Why do we build a Lab?

Our tool box at SSS

Silicon Straits Saigon was an idea of 3 engineers by training: Kent Nguyen (Computer Science), Andy Bui (Electrical Engineering) and James Chan (Computer Engineering). All of us grew through the business world but still kept the curiosity of an engineer. We love technology, we love to play with new cool toys, we love to explore new possibilities and we want to bring ideas to life.

That’s why SSS is not setup to be like an ordinary software company in Vietnam, which either focuses on outsourcing work or building a company product. We are both and none. We are a Product Development Lab.

We focus on exploring new technologies, frameworks and tools to develop new products. From very rough ideas to full-scale powerhouse systems for big businesses. All of these problems presented to us, then through our lab, elegant solutions emerge by exploring new possibilities.

SSS Building Product

Building a powerhouse system in our WarRoom

Why a Lab?

Like any other engineers went to school, we learnt things from our various labs. From the first Computer lab for programming class, to Electronic lab for building circuit boards.
Hence we want to build a lab for ourself, to Learn, to Experiment, and to Explore.

We are definitely not a research or a science lab where the boundaries of science is being challenged. We are a more of a Product lab, building products from existing new the technologies out there. We are the early adopters.

We learn and play with not just new technologies but also the new mindset and trend. All the buzzwords everyone talking about such as BigData, Cloud Computing, Wearable Techs, Swift,… we all got our hands dirty touching those.

Just like a little kid wanting to dismantle the new robot his Dad bought for him to see what’s inside, we are that little kid everyday in our office, playing with all the new cool shiny tools, people whispering about.

Hacking stuff at SSS Lab

Hacking stuff at SSS Lab

Along the way, as we keep breaking and building many things, we also learn the most important skill of all: how to build a great product. That we believe is the most lacking skills in Vietnam as well as this region, in order to compete with all the western tech giants. So we just keep building new products, to really master this skills and share it with people in the community.

What have we done at our Lab?

Looking back for more than 1 year of SSS, the true spirit of a Lab has shown in various products that we built as well as new things we have learnt.

We were among the first to play with Raspberry Pi and Arduino to actually build products out of it.

We understood and adhere to the new iOS 7 Flat Design app right after it was introduced.

We followed modern scripting languages like Ruby on Rails, JavaScripts and Python to build powerful applications, and to show the old world of .NET and Java that this is the future!

We got ourselves a new Android Wear watch (Samsung Gear Live), to play and learn about the new world of wearable techs.

And of course We’d love to brag that we own a beta 3D printer right in our office.

Lab 3D Printers

Our own 3D Printers (two of them) at our Lab

Where we go from here

Right now, we are in the right place and right time. The kind of work we do allows us to stay at the frontier of software development.

Despite having that privilege, it’s not easy to balance between building and dreaming. At the end of the day, we are a company and we need to be able to sustain ourselves. We still have a clear vision of where it’s going to head and keep the boat staying on course: to keep us always a Product Lab and keep developing new and wonderful products.

SSS Full-stack Engineer

Love Silicon Straits and want to know more about our company culture, working environment or job vacancies?
Find out more at careers.siliconstraits.vn.

Silicon Straits
Be Challenged. Be Inspired. Be Different.




  • Nguyen Hoang Quan

    I have been following SSS blog and FB page for a while. I admire what you guys are doing. And I’ve always been wondering where you guys get the funding for these new shiny toys, because these things do not come cheap. This kind of lab is always a geek’s dream, and if one doesn’t have to worry about life expense/family, he will stay in the lab like forever.
    Questions from me: what is the outcome of your lab experiment? How do you guys earn money from these?

    • It’s no secret that we are not receiving any funding and rely on our own revenue to sustain the lab. Actually if you look a little bit closer, we are not spending fortunes on buying the toys, most of what we bought are cheap enough. We built our own dream ;)

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      Like what we share in the article, we are not a research lab, which solely focus on research new technology. People always think a Lab or R&D must be that way.

      But we see a Lab and R&D activities differently. Especially nowadays with open framework, open-source software, even open-source hardware. What we need to do now is to “play” or to experiment with all these technology and find an applicable idea for that.

      The outcome of our lab experiments is all the products we build for our clients and ourselves (more than 20 new products for the last year). And of course we offer Product Development services, and this is what “feed” us as well as fuel our passions.

      For e.g, by letting our Web Developer playing with new language and framework like Ruby on Rails or Angular.Js, we could be able to build a super complex Web application for our client. This could never be the case if we not allow our guys to play with these special “toys” to learn before hand.

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