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THE SOCIETY The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

MCI (P) 102/07/2016

FUTURE SKILLS WANTED:

LEARN. UNLEARN. RELEARN.

03 ICT should be Professionalised

05 Reimagine HR in the Digital Economy 08 Ng Cher Pong chats about SkillsFuture

Issue

03 2016


Contents EDITOR’S MESSAGE

Vision To be the leading infocomm and digital media professional society in Singapore

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To lead and contribute to the vibrancy and growth of Singapore’s infocomm and digital media industry

Add Value To add value to the infocomm and digital media professional’s career and personal development

Be the Voice To engage and be the voice of the infocomm and digital media community

Are We Learning Enough New Skills?

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Unleash the Full Potential of Your Employees

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What does the Future Hold for You and I?

Change is the Constant

THE BIG IDEA 03

ICT should be Professionalised

#LATEST@SCS

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Reimagine HR in the Digital Economy

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SCS Golf Day 2016

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SCS Chill Out Night

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Giving Recognition to Young Talents

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Launch of Enterprise Architecture SIG

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Mark Your Calendar for these Events

Mission Lead the Way

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SPOTLIGHT 08

Ng Cher Pong chats about SkillsFuture

10 Ong Jia Ming shares his experience with SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme

GEEK SPEAK POWER BOOST

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Skills for Surviving the Future

12 How is SkillsFuture Relevant to You? 14

Is There Really Such a Thing as “Skills of the Future”?

This issue is published in collaboration with

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

9:41 AM

Reality Check: Change is the Constant – Not Us!

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t is a tough pill to swallow but the sooner we realise that we are not as indispensable as we think we are, the sooner we can focus our energy on moving forward and staying relevant. Fortunately, being in the technology industry, we are – if anything – well acquainted with changes. Hearteningly, our community keeps a positive mindset and attitude towards learning – with almost 50% seeing skills upgrading to be important and 73% expressing willingness to invest resources on enhancing their know-how in the latest SCS Employability Survey. And it is equally encouraging to hear the Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Ng Cher Pong, explain the learning opportunities SkillsFuture schemes bring. Fair enough, learning new skills are important. But, what do we do with our old skills? Before rushing to hit the “delete” button, perhaps it’s worth noting that some of these skills such as people skills, creativity and learning skills are enduring. They will likely continue to feature prominently along the new ones we acquire. The landscape ahead of us is both exciting and challenging. IT has gone beyond just being

EDITOR Tan Teng Cheong CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr Chong Yoke Sin Eddie Chua Vladyslav Koshelyev Vikas Verma

ADVERTISING SALES & ADMIN Claudia Lim For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6226 2567 ext 12 Email: claudia.lim@scs.org.sg Mailing Address 53 Neil Road Singapore 088891

EDITORIAL SUPPORT Claudia Lim

EMAIL scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg EDITORIAL & DESIGN Lancer Design Pte Ltd

a business function to affect every aspect of business – from communications to processes and transactions. Naturally, we have become highly sought after by every industry and business. However, amidst this positivity, we need to be mindful that the greater the trust placed in our abilities to deliver robust systems that operate with integrity, the greater is our responsibility to uphold professional ethics and champion best practices. In order to truly gain respect as professionals and not be left behind by the changing landscape, we need to have expert knowledge of tools, appreciation of current trends and ability to master any domain quickly – we need to learn. As much as change is a constant, learning has to be a constant – for you and I. And there is no better time than now to get started. Learn something from this issue of The IT Society, like I did putting it together.

TAN TENG CHEONG Editor Fellow, SCS tengcheong.tan@scs.org.sg

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 inclusion consideration. For advertising enquiries, please call 6226 2567 or email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg. 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. All views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.


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THE BIG IDEA

03

Should ICT be Professionalised?

It is a fact that ICT professionals today apply their specialised skills and knowledge to touch every industry and every aspect of our lives. Question is, since every industry relies on ICT for their business, and the successful investment and deployment of ICT is the basis of business success, shouldn’t ICT professionals possess moral ethics, professional competence and up-to-date knowledge to provide that right advice for whomever they serve?

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CT has enabled and disrupted many industries – one can just look around to see how ICT has created new business norms. Goods are bought online from retailers without a shopfront, taxi companies operate without taxis, medical conditions can be monitored without nurses, radiology images can be read by machines, rooms can be rented outside of hotels, and soon, perhaps, banking will be done without banks.

IS ICT AN ENABLER OR AN INHIBITOR? At the core of these developments are the IT systems that provide data, and transactions that empower the integrity and scalability of these virtual businesses. Additionally, the Smart Nation vision has provided an environment and infrastructure that allows the pervasive use of ICT to transform the way we live, work and play.

DR CHONG YOKE SIN Fellow, SCS Vice President, SCS Executive Council and Chairperson, SCS TeSA Committee

However, amidst this optimistic backdrop lies the deep-seated concern of vulnerability that results from systems failure. The need for regulating systems that serve the general public is also a hotly contested issue. There are no simple solutions to these challenges. On one hand, it is possibly impossible to accurately assess the risk of systems failure; on the other, the quick pace of technology changes means that the regulation of systems can only lag behind at best.


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THE BIG IDEA

ICT PROFESSIONALS HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY Today, ICT professionals – people behind the systems – architect, design, implement, deploy and maintain these systems. Their professional expertise are depended upon to provide robust systems that operate with integrity. While in Australia and the UK, ICT is a recognised profession which enjoys equivalent standing among professions such as medicine, law, architecture and engineering; Singapore has only recently introduced the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme to provide an avenue for ICT professionals to train and retrain continuously to keep pace with

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

technological changes as well as their own aspirations.

quickly – calling for continuous deep and broad learning.

