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ISSUE FOUR 2014 The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

Business Analytics


Web: www.scs.org.sg




Eye on Data Analytics SCS continues to keep abreast of technology trends to remain relevant to our members. Doing so also enables us to make this quarterly magazine a compelling read.

Tan Teng Cheong Editor Senior Member, SCS tengcheong.tan@scs.org.sg


he age of Data Analytics is here and now. Gone are the days when all we did with data was process it in transactions. Derived from the root words “data” and “analysis”, data analytics is about aggregating, slicing, and dicing raw information to discern patterns and trends to foster business and industry growth. Clearly an evolution from mere data processing, data analytics is made possible by the convergence of high-speed computing, large data storage, and electronic distribution through ubiquitous — and usually secured — networks, as well as modern applications that present data as more than just rows and columns of numbers. Data analytics, which requires deep expertise, is an area suited to Singapore residents and companies here. This is why the Singapore government has identified it as a focus area for the infocomm industry. On our part, the

In this issue, for instance, we bring you an indepth feature article by Dr Carol Hargreaves of NUS-ISS on how to drive growth and achieve better business outcomes by tapping Big Data Analytics and regarding it as our gold mine. In another themed article, Dr Ma Nang Laik of SMU uses a recent case study to show how predictive and prescriptive analytics helped smooth operations for an airport operator.

One other thing — please don’t throw or stash this magazine away. Pass it on to someone else!

As well, Oliver Tian of Hutcabb Services gives us a peek at the next wave of robotics and analytics. In his uplifting article, Olivier de Rotalier of Ubisoft Singapore points out how Singapore has all the ingredients to produce the next breakthrough in the gaming industry. Additionally, Ong Whee Teck of PricewaterhouseCoppers Consulting shares his roadmap on learning. Of course, this issue also comes with updates on our IT Youth Council and various Chapters and SIGs, as well as a quiz and peep at creative inventions.

Editor Tan Teng Cheong

Editorial Support Leong Hoi Lan

Contributing Writers Dr Carol Hargreaves Dr Ma Nang Laik Ong Whee Teck Olivier Rotalier Seah Thiam Siong Oliver Tian Yum Shoen Liang

Advertising Sales & Admin Leong Hoi Lan For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6226 2567 ext 12 Email: hoilan.leong@scs.org.sg Mailing Address 53 Neil Road Singapore 088891

Columnist Chandra Sekar Veerappan

Next year sees Singapore celebrating its 50th birthday and we’ve already started planning better and more engagements with you. Meanwhile, I wish all our members and readers A Very Happy Festive Period and A Wonderful New Year!

Email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg Editorial & Design Oculus Design Pte Ltd

Feedback We value your feedback on this magazine. Simply email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg with your comments to help us produce an even more interesting and relevant magazine for you in subsequent issues. You are welcome to submit articles for consideration of inclusion.

The IT Society is the official publication of the Singapore Computer Society. Any part of this publication may be reproduced as long as credit is given to the publisher, Singapore Computer Society. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

For advertising enquiries, please call 6226 2567 or email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg.

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CONTENTS REGULARS 01 Eye on Data Analytics FEATURES 03 Make Big Data Your New Gold Mine 04 The Next Wave of Robotics and Analytics: When IoT meets the Robot 07 Turning to Analytics for Optimal Airport Efficiency 08 Learning Paramount in Fast Changing Environment 11 Singapore Ready to Produce the Next Big Thing?



MEMBERS 15 Welcome Aboard PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 16 Complex Public Transport Projects Come Into Their Own

17 Be at the Forefront in Your


Quality Assurance Profession: Get Certified!

HAPPENINGS 17 Lithan Hall Academy Becomes Our 17th Student Chapter 19 NTUC Partnership Marks Another Milestone Infocomm Security SIG Off to a Good Start 20 SCS IT Youth Council Does It Again! 21 Finalists of IT Youth Award 2015 23 Republic Polytechnic and Hwa Chong Institution (College) Sweep Up Splash Awards Calendar of Events THE LITE SIDE 24 SCS Quiz Innovative Invents


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Make Big Data Your New Gold Mine

Having all the data in the world at your fingertips is meaningless unless you’re leveraging the data to drive growth and better business outcomes. Dr Carol Hargreaves of NUS-ISS tells you how. Dr Carol Hargreaves

Chief of Enterprise Business Analytics Institute of Systems Science, NUS


here are many examples of how many businesses have used their data to make decisions faster (almost in real time), smarter (listening to what the data is telling you) and timelier (data also has a use-by date). Using statistical techniques, we are able to run algorithms that identify patterns in huge data sets. These patterns help businesses identify insights that allow for smarter, faster and timelier decisions. For example, Google used search terms by region in the United States to predict flu outbreaks faster than was possible using hospital data. Big Data Analytics can also help transportrelated organisations identify where the next accident is likely to take place and the probability of the accident occurring. The police, ambulance, fire brigade and rerouting systems can then all proactively make decisions based on the information provided and position themselves strategically so they

are more likely to be at the right place, at the right time, to clear the incident and transport patients to hospitals more quickly. The number of lives and sums of money that can be saved by using Big Data Analytics is huge. This is the gold mine that transportation organisations, hospitals, and many other types of organisations can make better use of.

Taking the first step

More examples can be cited, but the most important question is: “Where do you start?” The answer is today! Data visualisation is key. Building a business intelligence system is the first step in better understanding Big Data. A business intelligence system is typically a dashboard that displays bar charts, pie charts, trend plots and, these days, is highly interactive and can tell a story in a few minutes. It is your starting point to understanding key variables and metrics related to your business profitability. One important thing – make sure whatever you decide to have on your dashboard delivers actionable insights. This means if the “traffic light system is red, the business user needs to know what to do as opposed to if the traffic light system is green”.

Go Agile

I also recommend taking an agile approach. Here are three simple steps: 1) Ask questions. Start with a business problem where the solution is achievable in a reasonable space of time. Don’t be overwhelmed by the data. Instead, focus on the questions and gather insights to help you transform a problem to a business solution. 2) Get expert help. Start small. Take baby steps with someone with the experience and expertise to help you along the way. They can help you select the tools and techniques to extract actionable knowledge and insights.

