Charting a Path In The IT Industry

Steven Halim is an accomplished senior software engineer at Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Beyond Steven’s professional achievements, this senior software engineer's educational journey from the University of London (UoL) at SIM has proven instrumental in his personal and professional growth that extended beyond textbooks and lectures, nurturing essential life skills such as time management, independence, and the appreciation of diverse exposure. Steven believes that one should focus on what they need to grow in and aspire to in their career.

19 October 2023

Please tell us about yourself and a typical day in your life at the IRAS office.

As a senior software engineer at IRAS, I create efficient systems for IRAS officers and external taxpayers including companies, motivating me to strive to improve the users experience and ensuring that our IT systems are up to date and leverage on latest technology, where possible. I have previously worked on the Inland Revenue Interactive Network (IRIN) 3 in User Acceptance Testing (UAT), environment setup, and system overhaul for Stamp Duty regarding notices, SMS, email, MyTax Mail functions (the email function in MyTax portal) and correspondence. I am part of the Property Tax team in IRIN 3 (Inland Revenue Interactive Network – the core tax administrative system), where I specialise in full-stack development and tech design.
At the start of each day, we kick things off with a daily stand-up meeting, bringing our team together. This essential routine helps us align our priorities, ensuring that we are all on the same page about our tasks and teammates' progress. From there, it is all about gathering user requirements, crafting technical designs, and implementing code. Additionally, we maintain a strong connection with our offshore team through regular meetings.

As a recent graduate in 2019, how has your time at SIM specifically prepared you for your career journey?
Reflecting on my journey since graduating in 2019, the experience provided me with a well-rounded education that extended beyond textbooks and lectures. One of the most significant takeaways from my time at SIM was the development of crucial life skills that have had a profound impact on my personal and professional growth. It honed my time management skills, fostered independence, and underscored the significance of gaining diverse exposure. These skills have been instrumental in shaping my career path, allowing me to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of the professional world with confidence and resilience.
What advice would you give to students to help them maximise their university experience?
Do not be afraid to dream big and try new things. Dream big, embrace the unknown, and let go of the limitations of your past. To begin this transformative journey, it is essential to shift our focus from dwelling on the past to actively learning from it. Every experience, whether successful or challenging, provides valuable insights and growth opportunities. By acknowledging the lessons learned, we can chart a course toward personal and professional development. Focus on who you want to become and let that drive you forward. Boost your skills and broaden your horizons by actively seeking opportunities to immerse yourself in new technologies and internships.
What single piece of advice would you offer to students aspiring to pursue a career in the tech industry?
Feel free to try new things and technologies, explore internships or seize other exciting experiences that come your way. While the immediate importance might not always be clear, each step we take on this journey helps us build a more robust foundation for the future. So, seize the opportunities that come your way, for they are the stepping stones to a brighter, more fulfilling tomorrow!

Learn more about the IT and Computer Science programmes offered at SIM today.