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THE

MCI (P) 112/07/2017

ADAPT AND GROW 02 Tips on Surviving a Career Switch

SOCIETY

04 How to Foster a Future-ready Workplace

The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

06 Making IT Possible for Women

Issue

03 2017


Contents

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

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

EDITOR’S MESSAGE

POWER BOOST

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Can’t Find a Job? Start a Revolution!

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Ready to Race Against Technology?

Are You Built to Survive the Jungle Out There?

THE BIG IDEA 02

Tips on Surviving a Career Switch

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How to Foster a Future-ready Workplace

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Making IT Possible for Women

SPOTLIGHT 08

Tan Choon Shian Chats about Adapt and Grow

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Kate Lim Shares Personal Experience in Switching Careers

#LATEST@SCS 19

Top 10 Best Tech Companies to Work For Announced

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SCS Golf Day 2017

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First ITYC Tech & Tonic Session

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SCS Upcoming Events

GEEK SPEAK 25

Flavours of IT

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

This issue is published in collaboration with

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The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

9:41 AM

It’s a Jungle Out There – How Will You Survive?

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e are all familiar with Darwin’s idea of evolution and natural selection. If Darwin were alive today and see how things are changing faster and faster, he may have second thoughts about the phrase, “Survival of the Fittest” and used something like “Survival of the Most Adaptable” instead.

However, landing a new career is hardly a “happily ever after” ending these days. Technology will continue to race ahead and, regardless of your personal preferences, we are all signed up for the same race. There is really only one way to stay in the game – adapt and grow to become a better, smarter and faster runner!

The change momentum shows no sign of letting up – jobs that were once yours and mine have now been taken over by machines; and skills and experience that were once valued have become our liability to successfully transit to the next career. But before you think it is impossible to survive this volatile landscape, you might just want to learn a tip or two from Kate Lim, Tinkerbox Studios, on how she did it and come out stronger and better. Or maybe, this could well be your opportunity to ditch the nine-to-five job and go out there to start a revolution!

Fortunately, the race is not ours alone. Companies and the whole tech industry are faced with the same predicament. Learning and growing has become an important part of corporate DNA; and work cultures that are inclusive, collaborative and people-focused have become integral to business strategies. For which, our Best Tech Company to Work For Award winners can attest to.

Undecided which is you? Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive of Workforce Singapore, and his team are ready to lend a helping hand with their comprehensive programmes to get you back on track. Alternatively, our SCS Career Compass is also available to connect you to opportunities and help you find your true north.

EDITOR Tan Teng Cheong CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chionh Yi Ling Vladyslav Koshelyev Lau Yin Cheng Yao Shih Jih

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

So with no exception, you can expect that The IT Society will also continue to adapt and grow to bring to you relevant industry news and robust tech coverage. Enjoy!

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

FEEDBACK We value your feedback for 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

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017

Tips on Surviving a Career Switch Changing careers is always a worrying time. Are we well equipped to cope with today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous digital environment? What can we do to safeguard our new career?

W LAU YIN CHENG Member, SCS Chairman, SCS Career Compass Steering Committee

hile there is no one answer to the above questions, we can possibly look for solutions by first studying the environment and then searching within ourselves. Chances are, many probabilities and possibilities discovered along the way will translate into valuable opportunities. THE WORLD IS CHANGING – SO CAN WE! If a lily leaf in a pond doubles itself each day (1, 2, 4…), and the pond is full of leaves on Day 30. The pond is half filled with leaves on Day 29. If the leaf is an opportunity, by the time people realise it on Day 29, they will have only one day to react. The world today is characterised by exponential changes like the growth of a lily leaf. What we see now as mere handful of jobs or assignments or gig will become mainstream sooner than we think. Therefore, sensing early and

responding swiftly is key to success in career transition. POSSIBILITIES ARE LIMITED ONLY BY OUR IMAGINATION There are two ways to arrange two objects, six ways to arrange three objects, and 3,628,800 or 10 X 9 X 8 X 7 X 6 X 5 X 4 X 3 X 1 ways to arrange 10 objects. Possibilities multiply as the world gets more interconnected. Therefore, as long as we remain open-minded to explore, adapt and innovate, and have faith that there are solutions to problems, it is easy to realise that many new jobs and new ways to earn a living have emerged in the past few years. And these possibilities continue to grow. THE WORLD IS THE WAY IT IS BECAUSE OF OUR PERCEPTION The last time the human brain had a major upgrade was about 120,000 years


