Hacktiv8 minimizes talent gap through an ecosystem of mindful and empathetic developers
August 31, 2021
CEO of Hacktiv8 Ronald Ishak proves that ambition without thirst is like fire without coal: it subsides immediately after it blazes. An avid reader ever since the tender age of 9, Ronald has always been eager to learn new things through reading. His passion for programming started early at the age of 12, when he utilized the knowledge of a programming language called Perl from reading a book to build a website visitor counter that tracks the number of visitors coming to his website. After this, the rest is history.
Hacktiv8 is the manifestation of Ronald’s ideas regarding an exemplary institution that turns complete beginners to job-ready developers. “Hacktiv8 is a school that I wish I had when I learned to program. Creating a path to learning, a mindset to problem solving, and tying it together with accountability helps learning accelerate. Unlike learning about history, programming is more about building a mindset on problem solving. I believe that for someone to be a good problem solver, they need to attain a level of awareness with empathy,” detailed Ronald.
After bringing his ideas to life in 2016, Ronald is tackling a bigger mission. With how fast technology is advancing, particularly the accelerated pace of digital adoption propelled by COVID-19, it is projected that the shortage of skilled IT workers will soar to 3.8 million by 2030. Hacktiv8 is set to provide quality education that helps hopefuls attain prominent jobs in the tech industry.
Hacktiv8’s existence echoes a point explained in the East Ventures Digital Competitiveness Index (EV-DCI) 2021, where it is said that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector can serve as the backbone of the regional economy, particularly the digital economy since businesses in this sector are contributing significant economic value. This is where Hacktiv8 steps in to minimize the said gap and actively supports the point by nurturing and producing brilliant tech talents who are ready to work and eager to make a difference.
Operating Partner of East Ventures David Audy said, “As a large country with plenty of digital opportunities, Indonesia needs many tech engineers. The lack of STEM-related program graduates and low engineers per million population have been significant challenges. Hacktiv8 arises to fill the talent gap in order to solve these challenges, not only by producing tech talents but also helping them get a tech-related occupation by working closely with all industry players. The role of Hacktiv8 is clearly positive for Indonesia’s tech competitiveness landscape. The availability of tech talents is also one of the key factors of improving EV-DCI scores.”
Making quality education accessible to all
Hosting a quality and trusted 12 to 16-week bootcamp is not without its challenges. Ronald elaborated that one challenge he faces is pricing, because a certain price point needs to be retained to maintain the bootcamp to an exacting standard.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and this challenge can be conquered through a program called Income Share Agreement (ISA), in which students only have to pay a minimum deposit amount to get their head in the game. The remaining education cost can be paid after they secure a job in the course of 36 months. Not only does this scheme allow students to inhale knowledge without worrying too much about education cost, they are also in for better-paying jobs after they complete the bootcamp. The fruitful outcome of the Income Share Agreement (ISA) proves to be helpful for students who are facing financial difficulties in these trying times. The cherry on top, of course, is the healthy repayment of these contracts that are exceeding expectations. Ahmad Waluyo is one individual who actually reaped the benefit of the ISA scheme during the pandemic. After having to pause his studies in the university, working as a Grab delivery driver and having his motorcycle stolen, Ahmad decided to enroll in Hacktiv8 utilizing the Income Share Agreement. Now, Ahmad’s life has escalated after he was employed as a backend developer and is currently able to provide for his family.
Innovation is the spice of every business. Knowing this all too well, Hacktiv8 is launching a new product called LeanMVP. The gist of this product is simple: hiring partners can recruit a junior developer to work their magic on their MVP/prototype for up to 3 months. Supervised by a senior developer, this program lets graduates practice their skills and hiring partners can get a full grasp on a developer’s skills and aptitude before deciding to employ them full-time.
The COVID-19 pandemic also presents new challenges to weather for Hacktiv8. As the pandemic ravages and renders economic impact on businesses, a decline in hiring and employment is an inevitability that follows. This is also owing to the fact that the number of hiring partners is lower than the number of Hacktiv8’s graduates, albeit not significant. However, despite the hard times and period of uncertainty, businesses have gradually adjusted to the current conditions and the age-old adage “adapt or perish” rings truer now than ever. This ability to adapt leads to a surge in hiring rates for Hacktiv8’s graduates.
Reaching more students through full remote learning
Hacktiv8’s hiring partners and graduates are mostly centered in DKI Jakarta and Java. This data actually reflects the point found in the EV-DCI report, which elucidates that Jakarta is the city with the highest digital competitiveness with an EV-DCI score of 71.9. The fact that 8 out of 10 cities with the most digital competitiveness are situated in Java and none of the provinces in Java are in the bottom 10 further depict that there is still a discrepancy in digital adoption between Java and other provinces in Indonesia, making it inevitable and understandable why Hacktiv8’s hiring partners and graduates gravitate around these locations.
Although the majority of Hacktiv8’s students are located in Java, some also extend to Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Speaking about expansion, since 2020, Hacktiv8 has embraced full remote learning, making it possible to reach more students outside of Java. The pandemic also reveals more opportunities to attain more students and prospective hiring partners owing to the fact that COVID-19 propels the acceleration of digital adoption, leading to traditional companies requiring more IT talents.
Consistently assembling hidden gems for the future of digital economy
Ronald believes that technology is what allows businesses to scale and solutions to be created, and improvement in the digital talent sector is the answer to the fear of being replaced by automation. Ronald’s view is in accordance with the EV-DCI report in regards to the Manpower Pillar, stating that the labor market is on the lookout for digitally skilled workers since manual labor is gradually being replaced with digital technology as an impact of digitalization.
Financing for quality education is one aspect that Hacktiv8 has been steadily working towards, not only due to the need of reskilling workers to avoid getting replaced by technology, but also because despite major pillars of commerce such as payment and logistics begin shifting online and businesses are being discovered through apps, many diamonds in the rough from low-income families are still struggling with attaining quality education. This is why Hacktiv8 is always on the go to invent schemes such as ISA to ease potential students’ way to gain the best knowledge.
Not limited to providing quality education, there is another significant goal Hacktiv8 is trying to realize: an ecosystem of mindful and empathetic developers. “While there are so many people that call themselves developers, there are many unhealthy developers. We want to create a mindset for developers that are willing to experiment, take risks, embrace change, and build beautiful and meaningful things. I’m thrilled that today, almost every startup being built has a person in their team that started their journey at Hacktiv8. As Indonesia grows to become a strong economic force in Asia, I hope that Hacktiv8 can play a small part in the journey,” concluded Ronald.