Yangyel Lhaden

A tech-savvy Bhutan. That’s the dream.

Fifteen-something programers at Selice in Thimphu Tech Park are planning Bhutan’s future.

They are the one who has started a non-profit group called “Bhutan Tech Community”.

What does Bhutan Tech Community (BTC) do, however?

These programers are offering an open-source platform where coders can come together to share ideas and to solve problems.

The idea was born out of a conference of coder in Delhi, India. Soon a community website, a home for amateur and uber-coders, would be launched.

“Through BTC, we envision to make His Majesty’s dream to make Bhutan a technology-driven country a reality,” head of BTC, Subash Kumar, said.

Bikash Gurung, a BTC member, said that it was the right time to start this community. Since children are exposed to technology and programing already we could build on our knowledge and experience to build Bhutan that is technologically advanced.

The lack of programers is the main challenged today.

Kuenzang Gyeltshen, another member, said. “Sometimes I have some interesting projects to do but I have to do it alone. BTC will be like a free hub where programers will meet and work together.” He added by way of example that if Bhutanese children got to study alongside Isaac Newton, they would have aimed to be at least 50 percent of what he could be.

“Through BTC’s exposure, they would want to at least know something about coding, which is the basis of all technological advancement today,” said Kuenzang Gyeltshen.

BTC’s Facebook page provides free basic online programing lessons. Free JavaScript lessons are uploaded between 2:00pm and 3:00pm every weekend.

The group members respond to questions and doubts online immediately. They direct the learners to other sites for better illumination and exposure.

“There are many online classes on YouTube, for example, but there is always a problem with the beginners. BTC is the right place to come to,” Subash, said. “Moving on to higher and sophisticated levels would be easier that way.”

Who are the BTC trying to involve?

Unemployed youth and the students who are interested in technology.

Kuenzang said BTC was a space where young Bhutanese would be able to learn the vital skills that would make them employable worldwide.

The members of BTC are a group of individuals—geeks—who look at Bhutan’s technological future with passion. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are what these young programers looking at.

“This is a new beginning. But the future is bright and beautiful,” Subash said. “Success comes with dreaming big. The thing is we must dare to dream.”