Whether you want to be the next Sheryl Sandberg or Susan Wojcicki, there’s a never better time to join the tech scene now. That’s right, you could be next big thing in tech! Watch out, Facebook and Google! We speak to developer Sayanee Basu about the plethora of available online resources where you can learn from, the growing developer scene in Asia and future of podcasting in the region.
Based in Singapore, Sayanee Basu is an engineer with a focus on the web and electronics. After graduating from the National University of Singapore, she started out as a project engineer with the city metro lines and worked on the Driverless System. Then she discovered tech and there is no looking back.
Today, she spends most of her time tinkering with the physical world through hardware, wireless communications, and web technologies. At other times, she does developer community engagements with We Build live or creates screencasts with Build Podcast. And she is just one of the many badass women who are changing the tech landscape in Asia as they strive to make their mark in a male-dominated industry.
TT: HOW DO YOU FORSEE THE DEVELOPER SCENE TO GROW IN ASIA?
Developer scene in Asia is still young, but growing at a fast pace.
Mobile usage is very high in very countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia along with Singapore. Also, because many regions are still developing and have no legacy, these places can leapfrog to the latest technology. E.g. Some Indian villages have solar panels installed even before they had power cables delivering electricity. Shenzhen, in China, is also one of the biggest hubs of manufacturing in the world. There are lots of hubs in Asia and they are each coming up to solve unique challenges that are different from the rest of the world.
With a young and diverse Asian youth population, the developer scene is set to only grow in the coming decade. Lastly, there’s a photo that is going around the Internet, that basically sums it all up:
TT: IF I WANT TO BE A DEVELOPER, ARE THERE GOOD RESOURCES OUT THERE?
Thankfully, there are plenty of resources online for anyone to try out web development or even a little hardware prototyping. Here are some of them:
- Coursera and edX: Go through courses with various universities online
- Adafruit and Sparkfun: Learn hardware prototyping to link up some sensors and display their values with a web app
- Stack Overflow: Ask programming related questions online
- GitHub and GitLabs: Look at other open source code, use them and learn from how they are coded
- Technology Review: Learn about latest engineering and development news around the world
TT: WHY DID YOU START BUILD PODCAST?
Almost 4 years ago, I decided that I should learn web development because I was amazed by how fast I could build something and release it for everyone to see on the Internet. Build Podcast tracks my journey in self-learning web development. Every time, I learn something, I will also create a screencast on that topic and share it with everyone. I basically started it to learn about the topic myself and then share it. I have no “aim” on this, as it’s a learning journey for me.
Because I take a viewpoint of a beginner, I am able to connect it and share it with another beginner. Even after 4 years, I always find that taking a fresh or beginner approach to a problem helps me see it in a different perspective. Like there’s a phrase “If you can’t explain it to a 5-year-old, you haven’t understood it”. Check out the Reddit thread on this:Explain Like I ‘m five.
TT; HOW DID WE BUILD SG COME ABOUT? WHY DID YOU AND CO-HOST CHINMAY START THIS PODCAST?
We Build LIVE podcast was actually Chinmay, my co-host’s idea. He was part of what I think the first podcast in Singapore, the tech65. He proposed that we should interview a designer, maker or an engineer visiting or working in Singapore and do an in-depth topical conversation on technology each episode.
I was excited to hear about his idea because it was also the same time that I wanted to learn from other developers in the scene. Wouldn’t it be better if we can both invite a guest each episode, have a conversation about a single technology in depth and most importantly release it publicly? We really wanted to engage the community in this, so we thought of having it as a LIVE Internet “radio” show or live podcast.
We started a live podcast because it seemed like a fun idea to chat and then share it with the community! It’s been about 35+ episodes with different guests. And it’s still so fun!
TT: WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH WE BUILD SG?
We hope to take our conversation to beyond the web and mobile development to science, and various faculties of engineering like mechanical, electrical, bioengineering, civil, etc. We also want to interview guests not just from the industry, just also from the world of research and maker movement. Sometimes, when there are visitors, we also interview them so that we can learn and share what’s happening in technology around the world
In the end, we hope with an expanding conversation, we can inspire many others to peek into technology and learn it in their own way. With a podcast, it’s really easy to share this conversation that’s happening in Singapore, but definitely relevant all around Asia and the world.
TT: WHAT IS THE PODCASTING SCENE LIKE IN SINGAPORE?
The podcasting scene in Singapore is really young. You can probably count your fingers in your 2 hands on the number of podcasts there are. But I’m positive, it will grow in the coming years. People now know more about podcasts, they have a mobile to listen to them on the commute or at other times and podcasting is becoming like another source of getting community-led information.
We are happy to share with anyone on how to create podcasts, especially on hosting, syndicating (RSS), and sharing them.
TT: WHY DO YOU THINK WE ASIA IS STILL BEHIND WHEN IT COMES TO PODCASTING? WILL THE SCENE CATCH UP IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
I bet it will catch up and it will be big as well. People in Asia are becoming more and more aware of the Internet and they are already heavy users of it in terms of commerce and social media. There will be many different genres of podcast content creators (like yourself and comedy!) as well as various groups of listeners. Tools for creating podcasts and hosting them are also becoming easily available. I’m very positive about the future of podcasting in Asia and I look forward to subscribing to more!
Want to hear more about Sayanee Basu and what she thinks of Pokemon and augmented reality? Checking out our Tomboy Tirade episode featuring two of the funniest tech women in Singapore!