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THE BIG IDEA

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About SCS Career Compass

Let SCS be your career companion. • Receive guidance from experience SCS ICT career mentors • Gain insights at career workshops and seminars • Access job opportunities via career fairs, job portals and career centres It is designed to help you take the next step in your career journey. For more info, visit http://bit.do/scsCareerCompass

ago. Much has changed since then. The information complexity and the resulting emotional stress that the human brain needs to deal with is vastly beyond what we can comfortably handle today. That is why when faced with infinite possibilities in a fast changing world, our limited human brains experience the world as a reflection of our beliefs, attitudes, and values. Thus, in order to fully maximise the potential offered by an interconnected world, we should explore all opportunities openly and bravely rather than focusing on a couple. Whoever says our skills can only be on hire by one company and not a few on a shared basis? THE RIGHT MINDSET IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION A change in how we see the world makes the world occur to us differently and hence we act differently. It is therefore important to be mindful of our

emotions and thoughts and consciously adopt the ones which are helpful for our circumstances. For instance, when confronted with an unexpected job loss, instead of rushing to find the next job, we should take some time off to reflect and do things we have always wanted such as spending time with our family – giving our emotional wounds time to heal – if financial resources allow. However, if the situation disallows, emotions should still be kept in check before applying for a job or going for an interview because it is counter productive to go into an interview or a new job feeling fearful and anxious. WE ARE THE ADVANTAGE WE NEED TO GET AHEAD Nature shows that animals who have developed a unique edge, adapting to the changes in the external environment, survive as a species. Similarly, to stay relevant, each of us needs to find our edge,

and continuously practise and strengthen it. Besides frequently taking stock of our strongest skills and how they can apply to the environment we operate in, we should also stay abreast of new trends and learn new skills by doing projects in these areas to maintain our advantage. THE LAW OF PROBABILITY ALWAYS APPLIES As long as we diligently embrace a positive mindset, and keep a strong edge and keen attitude towards exploring possibilities, the law of probability suggests that repeated actions will eventually bring about a good outcome. Each setback is not a mistake or failure, but an opportunity to learn about ourselves, the job market and other possibilities, like the gig economy. So let’s keep our heads up and keep going – no matter the challenges – because it is a matter of time before we realise our envisioned future.


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THE BIG IDEA

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017

How to Foster a Future-ready Workplace Most work today is team-based, collaborative and with a greater emphasis on technological competence, social interaction, communication and information flow. However, organisations may not always be able to recruit the perfect person for the job on hand. What should organisations do when faced with such situations?

YAO SHIH JIH Executive Vice President/ General Manager, ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems) SCS Best Tech Company to Work For, 2017

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s Singapore leverages technology to drive our Smart Nation initiatives, there is a continuous need to build a pool of manpower with critical skill sets and domain knowledge to support these initiatives. ST Electronics, a leading info-communication technology (ICT) solutions provider in Asia with over 40 years of experience driving innovation in Intelligent Transportation, Satellite Communications and ICT, actively puts in place a series of holistic workplace practices to ensure that we have the right mix of human capital required to thrive in today’s digital economy. Here, we share some of our best practices:

PUT PEOPLE AS OUR PRIORITY ST Electronics’ leading position in innovation hinges on the deep experience and knowledge of our employees whom we value – first as an individual, then as an employee. Recognising the importance of attracting, developing and retaining employees of diversified profiles and skill sets, we make it a point to ensure that every employee is competently equipped with the right skill and knowledge to be personally and professionally fulfilled every time he or she takes on and completes a job. BUILD A CONTINUOUS LEARNING WORK CULTURE Faced with an ageing population, a critical skill shortage for smart city initiatives, a growing demand for new skills as well as an international competition for human capital, ST Electronics has chosen to cast the net

wider by seeking out new hires who have the capacity to learn new skills and retrain existing employees who have the potential to take on new roles. Through the design of training programmes which are suitable for the career development and growth requirements of each employee, we encourage and motivate new and existing employees to embrace continuous learning and development throughout their career. Beyond equipping employees with the appropriate technical skills and knowledge, we also look to strengthen their other skillsets through numerous creativity and innovation platforms. Some examples include Ideas Generating Platforms, Exploratory Incubation Funding, Community of Good Practices, Technology Open House, Sharing Sessions and Thought Leadership Sessions.


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THE BIG IDEA

A SUCCESSFUL MID-CAREER SWITCHER – ROYSTON ONG After leaving the civil service which he had served for 17 years, Royston Ong held short stints in consultancy and sales before joining ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems) in May 2016. As a Deputy Department Manager, his responsibilities include project management and planning. Currently involved in wireless sensor projects, Royston forms the interface between the customer and ST Electronics’ technical team to ensure seamless communication, successful and timely completion of projects.

