Recent posts

  • Being a girl in STEM is hard
    #3974weird· 48d ago

    Hi Prof Ben, I am 14 years old and love coding in HTML and Javascript. My secondary school (a top IP girls school) doesnt offer coding as an O level subject. The boys in the brother school next door get to study coding for O levels. I have no choice but to pick it up myself as my parents cannot afford private coding lessons. But I find it hard to do a portfolio as I'm self taught. Is it going to be hard for me to enter NUS CS? It seems to be harder for girls to get into STEM for all these reasons.

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  • advice needed
    #3133career· 48d ago

    hi Prof Ben. I am a computing student and I really want to work for sg govt but I don't really want to do my hons to save some money (it's not to a point where I can't afford - just a little ex) and tbh I don't know how useful fyp is to the work I want to do. do you think it's possible to get a place in a govt associate programme without hons? my gpa is decent (~4.8)

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  • Not sure what to do after graduation (Mid-career switch?)
    #2287career· 151d ago

    Hi Prof Ben, I am an Engineering (not Computer engineering but start with C also) student in one of the local universities slated to graduate this year. I have agreed to take on a scholarship/sponsorship with a certain company for 2 years while I was interning at a consultancy firm. However, recently I realized that job prospects, pay and work life balance in the industry is not ideal compared to others. I also do not see myself being in the industry in the long run and building a career out of it. As such, I am reconsidering my scholarship/sponsorship and looking into jumping out of the industry and possibly moving into the tech industry. I am also considering taking up bootcamp such as the ones by General Assembly and taking some other online coding courses. What advice or what should I learn as a start as an Engineering student like me who wish to jump into the tech industry despite not having a relevant degree?

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  • Issue with engineering manager
    #971career· 161d ago

    Dear Prof Ben, I'm an NUS Comp Sci grad working as a software engineer at an MNC. I just wanted to ask your perspective on what I should do to improve my working relationship with my manager. Two weeks ago, he told me that I wasn't meeting expectations and needed to catch up during a call. It took me by complete surprise - there wasn't any hint that I noticed, and I've been delivering by deadlines and didn't introduce any bug. I've been at the job for a year. My interactions with him were very brief, and I primarily worked with other senior engineers. Around that time, I was about to finish my ongoing tasks and asked him if there was anything I could help with, and he replied that I could start thinking about what I wanted to do. While it sounds good as I have the freedom to pick something to work on, I practically don't have any option. Anything would need a group of people to ship the code, and if I decide to work on something that doesn't align with the team's progress, no one will help. It has been two weeks, and he still doesn't assign me anything to do. So I mainly go around in the team channels, pick up pending issues that people are too busy to work on, and become someone who handles urgent requests from other teams because I could start working on anything immediately. As the team's growing fast, he may be swamped. But he has been checking more frequently and expects me to reply in 10 minutes, which I don't have any problem with, and constantly watch out for notifications on the phone when going out. I am just confused that if he decides to put his time and energy into checking if I am at my desk working, then allocating me some work may not be that time-consuming. I try not to be extra work for him, but the way he communicates confuses me about what he wants to see. Until last month, I really enjoyed contributing and have never felt bored at work. There was always something to work on or someone to talk to. I thought I was lucky to have such good first job. But now, I feel like showing up at work without any purpose. I keep myself together and resolve whatever is thrown at me as quickly as possible, but given the lack of response from my manager in the last two weeks, I don't know how this situation will progress. It feels terrible to see that the team's still interviewing many people. What should I do to understand his expectations better and get a chance to take more responsibilities to improve my performance? P.S. I'm trying to assess the situation and write here the best I can. If the context here is not enough for you to advise, I completely understand if this question does not get answered.

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  • Job vs family
    #921career· 232d ago

    Dear Prof Ben I am in my mid thirties and have 2 young children under 5. I am currently working in MAANG. The remuneration package is good and I reckon I am doing well in my role. To a certain extent, if I may add, I am cruising and of late, due to org changes, I am increasingly disengaged and unmotivated. I still believe in the purpose and vision of the company but struggle to build an authentic work relationship with my direct line manager. I have been looking out and have interviewed with several companies. One(tech company) offered a package that is the same as what I am receiving. Another company (non-tech) is offering 20% more of what I am current receiving. Do I stay or leave? I feel like I am letting my family down if I stay on because the 20% increase in my remuneration in the non tech company will help with the quality of life of my family and my mortgage. But yet, I know for one, we shouldn't always work for money. Also, if I leave to join the other tech company, am afraid that I am leaving my current bad manager for another potentially bad manager.

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  • Postgrad Blues
    #880careeracademics· 234d ago

    Dear Prof Ben, You've mentioned in CS5229 that postgrads shouldn't care too much about grades. To what extent do they not matter? Will a B affect our chances of pursuing a PhD? I've seen conflicting takes that research and letters of recommendation are more important than the letter grade, but others say that getting a B in postgrad is equivalent to a certificate of disaster.

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