3) Learn and measure. Yes, you may fall as you take your first steps. Fall and get up. Take this as a learning journey and improve the process or change the course. Measure the value gained with each step and iterate till you find the answers to the business questions/problems.


THE IT SOCIETY — Issue Four 2014

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FEATURE Let’s Get Started

Through our business intelligence and analytics courses at NUS-ISS, we have worked with close to 500 Infocomm professionals from sectors such as ICT, manufacturing, logistics and transportation, to help them develop and implement analytics initiatives at work. Come join us and soon, you will be walking confidently and then running and enjoying the power of Big Data Analytics. And you will find your gold mine.

What beneficiaries of NUS-ISS NICF Enterprise Business Analytic courses say: • “Relevant course materials that are applicable in real business world.” (Customer Analytics, March 2014) – Tan Li Fern, Manager, ANZ • “The course allows me to understand the basics of the statistics concept.” (NICF Predictive Analysis – Insights of Trends &

NUS-ISS assists businesses with courses that provide Infocomm professionals with a rigorous understanding of enterprise business analytics and that enable them to apply the skills and knowledge learnt to their work contexts from Customer Analytics, Text Analytics, Statistics for Business, Statistics Bootcamp using R & Tableau, Predictive Analysis, and Optimisation & Resource Utilisation. Courses are accredited under the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) – a joint development by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA),

Irregularities, March 2014) – Pauline Koh, Principal Engineer, DSTA • “Good insight into theory and application of text analytics.” (NICF - Text Analytics, June 2014) – Chionh Choon Lee, Systems Manager, Oracle

Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), and industry experts. To find out more about NUS-ISS and relevant NICF Enterprise Business Analytics courses, visit www.iss.nus.edu.sg.

• “I like the hands-on workshop and the fact that I can try out the concept during the workshop. The data set used in the workshop is also very applicable.” (Statistics Bootcamp using R & Tableau, July 2014) - Neo Hwee Kian, Service Program Manager, CISCO

• “Useful practical metrics applicable to work.” (Customer Analytics, July 2014) – Ng Sze Hui, Business Analyst, ACE Insurance Ltd

The Next Wave of Robotics and Analytics: When IoT meets the Robot

Bigger than the Industrial Revolution, the next wave of robotics and analytics sees robots that can connect, collect, comprehend, and create actions, Oliver Tian of Hutcabb Services reveals. Oliver Tian President, Singapore Industrial Automation Association Founding Member, IoT Asia CEO and Director, Hutcabb Services

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Today, Internet-of-Things (IoT) is bridging the gap between the virtual world of the Internet and the world of real objects. Software applications are neatly integrating the functions of “things” with the virtual world and patterns and trends have emerged because of this convergence of IoT and advancements in Robotics. By leveraging this development, businesses, governments and societies, as well as individuals, can improve the quality and standards of measure, or increase productivity gains, or both.

According to Harbor Research, the prevalence of pervasive computing and IoT has created a more connected, distributive network for information exchange. This emerging network awareness and convergence of the physical and the virtual worlds have moved enterprises and businesses towards a new trend known as “smart business”. Ubiquitous robots are smart software or physical service providers within ambient intelligence environments. As cognitive entities, they have been able to add value to services, compared with their traditional

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FEATURE counterparts, because they are able to coordinate their activities with other physical or logical entities, move around, sense and explore the environment, and decide, act or react to the situations they may face anywhere and anytime. The integration of these robots within cloud computing and intelligent analytics technologies enhances our daily lives. Another important follow-through, observed by Gartner, is the availability of complementary products to support the functions and growth of this technology convergence. The exabytes of data generated will lead to a greater need for a cloud architecture that is expected to be more efficient. External private cloud and personal cloud may also integrate to provide cloud services to meet the increasing demands for network and data storage.

Increased Quality of Life and Productivity Gains

New product innovations with only one product differentiator will no longer suffice as the de facto standard of the product’s unique value proposition and design differentiation will inevitably have to include the ability to automate and record data interactions between it and its users. The Singapore Industrial Automation Association (SIAA) conducted a survey in end of 2013 amongst its members to learn what was circumventing the adoption of IoT. Of the three critical issues identified, we arrived at the following recommendations: Firstly, anticipated high cost: by aggregating demand through an “eco-pond” of smallersized solution providers, the deployment of IoT solutions can be made less costly. Secondly, marginal effectiveness: by reengineering a more integrated value chain, IoT deployment can be more effective. Lastly, scepticism: by building test-bedding facilities, IoT can demonstrate proof-of-value for ‘sceptics’ who are uncertain about IoT, which is actually a convergence of various technologies. Different countries have chosen to focus on different aspects of technologies to enhance their IoT capabilities so as to achieve an increased quality of life and productivity gains.

Discovering the Robot that makes “SENSE”

By 2018, the world can expect to see smart objects hitting the shelves on a broad scale. By then we will be better at reducing waste, costs, and inconvenience while increasing efficiency

and safety. The budding number of sensors will detect and act on environmental and other contextual factors, such as the weather; they will be aware of who and how many people are their vicinity to change levels of input and output; and they can adjust to save resources and improve safety. Furthermore, we will all be more in tune with our own data and start to expect more personalised interactions with brands and retailers. Marketers will need to establish trust with consumers and prove to us that if we allow them a degree of access to some of our personal data, we will get more tailored offers, deals/promotions and interactions in return. Robots form the basis of Machine-toMachine (M2M) communications, where a degree of intelligence can be automated. Traditionally, Robots were only effective in the factories, but advances in internet and mobile technologies mean that, industrial automation successes are cross-pollinating into other domains as “Service Robots” and “Home Robots”. Robots (or “Autobots”, if I may call them that) are no longer just mechanical arms performing repetitive chores. They are high-tech companions that integrate converging technologies to drive the next level of business automation and must be integrated into existing workflows to enable successful deployment and achieve higher productivity.

