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Carolyn Foo gets real about women working in technology

Fancy being an app developer? Software engineer Carolyn Foo tells us why she loves her job and dishes out some advice for women looking to venture into the tech world.

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Photos: Garena

Carolyn Foo’s job is to “break down problems” and “create solutions” – technologically. And she loves it.

After working on several projects and interning at a software firm, Carolyn, who graduated with a double degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2014, immediately recognised the potential and impact of technology in today’s digital world.

Today, she’s an iOS app developer at Garena, an Internet and mobile platform company, where she works on their mobile app including bug-fixing and implementing new features.

She said, “Technology is a powerful force that shapes our lifestyles and the world we live in, so I want to part of that force in a positive way.”

The 27-year-old believes that anyone can excel in a tech job – regardless of gender. Here, Carolyn shares why she loves working in a field that has traditionally been known to be male-dominated, and what makes a good software engineer.

What do you find exciting in your current role?
My role is challenging as the Internet and technology space move very fast. It is exciting to break down problems and create solutions at the tip of your fingers. In addition to that, I find it personally rewarding to be able to improve user experience and to create something that everybody finds helpful and can enjoy. At Garena, I also get to discover the latest trends and innovations in technology, which is exciting and enriching.

Did you make a conscious choice to become a software engineer?
Of course - I am passionate about coding. Solving problems excites me. It challenges me to push boundaries to find creative solutions and solve pain points for others. I love what I’m doing at Garena because it is intellectually stimulating and the product we develop creates a real impact in the lives of our users.

What makes a good software engineer – in terms of skills and qualities?
Other than a solid understanding of computer fundamentals like algorithms, abstraction and data structure, I think a good software engineer needs to possess logical and critical thinking skills, such as identifying and understanding a problem; solving it in the simplest, most efficient way; and [a desire] to learn and stay updated with industry trends and innovations. Soft skills are important too. We work in teams so communicating ideas and requirement constraints in a clear way is very important. So is flexible thinking and tenacity towards problem-solving.

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