Why study tech? Anyone who’s already completed studies in another area, be it marketing, finance, or art, might not be sure what the value is in learning how to code, or make apps, or build websites. But, at ALPHA Camp, we regularly see people in just this position looking to build on their current skill set. We chat to a few of our alumni to find out why they did this.

Building on existing skills

Christian Teo

Christian Teo

For Christian Teo, who works in the field of corporate innovation, the decision to undertake ALPHA Camp’s iOS app development course was based on a desire to complement his existing skills. “Right now, I’m part of Deloitte’s Southeast Asia Innovation Team, where we explore what the future of our firm could look like, how we can get there and where we currently stand, amongst other things,” Christian said. “At times I may be involved in a product, service or process innovation project. Otherwise, I might be looking at organisational transformation or capacity building initiatives.”

Given the rapidly changing nature and evolving requirements of Christian’s work, he wanted to better understand and apply some practical know-how from the technology world. “In the context of professional services, you are looking at new ways of working with, interacting and providing value to people from all walks of life,” he said. “There has been much buzz around digital innovation, mobile application development and the like. For me, it was important that I immersed myself in that space to pick up some practical coding skills as well as understand the dynamics and culture embedded in the developer community.”

“At this point, I am extremely excited and keen to build an app which could, in my opinion, change our lives for better.”

But for Christian, it’s not just about complementing his current line of work. “I also have a social initiative which I am building on top of my day job, which takes the form of a mobile application. This move was a great way to kickstart that project and really help to to accelerate the development process. I hope to pilot it using what I’ve learnt by early next year and garner support from the startup ecosystem. At this point, I am extremely excited and keen to build an app which could, in my opinion, change our lives for better.”

Creating a new path

Jason Wong

Jason Wong

Jason Wong, on the other hand, has always been firmly involved in the tech industry. “I work for an I.T. company called Dimension Data—they’ve been around for almost 30 years. I’ve always had work in the tech industry, or at least worked in the technical department within a company in some other industry,” Jason said. “I’ve always been into computers, even as a child. So, it just felt natural to pursue a computer science degree and get into the tech industry in some way.”

For Jason, his decision to study app development with ALPHA Camp was less about complementing his current skill set, and more about trying to forge a new path for himself. According to him: “I see myself running a startup. I’d love to run my own startup (isn’t that everyone’s dream these days?), and I think the ‘dream’ of owning a startup for me is only a means to achieve the true dream of impacting and changing people’s lives in a positive a profound way. Not just those close to you but all of humanity.” To see a bit of what Jason’s up to at the moment, you can check out his blog here: http://failfastfailfurious.wordpress.com/.

Trying new challenges

Chee Kok Ban

Chee Kok Ban

Our third and final alumni, Chee Kok Ban, is a graphic designer who’s never worked in the tech industry; his background is in graphic design, and more particularly, in advertising and marketing. “I have never worked in the tech industry,” Ban said. “I’ve always been in advertising and design. I think design is something I’m decent at and was really happy to be able to work with big household brands during my time in the industry.”

“For my entire career, all the works I’ve done are very visual based and in the past I didn’t think I’d be able to code. However, I’ve decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and learn coding with ALPHA Camp. The decision was easy to make after making my mind up and I strongly believe a graphic designer with decent coding skill can be very valuable to any setup, naturally improving my employability.”

He said that, while he has “no idea” what he wants to do with his career, he sees the course opening up opportunities for him in the future. “I’m a massive fan of mobile games, and my ultimate dream is to one day build a mobile game of my own, or even work with giant developers such as Supercell. Realistically, I’d be happy to build on app ideas that I’ve been putting on backburner for the past few years. Not only building them, but making sure they look good as well, because, well… I’m a graphic designer!”

Are you ready to expand your skill set?

Christian, Jason, and Ban, are just a couple of examples from the thousands of people that have come through our campus doors, both here in Singapore, and at our other campus in Taiwan. We have a series of full time bootcamps starting in January 2017 – click here to find out more!