Three Major Transformations Three major transformations are expected when IoT meets the Robot:

Transformation of competency levels: New competencies of a higher order will be required, with strong foundations in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum. This relates to the adoption of multidisciplinary skills in

a variety of technologies. Such competencies are required for a fair degree of business and intuitive workflow and must come together to support a collaborative eco-system. Transformation of service levels: The convergence of competitive landscapes will require new methods of attracting customers to the shopfront. Businesses will need to adopt more flexible forms of service levels, using analytics to transform themselves from a “service improvement mode” to a “service innovation mode”. For example, retailers will need to draw their customers from an online interaction interface to offline, in-store activity (or O2O – Online to Offline). Transformation of economies: An increasing number of cities around the world are setting the vision of a smart city, smart village … (and/or Smart Nation) for themselves. This requires their governments to build global-ready economies capable of servicing the ubiquitous society. With highspeed bandwidth and efficient processing power, these economies must now explore more effective ways of monetising the investments. Data analytics will play a pivotal role in paving the way for “the economy that never sleeps”.

When IoT meets the Robot

This is happening because the reborn robots are embracing the automation of semiintelligence, which supported by proven analytics, will become the next wave of technology. In the world of IoT, robots will plug into the IoT framework as “mobile things”, interacting with stationary devices and human persons.

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Turning to Analytics for Optimal Airport Efficiency

Dr Ma Nang Laik of SMU points to a recent case study to show how predictive and prescriptive analytics can help smooth operations for an airport operator.

Dr Ma Nang Laik Director of MITB (Analytics) Assistant Professor of Information Systems (Practice) Singapore Management University


rowth in air traffic has been remarkable despite economic recession cycles. Air passenger traffic increased an average of about 6% worldwide in the third quarter of the twentieth century, which means the volume of air travel has doubled every 10 to 15 years. Airport terminals face a capacity issue as the number of air travellers increases. Most airlines do not submit information about passenger load to airports in advance because sale of airline tickets continues till the day of departure. Most of this information is only available to airport operators a few hours before a flight departs or arrives. From the perspective of airport operators though, the number of passengers arriving at and

departing from an airport is one of the most crucial factors required for planning and resource allocation. Without concrete figures, airport operators can only assign the number of check-in counters required daily based on “gut-feel” and experience. Overestimation of passenger load means that unnecessary resources, such as check-in counters with low utilisation will be wasted, and this wastage translates into higher operational costs. On the other hand, underestimation will result in long passenger queues at check-in counters and failure to meet service level agreements with the various airlines. A major Asian airport operator is facing challenges of increasing passenger traffic, limited terminal resources to deal with check-ins, and long waiting time at checkin counters that result in falling passenger satisfaction levels. To solve these problems, the operator wants to use analytics to glean useful insights from past trends and travelling patterns to predict passenger loads and improve operational efficiency. For example, a forecast of passenger load can help determine

the number of check-in counters that need to be opened during a particular period. Our analytics team observed that passenger load varies according to day of the week, destination city and seasonality. We then built a passenger load forecast model using a decision tree with the following variables as input: day of week, destination city and month of the year. The model is then validated over one month using “live” data by observing the difference between actual passenger load and our predicted load. We have achieved a very high accuracy rate with root means squares error of 10% for all airlines. However, our prediction model has two limitations: it assumes that past demand is a good estimation of current passenger load. The model also does not take into consideration external factors such as airline promotions, “long weekend” holidays, new destinations and airline growth. The predicted passenger load from the model was also used as input in another simulation model that mimics the arrival pattern of airline passengers for departure process. The simulator can be used to predict the average waiting and serving time at each check-in counter — a very important factor to consider when meeting service level agreements. Airport operators can perform “what-if ” analysis to identify the optimal number of check-in counters required to balance resources and queuing time, without breaching quality standards.


THE IT SOCIETY — Issue Four 2014

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FEATURE The model developed has been used by terminal managers in daily operations at the airport to better estimate each airline’s passenger load, which is then used to better manage resources such as check-in counters more efficiently. The forecast passenger load was also used in other business decisions by various airlines using the airport. Through this project, predictive and prescriptive analytics has been applied very successfully in assisting the airport operator to utilise its terminal resources more effectively, thus reducing operational costs and improving passenger check-in experiences at the airport.

Understanding Different Analytics Descriptive Analytics provides information on or a summary of a sample of data, using basic statistical measures. Some examples of descriptive analytics are finding mean, median, variance, standard deviation or histograms. It helps us to answer questions such as, what has happened, how, and why did it happen? It helps us to understand the current stage of art and business process, but doesn’t tell us what will happen in future or be reactive. Predictive Analytics involves advanced modelling, machine learning and data mining techniques to identify patterns in the data so that the decision makers

can predict what is going to happen in the future. The models can find the relationships between the input factors, which are then used to predict the output (dependent) variables such as credit score in the financial industry, using customer demographic, incomes and spending. Prescriptive Analytics is the final stage of analytics and specifies courses of action to achieve the predictive outcome. It involves using complex algorithms such as optimisation or simulation techniques to minimise risk or optimise resource utilisation or achieve the best outcome based on predictions or recommendations.

Learning Paramount in Fast Changing Environment Infocomm professionals must continue to grow to stay relevant and having a roadmap on learning helps. Ong Whee Teck of PricewaterhouseCoppers Consulting shares his. Ong Whee Teck Senior Member, SCS Partner PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting


hange is the only constant” – we know the cliché, however in the infocomm industry it’s clear that the ability to learn, absorb new knowledge constantly is not a matter of thriving, but of survival. It has become crucial that all infocomm professionals create and maintain a personal strategy to upgrade themselves. I’d like to share my personal strategies on developing a set of new skills in an area that is completely out of my own comfort zone.

The phases of learning

In 2012 I took time off work to pursue a new hobby, watercolour painting. Out of that experience from which I’ve exhibited twice — in May 2012 and August 2013 — and sold more than 80 paintings, I garnered experience in learning a new set of skills. Using this example that is non-ICT specific will avoid debates specific to the infocomm industry.

As a student of watercolour painting, I started the journey of learning how to paint without knowing what I do not know (Ignorance). However, as I read various books on drawings and paintings, I realised there was a series of key topics that I did not know anything about, such as Line Quality, Colour Theory and Edge Quality. Once you become aware that they are important aspects of a painting but you do not know anything about them, you move into the Awaken phase. This is an important process – we will discuss process next. What is

My strategy, which I coined Architecture of Adult Learning, is based on four stages, three processes and five elements of learning.

