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Singapore based coding competition to grow the region’s tech talent

With the pandemic and the economic turmoil, it brought, nations are experiencing new challenges and changes at a speed and scale that they have not had to address before. Innovation and digital strategies are becoming more critical as the crisis goes on.

Therefore, a coding competition and series of workshops for students and adults in the region was launched to nurture tech talent amid the acceleration of digital transformation due to COVID-19. Organised by a Singaporean multinational technology company that focuses mainly on e-commerce, the Code League is a virtual event comprising three programming challenges in areas like data analytics and data science. There will also be online training workshops on these topics for selected participants.

This year, over 15,000 people from countries such as Singapore, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines aged between nine and 51 are taking part in the annual challenge, which is being held for the second time.

The tech company added that the competition aims to allow participants to work on real data sets and challenges in the Internet industry. Through the Code League, they hope to spark greater awareness and interest in these specialisations by bringing tech communities closer through problem-solving and knowledge sharing.

Speaking at the launch event, Minister for Education Lawrence Wong said many participants reflects a keen interest in coding in the region. The Minister noted that the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated technological trends over the past year. He also said that for decades, they have talked about the importance of technology. Companies invested in equipment for virtual meetings, they were all looking forward to the promise of telemedicine and remote learning, but not much happened.

Then, when COVID-19 struck, last year, in a matter of weeks, everything moved online and it completely changed the way we live, work, study and play. This change is here to stay, Minister said, noting that tech was once a narrow industry consisting of hardware and software companies but has now become ubiquitous in all industries and facets of life.

He also encouraged the participants to focus on fundamentals that do not change, rather than specific programming languages which see their popularity rise and fall. He added the solutions to real-world problems cannot be solved by software alone and will require collaboration between disciplines as he encouraged the participants to network and share knowledge.

Moreover, studies say that organisations had to switch to digital as the pandemic provided a strong impetus for them to act immediately, so whatever barriers they had previously had to be removed. Pre-Covid, organisations in Singapore always had digital on their agenda but their approach to innovation was more of an evolved journey – experimenting and adjusting along the way.

Furthermore, according to a survey, Singapore firms scored the lowest in the people category, which looks at indicators such as skilling initiatives and having a diverse workforce. Tech experts say that the reality is that technology on its own will not make a difference – it is people who will allow organisations to innovate and transform. Companies must not only invest in technology but also invest in human capital to cultivate a workplace culture that encourages innovation and embraces digitalisation.

Accordingly, past reports listed Singapore as one of the world’s ecosystems to watch for AI, blockchain, advanced manufacturing and robotics, and health and life sciences, as well as in its renowned fintech sector. There’s room for optimism about Singapore’s digital future as the government remains committed to the tech sector as evidenced by the policies and investment that it has recently announced.

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