AWS Holdings in Japan, a leading technology firm best known for software development has one of its units, the AWSI joint venture with Alsons Corp., a leading conglomerate in the Philippines. The joint venture, known as AAISI (Alsons/AWS Information Systems) has been running since May 1997.
Lenovo also has offsite testing and development operations in the Philippines. Japan currently has a huge working force of Filipino software engineers and the numbers are currently rising.
Manuel Adeva Jr, is one of them, working based in Japan. He is currently working under Lenovo as a project manager and works with the platform development as well as being responsible for the software for each laptop part. He currently has 37 Filipinos directly under him. He also coordinates with Lenovo’s manufacturers on hardware deliverables.
WE ARE HIRING
Adeva says that Japan has resorted to hiring foreign workers that they can train because fewer and fewer young Japanese would go into technology courses. Most of Japanese youth are in the study of the field of arts. The R&D nation is suffering from the acute shortage of IT workers and manpower. Filipino software engineers may be one of the beneficiaries, but there is also competition from China and Vietnam. Filipinos however are preferred because of their adaptability and because they don’t complain.
Software development requires a high level of IQ that’s why those who already finished the bachelor degrees have an advantage. AWS prefers them because they are guaranteed a certain level of intelligence.
Software engineers start with nothing, having no reference to start a new program. Before, it took a year or so from project launch to project release. Now it could take as early as six months to revamp.
Contrary to popular opinion, Japanese firms do not discriminate base on race. Adeva says that even if he was paid in pesos, he enjoys salaries and benefits comparable to Japanese IT workers. What is best about Japanese firms though is the full trust they have in their people and ready acceptance of the results.
Complacency also has no place in this industry. Adeva says that he studies every night and on the weekend new technology and developments. It is a field where technology moves very fast. If you don’t keep up with new developments, you will be left behind, obsolete and out of date, and your opportunities will lessen.
Adeva urges students to take up computer related courses because the number of graduates in the field cannot supply the demand. The lot of opportunities, coupled with shortage in skilled manpower continues to plague the industry. He also calls upon those working in call centers to study IT and computer engineering if they can.
Adeva notes that there has been promise of good IT graduates from provincial schools with IT companies hiring from provinces because of the shortage of graduates in Manila.