EMPOWER EFFECTIVE TEAMWORK In line with increasing demand for teamwork and collaborations, we have developed and conducted a series of in-house workshops titled “Awareness and Soft Skills for Effective Team (ASSET) Management”, where members of our management team personally share their work experiences and advise on useful soft skills for more effective team dynamics. INSPIRE A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP As a leading ICT technology solutions provider, our employees are constantly creating and developing new and innovative Smart City and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that make significant differences to people’s lives. These include seamless mobility solutions to enhance travelling experiences, integrated safety and security to ensure peace of mind, as well as smart connectivity that fosters a deeper sense of community engagement and empowerment for residents and communities. At ST Electronics, we make sure our employees not only see how their roles build towards the end results, but also the positive difference they make to our present and future generations.

The orientation and induction programmes as well as the e-learning platform provided Royston a quick start to understanding the company’s products and solutions, culture, business focus, administrative procedures and staff welfare. ST Electronics’ welldocumented and organised wealth of information has also guided Royston seamlessly through his new role of project management and implementation – from pre-sales to systems, products and services commissioning. In addition, the company’s “Buddy System” for new employees provided a robust all-rounded feedback channel in the form of constant dialogues between Royston, his buddy and peers, helping them understand each other’s thoughts, skill sets and challenges faced. As a result, Royston’s learning process was fast tracked, and his job competency, productivity and confidence were also enhanced, enabling him to better adapt to his role within the company. Notably, since joining the company, Royston has gone through intensive on-the-job training, attended technology sharing sessions, as well as interpersonal, financial and project management training programmes to strengthen his skills.

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THE BIG IDEA

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Making IT Possible for Women It is no secret that the tech industry is male dominated. But surely more can be done to attract women to join the tech industry.

CHIONH YI LING Country Human Resources Director, IBM Singapore SCS Best Tech Company to Work For, 2017

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hen asked to comment on how IBM supports women in technology, images of “Hidden Figures” – a movie set in 1961 at NASA – flashed before me. The movie was about how three minority women managed to succeed against all odds on their technology mission, enabling John Glenn to become the first American astronaut to orbit the earth with the help of an early IBM mainframe. The movie invoked a deep sense of institutional pride within me. I am proud not just because IBM was featured in the movie but because IBM has been and continues to be a forerunner in promoting women leaders in our Science and Technology industry domain and beyond. REALISING WOMEN’S FULL POTENTIAL At IBM, we always have leadership development programmes specially designed to help women IBMers create our leadership journey as well as build relationship and influence. These

programmes are central to enabling women to take the stage and be the vanguard of our area of expertise. In addition, our new personalised learning platform, “Your Learning”, allows easy access to hot learning topics, many of which are in the form of e-learning and virtual classroom lessons. The result is women IBMers can upgrade, stay relevant and advance our skills 24/7. PROVIDING SUPPORT BEYOND WORK Besides career and developmental programmes, there are also specific initiatives that support women employees at the workplace. For example, our medical benefits cover prenatal consultations/medications and support in vitro fertilisation. At the same time, each office locale has nursing room facilities and milk delivery services, which proves to be a boon for our female colleagues in larger geographical areas like the Philippines and US.

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017


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THE BIG IDEA

07

In Singapore, we frequently see news and social media emphasising the importance of fair employment practices. In IBM, embracing diversity is fundamental to our values. That is why, all women IBMers have ready access to programmes and materials which help us uncover unconscious bias in the workplace. EMPOWERING FLEXIBILITY IN WORK ARRANGEMENT However, to me, it is the IBM culture of empowerment for employees to manage our work and time that truly matters and makes the difference. Many working women often feel torn between an impossible choice: work or family. Given the flexibility to make our own work arrangements, we can effectively optimise both personal and professional productivity. It is never a problem for women IBMers to work from home if home is where we need to be. This may be for reasons such as to keep an eye on the young ones when school is off – Children’s Day, Youth Day, examination marking days, etc – or when the elderly at home need assistance. This flexibility is essential in enabling women IBMers to balance everything that is important to us.

How Technology Supports Women IBMers App-based performance review system “Checkpoint” promotes short term goals setting and a culture of continuous feedback. Personalised learning platform “Your Learning” allows easy access to hot learning topics 24/7, many of which are in the form of e-learning and virtual classroom lessons. Collaborative tools – cloud video conferencing, online meetings, cross platform group chats, unified phone systems and enterprise instant messaging – support off-site work collaborations.

Cloud based mobile enabled Human Resource tools facilitate transactions such as personal information updates, leave application, expense claims, etc.


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SPOTLIGHT

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What’s in it to Help Tech Professionals Adapt and Grow?

