958 FM Radio Interview with HWA Alumni Gabriel See [Part 5]


Editor’s Note

This interview is the fifth part of a 5 part series featuring a Hackwagon alumni and his career journey.

A former delivery man who worked at one of Asia’s start-up concierge and online delivery services company scored a new career goal with his new-found ICT skill. Mr Gabriel See Wei Yang, who is in his 30s and a graduate in Law and IT from a foreign university, is one of several working adults and PMETs (Professional, Managers, Executives and Technicians) who have chosen to pursue skills related courses at private educational institutions such as Hackwagon Academy (“Hackwagon”) to switch their career paths for brighter prospects. After completing a 7-week Data Science Course, Mr See managed to get a new job as an Assistant IT Manager at one of the largest independent, private medical laboratories in Singapore. Armed with his latest Python coding skills, he hopes to fulfil his aim of becoming an ICT professional and contribute more to the development of value-added innovations for the diagnostic healthcare industry.

DAY 5:

Yixin: Today we continue to have the assistant manager of Quest Laboratory , Gabriel, on the set. Hi Gabriel.

Gabriel: Hi everyone!

Yixin: You shared that that python is not a new programming language, but currently there are a lot of companies that are looking for employees with such skills.

Gabriel: Yes.

Yixin: Why is this so?

Gabriel: Well because, the design and construct of python is such that it is suited to deal with huge volume of data at a high intensity.

Yixin: So you are saying that Python deals with well with huge data sets?

Gabriel: Yes. Although, other programming languages can be used to process the same set of data, the time it takes would be much longer.

Yixin: But why would any entreprise need to build capabilities in Python to leverage on its ability to process data?

Gabriel: I can only say, the usage of Python is not just limited to data analytics. Moreover, if you were to use other languages such as Java to capitalise on big data, the processing time is at least twice as long.

Yixin: But why is it that enterprises today are so interested in Big data. What kind of value does it bring to these entreprises?

Gabriel: It can be used to understand and predict customer sentiments and their subsequent behavior.

Yixin: So it can be used to predict what kind of products and services a customer may want in future?

Gabriel: Yes. And we can use it to understand what kind of products or services that the market as a whole would desire. So big data can be used to help us understand all this.

Yixin: So we can also use it to understand consumer preferences and trends, and that’s why more and more companies are interested in big data?

Gabriel: Exactly.

Yixin: In the past, we actually have several programs where we shared about the capabilities of big data and data analytics. Quite a number of our listeners, say that they feel apprehensive about stepping in this field as they would be required to pick up new skills such as python. What do you think?

Gabriel: If you want to work in this sector, you will have to constantly upgrade yourself. Actually this truth applies to any sector. We need to constantly pick up new skills and marry that with our experience to stay ahead of the game. If we constantly have a mindset of wanting to remain status quo, then our society and level of technological progress will remain stagnant.

Yixin: Would you recommend young people to pick up skills in this sector?

Gabriel: Absolutely.

Yixin: Why is that so?

Gabriel: Python is not a tool, but it is a language. It abstracts away a lot of technical complexities, and makes it transparent to the programmer. So this means, your way of viewing concepts will change.

Yixin: So you are saying, when learning languages such as Python, we should not treat it as a tool, but rather understand the logic and way of thinking which goes behind Python. And with this, we can then be able to uncover insights within huge volumes of messy data.

Gabriel: Yes.

Yixin: Sounds extremely difficult.

Gabriel: Laughs* Nothing in life is easy.

Yixin: How long did it take you to master Python?

Gabriel: Well how do I put it, I have been constantly picking up new skills throughout my career, and I am still doing so.

Yixin: Well, we wish Gabriel all the best in his career!

Editor’s Footnote

Gabriel was able to move into the growing tech industry after working part time for various stints through making use of government subsidies for programmes under the TeSA initiative.

For more details on the course Gabriel took, you can visit Data Science 101