The Jakarta Post
Technology is arguably one of the most popular sectors these days and people, who have strong backgrounds in the field, are considered to be the most sought after by giant companies and employers everywhere.
During a Skypeathon event hosted by the Indonesian delegation at the Microsoft Education Exchange ( E2 ) 2018 in Singapore on March 15, which was joined by students from 82 schools across Indonesia, Microsoft Worldwide Education vice president Anthony Salcito shared these crucial tips on what students can do to start preparing for a future as a programmer.
Microsoft Worldwide Education vice president Anthony Salcito answers questions from several Indonesian students during the Skypeathon event hosted by the Indonesian delegation at the Microsoft Education Exchange ( E2 ) 2018 in Singapore on March 15. (JP/Keshie Hernitaningtyas)
1. The skills you learn today in school matter
"You can start with understanding that in the world of programming today all the skills you’re learning in your school and classroom are valued. We're looking for people who can work well with others; the collaboration that happens is critically important," said Salcito.
Sharing ideas and collaborating on projects with other students are among the skills companies like Microsoft value highly. "Because in most projects, like building games, or building products like Microsoft Word or Skype, there are thousands of people involved from all different disciplines. So being able to work well with others is critically important," he said.
2. Learn how to communicate your ideas
"Being able to communicate your idea effectively is also critically important," advised Salcito.
"Whether you’re working in a small development studio or a large company, you need to articulate your design concept, point of view; communicate what your goal is to others so they can help build on your vision."
3. Get the foundation right
"As the landscape of technology continues to change, the languages and capabilities of platforms will continue to change. So get the foundation right."
4. Be passionate
"I suggest doing stuff you're passionate about. Finding a thing that you love and trying to express solutions and ideas with technology is a great way to start. I always see students who go further with regard to technology development because they’re trying to solve something else," added Salcito, who previously worked as a teacher.
"At the end of the day that’s what the core skill is. How do you use the power of technology to create an emotion; whether a game or storytelling idea? How do you solve a challenge in society with an application or program? Thinking about what you're trying to solve is actually a great way to start your journey."
5. Be open to anything
"Do recognize that there’s a great need for programmers of all kinds; the world is getting more diverse," said Salcito.
He then shared how Microsoft hired different types of people; from visual artists, people who understand sound design, to writers and people who understand language and linguistics.
"All of these work across the world of technology. Increasingly whether you want to be a coder or involved in technology development in a broader way, there’s plenty of need and opportunity for you in this field."