Software engineer thrives on new challenges at PayPal

Ms Gangadevi Balakrishnan's day-to-day tasks can range from writing codes and testing to investigative work and research. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - As a software engineer at payments giant PayPal, no two work days are the same for Ms Gangadevi Balakrishnan.

The 29-year-old, who joined the firm through the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) TechSkills Accelerator Company-Led Training programme in May last year, currently works with customers from around the world to ensure compliance with PayPal's regulatory and business requirements.

Before joining PayPal, which offered her a permanent role in September last year, Ms Balakrishnan was working as a business analyst and software engineer at another tech firm.

Her day-to-day activities change according to the tasks she is working on, she said. These can range from writing codes and testing to investigative work and research.

"Therefore, each day is a different day for me and that is part of the reason why I enjoy being a software engineer in PayPal," Ms Balakrishnan said.

Last year, PayPal and IMDA announced that their partnership under the TechSkills Accelerator programme will see the United States-headquartered company grow its Singapore workforce by nearly 25 per cent, with roles in areas such as product management, software engineering and cyber security.

At its year-in-review virtual briefing on Wednesday (Jan 26), the Economic Development Board (EDB) said the growth of the digital economy contributed significantly to total business expenditure commitments in 2021, as digitalisation picked up pace across all sectors.

The agency noted that over the past decade, the digital sector has almost doubled its share of total jobs created through EDB-related investments. About 22 per cent of the expected jobs arising from 2021 investments are in digital roles, such as cloud developers and artificial intelligence engineers.

Tech firms, such as Facebook's parent company Meta and e-commerce giant Amazon, have chosen to locate their regional headquarters in Singapore, capitalising on the Republic's position as a key innovation node in the Asia-Pacific and the fast-growing South-east Asian market.

At the same time, an increasing number of companies from Asia are also seeking to use Singapore as a base to expand globally, EDB managing director Jacqueline Poh noted at the agency's briefing.

Ms Karen Teo, global business group vice-president for Asia-Pacific at Meta, noted how Facebook in 2018 announced plans to build its first Asia data centre in Singapore. The $1.4 billion investment is part of the company's portfolio of "hyper-efficient facilities" and is being designed to minimise the use of resources such as water, energy and land.

At the same time, Meta has sought to work with small businesses in Singapore and the region, with programmes tailored to regional needs, she said.

This includes digital literacy programmes and its small business grant programme.

Last year, the tech giant launched the Upskill with Facebook Singapore initiative, which includes digital upskilling programmes to support business owners and their employees in learning how to use digital solutions effectively.

"We will continue to listen to the community, work with government and civic institutions, and look for opportunities to continue investing our time and resources locally," said Ms Teo.

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