THE COMMUNITY HAS TO STEP UP But is the TeSA programme enough? Should we have a systematic and recognised way to progress ICT in Singapore? And how should we govern this so that ICT can indeed be a recognised profession in Singapore?

The TeSA programme is a good start to promote continuous skills upgrading in the ICT community nationally. But professionalising ICT has a bigger implication than just skills improvement, it means having a body of knowledge to guide how the profession is practiced, accreditation of learning paths, and recognition of the need for continuous learning for effective practice.

Truth is, ICT needs the best brains if it indeed is the basis for disruption of every other industry. To perform transformative work, ICT professionals need to have expert knowledge of the tools, appreciation of the current trends and the ability to learn any domain

After all, it is only when both skills and practice are upgraded and kept relevant that ICT professionals can provide ICT solutions needed by businesses.

LET SCS BE YOUR CAREER COMPANION Whether it is providing you with the means to acquire new skills and knowledge, shining the light for you when you stand at a career crossroad or opening doors to new opportunities and possibilities, you can be assured that SCS will be with you every step of the way in your career journey.

Training Advisory

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT Map your career pathway and acquire skills and competencies with the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF).

TRAINING & CERTIFICATIONS

Take up an industry-based certification programme to boost your professional standing. TeSA Courses www.ida.gov.sg/sub/talent/ professional-development/tech-skillsaccelerator SCS Certifications http://bit.do/scs-certifications InfoPier Training Calendar https://www.infopier.sg/upcomingtraining

Career Advisory Launching this October

SCS CAREER COMPASS Through job facilitation, peer group mentoring, personal career coaching and career seminars, discover your true north. SCS Career Compass https://www.infopier.sg/scs-careersupport-services

Job Opportunities

JOB REFERRAL Find the right job at the right place with job referral services at SCS online job matching portals. JobsBank https://www.jobsbank.gov.sg Startup Jobs Asia http://sg.startupjobs.asia/sg InfoJobs https://www.infopier.sg/jobs

CAREER MENTORING Participate in quarterly group mentoring series, and have our ICT Mentors help keep your career on track with career development guidance.

CAREER SEMINARS & CAREER FAIRS Attend career seminars and job fairs to hear from industry experts about job opportunities and career prospects. e2i Career Fairs https://e2i.com.sg WDA Adapt & Grow Events http://www.adaptandgrow.events


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THE BIG IDEA

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Vroooom,

Uber!

VIKAS VERMA Principal, Performance, Reward & Talent, Aon Hewitt

EDDIE CHUA Associate Consultant, Aon Hewitt

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he revolution of technology is reshaping our economy. Writing systems have enabled the externalisation of memory, the invention of transport has reduced travel time and physical distance, communication networks have made real time contact possible regardless of where we are – ushering in the virtual communication era, and now, immense computing power is paving the way for artificial intelligence.1 Underpinning the constant technology revolution is an accelerated pace of change in the past decade. Resultantly, to stay agile, businesses have to react – fast and with impact. WHO IS THE EMPLOYEE? The on-demand economy prides itself on being able to deliver services to consumers in the most convenient

PICKUP LOCATION

53 Neil Road Singapore

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Reimagining HR in the Digital Economy

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MIN

SET PICKUP LOCATION

The world’s largest taxi company is the perfect vehicle to represent a revolutionary business model that has taken the world by storm: the ondemand economy model. This model has broken conventions and radicalised the employment landscape. The digital economy requires human resources (HR) to be reimagined.

way, through digital platforms. Want someone to do grocery shopping for you? There’s RedMart. Stomach growling in the wee hours? There’s Foodpanda. How about a taxi, anytime, anywhere? There’s the famous Uber, which operates in a staggering 459 cities worldwide.2 The on-demand economy seems omnipresent these days, growing across 16 industries.3 Statistics have suggested an almost 10fold increase in venture capital for ondemand mobile services since 2010.4 A 2015 study found US consumers spending US$57.6 billion yearly in the on-demand economy.5 As with any other economy, the ondemand economy consists of “the consumer”, “the employee” and “the employer”. However, in an on-demand economy, the conventional definition of

“the employee” is no longer accurate – which according to the Oxford Dictionary, an employee refers to “a person employed for wages or salary”.6 Case in point, Uber drivers do not receive benefits or legal protection like conventional employees because they are considered as business partners. However, as evidenced from several protests, they seem to be demanding benefits that are extended to traditional employees despite not working fix hours and paying for their own gas and car maintenance. Additionally, they get to set their own sales targets, and be simultaneously employed in competitor companies or another full-time job. All things considered, is the driver a full-fledged employee, freelancer or an independent business owner? This is where the definition of an employee starts to blur.


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THE BIG IDEA

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

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ARE TRADITIONAL TALENT MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHIES ADEQUATE? Looking forward, technology will continue to dictate economy trends and employment landscape – shutting down markets while paving way for new ones, like the ondemand economy. For instance, up to 40% of the US workforce could be freelancing

by 20207 and 30% of corporate audits will be done by artificial intelligence by 2025.8 These will inadvertently increase the need for on-demand skills in the job market. Are we ready to handle such large numbers of freelancers or business associates who need to be put through learning programmes just like customer facing employees? And the

HR REIMAGINED!

There is a need to rethink HR in the digital world from bottom up – reimagining different HR outcomes to be certain they are optimal for the economy. Gaps between conventional and radical talent management processes need to be identified and addressed. For starters, we propose to introduce four new roles in HR.9

Business co-pilots to work with top management in identifying and solving organisational issues like restructuring in the emerging business models.

