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Asia’s tech potential: How self-taught education is shaping the next generation of developers


Asia’s software industry has continued growing over the past decade, even during the pandemic. The region’s software industry is estimated to be worth over US$121.40 billion in revenue this year, with an annual growth rate of 7.92 per cent by 2028. New projects are in constant need of developers, especially entry-level talents who want to gain experience and start their journey toward becoming foundations for the tech boom in Asia.

These opportunities for a career in software development are not exclusive to those who finished degrees in computer programming or other related courses. While roughly 75 per cent of developers have relevant degrees for their jobs, companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and Shopify are already open to the idea of hiring self-taught developers and programmers. These individuals have learned their craft on their own, mostly through free learning resources found on the internet.

Free developer education

Free educational resources are nothing new. There are plenty of non-paid tutorials, courses, and online groups that can help self-learners get started on establishing their development or programming skills.

For structured learning, the top options include Coursera, edX, Udacity Nanodegrees, and Codecademy. Coursera and edX have plenty of free and paid courses created by top universities and companies, focusing on comprehensive, practical learning. Udacity Nanodegrees provide hands-on, project-based learning in tech-focused areas. Codecademy, on the other hand, is designed for beginners, offering a host of interactive and gamified learning resources to help learners establish strong foundations in programming.

Software development beginners who prefer tutorial-based learning can use FreeCodeCamp, The Odin Project, and several YouTube channels like Traversy Media, LearnCode.academy, and Academind. FreeCodeCamp is a nonprofit resource notable for its vast collection of free coding tutorials, including interactive exercises and projects.

The Odin Project is an open-source software development learning kit that features full-stack curricula designed with a project-based learning approach. For YouTube, programming and development-focused channels offer collections of high-quality video tutorials covering various coding languages and frameworks.

Also Read: How is open-source collaboration empowering Asia’s fastest-growing markets?

For more advanced learning, the leading choices are GitHub, HackerRank, and LeetCode. GitHub, the famous code-sharing platform, provides an expansive collection of open-source projects for fledgling developers to learn from, contribute to, or use for their projects. Meanwhile, HackerRank and LeetCode feature coding challenges and other resources that help train problem-solving skills.

Specialised and updated knowledge

One crucial factor that drives self-learning efforts for beginner developers is schools catching up on the latest development technologies. Most developers learn new technologies and expand their knowledge on their own. As data from StackOverflow and HackerRank show, at least 60 per cent of the developers are self-taught.

The rise of Web3 is fueling self-trained developers to keep up with the latest tech, including blockchain technology, decentralised apps (dApps), and innovative user interfaces and experiences. Since the 2020 bull run on digital assets, there has been a 60 per cent increase of GitHub developers building on Web3. According to Forbes, developers should consider upskilling themselves into this new sector.

Resources like EZSandbox by Koii, a community-driven decentralised computing and storage network, fill this need for free, organised learning solutions on modern development topics. Specifically intended to ease Web3 development, EZSandbox provides a systematised way to get hands-on learning experiences to develop and launch microservices with any token on the Koii network.

It features progressive lessons that start with basic tasks like distributed node creation, UPnP, and web crawling, which are useful for AI development. The lessons progress to more complex topics like software audits. Users can go through the lessons and get hands-on experiences by using their existing desktop node to experiment with tasks easily.

The platform’s developer, Koii, provides tools and resources that help developers create decentralised applications. They are also known for allowing personal devices to be used as compute nodes in executing microservices within the network, which is important in providing practical experiences for learners.

Also Read: AI is not slowing demand for software developers in the Philippines

By allowing developers to initially stage their test deployments on a network of global nodes before expanding to a larger network, Koii’s EZSandbox can accelerate the deployment time for testing new software modularly, potentially reducing costs associated with launching software to new users. This approach is beneficial for independent or small team developers who may lack the budget or resources typically needed to launch on traditional Web2 infrastructure.

The rapid growth of Web3 is not only happening in Asia. It is taking place everywhere else in the world. Gaining proficiency in Web3 development is increasingly becoming important as organisations steadily adopt it as part of their tech strategy. The good news is that there is no need to enrol in a paid course to learn it. There are many free resources to hone one’s expertise in Web3 development.

Becoming more competitive developers

There is a need for more developers in Asia, just like in other parts of the world. Even with this, it is not easy for an entry-level developer to get hired for software development work due to lack of experience and high competition.

Companies prefer experienced developers who have been building their proficiency and problem-solving skills for years. Also, companies are wary of “imposters” sending in applications and claiming to have the right skills when, in reality, they are overselling themselves.

The availability of various free online software development learning resources, especially for advanced and in-demand topics, is something many need to pay more attention to. With the rapid growth of Web3, it makes sense to consider DIY learning to keep up with new technologies using tools like EZSanbox by Koii and become more appealing to employers.

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