There is now less than a handful of days before the calendar hits 2014, and probably it is the right time to look back and reflect on an eventful 2013, the year how it all began.



The photo above was where we were in Feb 2013, newly renovated space 100sqm office. It looked awesome despite barely furnished and we couldn’t wait to move in after several days working from home. There were just 6 of us, and we went by the name TGM Tech back then.


No one quite remember what happened in March but probably a few sparks flew and the dots connected some how, which led to…


The mark of history when the name Silicon Straits Saigon was first inked in black and white. Led by James Chan under the Silicon Straits mothership, we took a huge leap and started to build a software development arm.


We grew to 12 members and started to take on more challenging international projects. We knew we needed a new space soon and we started looking for our new home.


The name spread around, we were hiring like crazy and our little challenge got more than a few eyeballs we expected. 3 more joined the team putting us at 15. We found the perfect new nest, it needed quite a bit of work though. We completely stripped it down to the bare minimum, preparing for the coming month.



It blew our minds reviewing the headcount we had in this particular month, we added total of 10 new faces and pushing the headcount up to 25!

We could not wait and had no choice but to move the team to a bigger new home before it was completely ready. There was still construction going on daily, lots of dust and noise, air-conditioning was not ready, the doors couldn’t be locked properly, anyone still could just walk in on us.

While enduring all that, we kicked off the biggest project to date with more than 10 of us in a single project. To date it is still the biggest and most challenging project we have taken on; eventually it worked out alright.

If there is a need to point out the worst and best time of the year, it would probably month of July.



Nothing new except some of the craziness brought over from previous month. Things slowly came into place and our new home started to take interests from visitors. First version of our official website is also up, together with our Facebook Page to be more “presence”.


Another misfit join the team, putting us at 26. We were running at full speed.

We started following our common hobby as geeks: we brought in cool new tech toys such as Leap Motion, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and LittleBits. Then, we knew that we wanted to pursuit the dream further.

Cool tech toys


While serving international clients at full utilisation, we spent a bit of time on few home-grown ideas and started developing some of them in the form of iPhone apps or SaaS service. We also tinkered with PCB boards and burned several Arduino in the process, it was stressed and fun at the same time.

We also grew a green garden on our balcony, a change of scenery for the eyes.

Green Garden


We successfully delivered our most important project after countless sleepless nights before the big day. It was all worth it.

The team grew to 29-strong and still running at full speed, serving not less than 10 simultaneous happy clients.

Our first just-for-fun iPhone app “Ranh Ngôn” was released paving the way for many more to come.


We started planning ahead for an even more happening new year. We are still growing, a few more new faces will be joining when the calendar flips over a new year, and we are still looking for more talented developers to be part of the team.

Two more of our apps were approved just in time for Christmas: AirLight and SS Mobile, both iPhone & iPad app. And we are expecting one more to hit the App Store in early January.

There’s always an element of fun and cosiness at the office, all time of day. Adding to that was the one-of-a-kind budget Christmas tree we did up to celebrate the season.


Having a 2-storey 300sqm space has several perks. One of which allowed us to convert the lower floor into a cool Chocolate lounge that serves … chocolate drinks, all day. We are opening up the space for public and events and we hope to host many cool meetups in the upcoming months. Even if you simply just want to find a cool place to hangout or work, do drop by sometimes and see if you like it. Here’s 4 different ways to reach us.

Chocolate lounge

That’s it for 2013! The story of us.

Silicon Straits Saigon - Happy New Year


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
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Published by Kent Nguyen

Jack of All Trade A Veteran Web and iOS application developer with a valuable experience in IT Management.