Analytic engineers to sift through large amounts of data and make sense of emerging patterns in a proactive manner. They employ predictive analytics to optimise current and future talent management trends.

bigger question is, whether traditional HR structure and Talent Management philosophies can respond to these changes? We contend not. Therefore, whether you are a player in the on-demand economy or a prospective player planning to get your feet wet, now is the time to reimagine HR.

Cultural stewards to lead the organisation and build the organisational culture, extending beyond the traditional employees.

Cross-functional experts – with a wealth of knowledge and skill sets in different HR functions – who can develop holistic talent management solutions to address organisational issues from different perspectives.

Groth, L. (1999). Future Organizational Design: The Scope for the IT-based Enterprise (John Wiley Series in Information Systems). John Wiley & Sons. Uber Estimate. (2016). Uber Cities. Retrieved July 8, 2016, from Uber Estimate: http://uberestimator.com/cities OwYang, J. (2016, March 10). Honeycomb 3.0: The Collaborative Economy Market Expansion. Retrieved July 1, 2016, from Web Strategist: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2016/03/10/honeycomb-3-0-the-collaborative-economy-market-expansion-sxsw/ 4 CB Insights. (2015, June 30). An Overview of The On-Demand Landscape: Rise of the On-Demand Economy. Retrieved June 22, 2016, from CB Insights: https://www.cbinsights.com/on-demand-overview 5 Colby, C., & Kelly, B. (2016, April 14). National Technology Readiness Survey (2015). Retrieved July 2, 2016, from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2016/04/the-on-demand-economy-is-growing-and-not-just-for-the-young-and-wealthy 6 British and World English. (2016). Retrieved July 2, 2016, from Oxford Dictionaries: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/employee 7 Intuit. (2010). Intuit 2020 Report. Twenty Trends that will Shape the Next Decade. Intuit. 8 Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & Society. (2015). Deep Shift Technology Tipping Points and Societal Impact. Geneva: World Economic Forum. 9 Aon Hewitt. (2015). Reimagining HR for 2025. Aon Hewitt. 1 2 3


ABILITY

MAXIMISED WITH DIVERSE SKILLS

I have concentrated on other priorities and I am now ready to take on more. I want to refresh my skills and knowledge to stay relevant in the workforce. SkillsFuture Credit gives all Singaporeans, aged 25 and above, an opening credit of $500 to pay for about 10,000 approved courses. With SkillsFuture Credit, I can learn it my way.

www.skillsfuture.sg/credit


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SPOTLIGHT

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

SkillsFuture:

The Buzz About Deep Skills NG CHER PONG

Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency Age: 43 Earliest Tech Experience: Basic programming on an Apple II and being fascinated with father’s mainframe punched cards Currently Reading: ‘How Google Works’ by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg Current Pet Topic: European History

Q: Question, CP: Cher Pong

SkillsFuture is a popular topic in the recent times – both with the media and the working professionals. It promises to be a game-changer for the tech industry facing a manpower shortage. Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) chats with The IT Society about this national movement to share his personal insights.

Q: What is SkillsFuture? CP: There are four aspects integral to SkillsFuture. First, SkillsFuture is about a shift in how we view success, from one that is based solely on academic achievements to an expanded one that encompasses skills. It involves maximising the potential of every Singaporean. Second, SkillsFuture emphasises skills mastery, as the basis for us to remain competitive as an economy. It is the foundation of deep skills that will enable us to innovate and create value. Third, which is related, is that skills mastery must be built on the passion and interests of individuals. This is where education and career guidance comes in – to help individuals identify their strengths and interests. But SkillsFuture is not purely an individual enterprise. So, fourth, it is also about the future – how as industries transform, we help make available the manpower and skills required to support such transformation. Each of these aspects has broad based implications for individuals and enterprises, and requires their engagement. Where

individuals are concerned, they need to relook at their definition of “success”; be willing to invest their time and energy into building deep skills; and be passionate about what they do. As for companies, they have to embrace transformation – going towards being manpower lean and becoming more interested in developing the skills of their people. And how SkillsFuture comes into play is that we set out to support individuals and industries in this journey every step of the way. Q: How does SkillsFuture support this movement? CP: SkillsFuture is an ambitious national movement which aims to reach out and change mindsets and behaviours that have been around for a long time. SkillsFuture is relevant to not just everyone, but also every industry. So, we have designed SkillsFuture to be inclusive. Beyond having broad-based programmes such as the SkillsFuture Credit, there are also specific programmes targeted at different life stages of individuals. For example, if you are graduating from school, you should be thinking about the


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SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme. If you are above 40 and thinking of upgrading your skills, there is the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy; and if you have accumulated a few years of working experience in the sector, the SkillsFuture Study awards is a good option to enable you to deepen your skills. Then for those of you who are at the pinnacle of your career and would like to take the next step up to become a master of your craft, the SkillsFuture Fellowships that we will be launching soon may come in handy. Essentially, what we want is for Singaporeans to understand that there is no need to rush headlong into any programme. Instead, take the time to figure out what their interests and strengths are. The support will be there for them to build deep skills. Q: How has the response been for SkillsFuture? CP: If we think about the four aspects that I have outlined earlier, we know that each of them necessitates a fundamental shift in mindsets and a cohesive displacement of current practices. It

SPOTLIGHT

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means to say that we don’t just need individuals, parents and society to change; we also need industries and training providers to evolve – to focus on skills for the future. That is why we are not expecting people and businesses to buy in to the idea and act on it immediately. Instead, we are first building awareness for SkillsFuture and what the specific programmes have to offer while emphasising its relevance to the future. Thus far, I am heartened to see that individuals and industries are warming up to the idea of SkillsFuture. We are working closely with each and every sector to understand their issues. Interestingly, we note that even in the infocomm sector, which is very skills driven, there are still many companies that hire technical people based on paper qualifications. Q: How will it change things for the infocomm industry? CP: Comparatively, this is a sector where you see the most change, be it the demand for skills or the general

