February 26, 2024

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Want to get into tech? Here’s what our new graduates say

 


In collaboration with GovTech

 

 

These days, people really want to get into the thriving tech sector.

Students are dreaming about being software engineers. Mid-career switchers are attending bootcamps in an attempt to get up to speed. For those of us who don’t have the luxury of time and background in the topic, it can be daunting to get started.

With that in mind, we spoke to two GovTech engineers – new to the workforce, no less – to tell us how one can get started on learning about tech and what it’s like to start a career in tech right now.

Angel Wong, one of our new GovTechies! PHOTO: GOVTECH

Angel Wong. 24. Associate UX Designer. Graduated from Communications and New Media, NUS.

Q: Hey there! As you know, money can be tight for young graduates entering the workforce: What are some places we can learn tech skills for free?

If you’re intending to be an UI/UX designer for a digital product, a basic understanding in HTML/CSS/Javascript will enable you to better understand and communicate your designs with the developers. One of the places I started out learning front-end programming languages was Codeacdemy. It’s a great resource for anyone who wants to start out with front-end development. The site is immensely beneficial for newbies who wish to learn from scratch as it guides you through chapters and progressively builds on what you have learnt as compared to passively reading about it.

That really helps, considering programming is an applied skill!

If you are interested in UX, check out Coursera for many free course materials on UX and more. It will be a great stepping stone into the theoretical aspects of UX

When the foundations are laid, don’t forget to put what you have learnt into practice! As an aspiring UX designer, it would really help to build up your own portfolio of side projects. You can find something that you’re passionate to create or design. If you don’t have that, find something about a current app, product or service that frustrates you and challenge yourself to apply what you’ve learnt to make the existing UX better.

Q: What other skills are important for anybody who wants to be a UX designer?

To be a good UX designer, having strong interpersonal and communication skills are extremely important, since it’s about understanding people and being understood without always having something tangible. You will need these skills to help put across your ideas and to persuade others why your suggested ideas should be adopted.

Kee Hock, our new GovTechie who works on Cyber Security. PHOTO: GOVTECH

Tan Kee Hock. 27. Associate Cybersecurity Specialist. Graduated from Information Systems, SMU

Q: Many employers are looking and hiring programmers these days. Why do you think so?

The world is entering a new era of digital age. Everything you see and do involves software in some way or the other. Some examples: When you turn on your tap, a software down the water supply system pipeline is ensuring there is enough clean water distributed to every household. Traffic light systems? They’re built upon complex algorithms to ensure efficient distribution of traffic.

If you can program things, the power is in your hands – and as seen from the examples above, the impact of your work is no longer restricted to the digital realm. I think it holds the key to solve some of the greatest challenges in global society today.

Q: A lot of people think programming has a lot to do with code and sitting infront of a computer. Is that the full picture?

It’s not entirely true! Learning to program also helps to develop your frame of thought! A term that is usually associated with the way programmers think and tackle problems methodologically is called “computational thinking”. Developing “computational thinking” habits helps you deal with real world problems in general, not just being good with computers!

Through “computational thinking”, you learn to break down huge complex problems into smaller and more manageable parts. You will recognise patterns and develop step-by-step solutions (algorithms). This is very useful skill to have! Thus, a programmer is often associated with traits like “analytical”, “logical” and “problem solver”!

Q: You do cybersecurity, which is not a very common field. Make a career pitch for it:

Our digital footprints that we leave behind in cyberspace, are the new “gold” of the 21st century.

These digital footprints can be pieced together to perform malicious acts against individuals or organisations by cyber criminals. They make use of the information we leave behind, to further their malicious intent. For example, they can use publicly available information that is personal to us to craft a believable pretext for phishing emails.

Given the dynamics of the cyber landscape, attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent. The industries are beginning to see the need for increased but sustainable cybersecurity investments, and this led to the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Learning cybersecurity is not just about safeguarding the organisation but also people we hold dear. It’s a career that is both future proof and meaningful. What’s there not to like?

Q: What are some free learning resources you’ll recommend?

For programming related resources, try EDX and for cybersecurity, check out try hack me.

Career Opportunities for Students: If you are interested to start a career with GovTech, check out our Campus Recruitment Programmes.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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