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In the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), which is still largely a male-dominated field, Yeo De Xin is a minority. She is a 2018 BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation graduate who discovered her love for the technology sector in her teens. De Xin is now pursuing her career as a junior research engineer at Acronis Asia.

De Xin first got interested in computer science after pursuing a Diploma in Financial Business Informatics from Temasek Polytechnic. The course gave her a good understanding of e-banking and IT management and systems. She also picked up the fundamentals of web applications and programming during her time there. “I chose this course because it was popular at the time,” De Xin says. “It offered a mix of both finance and IT, and I ended up really enjoying the latter. I decided to further my studies in this area after graduating.”

De Xin wanted to go deeper in her programming knowledge and enrolled in DigiPen (Singapore) in 2014 to get a degree in computer science. She applied for a full-time job at Acronis after graduating, having heard good things about the company from her classmates. Acronis is a global leader in cyber protection that was founded in Singapore in 2003. They offer a wide range of innovative cyber protection solutions, combining traditional data protection with cybersecurity to combat modern threats for both personal usage and business or commercial use. “I was attracted to the fast pace of work at Acronis and had heard that there are many opportunities to grow there,” De Xin says. “I was drawn to the challenge and I love being able to constantly learn new things, so it is a good fit for me.”

Acronis logoAt Acronis, De Xin does client library support for the project that she is working on. She helps to test out the client library in different programming languages to ensure that it runs smoothly. Since she joined Acronis, she has had to pick up Go, Python, JavaScript, WebAssembly, and Kotlin within a short amount of time. Fortunately, she credits her strong programming foundation from DigiPen (Singapore) with making that possible. “In school, we had to learn C/C++ to an advanced level. C/C++ is a very good language to have as a basic, since whatever I learned from it can also be applied and ported over to other languages,” De Xin says.

Since Acronis presents solutions to protect the digital world from ever-evolving cyber threats, De Xin has also had to familiarize herself with the ins and outs of cybersecurity. In her free time, she reads up on encryption technology and NoSQL databases as part of research for her projects. Despite having little prior experience in these fields, De Xin is not daunted by the steep learning curve. She is used to challenging herself and taking the initiative to find solutions. Whenever De Xin faces difficult tasks at work, she will do research and try multiple ways of solving the problem until she finds a solution. This process is similar to what she practiced during her undergraduate days when she worked on projects and assignments, and it’s what fuels her resourcefulness at work.

When asked about what she enjoys most about her job, De Xin says: “The technology sector is ever-changing. The bugs and issues that one faces while doing software development are never the same. This is what makes the field interesting, and it never gets boring.” She hopes that more people — especially women — will be open to exploring the world of computer science, and she encourages others to take the leap where they can. “You’ll never know whether you like it or not unless you try,” De Xin adds.