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industry structure. Skills are made obsolete very quickly. Therefore, the need for continuous upgrading of skills is probably the most apparent in this sector. SkillsFuture provides that continuous support for individuals at different phases of their skills deepening journey through our various programmes. At the same time, the industry is facing a huge manpower shortage, and SkillsFuture presents an avenue for companies to attract individuals who are passionate about programming and infocomm to come into the sector. Q: How about some advice on using the $500 credit? CP: Start by figuring out what you enjoy doing, the sector you see yourself in, and the kind of deep skills you want to build. Once decided, you can choose a relevant course from those listed online. But if you are undecided or if the credit is not sufficient for your purpose, there is no hurry to use the credit. You can always accumulate them till such time you have clarity or enough credits. The most important thing is to take time to think about where your interests lie.

“Today, the definition of success goes beyond academic qualifications. We must accept that one can do well with skills too. Deep skills are the next big thing.” You have used your first SkillsFuture credit on…

What is a quote you live by?

You will not hesitate to use your last SkillsFuture credit on…

Who inspires you professionally?

Everyone should use their SkillsFuture credit because…

When you are not working, you will be…


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SPOTLIGHT

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

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SkillsFuture Earn and Learn

Getting Best of Both Worlds ONG JIA MING Software Engineering Associate, Accenture Age: 24 Earliest Tech Experience: Javascript First Tertiary Qualification: Diploma in Business Enterprise IT Latest Academic Achievement: Specialist Diploma in Information Systems Development Career Aspiration: To become a super developer Current Pet Topic: IT security

A choice between career and study may not always result in a trade-off for one or the other – especially so if one opts for the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme. From the inaugural batch of SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme, Ong Jia Ming, Software Engineering Associate, Accenture, talks to The IT Society on how it is like to be able to gain working experience while pursuing studies. Q: Question, JM: Jia Ming Q: Did you always know that you would pursue a career in the infocomm industry? JM: Yes. Incredible as it sounds, during my Secondary School days, I would try to picture what I would be when I grow up. While there were many career options such as engineering, design, nursing, etc, I was most drawn to a career in IT because I was passionate about the topic. Q: How did the love for technology begin? JM: It traces back to my teenage days when I dabbled in blogging. I got my first

taste of coding through building my own profile page. It fascinates me to see how simple changes in command lines could change user interface in specific ways. Naturally, when it came time to choose a course in Polytechnic, I went with a course that has an IT focus. Q: How far has technology come for you since those days? JM: Today, technology has become integral to many aspects of our lives – from everyday household chores to the deployment of specialised drones for missions. These are the exciting times and I am definitely looking forward to

see what other changes technology can bring. On a personal level, I continue to be intrigued by how we can make the ecosystem more secured for users. It is an area that many companies are spending a lot of time, resources and money on; it is also a domain that I believe is essential for the technology sector to focus on – in order to bring on board more users and have technology truly realise its full potential. For which, I am grateful for the opportunity to work at Accenture


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under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme. Here, not only do I get exposure to the newest knowledge in the field, I also get to learn from mentors who are field experts. Q: How has the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme benefitted you? JM: The programme has affirmed my aspirations of wanting to work in the infocomm industry. Professionally, the programme has put me on a fast track where I can apply what I learnt at work. In one instance, just a few weeks after I learnt about Agile software development in class, my mentor asked us to do a presentation on it. Subsequently, I even introduced this new knowledge into an actual project. I enjoy the autonomy given to me at Accenture. I get to manage tasks independently, which empowers me to explore and try out new knowledge. At the same time, I know I can always turn to my mentor for advice. But, the

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best thing about this programme has to be that rather than choosing between working or studying, I can actually do both concurrently. Q: After the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme, what is next? JM: I am excited to be offered a position with Accenture. Beyond that, I have plans to do a part-time degree. I also have intentions to use my SkillsFuture credit on some engineering courses. I see knowledge in mechanical and electrical engineering to be helpful and relevant to our understanding and exploration of machine learning. Q: What is an end goal you are working towards? JM: I imagine myself becoming a super developer one day! (laughs) I see myself working on apps and managing a group of developers, assigning them tasks and guiding them along. For now, I am proactively learning all that I can so as to get one step closer to that vision!

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“I will encourage people to join the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme because it provides a rare opportunity to discover their passion for technology! The experience is invaluable.�


SPOTLIGHT


SPOTLIGHT


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POWER BOOST

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

Is There Really Such a Thing as “Skills of the Future”?

Technology is evolving at a breakneck pace, and there is certainly no sign of slowing. This has led to dramatic changes in the workplace as well as discussions about skills needed to build successful careers and safeguard our future.

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hese days, whenever I chat with my colleagues about how our careers will evolve, we come to the same conclusion – we don’t have a clue about what is coming next for our professions. OUR CURRENT SKILLS ARE FAST BECOMING OBSOLETE! Given that some of the work I did not so long ago has already been automated, it is fair to assume that our future jobs have not even been invented yet. That is why, if someone asks me what I am going to do in five years’ time, I would honestly respond, “I don’t know”. Many prominent authors and publications speculate about changes that technology will bring to the way we work. Some believe that the rise of artificial intelligence will all but replace humans. Others say that computers can never master our ability to think and create. WHAT’S NEXT FOR LEARNING NEW SKILLS? The truth probably lies somewhere in-between. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, once famously said that computers are like bicycles for the mind. In many ways, this statement defines our ongoing relationship with

technology. Just like bicycles allow us to travel much faster at a fraction of the effort, technology lets us create and achieve more. To ride a bicycle, we still need our legs to press the pedals but at the same time we must learn new skills, such as balancing ourselves as we move. In the same way, we still need to apply our minds to laptops, smartphones, VR/AR sets and other emerging technologies. And to get the most out of them, we need to constantly nurture our skills. SKILLS FOR THE PRESENT ARE ALSO SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE In truth, the core competencies that allowed people to thrive at work haven’t changed much since the dawn of humanity. The same skills are likely to remain relevant for centuries more. Learning to learn Twenty years ago people who understood mechanical engineering were prospering; nowadays, it is coders in Silicon Valley who are making millions. Where will the next gold rush be? Biotech? Solar power? Space mining? It might well be something we don’t yet know but for sure those who can adapt and rapidly acquire new skills will remain successful.