Amidst concerns from employers about manpower crunch, mid-career tech professionals are also increasingly finding it a challenge to land suitable jobs. Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive, Workforce Singapore (WSG), shares how the agency is going the extra mile to bring employers and jobseekers together, and also ensure compatibility and complementarity between employers and jobseekers.

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017

TAN CHOON SHIAN Chief Executive, Workforce Singapore Age: 51 Earliest Tech Experience: Computer Club in Secondary One Tech Achievement: Hacked the first game one year after joining the Computer Club Currently Reading: The Revenge of Geography by Robert D. Kaplan Pet Topic of the Moment: Intrinsic motivation

Q: Question, CS: Choon Shian ON MISSED MATCHES ON MISMATCHES Q: We’ve been reading a lot about “missed matches” in Ministry of Manpower’s reports. What does “missed matches” mean and what is WSG doing to help reduce its occurrence? CS: Missed matches are like lost opportunities. The jobseeker has what the employer needs – job skills and soft skills like work attitude, and the employer has what the jobseeker wants – salary, work conditions, growth opportunities. But somehow, the two are unable to connect. To help reduce the occurrence of missed matches, WSG has increased the opportunities to match and connect both jobseekers and employers through career fairs, talks, events and virtual channels such as the Jobs Bank. Our career coaches at WSG’s Careers Connect also help to match suitable jobseekers to hiring employers.

Q: How does job mismatches affect the tech industry? CS: Mismatches arise when there is a gap between what jobseekers want and what employers are looking for. This gap could arise from different skills, wages and/or job expectations, and the trend of mismatches might increase as the workforce ages. The tech industry, driven by a high rate of technology disruptions, moves faster than other sectors. As a result, there are always new jobs requiring new skills in the sector. Because of this, skills gaps develop quickly in the technology sector. Those few that have the appropriate skills might be poached by others quickly. This doesn’t improve the situation, so to help employers, WSG looks at improving the overall capability of skilled professionals, and works together with partners such


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

as the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Singapore Computer Society (SCS) to train up these pools of professionals. Q: What help is WSG providing to minimise mismatches? CS: To address the problem of skills mismatches, we have Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP) to help tech professionals convert from one job to another. Being a fast-moving industry, it is common for employers in the tech industry to not be able to find jobseekers who possess the exact skills they need. We encourage employers to take on new employees, including experienced mature professionals who may not have the skills to do the job now, but have the aptitude and are willing to be trained on the job. Through the PCP, WSG will fund a portion of their salary during the training period. The idea is to take very experienced people, deepen their domain knowledge and top them up with new skills. At the end of the PCP, the company will have very experienced new staff; and the industry will gain more professionals with deep domain knowledge and skills. Another aspect that WSG tries to address is the wage mismatch. Quite often, we see experienced professionals who have done well in their past job positions having certain salary expectations. While employers recognise the value

SPOTLIGHT

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these jobseekers bring, they may eventually select a candidate with lower salary expectations to manage cost considerations. Employers facing this dilemma can tap on the Career Support Programme (CSP) which provides wage support for a while to help employers bear part of the financial risk of taking on an experienced jobseeker. In some cases, with the CSP, the salary support for employers to hire mature jobseekers could amount up to $42,000 over a period of 18 months. ON ADAPT AND GROW Q: Are there any programmes that address the rising gig economy? CS: Under WSG’s Adapt and Grow initiative, there is a whole suite of programmes to help individuals adapt and grow in this new economy. Particularly, the PCP Attach and Train (AnT) mode is one such programme designed to help employers who are not ready to make official job offers but require professional help when there are projects. In the digital media industry where there are many freelancing assignments, PCP (AnT) allows individuals to learn new skills; and companies to get help from skilled professionals; and the industry at large grows – a winning outcome for all.

The workforce and employer landscape is adjusting and will continue to adjust. I’m optimistic that in the future, a different employment landscape will arise where everyone is valued based on skills, and not age. This is a work in progress and we are working hard on it. I also want to encourage tech professionals to stay relevant. Every now and then, please visit the WSG website, visit Jobs Bank, and learn about the skills in demand. This will give you a sense of how the labour market is shifting so that when the time comes, you are better prepared. Keeping updated on the labour market will give you a sense of where the new jobs are and what the new skills are. Some of the jobseekers whom we are assisting are at a loss because they never thought of looking for a job. And now that they have to, they realise that their knowledge of the labour market is outdated. The whole economy is transforming, business models, companies, and competition are also changing. This means everyone in the workforce has to learn something new and do something new to adapt and grow.

Q: What advice would you give to tech professionals to adapt and grow in this changing landscape? CS: Singapore’s population is ageing.