In the beginning there is Ignorance (Unawareness of what we don’t know) and, through a series of discoveries, we then get to the stage Awaken (Awareness of what we don’t know). In the Learning phase (Awareness of what we know) and over time as we master a subject, we become a Master of the subject, which strangely requires us to become Unaware of what we know! These are the phases of a learner.

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FEATURE important is that you know the knowledge you don’t have, and you can articulate it, i.e. your “Negative Knowledge”.

good photographs of my family and that keeps me on a journey of wanting to improve my photography.

This is important because our brain looks for answers naturally. Having these questions in our mind somehow intensifies our search for the answer.

Matter (material) refers to tools such as brushes for the artist, the camera for the photographer and the bicycle for the cyclist.

Mastery is the phase where we begin to forget, if you are a master cyclist, you don’t think about the mechanics of cycling, if you are a master artist, you shouldn’t be struggling with brushes and colours or if you are a master photographer, you will be looking at capturing emotions and that Kodak moment, not fidgeting with aperture and other settings. The focus of a master craftsman is really beyond the basics of dealing with the basics of the craft.

The elements of learning

There are five elements of learning when you strategise your learning roadmap – Mind, Muscle, Motivation, Matter and Membership — the 5Ms. Mind – this is the knowledge or mindsoftware. Muscle – this is the body, posture, body language. Motivation – this is the “why?” and WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me?” Matter – this is the physical material world, tools, resources. Membership – this refers to friends, fellow learners, the Singapore Computer Society. Using the example of learning how to paint watercolor, I loaded up on knowledge through books and discussions with fellow artists, which allowed me to expand my knowledge, my mind. Strangely muscles play a big part in the ability to paint at a high level. You need to maintain a certain level of fitness, as well as figure out your sitting arrangement. Painting is like playing sports, there’s warm-up and there’s peak-performance. On days when my body feels lousy, I know my painting output will be equally disastrous. Motivation refers to why we are doing something. I’ve seen enough amateur photographers buying an expensive DSLR, thinking it will improve their photography. However, good photography requires all 5Ms, not just a good DSLR camera. For example, I take up photography because I want to take

Lastly membership is as important as the other 4Ms because a true learner never does it alone.

The processes of learning

The learning process consists of Discovery, Discipline and Domination. Discovery – this refers to how one becomes aware of one’s own ignorance of topics in the subject. The learner artist didn’t know about colour theory and how that could enhance his ability to use colour to improve his paintings. I think this is the most skipped step in learning. Most learners are unable to articulate their unknowns, hence there’s a tendency to meander into their learning without a clear roadmap of learning. Discipline – refers to the rigour required in gaining certain proficiency in each of the 5Ms, for example, learning to use certain tools for the artist. It also refers to the need for prolonged periods of learning (similar to the 10,000 hours of learning concept). Domination – to become a master in the subject, one must have dominated all the elements. They must begin to fuse together into a whole. Artists, when creating their masterpieces, would be subconsciously applying their knowledge (mind), their hands (muscle) would be using brushes (matter / tool) as if they are fused into one, and what motivates them would be more complex than just wanting to do a great piece of art (although that could be sufficient in itself ), and they would be of some standing in the artistic community (membership).

Summing up

In summary it is important to think through the approach holistically to learn something new using the Architecture – four phases, five elements and three processes. With some luck, using these concepts will allow you to break down your journey towards mastery of the subject of your choice when you embark on it. As an infocomm professional, you must continue to grow to stay relevant. I hope these thoughts give you some additional ideas on how you could approach your own learning journey.


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Singapore Ready to Produce The Next Big Thing? Singapore has all the ingredients to produce the next breakthrough in the gaming industry. Olivier de Rotalier of Ubisoft Singapore explains his reasons for this view.

Olivier de Rotalier Managing Director Ubisoft Singapore


n 2008, Ubisoft, the world’s third biggest publisher of video games outside of China, agreed with Singapore’s EDB to develop the largest video game studio ever built in Singapore. The objective at that time was for Singapore to accelerate the development of its game industry. Ubisoft was the right partner to do so, as the company is known for developing the industry in most of the countries in which it has settled — France, Canada, Romania, to name a few). At the time, it was not yet present in Southeast Asia, making this an opportunity to expand its creative workforce in a region with a promising talent pool. But why is it so strategically important for Singapore to develop its gaming industry? It is not only because gaming is the fastest growing media, but also because it is a major test bed for key innovations in computer graphics, artificial intelligence, simulation and virtual reality. Gaming companies have no choice but to innovate. They need to satisfy an increasingly demanding and changing audience. And within its field, Ubisoft is considered one of the most innovative companies.

Will the next big thing come from Singapore?

I was lucky to be given the exciting challenge of building Ubisoft Singapore from scratch to a staff strength of 300. I came here directly from Paris and did not know much about Singapore at the time. The first thing I did was to meet as many people as could, to build up my understanding of this exciting country quickly. And I must say, I was surprised at first. When I talked to people about my project, I faced a lot of scepticism.

I cannot tell you how many times I heard phrases such as: “Singapore is not a place to innovate”, “starting a creative company in Singapore does not make sense”, or “let me tell you, the next big thing will not come from Singapore”. Furthermore, when you know how expensive it can be to produce anything in Singapore, it certainly does not make sense to be here if there is no hope for major breakthroughs and high quality! Six years later, here we are. Ubisoft Singapore has 300 employees and has contributed significantly to some major innovations in the gaming industry. Amongst other achievements, it made noticeable contribution to the Assassin’s Creed franchise (with more than 70 million units sold), a fact that is recognised by the whole industry. And the naval battles, a feature of Assassin’s Creed III praised by critics and gamers worldwide, was the brainchild of the Singapore studio.

Singapore ticks all the boxes

How did we manage to innovate in Singapore in only six years? First and foremost, by tapping into Singapore’s large pool of talent. With some of the best schools and universities in the world, Singapore can nourish any industry with people who have strong fundamentals and who will be able to learn and grow quickly in their job. To me, the most impressive aspect is how the education system here understands and adapts to the priorities of these industries. Schools and companies work hand in hand to improve existing curriculums and adopt new programs to strengthen their students’ skill sets. As a game company, we were pleased to see that we could find talented computer scientists in the existing universities (NUS, NTU or SMU). To crown it all, the internationally renowned video games school, Digipen, opened its doors at the same time as we did! In the blink of an eye, Singapore had built a very successful talent pipeline for the gaming industry.

