3 Lessons I Learnt in My First Year As a Developer in a Deep Tech Startup - Read Time: 6 Mins

Introduction 

It has almost been a year since i had started  developing professionally as a Django Web Developer using Python for a deep tech startup called MicroSec. 

Microsec is a IoT security startup that aims to simplify the headache in bringing enterprise level security for IoT devices.  

One of our patent technology is a miniature software that provides secure communication for IoT devices with resource constrained hardware. 

For IoT devices that uses wireless communication technology like LoRaWan or SigFox with a small bandwidth for transmitting data.

What is Deep Tech?

Deep tech startups aims to solve tough problems with their own patented technology through intensive research.

By doing things at  2x - 10x better than what is currently being used in the industry. These are some of the examples of a deep tech startups.

Infrared lights is used to conduct non intrusive procedure to scan our body for diseases to replace the use of MRI machines founded in hospitals.

Self driving cars or flying cars that aims in changing the way we travel from point A to B.

Plant based meat made from fruits or vegetables to reduce on resources needed to rear animals for our unsustainable  meat consumption.

Learning experience in a Deep Tech startup

These 3 lessons that i had learnt in MicroSec for the past 1 year which i think might be useful for any developer looking to get into a local startup:

Embrace Challenges

As a developer in a startup, you are actually encouraged to research and do things that scares the hell out of you. 

It could be to rapidly learn a new technology or methodologies from Agile, UX Design or DevOps that you had never touch on. 

By understanding their core concepts, you implement it as part of your technical stack.

With a aim to deliver your software to clients and gather feedback to customise it for product market fit.

i learnt that i must never to be afraid of challenges, instead embrace it.

As challenges leads you to become  a better software craftsman. Which deepen your craft and steel our resolve for harder challenges to produce our best work. 

Software Development is a High Performance Sports Team

I learnt that as a developer my main purpose despite wearing multiple hats in the startup

It is to use my specialisation, knowledge, skills and experience to deliver software for our clients. 

Therefore soft skills like teaching, writing and pitching my ideas helps to communicate my thoughts and ideas to collaborate and deliver high quality software as a team.

Without soft skills, we won't be able to perform our individual roles effectively as an 10x - 100x high performance team to deliver value for our customers. 

Surrounding Myself with Awesome People from Diverse Background

I learnt that that we must never allow yourself to be boxed in with just software developers for my professional group or colleagues at work.

So i found a ways to network with awesome people from diverse background or skill sets.

Which provided an exposure for me with new ideas and an extra layer of lens on how i perceive the world to solve tough problems for people.  

In the past 1 year i had work with these non-profit organizations that gain me access to mentorship, study groups and professional networks:  

Python User Group Singapore - helping to organize PyCon 2018 APAC at NUS School of Computing,

Mentors Hub - For university students, which i received in the past mentorship for my area of interest, networking with mentorship mates and mentors in Mentors Hub,

Junior Developer Singapore -  co-organiser and i meet lots of awesome developers from bootcamps, Com Sci students, junior developers and seniors developers.  A low pressure enviroment that shares their experiences and knowledge to level up the developer community in Singapore,

Code in Community - Volunteered as a coding instructor to teach lesser fortunate kids to learn computer programming using Scratch. Association of Professional Sales - Networking with sales professional from various backgrounds. Listening on how sales is important for me as software developer.    

Conclusion

I'm  documenting my process in the past 1 year and i had included links that i find is useful for any developer to take a look.

Especially the Master of Scale episode by Reid Hoffman on the interview with Kevin Systrom the co-founder & CEO of Instagram. 

Lastly due to Singapore government's push through  SGInnovate to invest in more Deep tech startups that is incubated by incubators like Entrepreneurship First.

Deep tech startups is constantly recruiting technical talents ranging from Robotics, AI, Data Science, Blockchain, Embedded System development or Space, 

My suggestion for any new developers who are interested  to join these deep tech startups.

Is to focus on learning technical and soft skills that is relevant for the work, you plan to do in a deep tech startup.

Researching and understanding what do they do or the tough problem they are trying to solve. 

Could help you immensely for picking the rights skills to learn.

Besides that there is another way is by heading to the SGInnovate website on the  talents tab for job postings, their Summation programmes  and talent development events

MicroSec

https://usec.io/

What is Deep Tech? 

https://www.bbva.com/en/what-is-deep-tech/

Debugging Teams

https://www.amazon.com/Debugging-Teams-Productivity-through-Collaboration/dp/1491932058

How to Keep IT Simple While Scaling Big - Kevin Systrom Co-Founder & CEO of Instagram

https://mastersofscale.com/#/kevin-systrom-how-to-keep-it-simple-while-scaling-big

SGInnovate To Invest in 20 Deep Tech Startups

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/sginnovate-to-invest-in-20-deep-tech-startups

SGInnovate

https://www.sginnovate.com/talent-networking

Entrepreneurship First

https://www.joinef.com/

Python User Group Singapore

http://pugs.org.sg/

Mentorshub

http://mentorshub.sg/wp/

Junior Developer Singapore

https://www.meetup.com/Junior-Developers-Singapore/

Code In Community

https://www.codeinthecommunitysg.com/

Association of Professional Sales

https://www.associationofprofessionalsales.com/