, particularly in the Braga area! You can also find some great steak in Bandung – be sure not to miss out on SAKA which is located right opposite the Rumah Mode Factory Outlet, a popular shopping destination for tourists. Quite a combination!


 

Our Experience with Bandung so Far

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Training our pre-sales team in Bandung.

akïn has been working with many programming freelancers across the world since 2012, particularly when incumbent projects require skillsets that the core team may not possess. Like every other person or company who tries to ‘outsource’ their development, this task has proven to be a steep hill to conquer. Well, thankfully, till we met our preferred developers in Bandung 3 years ago.

Many people underestimate the management of an off-site team, especially for a team of developers. While technological departments are generally considered back-office teams, it is certainly not the case for any high-growth tech startup, especially when iterative improvements happen every single day. At akïn , our Singapore team personally manages all the developers and projects to ensure a high level of quality control.

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There are tips and tricks to managing an offsite team, and I will be happy to share more about that in future blog posts. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about Bandung or developing digital innovations, email me at arvin@techlyon.com (and I may let you in on some hidden gems in and around the area!)

 


 

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