But you cannot build an industry with juniors only. You need to attract key talents from around the world who will bring their expertise. With these people on board, you can really accelerate the development of your industry. Singapore’s reputation as a great place to live has helped tremendously in speeding up the knowledge transfer from more experienced countries. And the fact that Singaporeans are used to both western and asian approaches has made things work very smoothly, facilitating team management, which is a real advantage, and one of the best skills to have in this multicultural society. People deal with issues in very different ways, depending on their personalities and cultural backgrounds. Our studio is a real melting pot of more than 30 nationalities! Harmonious multiculturalism is a real strength, especially for creative and innovative industries. Silicon Valley is a concentration of talents from everywhere in the world, and so is Israel, which has become a hotbed for innovative start-ups. Because the next big thing will come from strongly multicultural teams, Singapore has a good chance of becoming a major player in the video games industry. Of course, to succeed, you need to have the right product and the right development strategy at the right moment. But Singapore provides a very good set-up. Success becomes easier when you know you have such talented people to embark on this adventure!

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ABOARD SCS is thrilled to have more than 1,500 new members joining us and we’re delighted with the continued support from all our members. Let’s hear why some of our new members are attracted to us…

Liew Wei Ming Project Manager Emerio Globesoft

During my polytechnic days as a student, the first microprocessor I came across amazed me by showing me how computing power can make life different. I started as a developer early in my career and it has given me more opportunities to explore in technology further. Being in the IT industry for almost 17 years has equipped me with much knowledge and experiences, but I believe that constant technology update is mandatory and that is where SCS plays an important role.

Haritha Bommena IT Executive Tolaram Group, Singapore

A Master of Technology graduate with distinction, I have always been interested and passionate about technology. In the more than eight years of IT experience I’ve had, in various roles from development to management, technology has always fascinated me. IT enables better life, be it on the personal front or at the business level, and it gives me immense pride to be an IT Professional. Technology empowers our life.As Spiderman says ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. Used wisely and responsibly, technology is a boon. “Change is Constant” is a phrase that is aptly applied to the field of IT. SCS gives me the platform to keep abreast of the latest in technology and it provides opportunities for networking with IT geeks. I am looking forward to making new friends, discussing ideas, learning through their experiences and contributing to the SCS community in my small way. Finally, I want to thank SCS for giving me this opportunity.

SCS Welcomes More Than 1,500 New Members!

Chandrakumar Natarajan CTO, Market Development EMC

I learnt about SCS through a colleague and I could see the benefits of being part of a vibrant IT community and being able to network with my peers. My school in India bought its first computer around 1984 and I have been hooked ever since. It helped shape my education preference and, eventually, my career. It was a conscious decision on my part to focus my career on IT. I did a computer science degree, followed by an MBA, and have focused on this profession ever since. IT has been my passion and it has led me to where I am now. We have mobility all around now. IT is no longer just confined to PCs, it is found in everything from security cameras to fighter jets. I even met my wife online, so I can’t imagine not having IT for even a day.

Madhan Mohan

Dynamics CRM Service Line Consultant Avanade Asia As the saying goes, you think you reached the end of the tunnel by seeing a light. Indeed the tunnel and light go on. My analogy on light is, in fact, for SCS, which guides us through the never ending technology tunnel, serving as a pathfinder to highlight emerging technologies, and bridging aspiring minds. Though I took Electronics as a Major in my studies, and Computer Networks was just an elective paper, it overtook Electronics on my career path and moulded me to be part and parcel of IT industry for the 16 years since my graduation. Up to now, I am fascinated by the way trends evolve in an unprecedented way and am always wondering what more I will witness next. This brings to mind the poem,‘Miles to go before I sleep’, from my schooldays. I do product consulting in my work, with solution orchestration as my all-time passion, and an increased focus on analytics and cloud consulting. I am glad to be part of the SCS family where members contribute mutually to, and evangelise the benefits.


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Complex Public Transport Projects Come Into Their Own Managing public transport projects may be challenging, but the rewards make it worthwhile, says Seah Thiam Siong of Land Transport Authority (LTA), who is also a strong advocate of SCS certifications. Seah Thiam Siong Senior Member, SCS Programme Director Land Transport Authority

1. Has the project management landscape changed in the public transport arena in recent years? If so, briefly describe how. The convergence and mutual reinforcement of social interaction, mobility, cloud, and information in recent years have largely changed the entire ICT and business landscape, including that of the public transport arena. Project management is now not only about managing in-house IT projects or outsourced vendor services.The entire eco-system of internal and external stakeholders, system integrators, technology providers, transport operators, research institutions, etc. comes into play. 2. Can you share some of your experiences managing some of the complex public transport projects? Public transport projects are challenging, exciting, and, most importantly, rewarding because every successful delivery and implementation of our projects translates into delivering a great public transport service to commuters.They are challenging because they involve the integration of sensors with real-time systems, engagements with public transport operators, and meeting the needs of commuters. And exciting because of the opportunities to collaborate with

research institutions and technology leaders, experiment with visualisation of data analytics, and dissemination of timely and relevant information that enhances the commuting experience through digital channels such as the MyTransport.SG mobile app and One.Motoring Portal.The speed of development is fast-paced and requires an agile development mindset, processes, and tools with which to cope.The opportunity to make a difference has been very rewarding. 3.What are some useful tips you could give to IT professionals to manage outsourced IT projects better? Outsourcing is a means of obtaining the necessary resources to deliver the intended outcomes of IT projects. Dealing with the outsourcing service provider as partners, developing rapport and relationship with every management level of the service provider, and aligning the strategic intent and outcome of the outsourcing contract are key ingredients to successful outsourcing. 4.What prompted you to pursue SCS certification and how has it helped you professionally? I was part of the resource group invited by Alex Siow, when he was President of SCS, to develop the CITPM Certification Framework for SCS, and was subsequently part of the CITPM Assessor pool. Naturally, I am a strong supporter of SCS certifications.When COMIT was subsequently introduced, I got myself certified by SCS as well. Being certified provides the professional recognition for me

amongst peers, service providers, staff and colleagues, besides giving me access to the Body of Knowledge provided by SCS. 5.Would you encourage your staff and colleagues in your company to attain SCS certifications? Why? Certainly. Attaining SCS certifications means having the endorsement of an IT body with professional standing both in Singapore and overseas. For the more junior staff, it is also a means for them to build up their professional credentials as they develop their careers. 6. How does your company support SCS certifications? LTA is now a corporate member of SCS.This facilitates getting SCS membership for our IT professionals and makes it easier for them to participate in SCS certification programmes such as CITPM, COMIT, CITBCM, etc.We constantly encourage our staff to go for SCS certifications and provide the necessary guidance to raise the professionalism and professional development of our staff. 7.What is the most important advice you would offer IT professionals to help them scale new heights in their careers? Join SCS so you are part of the big family of IT professionals in Singapore, get to know fellow members of SCS and expand your social and professional networks, be constantly updated on technology advancements and, most importantly, be bold and innovate with IT.