“The tech industry is a fast moving industry, and it will continue to be so. Individuals interested in the sector have to be comfortable with the idea that they need to constantly adapt to the challenges and grow with the opportunities once they join the sector. While this impacts all working professionals, it is especially so for professionals in the tech sector.”

What is a quote you live by?

What is one thing you love about being a boss?

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What attributes do you value in an employee?

What is one gadget you cannot leave your house without?


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SPOTLIGHT

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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017

Confessions of a Flight Attendant Turned Techie KATE LIM Product Manager, Tinkerbox Studios SCS Best Tech Company to Work For, 2017 Age: 31 Memorable Tech Experience: Buying and selling merchandise online at the age of 25 Currently Reading: The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly Currently Watching: Netflix “Madam Secretary� Current Pet Topic: User experience design

Statistics suggest that an average person will make at least five career switches during his/her working life. And this number is set to increase with the changing economic landscape. In this issue, The IT Society speaks to Kate Lim, Product Manager of Tinkerbox Studios, to find out her motivation for choosing a very different career path and how she successfully transited from being an industry outsider to insider. Q: Question, KL: Kate Lim Q: What prompted you to join the tech industry? KL: My interest for all things tech can be traced back to my varsity days. It regularly came up in conversations between my friends and I. Subsequently, when I was working as a flight attendant, I sold things online to supplement my income. That further cemented my affiliation with the tech industry. However, the real turning point came after I joined the TechLadies Bootcamp. The eight-week programme equipped me with basic coding knowledge, which I further advanced during my five-month internship at Tinkerbox before taking on the role of Product Manager. While there were some low points during this journey, it has been mostly enjoyable and I continue to feel challenged and excited about the work I do today.

Q: Can you share some challenges faced when you first entered the industry? KL: Unlike the pharmaceutical industry where systems are well entrenched, the tech industry is fast moving. It is not unusual for professionals specialising in one tech stack to not know anything about another stack; so you can imagine that having only gone through two months of basic coding training is barely enough to be proficient. Thankfully, we get very good support at Tinkerbox. We were given two weeks of intensive training before we were set on any projects. In addition, the good balance of collaboration and autonomy in the workplace culture encourages openness within the team and a strong sense of ownership. The culture of active feedback, fail fast, learn fast and

repeat is integral to Tinkerbox, which hires based on ability, potential and willingness to contribute to the team. Q: What kept you going despite these challenges? KL: There are many things to like about the tech industry, community and, last but not least, my work here at Tinkerbox. Compared to my previous jobs where roles were more defined with less insight to my impact to the company and the society, my current work offers a direct feedback channel that allows me to positively influence end user experience and make a difference. Being able to see that big picture is important; it inspires me to do more and better. Of course, it also helps that the tech community is close-knit and supportive.


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Simply knowing that there are many like-minded people who are not only passionate about bringing the community forward but also willing to share their knowledge and experience is comforting. And at the heart of it all, Tinkerbox embodies the same spirit of openness. Everyone here is like a family or a friend. We are always ready to share candid feedback, ask hard questions or seek help. To a large extent, I attribute my successful transition into the tech industry to this inclusive environment. Last but not least, the hope to apply my skills to bring about tech solutions in the medical, clean energy or education space in the longer term also underpins my determination to power on. Q: In what ways were your past work experiences from other industries helpful? KL: Through my stint as a flight attendant, I have learnt to communicate and engage with people

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SPOTLIGHT

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“Whether you are a new entrant to the tech industry or a veteran taking on a new scope, it is inevitable to feel uncertain. I have learnt from personal experience that it is always more productive to use that time and energy to work on building value you can bring to the team than to doubt yourself and feel worried.�

from diverse backgrounds. Beyond which, having to work with different crew members on different flights had also taught me the importance of teamwork. Then, in my prior sales job, I learnt to build strong relationships with people and the importance of being systematic and organised. These are all good skills that I actively adapt and adopt in my current course of work. Q: What is a useful advice for fellow mid-career switchers? KL: Joining the tech industry is serendipity. My being here at Tinkerbox, affirms that even though our varying

career choices at different stages of our lives may seem unrelated and irrelevant at a glance, we should stay open to possibilities and embrace opportunities. Because although we may not know where they will lead us to, but as long as we stay connected and visible to the community, remain curious and keep learning, it will come a full circle. That said, if what is holding you back is uncertainty about the tech industry, I will encourage you to go out there, get exposed and feel the pulse by immersing yourself in the community – talk to people, ask questions and attend events.


OPEN THE DOOR TO NEW CAREER OPPORTUNITIES.