VLADYSLAV KOSHELYEV Member, SCS Client Solutions Manager, Facebook

People skills As the world globalises erasing borders between states and cultures, the ability to build bonds, relationships and teams will become even more relevant. Just like how hunters and gatherers searched in groups, superstar teams today build hitech startups. Creativity Many modern technologies including personal computers, the Internet and cell phones, were first created in research laboratories as complex tools for scientists. It took the vision and ideas of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to transform them into consumer products and popularise them. It may sound counterintuitive, yet as technology becomes more complex, we will need even more creative people who can make sense of the new tools and imagine a better world we can build with them. And so, although I may not know what jobs I will have in the future, I know for sure what skills I need to navigate technological and social changes. I also know that no matter what job I have, I will aim to acquire cutting edge skills, explore new ideas and paradigms, and work on exciting projects with great teams. And my job title? Give it any name you like.


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POWER BOOST

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Are We Learning Enough New Skills? Latest SCS Infocomm Media Industry Survey reveals that one in every two ICT professionals in Singapore sees learning new skills as essential to their competitiveness. Other pertinent insights were also gleaned from the same survey. FINDING 1 Almost 50% of ICT professionals surveyed in Singapore see the importance of upgrading their skills to remain competitive.

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n tandem with the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation drive and the continued focus on strategic value of the ICT sector to business development, SCS conducted the Infocomm Media Industry Survey 2016, in collaboration with Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), and Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to understand what Singapore ICT professionals need to further enhance their careers and remain competitive.

Technical Skills Wanted

Desired Soft Skills 39%

29%

15%

14% 10%

FINDING 2 While data analytics was identified as the most important technical skills to have, project management was perceived as the most important soft skills required to enhance career growth.

FINDING 3 Almost 7 in 10 ICT professionals recognise organisation and government efforts to upgrade their skills and ensure their relevance.

Data Analytics

Security Requirement Engineering Gathering and and Management Process Design

In a job search, ICT professionals value higher salaries, career progression and work-life balance over attractive job titles, better human resource practices and work arrangement flexibility.

8%

Infastructure Architecture and Support

Project Management

Information Green Management Management

Companies

33% Can do More to Facilitate Skills Upgrading

47% Can do More to Facilitate Skills Upgrading

67% Is Doing a Good to Great Job in Facilitating Skills Upgrading

53% Is Doing a Good to Great Job in Facilitating Skills Upgrading

Popular Government Initiatives 72% 63%

58%

FINDING 5 73% of the respondents indicated that they are willing to spend up to S$2,000 annually to upgrade their skills. The survey also highlighted most popular government programmes with respondents.

IT Business Development

The Singapore Government

FINDING 4

14%

10%

SkillsFuture Credit (WDA)

Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ)

Critical Infocomm Technology Resources Programme (IDA)

51%

50%

SkillsFuture MidCareer Enhanced Subsidy (WDA)

National Infocomm Competency Framework (IDA)

Now you can stay relevant and get ahead with the suite of SCS industry-certified professional growth programmes! The programmes, which are supported and recognised by IDA and WDA, are designed to help you build on and expand your existing competencies.


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

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Unleash the Full Potential of Your Employees

S

mall and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) form 99% of all enterprises in Singapore and have an integral role to play in Singapore’s economy. Currently employing around seven out of every 10 workers, SMEs contribute nearly half of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In today’s highly competitive business environment, talent recruitment and retention is a critical success factor, which many SMEs are challenged to overcome

with the limited pool of local talent in Singapore’s tight labour market. Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) are set to form the majority of our local workforce in the years ahead. It is therefore imperative to dedicate more attention and resources to ensure that local PMETs across different age groups and income levels remain relevant and gainfully employed – potentially within SMEs offering interesting and challenging career opportunities.

To effectively match skills to opportunities, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has appointed the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME), the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) as Programme Managers (PMs) to administer their respective Place-and-Train (PnT) programmes for SMEs and PMETs under P-Max.

Why consider P-MAX? P-MAX is designed to assist SMEs to better recruit, train, manage and retain their newly-hired PMETs, encourage the adoption of progressive human resource practices within SMEs, and help to place job-seeking PMETs into suitable SME jobs. With up to 90% funding support from WDA, SMEs will only be required to pay the 10% nett course fees for the respective SME and PMETs workshops.

Funding Support ASME PnT Programme

SNEF PnT Programme

SMF PnT Programme

1-Day SME Workshop

1-Day SME Workshop

1-Day SME Workshop

3-Day PMET Workshop

2-Day PMET Workshop

2-Day PMET Workshop

Up to 90% course fee funding by WDA (for Singaporeans/PRs)

Assistance Grant SMEs will receive a one-time $5,000 Assistance Grant upon: • Successful retention of their newly-hired PMETs for at least six months upon completion of both the SME and PMET workshops under the Programme. • Endorsement by PM to have successfully completed the PMET six-month follow-up template under the Programme.

