Young innovator is cracking the code to a better Singapore

Mr Joshua Chin started dabbling in computer programming by solving coding puzzles online, and even building his own Sudoku game

By Chew Hui Ling

Technology has played a significant role in tackling the global challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Hoping to build on that is young innovator Joshua Chin, who wants to develop technology-driven solutions to grow a more socially responsible society.

“Technology has greatly enabled us in our efforts to fight against the coronavirus. Thanks to these innovations, we’re able to lead a life closer to normalcy, without needing to compromise on health and safety,” says the 20-year-old.

A recipient of the Smart Nation Scholarship, Mr Chin is grateful for the opportunity to pursue a career in the ever-changing sector of technology. He strongly believes in “serving the public” and “making an impact” on the lives of others through technology — and it was perhaps this conviction that scored him the coveted scholarship from the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).

He says: “Technology is constantly evolving, and even more exciting times lie ahead as new technologies emerge. Working in the field of computer science will put me right at the centre of all these exciting developments.”

Decoding his true passion

At the start, Mr Chin had little interest in tech, let alone coding. Instead, he was fascinated with aviation, and would read about airplanes and watch aviation documentaries, even when he was in primary school.

In secondary school, he was part of the Integrated Programme where he was given the opportunity to join the Singapore Youth Flying Club. Although he initially considered specialising in aerospace engineering, he decided to pursue a different career path that would allow him to “focus on developing my technical expertise”.

This led him to information technology, and with encouragement from his father, Mr Chin began to dabble in programming while serving his national service. He started out by solving coding puzzles online, and even built his own Sudoku game as a fun challenge while learning to code.

“Before I knew it, I was sucked into it and just kept wanting to learn more,” he says. “Beyond programming, I was also interested in the other topics that would be taught in a computer science course, such as discrete mathematics, data structures and algorithms.”

Shaping the digital future

Mr Chin will pursue a Bachelor of Arts in computer science at the University of Cambridge late this year. Till then, he plans to take up an internship at GovTech, while making use of his free time to learn about various related fields such as cyber security.

Upon graduation, he will serve a six-year bond with GovTech. Aside from the attachment opportunities, training courses and mentorship programmes, he looks forward to contributing to Singapore’s Smart Nation drive.

“I’m excited to work on projects that would eventually be deployed to help citizens, civil servants and businesses in Singapore, be it through building software and applications, or ensuring that government services remain safe from cyber attacks and security breaches,” he says.

“I feel that I have a part in shaping the future by building solutions that will contribute to how technology is used in our society. Although the process may not be easy, doing so at GovTech will definitely make each experience meaningful and memorable.”