Career Guidance Career Transition Job Search The Adapt and Grow suite of programmes can help open doors to a fulfilling career. All you have to do is to take the first step. adaptandgrow.sg | 6883 5885


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POWER BOOST

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If You Can’t Find a Job, Start a Revolution! We’ve always been told that to achieve success, we must persist – no matter how bad the situation is – because success may be just around the corner. What’s not obvious from this advice is that not giving up doesn’t mean doing the same thing over and over again (and expecting a different result).

TAN TENG CHEONG Fellow, SCS Chairman, SCS Committee on the Future Economy – SCS as a Marketplace Founder, BetterIDEAS

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et me pose a question to the mid-career folks who are affected by restructuring or retrenchment: How long should one try to find a job before giving up? Is it after 500 unsuccessful job applications? Or 12 months of fruitless search? No one knows. But a sobering fact is: Many of these folks become more and more disillusioned as the situation drags out. Concurrently, prospective employers also increasingly deem them to be unemployable as days go by. Truth is many of these people possess skills of good economic value. Therefore, it is a waste of talent and resources for them to be out of the workforce at the national level! On the personal level, the loss of regular income also has adverse repercussions on household and personal consumption expenditure – there goes all the talk about economic revitalisation. Yet there is hope. I’ve seen folks in transition successfully mitigate and circumvent this situation by making revolutionary moves. And you can do the same too!

1

Start a Business. We are in Singapore – the easiest place in the world to start a business. All it takes is less than $500 and one day. The only difficult parts in the process are to find a “company name” that is not already taken and decide on the format of the entity – “Sole Proprietor”, “Partnership” or “Private Limited Company”. Once those are out of the way, you would have taken your first step from being an employee with ONE customer (i.e. your employer) to a service provider with multiple clients.

2

Define Your Service Offerings. As a tech professional, you have skills that are valuable. But do you know what they are? List them down on paper and elaborate with a line or two on what delivering the expertise entails.

3

Price Your Service. As an employee, your employer determines how much you are paid. But when you are a service provider, you decide the value of your service. Start by figuring out what would be the most suitable pricing model. Should it be based on a fixed or a variable (time and material cost) rate? Then decide on a price – your last drawn pay vis-à-vis the volume of service delivered can serve as reference points.

4

Go to Market – Find an Effective Pitch to Win. How do you reach out to your target customer segments? Sometimes it could be simple and direct. Other times, you may need to work with their existing service providers and be a part of their service delivery team first.

5

Deliver the Work. Self-explanatory. But don’t just do good work; do GREAT WORK. This will not only encourage repeat purchase of your service, but also build goodwill that may translate into other new business.

6

Get Paid. Sounds like common sense? You’ll be surprised to know that it is not unusual for people to get so carried away by the actual work itself that they overlook payment collection.

If the above sounds too overwhelming or that you’ll like someone to walk the journey together with you, explore finding a “Platform Company” that is willing to host you and help you through Steps 1 to 5.

After spending more than 25 years in technical and leadership positions with various MNCs in the tech industry, Teng Cheong (“TC”) founded BetterIDEAS Pte Ltd to help connect Better Candidates/Consultants to Better Clients. He’s currently on a revolution to assist mid-career professionals transit from being employees to service providers. Reach him at tc.tan@BetterIDEAS.com.sg


Technology Management| Think STMI

The Essentials of Product Management (for the Enterprise)

NICF - Business Intelligence Analytics

Creative and Effective Data Visualisation

30, 31 October & 1 November 2017

1, 2 & 3 November 2017

Mastering the Role of Products in the Digital Era.

The course will introduce participants to the essentials of business intelligence.

Our Enterprise IT needs have traditionally been served through a common process of problem identification, requirement engineering, solution development and deployment followed by operations support. The entire value chain involves multiple parties often using a mix of insource, outsource and co-source models. Project management as a process and discipline has helped the IT professional in delivering the solutions with to attempt to meet the timeline, budget and scope.

Participant will be exposed to popular data mining algorithms and learn how to apply those algorithms for business applications such as sales forecasting, target marketing, customer relationship management, market basket analysis and campaign effectiveness.

Data visualisation involves the creation and study of the visual representation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. It enables people to understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context and help decision makers understand difficult concepts or identify new patterns.

There will be hands-on training with BI tools for performing business analytics, mining business data and measuring business performance.

Information can be communicated clearly, efficiently and effectively via statistical graphics, plots and information graphics. Numerical data may be encoded using dots, lines, or bars, to visually communicate a quantitative message.

Despite the matured project management discipline, businesses are still finding that their needs are insufficiently met with the solutions.