How does P-MAX work? HIRING SMEs

JOBSEEKING PMETs

1. PMETs are hired directly by SMEs 2. PMETs are jobmatched and placed into hiring SMEs through the Programme

SMEs and newly-hired PMETs

Complete respective workshops for: SMEs

PMETs

Disbursement of Assistance Grant to eligible SMEs

SMEs to retain PMET(s) and complete six-month follow-up with PM

SMEs will be guided on how to adopt progressive human resource practices


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Are you eligible for P-MAX? SMEs will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for WDA funding support: • Be registered or incorporated in Singapore • Be made up of at least 30% local shareholding • Have an annual sales turnover of not more than $100 million or employment size not exceeding 200 employees • Offer PMET jobs with a gross salary of at least $2,500

What the SMEs Say “P-MAX steers SMEs to embrace more robust and systematic human resource processes similar to that of large organisations. Embarking on P-MAX has helped us instil confidence in new employees to pursue and strive for a rewarding career with the company.”

"We are glad to be a part of P-MAX as it has helped our company in our hiring process. Through the training sessions, new staff are trained and assimilated into our working environment. Meanwhile, we also gained insights on how to set goals for our employees.” – Chua Meng Kiat, Chief Executive Officer, Akimi Technologies Pte Ltd

– Kwa Kim Chiong, Chief Executive Officer, Justlogin Pte Ltd

“As a company, we strongly believe in the ethos of lifelong learning and improvement. For our HR team, the P-MAX programme at SNEF was a brilliant complement to our pursuit of this ideology. The knowledge gleaned from P-MAX and the invaluable takeaways have enabled us to better structure our HR processes in both recruitment and retention, ensuring that the PMETs who come through our door receive nothing less than a meaningful and well-structured career path, assimilating seamlessly into the working culture.” – Kevin Lee, Director of Operation & Services, ACP Computer Training & Consultancy Pte Ltd

“Modules covered in P-MAX are relevant in helping SMEs in the ICT sector to put in place good human resource practices. For instance, the goal setting, performance management, leadership qualities and follow-up consultancy on the resource toolkit has enabled iTaz Pte Ltd to better assess our new PMETs capabilities and hold constructive feedback sessions which foster stronger employeremployee relationship.” – Andy Lin, Founder, iTaz Pte Ltd

What the PMETs Say “The P-MAX programme has helped me understand how SMEs function and their contributions to Singapore’s economy. I have also learnt the importance of my role in my company, and how goal-setting plays a vital role in an organisation.” – Ong Kay Heng Jolson, Project Manager, Reachfield IT Solutions Pte Ltd

“The P-MAX post-workshop consultancy was helpful in guiding me on career goals setting, as well as deciding on performance indicators and targets. Also, the resource kit is helpful for tracking progress and gaps, and facilitating transparent and objective performance discussions.” – Wong Chan Kwang, First Level Support Engineer, iTaz Pte Ltd

How to apply for P-MAX ASSOCIATION OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (ASME) Tel: 6513 0349 / 0350 Email: pmax@asme.org.sg www.pmax.sg

SINGAPORE NATIONAL EMPLOYERS FEDERATION (SNEF) Tel: 6827 6977 Email: p-max@snef.org.sg www.p-max.sg

SINGAPORE MANUFACTURING FEDERATION (SMF) Tel: 6826 3051 / 6826 3076 Email: p-max@smfederation.org.sg www.pmaxsingapore.com

P-MAX is a SkillsFuture initiative brought to you by


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016

What Does the Future Hold for You and I?

Technology is improving, evolving and advancing to heights none of us could have ever imagined. With a strong impact on the way we live, learn and work, it controls the way the world ticks. Our ever-changing environment renders the future increasingly uncertain with each passing day; so does the demand for us to match our abilities to the changing technology.

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t the SCS TECH3 Forum, tech professionals from all walks of life and discipline came together with the Guest of Honour, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Secretary-General of NTUC and Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, at the Four Seasons Hotel to discuss – The Need for Business Agility in the On-Demand Economy. IMPACT OF THE BANKING INDUSTRY REVOLUTION Along with representatives from other FinTech giants – Markus Gnirck, Partner & Co-founder, tryb, Dhanasekhar Damodaran, Head Core Infrastructure Services, Asia Pacific, Managing Director, Citibank, and Roy Teo, Director & Head, Technology & Innovation Lab, FinTech & Innovation Group, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Pranav Seth, Head, E-Business and Business Transformation, OCBC, discussed how tech talents could join the FinTech revolution in Asia. Additionally, Pranav urged the FinTech industry to not only focus on moving and innovating fast, but also take time to understand

consumers. Subsequently, the panel discussion led by Professor David Lee, Fintech Professor, SIM University, indicated the importance of constantly striving to improve skills while keeping minds open to change and risks – in order to stay competitive in the FinTech revolution. THE ADVENT OF THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ERA The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence in the recent years has struck the workforce with worry, and fear of losing jobs and societal positions. In addressing the subject, Vikas Verma, Principal, Performance, Reward & Talent, Aon Hewitt, shed light on how jobs reconfigure and the consequential need to improve skills to stay relevant. Building on Vikas’ observation, Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA, touched on a topic of great interest – are our jobs at risk? She clarified that while 80% of our jobs are at risk, only parts of the scope will be fully replaced. Specifically, Jacqueline proposed to prepare for the

revolution by investing time and effort to improve skills in areas of cyber security, software development, data analytics, network engineering, etc. OUR FUTURE IS IN OUR HANDS Aptly rounding up the discussion, Janet Ang, Vice President, IBM Asia Pacific, pointed out that, it is our mindset, the hunger to keep improving, the willingness to embrace change with an open mind and to take risks, which will save us from falling behind and rendering ourselves irrelevant. Other speakers, including Dr Alex Lin, Head, Infocomm Investments, and Quek Siu Rui, Co-Founder, Carousell, also provided invaluable advice on how to survive the revolutionary changes technology brings. It is clear – to survive in the future, we must be “agile and adaptive, compassionate and caring”. For which, Henry Ford’s quote perceptively sums up, “Man minus the machine is a slave; man plus the machine is a freeman.”