Web: www.scs.org.sg




Be at the Forefront in Your Quality Assurance Profession: Get Certified! Pull ahead of others in the field through an SCS certification

SCS is serious about giving you a leg up in your Quality Assurance profession by empowering you to handle ever complex IT software projects requirements now. We have two QA professional certification programmes for this – the Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) and Certified Software Testing Professional (CSTP).

Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA) Programme

The CSQA programme aims to impart the principles and practices of good quality management for IT managers to create quality software and reduce defect rates of IT projects. Course Date: 21 – 23 January 2015, 9am – 5pm SCS Resource Centre Elene Peck Member, SCS Assistant Director, Service Assurance Unit, IITS/TSS Division, Singapore Management University

Certified Software Testing Professional (CSTP) Programme

The CSTP programme covers modern software testing techniques using industry-driven hands-on approaches to improve software quality, as well as the productivity of software testers and engineers.

“The formation of quality functions such as the Service Assurance Unit (SAU) shows management commitment in achieving a higher level of professionalism. To meet our users’ increasing expectations in service level, the SAU will ensure IT services are delivered responsively, consistently and professionally through the implementation of COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology). SAU will serve as a central point of knowledge and expertise, and will work with the various IT service delivery units to achieve a higher degree of service professionalism. Acquiring the CSQA certification is in line with this as it indicates a professional level of competence in the principles and practices of quality assurance in the IT profession.” Course Date: 23 - 27 March, 2 April 2015 9am – 5pm Nanyang Polytechnic

For further enquiries on CSTP and CSQA, please contact Sharon at sharon.koh@scs.org.sg or 62262567 ext 15.


Lithan Hall Academy Becomes Our 17th Student Chapter SCS adds yet another Student Chapter by welcoming Lithan Hall Academy to the fold. SCS warmly welcomed Lithan Hall Academy as the 17th Student Chapter on 20 September 2014. Students from Lithan Hall Academy are now connected to the ICT community through networking opportunities provided by the various SCS platforms. The launch event was graced by President of SCS, Mr Chak Kong Soon, Chairperson of SCS Student Chapter, Ms Cheah Saw Pheng, and Chairman of Lithan Hall Academy, Mr Leslie Loh. In conjunction with the event, Mr Joshua Soh, Managing Director, Cisco Systems (Singapore & Brunei), shared his expertise and experience on “Career Choices in Infocomm” with the students, who benefited greatly from the informative and engaging talk.

1 1. Lithan Hall Academy students at the launch event. 2. Mr Chak Kong Soon (left) and Mr Leslie Loh exchanging plaques. 2

Web: www.scs.org.sg




NTUC Partnership Marks Another Milestone Partnering NTUC helps SCS reach out to 100,000 Infocomm professionals and bring more benefits to members.


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SCS and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on 25 November last year will allow the two parties to tap each other’s expertise and networks to serve the needs of the infocomm professionals better. This partnership marks another milestone for SCS and allows us to reach out to 100,000 infocomm professionals in Singapore. SCS members can now also look forward to customised programmes, tailored to the needs and interests of the IT community. Recognising the importance of keeping up with technological advancements, Mr Chak Kong Soon, President of SCS, points out that the collaboration will create new

opportunities for infocomm professionals in Singapore. “We are delighted that with this collaboration, we are able to reach out to a diverse infocomm community and provide added value to SCS members. This creates an opportunity for members to meet like-minded counterparts, and share their knowledge and experiences with one another. Through this partnership, we hope to increase the level of professionalism and enhance our infocomm workforce,” says Mr Chak. Mr Vivek Kumar, Secretary of the NTUC Membership Council, has this to add: “SCS and the Labour Movement currently reach out to over 20 per cent of IT professionals in Singapore. By working closely with SCS,

we will roll out various initiatives targeted at supporting our IT professionals at different life and career stages. Together, we aim to equip IT professionals with the necessary skillset to be ready to face the future challenges in the industry, so they can excel in their career progressions.”

Leaders of NTUC and SCS at the MOU signing ceremony.

Infocomm Security SIG Off to a Good Start High level of engagement at launch of Infocomm Security Special Interest Group (SIG) augers well for future technical sessions. Yum Shoen Liang Senior Member, SCS Secretary, Infocomm Security SIG


series of presentations at the launch of SCS’s Infocomm Security Special Interest Group drew a high level of engagement from participants who fielded many thoughtful questions. This definitely augurs well for future technical sessions the SIG hopes to facilitate. The seeds for an Infocomm Security SIG were sown a few months ago when some of our members saw the need for a group within the Society that focuses on the professional development of members engaged in cyber security work or are interested in going into this area.