Several real-world cases of BI applications in domains such as marketing, finance and travel will be discussed

There will be hands-on training with excel data visualisation features, SAS Visual Analytics and Tableau

25 & 26 October 2017

Speaker: Mr. Iqbal Siraj Course fee: S$963.00

Speaker: Dr. James Pang Dr. Feng Mengling Course fee: S$1,368.00*

* SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy

Speaker: Dr. Kish Ranai Course fee: S$2,568.00


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Are You Ready to Race Against Technology?

Will machines come for your current job someday? The answer is “yes” – and soon. There is only one way to stay ahead – keep learning more, better and faster. The great race against technology is on.

I

started my career in digital marketing as a junior campaign manager. My job mainly involved analysing online advertisement placement reports, and then adjusting the system to deliver the best outcome. Even though work was tough and sometimes monotonous, I loved every minute and lived my dream of an Internet guru. TECHNOLOGY AS A COMPETITOR Yet in just a few years my first job has all but disappeared. Or rather, in technical terms, it has been automated. Today, the new generation of marketing platforms use clever algorithms to do a day’s worth of my work in a millisecond and, I have to admit, with a much higher quality. Concerns over automation are timely. In the past, many were sceptical of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which didn’t seem to deliver on its many promises. Yet, we often overestimate what technology can do over

a short period of time and underestimate its impact in the long run. The new generation of AI, modelled after how human brain learns, is now becoming more capable of performing creative tasks that previously only highly trained professionals could do – writers, designers and even programmers. I can certainly feel how competition with machines is heating up in the marketing and advertising field. AI has completely taken over my fairly recent job. And I should be totally terrified, if… I actually had time to worry. TECHNOLOGY AS A PACER Despite automation, I seem to have more work now than ever before. Hours got longer, plans more ambitious, conversations more passionate. It could be that, so far, I just managed to outrun the AI. Since my first job, I have used every opportunity to build my knowledge of commerce, technology and people, and thus developed a broader and

VLADYSLAV KOSHELYEV Member, SCS Client Solutions Manager, Facebook Editor, 2Footsteps.world

deeper understanding of my craft. Correspondingly, I also took on projects which are more complex, creative and rewarding. I am even grateful that automation took over my routine tasks and gave me time to focus on more meaningful work. TECHNOLOGY AS A PARTNER Many people are struggling to find out how they can stay relevant as AI gets better. I believe the answer could simply be to rediscover our humanity and become even more “human” – to feel, to empathise, to imagine, to excite and to connect. These things come naturally to us, but at the same time, they are most difficult to reproduce with technology. And our instinct to collaborate may very well be the key that will ultimately lead us to victory – working with instead of competing against AI. Together, with technology on our side, we can run faster than ever before.


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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017


The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

Top 10 Best Tech Companies to Work For Unveiled! In the age of widespread digital disruptions, corporate culture can make or break a company. While stateof-the-art workspaces can reinforce the culture of a workplace, it is ultimately the culture that impacts the engagement level of the employees.

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19

T

he winners of SCS Best Tech Company to Work For Award have perfected the formula to keeping their people happy and their culture healthy. Their relentless efforts to create a dynamic and thriving community for tech professionals based on five criteria – inspiring people culture, spirit of innovation, financial sustainability, people management and human resource policy – have set them apart from their peers. The 10 winners of the Best Tech Company to Work For Award 2017 are: • Accenture • Carousell (Winner – Small Organisations/Startups category) • EON Reality • IBM Singapore • Razer (Winner – Large Organisations/MNCs category) • Red Hat Asia Pacific (Winner – Large Organisations/ MNCs category) • ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems) • Tableau Asia Pacific • Tinkerbox Studios • Titansoft (Winner – Mid-sized Organisations category) To celebrate the defining qualities of these 10 outstanding tech companies, SCS held the award ceremony in conjunction with the Tech3 Forum which was graced by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower. Congratulations to the winners of the Best Tech Company to Work For Award 2017!

The Best Tech Company to Work For Award is organised by Singapore Computer Society to honour best HR practices in the tech industry. The aim is to inspire more companies to share the vision of creating an enviable tech community, as well as encourage more Singaporeans to join this vibrant industry.


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SCS Golf Day 2017 in Full Swing

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ver 180 avid golfers, beginners and enthusiasts donned on specially designed SCS golf polo shirts and caps for the SCS Golf Day 2017 held at Orchid Country Club on 21 July. Blessed with great weather, golfers had an enjoyable day of friendship and networking on fairways and greens amidst the birdies and pars. The event ended on a merry

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 03/2017

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note with the golfers having a hearty, well-deserved dinner at the Peach Garden restaurant.

