Peiling Chua, Software Engineer, Applications Infrastructure, GovTech, Singapore

By Medha Basu

Women in GovTech 2018 Special Report.

How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

When I came to GovTech in April, I joined a team creating a platform that supports IoT. It works like a central exchange where topics or feeds from sources like sensors or devices can be shared. These data could be weather or traffic information for example, which come from publicly available sources.

IoT teams often have to challenge the hurdle of “connecting the connected”, where internet- enabled devices will first have to speak in platform-specific protocols before getting onboarded. Or sometimes at a later stage, they could find that there is simply not enough data to work with. Moving ahead of those difficulties, we could well be producing meaningful information retrieved from the shared platform using analytics and bringing focus on the gist of IoT. This would help to bring us closer to making Singapore a smart city and reap the numerous benefits of what it promises to bring for the good of citizens.

As part of this team making the exchange platform, I worked as a DevOps engineer helping in CICD (Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery) as well as a cloud architect to design and produce the infrastructure as code. My role involves automating the build, test and deployment processes and on top of that, I also provisioned the frameworks and supported the team to meet the infrastructure needs for different environments. I have enjoyed identifying bottlenecks and thinking about solutions to bring about high availability and scalability of the product.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?

Ever since I joined the company, I have been given the opportunity to dabble in areas of technology that I otherwise would not have been exposed to. Cloud technologies and orchestration tools are good examples of this experience.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?

Be open minded and working outside of your comfort zone will not be as intimidating as you might think.

What are your priorities for 2019?

I would like to further refine my skills with more best practises and continue exploring different areas of technology. Coding does bring about some benefits to nurture how people analyse problems so, coding could start from young. Having this belief, I also hope to find some opportunities to be involved in teaching children to code.

What is one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?

I think being creative is important in any career, including mine. In order to find ways to prove a deduction or replicate a situation or isolate a problem, I think being innovative has helped in some tricky situations.
"Being creative is important in any career, including mine."
What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?

I can’t really tell. Things are moving very fast nowadays. You learn to use one tool today and tomorrow, people are raving over how awesome another tool is. Nevertheless, I hope that I will continue to be part of those advancements as women in tech.

Coffee, yoga, music... what powers you through your day?

The thought of my family and having nice colleagues does helps in making me a happy person. After all, I spend most of my time around the office and at home.