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How i became an Engineer!

How i became an Engineer!

Presented at Singapore Polytechnic


Michael Cheng

November 17, 2016


  1. How i became an Engineer! Singapore Polytechnic, 17 Nov 2016

  2. Michael Cheng @coderkungfu

  3. Digital Technologies Team

  4. My Origin Story…

  5. My Journey • Got interested in computers & Internet when

    i was in National Service (1996-1998) • Studied History and Political Science in NUS (1998-2001) • Taught myself web design • Worked part time as a web designer (HTML, CSS)
  6. My Journey • Co-workers were IT graduates from Temasek Polytechnic

    (3 girls) • They taught me programming in Cold Fusion • Picked up PHP in 2001 on my own • Client only had Linux server (not Windows)
  7. My Journey • Ran my own web hosting business after

    university • Joined a digital agency in 2006 (Comwerks Interactive) • Started the Singapore PHP User Group in 2006 • Organised the first PHP Conference Asia in 2015
  8. My Journey • Worked in startups: Foound (2010) and mig33

    (2012) • Worked as a Software Engineer / Consultant: • Neo Innovation Inc. in March 2014 • Pivotal Labs in Feb 2016 • Singapore Power (Digital Technologies) in Aug 2016
  9. My Journey • Co-founded iOS Dev Scout in 2012 •

    I know PHP, Ruby, Objective-C, JavaScript, Go Lang, Java (little bit) • Started Engineers.SG in 2013
  10. About PHP • Created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf as

    a collection of CGI scripts written in C • In 1997, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski of Tel Aviv, Israel started a complete rewrite of the parser - first steps to becoming a real language • Released PHP 3 in 1998 - Changed meaning to “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor” • Currently version PHP 7.1
  11. Michael Cheng with Rasmus Lerdorf

  12. With Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress


  14. PHP Job Prospects • Full stack / website development •

    Digital agencies - building microsites for brands / marketing • CMS - WordPress, Drupal • Average salary: • Entry level: ~$2000+ • Intermediate to Senior: $3,500 - $5,000
  15. What you should focus on? • Be curious, ask questions,

    find out how things work • Learn about Web Technologies (PHP is a good starting point) • Learn about Mobile App Development (iOS, Android) • Learn other programming languages • Develop a product mindset
  16. “Hmm one think I will wish I knew is Java

    is a very important language to learn OOP concepts! So put effort in it! I used to think Java is crap in Poly, but then I realised the benefit of OOP and how Java does it in Uni/ work and realised it is important!” Lester Chan Singapore Polytechnic (2001 - 2004)
 Head of Engineering at Tech In Asia
  17. “I think attending conferences + meetups like PHP ones had

    helped me understand tech a lot more. Also, taking interests in building useful projects can help spur greater interests in what we do. When we see projects getting used, it reinforces our learning.” Sam Mauris Yong Ngee Ann Poly (2009 - 2011)
 Undergraduate at NUS School of Computing
  18. Why grow as an engineer? • Better understanding of how

    products are build • More experience, can give better advice to business owner • Understand limitations & improve your BS detector • Be able to recommend better user experiences
  19. Join the tech community

  20. Singapore Grassroots Tech Community



  23. Curated list of FREE community events and open source projects

    from Singapore


  26. Tech Ladies Tech Talks

  27. React JS Meetup

  28. Talk.JS + Talk.CSS

  29. Too many tech events!

  30. Engineers.SG Engineers.SG is a 
 not-for-profit community initiative created to

    help document the Singapore tech and startup scene.
  31. None
  32. •1200+ videos •19k page views / month •19 conferences recorded

    so far Engineers.SG
  33. 33

  34. 34

  35. 35

  36. 36

  37. 37

  38. We need volunteers! Training on 19 Nov 2016 at HackerspaceSG

  39. How about *real* tech conferences?







  46. So what if i just want to be social?

  47. GeekBrunchSG


  49. None
  50. None
  51. PHPConf.Asia After Party

  52. WordCamp Singapore After Party

  53. How about women groups? $

  54. PHPWomen.Asia

  55. • Singapore Geek Girls is a local initiative for females

    to connect, share, contribute, mentor and learn from each other. • We want to empower the next generation of women in technology through fun, informal and interactive activities.
  56. CodingGirls is a Singapore registered non-profit organization to empower more

    girls to code and achieve their ambitions in the technology world.
  57. None
  58. Tech Ladies Tech Talks

  59. Team Engineers.SG Tech Ladies

  60. Go be an engineer

  61. None
  62. Michael Cheng @coderkungfu