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An Afternoon of Unwinding on the Greens: SCS Golf Day 2016

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t the SCS Golf Day 2016, over 180 avid golfers, beginners and enthusiasts alike abandoned their office attire and donned their dri-fit polos and favourite golf caps for a day of friendly golf competition at Orchid Country Club. Spending an idyllic Friday afternoon on the greens was the perfect way to unwind from a long, hectic week of work, catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

WINNERS OF SCS GOLF DAY 2016 Individual Tournament Prizes Dendro – Vanda Course Winner

Jacy Jeng

2nd

Beni Sia

3

Perry Sui

4

Wee Tew Lim

5

Andy Poh

rd

th

th

Vanda – Aranda Course Winner

Raymond Chee

2

Daniel Poon

3

Thomas Chu

4th

Listar

5th

Lee Heng

nd rd

Aranda – Dendro Course Winner

Lim Keng Hoe

2

John Tiong

3rd

Francis Ling

4

Ng Thien Guan

5

Mui Chee Leong

nd

th

th

Best Gross Lim Keng Hoe

Despite an unforeseen afternoon downpour, spirits were not dampened. Golfers gave their all for the nine holes played, as well as the Hole-In-One for a chance to walk away with a brand new Audi A4 1.4. Indeed, over the years, the annual event has grown to become one of the most anticipated events amongst the infocomm community. The event ended on a merry note with the golfers having a hearty, well-deserved dinner at the Peach Garden restaurant.

The Guest of Honour, Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower also joined the dinner where many attractive prizes – including the latest notebooks, tablets, digital cameras, vouchers, sports gadgets, liquor, etc – were given out during the lucky draw segment. Thanks to the great support from all SCS members, organisers, leaders and generous sponsors, SCS Golf Day 2016 was a booming success. We look forward to seeing you again next year!


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Chilling Out with Great Company

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ver 150 SCS members got together on 28 July 2016 to kick back and enjoy the company of tech professionals and industry partners. Besides tantalising canapĂŠs and drinks, the evening wore on with guests exchanging hearty handshakes, establishing new connections and strengthening old ties. The sponsor of the evening, Red Hat Asia Pacific Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dirk-Peter Van Leeuwen, also took the stage to share his vision of nextgeneration leaders created through open style management. The significance of the SCS Chill Out Night went beyond good food and times to celebrate the forging of new friendships and partnerships.

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2016


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Applauding Young Talents

#LATEST@SCS

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ach year, through SCS Medals and Awards, we honour outstanding talents from Singapore’s tertiary institutions for their achievements and efforts in promoting academic excellence. Our heartiest congratulations go to the following winners this year for their hard work and perseverance!

NANYANG POLYTECHNIC Award SCS Award for Outstanding Project Work SCS Award for Outstanding Project Work SCS Outstanding IT Youth Achievement Award SCS Outstanding IT Youth Achievement Award

Course Diploma in Information Technology Diploma in Financial Informatics Diploma in Information Technology Diploma in Financial Informatics

Recipient Perh Zhi Hao Lim Li Xin Neo Hui Yu Glenice Tan Yu Xin

Course Diploma in Information Technology

Recipient Ong Chong You

Diploma in Information Technology Diploma in Animation & 3D Arts Prize Award

Isaac Hong An Jie Tan Jia Xin

SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC Award SCS Silver Medal SCS Silver Medal SCS Silver Medal

Course Diploma in Business Information Technology Diploma in Infocomm Security Management Diploma in Information Technology

Recipient Winson Ee Yong Wei Preshant Dayan Achuthan Siti Heryani Binte Tahir

TEMASEK POLYTECHNIC Award SCS Special Industry Prize

Course Diploma in Information Technology

Recipient Goi Jia Jian

NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC Award SCS Most Outstanding Student in Cloud Computing Specialisation SCS Silver Medal & Prize SCS Most Outstanding Student in Internship

“The road to success is paved with difficulties, yet filled with even more helping hands. The credit for receiving the SCS Outstanding IT Youth Achievement Award goes to everyone who has guided me along the way. Thank you very much for positively impacting my learning journey. Each of these actions, big and small, has enriched my life.” Glenice Tan Yu Xin

“I have always aspired to become an impactful illustrator/visual communicator who can inspire and communicate ideas to my viewers. This recognition from SCS has given me the confidence to continue in the design and art industry. I thank Ngee Ann Polytechnic for acknowledging my capabilities.” Tan Jia Xin

“I have always had an interest in IT but was unsure how I will fit into the industry. Singapore Polytechnic gave me an opportunity to experience it first-hand and receiving the SCS Silver Medal gave me the confidence that IT is indeed the correct field for me.” Winson Ee Yong Wei

“Being in the IT field has given me opportunities to bring ideas to life, and improve lives of people. I am humbled to receive the SCS Special Industry Prize, as it is a testament of my passion and hard work. It will continue to spur me further to succeed in the IT industry.” Goi Jia Jian


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We’ve Launched Enterprise Architecture SIG! In the digital era, IT projects are no longer limited to the delivery of hardware and software within predefined scope, time and budget. Instead, they have to fulfill business and architecture objectives.

