I attended the Engineering (Tech) Information Session hosted by the Public Service Commission of Singapore at the Matrix Auditorium on 1 June 2018. I volunteered for this event through my teacher and was fortunate enough to be selected to go for it with two other students from ICT. This talk was all about engineering but nonetheless I was eager to attend this talk as it was also focusing on IT related job opportunities in the engineering industries as well.
First and foremost, this talk gave me a better idea of what it is like to work in the public sector in Singapore. Employees from agencies such as PUB, HDB and LTA were there during a panel discussion session to share their experiences in the industry. The knowledge that they shared definitely curbed my false idea that engineering was strictly engineering, the talk broaden my view on the industry and it showed me just how integrated IT actually was in various sectors. At the session, we heard from professional engineers of several engineering clusters:
There was even a Q&A session with the panel where there were several questions regarding IT related even! Some were asking about IT related jobs in companies like PUB and MRT. During the talk they also talked about the PSC Scholarship (Engineering) which aims to recruit and groom students for leadership positions in engineering and technology sections of the Public Service. Students who possess this scholarship would be ‘tied’ to an engineering parent agency and cluster to help deepen their engineering skills early in their career. They would also be offered development programmes, opportunities to work with experts in the field and dedicated mentorship.
After the sharing session, we headed to the booths set up outside the auditorium by agencies such as DSTA, LTA, PUB, SPF and much more! There were people there to answer to our questions and I did check up with some of them about internship opportunities and most of them gave me advise on how to have a higher chance of being selected by their company. It was truly a rewarding opportunity to meet people from these agencies.
Overall, I feel that I have gained a lot of insight about life in the public sector. Being able to give back to the community through our daily jobs wasn’t something that ever came into my mind when I thought about career opportunities related to my course. But after this talk, I came to realize that I can still practice cyber security in the public sector. Since I still haven’t decided exactly what I wanted to do career wise, this talk expanded my choices. I feel that it’s important that I take all the opportunities presented to me to learn more about the various job opportunities that is actually out there to ensure I make an informed career decision in the future. This talk was one way, I managed to increase my knowledge about the industry in Singapore.
I was selected to be part of a group of students from ICT, to conduct a workshop at WorldSkills Singapore (WSS). The workshop was created by Annikken. On Thursday, 28 June 2018, I attended a workshop conducted by Annikken on how to use their software and micro:bit device. Through this workshop, I learnt about block programming on https://makecode.microbit.org/ and how to use the Annikken Andee app to connect to the micro:bit. We learned to create basic widgets like create a button, or make the micro:bit display certain stuff on its LED display and such.
We learnt that Annikken basically enables us to add a mobile functionality to an Arduino. This allows for data to be transmitted between the Arduino Board and the Annikken Andee app. Block programming was very simple as it was just dragging and dropping contents, then modifying certain fields to suit our interest. It was something very easy and simple, yet many of my friends and I realized the many application and uses for the app and device combination. One of the staff there created a game, while this device can also be implanted into remote control cars where we can control the cars using the app in our phones.
On the actual day of WorldSkills Singapore, (the first day), 5 July 2018, I was instructed to assist secondary school students in the learning process about Annikken Andee and the micro:bit. The workshop was conducted by Annikken and we facilitated the workshop by making sure every student there fully understood what was being taught. There were also laptops there for them to actually do the block programming and see the result for themselves. But during the workshops, I realized that the students needed little to no help in following the workshop and even managed to customize some of the widgets to their own liking. This showed us that this workshop was very effective in engaging students into the world of programming. A lot of them had very interesting questions. One even asked me about customizing the blocks to allow a loop function; something that isn’t covered in the workshop. Seeing how interested and curious they were, really made my time there fun.
After the workshops, some students even asked the ICT students regarding their course and how is programming like in poly. Their enthusiasm really amazed all of us.
Overall, I feel that it was a very good experience for me as I managed to learn something new then also be able to teach it to secondary school students and spark their interest in programming. I would definitely consider playing around with my new found knowledge in block programming and Arduino. I personally feel that I have benefitted more from being a volunteer than being a participant. I feel really happy that I had the chance to be part of this event as I am sure that the skills that I acquired here would be of use to me in the future.