Internship helped him become a confident software developer

Mr Tan, who interned with Gametize as an undergraduate in 2012, joined the company after graduating two years ago. The software developer says it can be challenging for fresh grads to enter the market, and "internships can help them get the skills an
Mr Tan, who interned with Gametize as an undergraduate in 2012, joined the company after graduating two years ago. The software developer says it can be challenging for fresh grads to enter the market, and "internships can help them get the skills and experience".ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Mr Tan Kai Heng, 28, had his first taste of software programming when he was nine.

The bug has not left him.

He is now a software developer at Gametize, a start-up which helps companies develop interactive games to promote their products or services.

Mr Tan interned with the company as a computer science undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University in 2012, and was tasked to help develop an Android app. It was his first foray into Android app development, which he took on full-time when he joined the company after he graduated two years ago.

Such stints are crucial for fresh hires, he said, as prospective employers value applicants who have experience and knowledge.

More internship opportunities like Mr Tan's will be made available for university students, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

A new Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduates Programme will pair students in the infocomm disciplines to internship or mentorship programmes. This will enable them to gain sufficient entry-level skills and experience before they graduate, and aims to boost the supply of professionals by 2,400.

"It can be hard for a fresh grad to enter the market," said Mr Tan.

"You need a job to get experience, but you also need to have experience before you can get a job. Internships can help them get the skills and experience," he added.

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2016, with the headline 'Internship helped him become a confident software developer'. Print Edition | Subscribe