What better way to launch this SIG than combining it with a visit to FireEye Singapore? Those of us who attended the event even got to see the action in Star Wars in real time and learned what a “zero day attack” looks like! The Infocomm Security SIG will be organising a series of networking sessions, events and seminars on cyber security in 2015 to provide a platform for infocomm professionals to contribute and share knowledge and best practices. Through such engagements we can help one another increase our competence, look for the right course or qualification to improve ourselves and work experience, and learn from one another. Do check out further details at https://www.scs.org.sg/SIG/sig-is.php

Infocomm Security Special Interest Group Chairman

Philip Kwa, SMSCS



Yum Shoen Liang, SMSCS


Committee Members

Tony Kam, MSCS


Eunice Lau, MSCS

Ingram Micro Asia

Tan Ah Tuan, SMSCS


Ursulah Abdul Hamid, MSCS

Ingram Micro Asia

Steven Wong Kai Ju, MSCS

Singapore Institute of Technology


THE IT SOCIETY — Issue Four 2014

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SingaporeComputerSociety





SCS IT Youth Council Does It Again!


ur IT Youth Council showed its flair for leadership yet again by engaging Infocomm youths successfully through anchor events this past quarter. In line with its goal to be the VOICE of Infocomm youth in Singapore, our SCS IT Youth Council successfully organised activities offering meaningful platforms for youths to engage in constructive discussions and interactive sharing of views and insights. One such activity was the LaserTag competition on 31 October 2014. Participants from Acclivis, IBM, Army Recruitment Center, Nanyang Polytechnic, UIC Asia Computer Service joined us on this funfilled exciting afternoon during which they strategised and played hard to earn their scores. In the final showdown, Team Army Recruitment Center outwitted the others and emerged champion.

At another of our anchor event on 27 November, we were honoured to have Mr Hari V Krishnan, Managing Director of LinkedIn Asia Pacific and Japan, speak at our YES! Youth Engagement Series, specially organised for graduating students and young professionals. Mr Hari shared his knowledge on how professionals can leverage social media to build a professional network for their careers and future prospects. He also emphasised the importance of quality over quantity of contacts, and highlighted the benefits of LinkedIn for staying connected for career opportunities, and building professional network. In conjunction with the YES! event, the SCS IT Youth Council held its 1st Biennial General Meeting and elected the new IT Youth Council. The ITYC team welcomes suggestions on activities and will do more in 2015 to better serve the ICT youth community.


Marcus Cheng


Fung Ka Yee

Honorary Secretary

Lim Hang Loon

Honorary Treasurer

Soffenny Yap

Committee Member

Jason Chen

Committee Member

Janice Chua

Committee Member

Lee Jia Ming

Committee Member

Lin Jing Yang

Committee Member

Derek Loh

Committee Member

Alan Ng

Committee Member

Hedren Sum

Committee Member

Tan Boon Kiat

Committee Member

Tan Yi Zhuang

Committee Member

Tommy Tien

1. Participants at the LaserTag competition. 2. The IT Youth Council 3. Hari addressing the audience.

Web: www.scs.org.sg




Finalists of IT Youth Award 2015 Six IT students demonstrating leadership qualities and an innovative spirit picked as finalists for SCS’s 2015 IT Youth Award SCS has selected the finalists for its 2015 IT Youth Award. These six young Singaporeans, all under the age of 25, have exhibited strong leadership qualities and demonstrated community involvement and innovation, winning many Infocomm & Media (ICM) achievements along the way.

Development Council and, in 2013, was awarded the ACE Start-up Grant by SPRING Singapore. Chew and his teammates are also finalists for this year’s SiTF Awards.

Quek Yang Sheng

We will announce the winners at the SCS Gala Dinner and IT Leader Awards 2015 on 6 March 2015 at Shangri-La Hotel.

Quince Pan Yanqi

Chew Rong Kang

Rong Kang, a final-year student at Nanyang Polytechnic, created a web application with charity organisation Food From The Heart that allows the holistic management of warehouse inventory of donated items, and their distribution to beneficiaries. He also leads the Microsoft Student Partners Programme in Singapore, which organises workshops on the Microsoft technology stack. Rong Kang has also coordinated Microsoft-related activities, events and roadshows. For his leadership and initiatives, he was selected to represent Singapore as Country Lead at the inaugural MSP Summit of Microsoft Corporation in Redmond in August 2014.

Eddie Chew Yang Jin

Eddie, a final-year student at Temasek Polytechnic, shows leadership and entrepreneurship through his one-stop volunteer platform, Loov, of which he is co-founder. Loov was developed under the guidance of the Northeast Community

Quince, studying at Hwa Chong Institution (HCI), created “Hok Heng – The Revival”, a website and YouTube channel to teach Hokkien and digitise the virtually undocumented Singaporean variant of the dialect. His skills in photography, film production, graphic design and web technologies allowed him to be responsible for his project's media and communications, helping the project to clinch the Best in Category and Overall Third Awards in HCI's annual projects competition.

Yang Sheng, a National Infocomm Scholar at National University of Singapore, uses his IT skills to improve lives. He has created a mobile chat application that facilitates classroom collaboration between students and teachers, and volunteered with Northeast Community Development Council to create a mobile app that helps social workers evaluate the eligibility of households for assistance scheme applications. For his achievements and contribution to society, Yang-Sheng was the Gold Recipient of three awards in 2014: the Alcatel-Lucent Singapore Prize, the EMC Computer Systems (South Asia) Special Industry Prize, and the IDA Excellence Award.

Venkadesh Thangaraju Poh Boon Keat

For his final-year project at Singapore Polytechnic, Boon Keat created an app to help paramedics work more efficiently by simplifying their communications with A&E doctors. He also programmed the StayinTouch mobile app that converts text into speech for visually impaired users to stay in touch via social media. Boon Keat is also the founder of ACEPlus, a company offering IT Solutions to SMEs through freelancers he recruits. ACEPlus educates juniors at Singapore Polytechnic on industry expectations as well. The company was able to recover its capital within the first year of operations.

Venkadesh, a final-year student at Nanyang Polytechnic, has already garnered a host of professional IT qualifications from IBM, Progresso and Cisco. He led a team in developing wearable tech for dementia patients and the elderly to alert caregivers to their locations. This device was one of the top 3 winning submissions in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow competition. With his passion in IT and Social Entrepreneurship, Venkadesh, along with his team, also went on to win the IBM BlueMix Challenge in July this year.

Web: www.scs.org.sg




Republic Polytechnic And Hwa Chong Institution (College) Sweep Up Splash Awards Teams from Republic Polytechnic and Hwa Chong Institution (College) clinch the top prizes in our annual Splash Awards with their apps on the “Bringing Singaporeans Closer Together” theme. In its 11th edition, the competition for our annual Splash Awards this time attracted 63 entries from more than 165 participants in secondary schools and institutes of higher learning (IHLs), who eagerly responded with apps on the theme, “Bringing Singaporeans Closer Together”. Netting the top award in the Tertiary and Pre-tertiary categories respectively were teams from Republic Polytechnic and Hwa Chong Institution (College). They received their well-earned prizes at our Splash Awards 2014 Finals and Talent Showcase held in celebration of SG50 on 18 November, and graced by Mr. Desmond Lee, Minister of State at the Ministry of National Development. For the first time in the Splash Awards history, SCS has set aside S$30,000 to help the champion team of the Tertiary Category further develop and launch their apps for SG50 in 2015.

