1. What is the tech industry in Singapore?
The tech industry comprises all businesses for whom software technology is a core component. This cuts across most traditional industries, and is closely associated with startups that use software technology to "disrupt" traditional businesses.
2. Is the tech industry growing in Singapore?
The tech industry has been one of the consistently growing industries in Singapore and internationally, and the Singapore government is actively promoting it. There has been a consistent lack of tech workers such as software engineers in Singapore in recent years, to the order of roughly 10,000 per year according to IMDA.
3. How has COVID-19 affected the tech industry and tech hiring in SG?
- COVID-19 has hurt the economy overall, but the tech industry has been one of the industries least-affected by COVID-19 due to the increased nature of online activity during the pandemic.
- For example, while industries like tourism, hospitality, and F&B are taking big hits during the pandemic, other industries like e-commerce, home wellness, digital gaming and media, digital productivity, and digital education are seeing a boost.
- Most industries thriving during the pandemic require software engineers. In industries hurt by the pandemic, software engineers are often some of the last employees to be let go because they are harder to replace.
- Tech hiring is still happening at a healthy pace in Singapore, albeit slower overall than before COVID-19.
4. What are popular jobs in the tech industry?
- Some of the most popular jobs are in software engineering, data science, and product management.
- Software engineering is the most common by far. There are roughly 10x more software engineering jobs than data science or product management jobs in Singapore and internationally. This is because companies need a product before they can analyse data and manage the product, and software engineers build the product.
- Data science helps businesses provide additional value through using machine learning algorithms to improve user experience. Examples include optimising real-time matching of riders and drivers for ride sharing, recommending similar products to users when shopping online, or flagging potential fraudulent transactions in a banking application. This is not to be confused with data analytics, which typically involves creating more traditional business reports through more manual queries.
- Product management is being responsible for all aspects of delivery and outcome of a product. Product managers work with users, colleagues, and any other stakeholders to define product specifications, oversee building of a product, and manage delivery, measurement, and iteration on that product.
- At most mature tech companies there is some form of each of these 3 roles, but software engineers are most common because companies need more software engineers than the other roles. The best data scientists and product managers tend to be former software engineers because they understand how to build software, enhancing their ability to derive value from data and manage software products.
5. How does one get a job in the tech industry?
Show that you are open-minded and flexible in your work. Most tech companies have a culture of "do whatever it takes", requiring employees to figuratively wear many hats. This is because most tech companies are relatively new because of the young age of the Internet, and work processes many not be as developed as at traditional companies.
Have prior experience in a related role or skill set. For "technical" roles such as software engineering, data science, and product management, this typically means an understanding of software development to the extent that you could work on the company's software without much supervision.