T

his gives rise to increasing interest in the Enterprise Architecture (EA) discipline, which encourages integration and collaboration between business and IT teams to deliver business value and IT agility. In tandem with these developments, SCS launched the EA SIG on 4 August 2016.

cited recent IDA CITREP+ briefings (April 2016) and Gartner 2016 reports to reinforce the relevance of EA in the digital era. He also took the opportunity to share his personal experience and observation about the current industry practices. Rounding up the lively session, Aaron said, “Enterprise Architecture can be a lonely function, and we hope the SIG provides a platform for fellow architects to ‘talk shop’ and encourage each other.”

Addressing an eclectic mix of IT professionals at the EA SIG launch, EA SIG Committee Chairman Aaron Tan

From right: Ong Chin Ann (SCS SIG Board Chairman) with EA SIG members Stewart Tay, Aaron Tan, Peter Tan, Koay Seng Tian, Chua Siu Cheng and Alecia Heng.

Join the next EA SIG event, tentatively scheduled for November, to find out more about EA and participate in the “EA as a Career Choice” forum.

SCS EVENTS 2016 SEP

23 OCT

Cloud 101 Series: The SME Market for Cloud Computing in Asia Pacific

SEP

27 OCT

10

Keys to Successful Software Testing & Management

OCT

Drone Videography

OCT

22 NOV

12

12 24-25

Business Leadership Seminar

NOV

19

ASCENT Series: A Smarter Supply Chain with IoT Launch of SCS Career Compass

Secure Software Development Model

SEP

28 OCT

18-20 OCT

Data Quality Metrics for DaaS Customers

Keys to Successful IT Project Implementation

NOV

31 - 1

Secure Software Development for Banking & Finance

SCS Mentoring Series: Career Crossroad Options & Opportunities

The event listing provided above is correct at the time of printing. You are encouraged to visit the SCS website for any updates and latest information about the events.


Putting IT Leaders At The Forefront of Technology

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Cyber Security Risk Management

Managing Innovations with Security

Modern Cyber Security Technologies for Senior Managers

Course Overview: This course introduces the concepts and terminanologies in cyber security to participants with no technical background or prior knowledge of the field. It also brings the participants up-to-date on the latest cyber threat landscape, and enables them to better understand and appreciate cyber security

Course Overview: Solidly anchored on the sound principles of Security, Privacy and Resiliency by Design, this course covers key concerns from cyber security or IT leaders when managing their new IT developments, operational risks and innovation challenges.

Course Overview: This course offers a comprehensive coverage of all strategic transformations in the current cyber security landscape and explains how the implementation strategy could be quickly internalised, communicated and then converted into fast action.

Speaker: Prof. Yu Chien Siang

Speaker: Prof. Yu Chien Siang

Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), Quann, business unit of Certis CISCO

Chief Innovation Officer (CIO), Quann, business unit of Certis CISCO

Speaker: Dr. Vrizlynn Thing Lead of Cyber Security & Intelligence (CSI) R&D Department Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR

Date: 13, 14 & 15 September 2016 Course Fee: S$1926.00

(inclusive of 7% GST)

Date: 21, 22 & 23 September 2016 Course Fee: S$2407.50

(inclusive of 7% GST)

Date: 3, 4 & 5 October 2016 Course Fee: S$2407.50

(inclusive of 7% GST)


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GEEK SPEAK

25

FIELD REPORTS from the Helpless Desk

Skills for Surviving the Future By Franky Siow

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i there, it’s me Franky again. The tech world truly never ceases to move forward. Not too long ago, we were just talking about IoT (Internet of Things) and now – everyone’s gone mad about AR/ VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) no thanks to those cute Pokemon from the land of the rising sun. Wait – let me catch that Bulbasaur first! Done! I didn’t grow up with Pokemon, so less than three months ago, my Pokemon knowledge is probably as much as what I know of those otters at Marina Bay and Bishan Park. And if this is any indication of the speed we can be transported into the future, the future is really anyone’s guess. That’s a scary realisation – our job and our role in the modern society, what will happen to them? Well, with inspiration from the Kiwi barista turned Full-time Pokemon Trainer, I have come to a few conclusions on how we can secure our future.

Find a Way to be Famous If your day job as a barista (or Helpdesk Analyst) bores you – invent a new job! Think “Candy Crusher”, “Pokemon Trainer”, etc, and if you can make the older folks shake their head and the younger crowd sees you as an inspiration, lagi best (“even better” in Singlish)! The whole idea is to get famous. Then you can monetise your fame.

Find Means for Your Resume to be Easily Located And now for some serious stuff – the secret to having a constant stream of headhunters and recruiters call you is to include a “Keyword Section” in your resume. Put in every single software package, technology, tool, hype-word that you know (and have ever used). With the “lure” in place, it’s time to sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

Find Outrageous Things to do that People will Pay for Instead of sitting at the Helpless Desk taking calls from hapless users asking silly questions and for their passwords to be reset, I should go be a blogger – review food, fashion or lifestyle stuff. In this way, I can lead the fashion trend, eat for free and be sponsored for everything I use – taking the cue from a certain XX – except that I’m reluctant to bleach my hair and go under the knife to reconstruct my face. Gosh – talk about occupational hazard!

Word of caution: Don’t overdo it else you might end up entertaining recruiters the whole day. Because these recruiters all hunt at LinkedIn, JobStreet and Monster.com; and they are all really good at “Keyword Search”. According to reliable sources, they even know how to use “Boolean Logic” to filter out unwanted keywords. Yes – that’s how advanced these recruiters are. So there you go – the secret weapons to surviving the future. Wait…I got to go, my phone is ringing… it’s a strange number – maybe from another headhunter? Who knows!


SCS Magazine 2016 Issue 3  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2016 Issue 3

SCS Magazine 2016 Issue 3  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2016 Issue 3

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