Winning team, SomePro, receiving their award from Mr Desmond Lee.

Calendar of Events

Take a peek of the winning creative mobile apps – • Champion of Tertiary Category – Republic Polytechnic – Creation: “Apple Tree” An app that encourages users to spend more face time with friends and family, instead of always being glued to their phones all the time. • Champion in Pre-tertiary Category – Hwa Chong Institution (college) – Creation: “RunSG” The app charts routes for runners, using data on traffic conditions and air quality, and creating the most rewarding routes for the runner based on the distance he is looking to run. It also encourages runners to meet up and run together. We congratulate the champion teams, Special Award winners, and other finalist teams as listed below:

Winning team, HCI (College), showcasing their app to Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State at the Ministry of National Development

Tertiary Category Rank

Team Name




Republic Polytechnic

Merit Award

ICEF Alert

ITE College Central

Merit Award


Nanyang Polytechnic

Merit Award


Nanyang Polytechnic

Pre-tertiary Category Rank

Team Name



HCI (College)

Hwa Chong Institution (College)

Merit Award

Cloud Nein

St Joseph’s Institution

Merit Award

Fluffy Unicorn

Innova Junior College

Merit Award

Team Percepshunn

Dunman High

Special Award Communitybuilding, Family & Volunteerism

ICEF Alert

ITE College Central

Special Award - Best Use of Open Data In support of data.gov.sg & OneMap

HCI (College)

Hwa Chong Institution (College)

View the video clips of the finalist teams at the Splash Awards Ceremony on InfoPier Talent Showcase here: https:// www.infopier.sg/scssplashawards. If you wish to connect with any of the above winning teams, please write to splash@ scs.org.sg.



MARCH 2015

21-23 JAN

4 feb


SCS Gala Dinner & IT Leader Awards 2015

26 MAR

SCS 48th AGM

CSQA Preparatory Workshop & Certification

Workshop on How to Create your Edutainment Video for Marketing & Education

6 Feb

Business Continuity Management Conference 2015

12 Feb

Seminar on Learn to be an Ethical Hacker cum CSTP Preview Session


THE IT SOCIETY — Issue Four 2014

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SingaporeComputerSociety


1. How many bits make a byte? A) 16 bits B) 8 bits C) 24 bits D) 12 bits 2. 1 billion gigabytes are equal to One ________? A) Zettabytes B) Exabytes C) Petabytes D) None of the above 3. The approximate amount of data processed per day by Google in 2013 was: A) 24 petabytes B) 50 petabytes C) 80 betabytes D) 10 petabytes


5. Which of the following companies made the world’s largest IPO debut? A) Visa B) Linkedin C) Twitter D) None of the above 6. The computer abbreviation DLL usually means: A) Digital Link Library B) Domain Link Library C) Dynamic Link Library D) Data Link Library 7. What diagnostic tool helps you find a malfunctioning network interface card? A) Multimeter B) Protocol Analyzer C) Signal Detector D) Port Sniffer

10.Identify this Game logo:

A) Titanfall B) Battlefield 4 C) Need for Speed D) Plants vs Zombies

Additionally, Wink Relay doubles as a hub for WiFi, ZigBee, and Bluetooth protocols. Its display screen makes an interior décor statement, and it sleeps to save energy and keeps a low profile when not used. A proximity sensor detects your presence while the temperature and humidity sensor keeps your home comfortable.

Aerial photography from the ground

This Little Piggy Gets Smart

ZANO connects directly to iOS and Android devices via onboard Wi-Fi, letting you capture and share moments. Operating on a virtual tether connected to your smart device, ZANO comes with sensors enabling it to avoid obstacles, hold its position, and know its position in relation to your smart device at all times. For simple navigation, tilt your device accordingly. When operating it on Free Flight mode, control it with the joysticks on your mobile screen. If ZANO senses that it has strayed too far, or is losing its signal, or will run out of battery power, it automatically returns to your smart device. Fancy some aerial photography from the ground?

Swish Control Centre At Home

Who would have thought the little piggy bank of yesteryear would roll with the times and turn smart in the 21st century? Well, Porkfolio has! Wirelessly connected to an app on your mobile device, it lets you track your balance and set financial goals remotely.

These days you can control your wired appliances in your smart home with Apps run from your Smartphone or other mobile devices. But when relaxing at home, wouldn’t you find a stationary command centre handy so you never have to hunt for the mobile device?

Porkfolio’s nose lights up every time you feed it with a coin and it is sated only after receiving $100 in change! As well, alerts built into its accelerometer will be set off by unauthorised tampering, so you just focus on feeding it regularly.

Wink Relay gives you this option. It runs the Wink app, allowing you to use one switch to interact with lights, locks, thermostats, and other devices in a growing range of products from brands supporting the Wink App.

8. Fortune Magazine’s Business Person of the Year is: A) Tim Cook B) Jack Ma C) Elon Musk D) Larry Page 9. The book “IDEA MAN” is authored by A) Paul Allen B) Bill Gates C) Steve Ballmer D) Satya Nadella

6 C 7 B 8 D 9 A 10 C


4. Which of the following language is used in Datamining / Statistical computing? A) Fortran B) Go C) R D) COBOL

Answers: 1 B 2 B 3 A 4 C 5 D (Ans: Ali Baba)


Although it will win many adults over, Porkfolio is in top form when used to teach little ones about the value of money. Now, oink that terrific?

So you think you need complex flight training to do aerial photography? Not so with ZANO. This ultra-portable gadget — small enough to fit in the palm of your hand — flies all by itself, taking photos and high-definition videos.

The Idea is to help you LEAD.

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Profile for SCS secretariat

SCS Magazine 2014 Issue 4  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2014 Issue 4

SCS Magazine 2014 Issue 4  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2014 Issue 4