In a small studio in Phnom Penh, Sreyneth Kong taps out lines of code for her job as a full stack developer for Dotfusion, a Canadian digital agency. Not only is she one of the first cohort of coders in the country, she’s the first person in Cambodia to become a certified Magnolia associate developer, enabling her to work with the award-winning CMS system used to build digital platforms for some of the biggest companies in the world.
Kong is at the forefront of a fast-developing tech scene in Cambodia that is growing an international presence. Just five years ago under half of all Cambodians had internet access, according to the World Bank. Fast-forward to 2021 and almost 80 percent of Cambodians are online. And with increased internet access comes opportunities to join the global tech economy, worth over USD5 trillion as of 2021, according to Statista.com.
According to a 2018 report from the Responsible Finance Forum at the time there were already 50,000 Cambodians employed in tech, mainly in large traditional companies and institutions, such as banks and retailers. As digital access becomes more prevalent, developers like Sreyneth will increase in number and in ability, driving a vibrant tech scene that will participate in the global tech economy.
For Sreyneth, being able to work with Magnolia platforms gives her an in-depth knowledge that can help advance her tech career. “It solidifies my understanding and helps me to be more proficient in developing Magnolia projects, with better hands-on experience,” she says. “It’s one step further in levelling up my professional career expertise. It’s also part of my plan to continuously improve my technical knowledge as much as I am capable of while working at Dotfusion.”
Giving Cambodian coders what they need to advance their careers in tech and an opportunity to work with international companies is Dotfusion’s goal in opening an office in Phnom Penh, says Dotfusion founder, Chris Bryce. “Our aim is to make a career in international tech more accessible for Cambodian talent,” he says. “We want to support our employees in Cambodia to learn as much as they can and maximize their potential.”