Individual Tournament Prizes Dendro – Vanda Course Winner

Adrian Long

2nd

Thomas Yeo

3rd

Peter Kirkaldy

4

Vincent Teo

th

5th Special Guests, Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Permanent Secretary for Defence and Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang GRC joined the dinner where attractive prizes such as the latest drones, gaming gadgets and liquor worth close to $10,000 were given out during the lucky draw segment. The SCS Golf Day, which has grown to become one of the most anticipated events amongst the tech community over the years, marked another great outing this year – thanks to the great support from all SCS members, industry leaders and generous sponsors. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Gerald Ng

Vanda – Aranda Course Winner

Leon Lee

2nd

Peter Goh

3

Hock Leong

rd

4th

Sunny Ho

5th

P.K. Lim

Aranda – Dendro Course Winner

Raymond Chee

2

Vincent Chua

3rd

Tom Wong

4th

Jimmy Pang

5th

Sam Yeo

Best Gross

Raymond Chee

nd


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Tech Sharing and Networking at ITYC Tech & Tonic

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intech startups and young professionals got together at the first ITYC Tech & Tonic on 12 September to knock back some glasses and ingest tasty bites. The event sponsored by Trend Micro and Global Multi-tech Solutions, and supported by Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) also saw venture capitalist Chak Kong Soon sharing about the startup landscape and his technopreneurship journey; and security consultant David Ng providing tips on how business can be kept secured and disruptive. The evening was a success with attendees indulging in many hearty conversations and fostering new connections.

SCS EVENTS 2017 OCT

21

SCS Career Crossroad Series: Improve Employability

OCT

23-27

SCS 50 Drone Experience

NOV

NOV

11

SCS Career Crossroad Series: Startup/ Technopreneurship for Mid-Career Professionals – Is this for You?

NOV

QA for Scrum

OCT

28 NOV

16

CSTP Programme

OCT

26-27 SCS Member Movie Night: Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok

NOV

NOV

15

Cloud 201 Series: Using Open Source Software and Cloud Computing to Improve Scalability and Drive Down Costs

NOV

IDEAS Series: IoT Analytics

NOV

2

17

2 15 22

Secure Software Development Model

Introduction to IBM IoT Platform

Agility – The Way We Go

Digital Enterprise Map Case Study Walkthrough

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.


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GEEK SPEAK

25

FIELD REPORTS from the Helpless (Service) Desk

Flavours of IT By Franky Siow

I

love going to Baskin Robbins because there’re always new flavours! Did you know they have over “31 Flavours” which they’ll rotate? For us in IT, we are better – we never rotate our flavours, we just invent new ones! Here’s a sampling menu of popular flavours on offer these days. Enjoy and… Bon AppetIT!

MACHINE LEARNING, DEEP LEARNING Super impressive, the machine learns and knows more and more till it’s all knowing. Wait a minute – “learning” here is different from how we understand it. It is about “studying” large amount of data from similar past cases, assigning probabilities and then finding a match to present a recommendation based on an associated probability. And “Deep Learning”? It simply means “networks that are trained with a lot of layers”. Guess what? These machines also attend tuition classes (“unsupervised

state”) in their school “The Learning Lab” as part of preparation! BLOCK CHAIN Completely cryptic and meaningless to most people – I recently overheard a conversation where an end user was trying to understand what “block chain” is. The IT architect described it as a sort of distributed ledger that cannot be modified/forged without the players’ knowledge. The end user continued to pursue the conversation. The architect eventually dismissed the end user by telling him that it is an infrastructure (just like “SQL”) and you (the end user) don’t have to know. Wow! It’s true after all – when you cannot convince…simply confuse! PHISHING Pronounced as “fishing” (“ph = f”, get it?), experts believe phishing is responsible for over 70% of successful hacking attempts. Sensitive information such as usernames, passwords or credit card and bank details are obtained – often by recreating login screens for

victims to enter their login credentials. So when you next see a login screen, examine it carefully. Because once you’ve been phished, you’re toast, I mean poached, or maybe fried. HADOOP What, or who, exactly is “Hadoop”? Well, it’s the name of the toy elephant of Doug Cutting’s son. Doug Cutting, by the way, is an advocate and creator of an Open Sourced Search technology. I must confess – I don’t really know what it is, yet it’s useful to put this on the resume to impress the new potential employer! MY PERSONAL FLAVOUR During days of the Lotus Notes and Netscape browser and Javascript 1.0, I had also created a little of my own flavour – JAWS. My team wrote a Javascript framework to render Lotus Notes documents in HTML for browser access. We made the dumb browser smart with JAWS. And then you’ll ask, why JAWS? Well, you must ask James, Arvino, Wisnu and Santoso to find out.


Profile for SCS secretariat

SCS Magazine 2017 Issue 3  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2017 Issue 3

SCS Magazine 2017 Issue 3  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2017 Issue 3

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