, Singapore

Engineering the future: Rocket Academy’s push for upskilling software skills

This is to address the ongoing demand for software engineering in Singapore.

Monetary Authority of Singapore Managing Director Ravi Menon established software engineering as the most in-demand tech role in 2021. What alarmed him, however, is that less than 20% of the jobs available went to the local software engineers.

Rocket Academy’s Neo Kai Yuan noticed how Singapore’s training in software engineering could take as long as a college course with a matching price tag. Leveraging his educational and professional background as a software engineer, he aimed to have Rocket Academy fill in the gap in the efficient education of software engineering through the use of a reverse classroom approach.

Through a pre-screening process, students will be determined if they meet the requirements for the course through the assessment of their communication and coding skills. 

Compared to other traditional courses and bootcamp platforms, Rocket Academy offers a more practical application.

“Every student in the class is paired with one other student in the class with a different partner each day. They will be put into breakout rooms in Zoom, where they get to work together on that particular day's exercise. The idea is that it’s similar to a tutorial or lab that one might have in university, where students get to solidify their understanding through hands-on practice with a partner.”

The course was created with an online platform in mind, which allows for a focus on flexibility and accessibility. Kai also supplements this focus by offering the introductory course, Coding Basics, for free to newcomers.

Rocket Academy recently raised $1.5m in an initial round of funding, with funding from over 50 angel investors and venture capitalists in Southeast Asia. Notable backers include 99.co Founder Daris Cheung, Carousell Co-Founder Marcus Tan, Doordash Co-Founder Stanley Teng, and VC Firms Taurus Ventures and Hustle Fund. 

Going forward, Rocket Academy wants to focus on developing five components of the start-up, namely, education, platform, growth to Hong Kong and Australia, distribution of core team, and online schooling. 

Kai believes that Rocket Academy’s focus will always be the development of software engineering talents. 

“I do believe that software engineering is the tech skill right now that is the most in-demand. Personally, I also believe that software engineering is the foundation for many of the other tech skills out there. We are very focused on software engineering because we believe that that's where the biggest gap is, there's still a long way to go in satisfying this demand globally.”

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