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Google launches new developer space; initiative set to boost Singapore’s digital capabilities

Google launches new developer space; initiative set to boost Singapore’s digital capabilities

The Developer Space @ Google is 7,200 square feet and will give the industry additional room to network and grow its expertise. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

SINGAPORE: Technology giant Google launched a developer space on Friday (Feb 22) at its Singapore headquarters that will allow developers, entrepreneurs and community groups to network, train and grow their expertise.

The Developer Space @ Google will amplify its efforts to boost digital capabilities, the Government said.

Google's decision to set up such a space in Singapore is ideal to growing the nation's digital ecosystem, said Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran who was at the launch.

“A key aspect of the government programmes and what we are doing is really to unlock the private sector potential and catalyse these kind of partnerships and collaborations that will help to develop enterprises, their capabilities, and our Singaporeans and their talent base," he said.

Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran was present at the launch, which he says contributes to the development of Singapore's infocomm media industry and its wider eco-system. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

The decision to set up the tech giant’s first-ever developer space in Singapore was easy, according to Sami Kizilbash, Google’s Southeast Asia programme manager.

"Every single year there are computer science graduates that are interested to get into technology, get some skills, work at interesting companies. The community helps them do that," he said. 

"We have more resources here than many other cities, including engineers, designers, customer support teams and so now the space is where we can bring these two together and hopefully create really incredible new things."

READ: Commentary: How do we know when we've become a Smart Nation?


The space supports various initiatives such as housing community events and workshops, providing an accelerator for independent gaming startups and a four-day Machine-Learning Boot Camp.

Members of restaurant booking platform app Chope attended the bootcamp last year to learn how to maximise Google Cloud platform services, and to keep up with the latest AI models within its system.

This Shadow Art on display at The Developer Space @ Google uses Artificial Intelligence to recognise hand gestures and transforms the shadowy figure into digital animations representing the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. (Photo: Ahmad Khan)

Chope’s chief technology officer Jack Wang said: “We try to bring the new project of machine learning to our user experience to see the best searches and recommendations … Through machine learning, we can now talk to the diner and, say okay this is the busy period, why not give our diners some vouchers or discounts? It can also be beneficial to the restaurants to get more traffic from the platform.”

Google has targeted 800 local developers to attend the camp by the end of the year. It also said it has reached 7,000 developers in Singapore in 2018.

One of them is gaming startup The Gentlebros. The Singapore-based company is behind mobile app games such as Slashy Hero and Cat Quest, and it has gained invaluable advice through a mentorship with established game developers, established by Google.

"It’s super important for us because Google has a connections with developers from all over the world,” Desmond Wong, co-founder and CEO of The Gentlebros said. “Being a developer from Singapore enables us to be connected with the other great developers and improve our knowledge on game development and broaden our horizons with the rest of the world.”

Source: CNA/aa(mi)


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