Reading about coding gap spurred IT professional to volunteer and help pupils

Ms Huin Wai Mun wanted to help people who had less coding experience to build a basic foundation and not feel left out.
Ms Huin Wai Mun wanted to help people who had less coding experience to build a basic foundation and not feel left out.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - After reading about the hard time a university student had from her peers, who questioned why she did not know the answer to a basic question she had asked in coding class, Ms Huin Wai Mun realised there was a gap to be addressed.

The 44-year-old IT professional wanted to help people like the student who had less coding experience to build a basic foundation and not feel left out.

Ms Huin, who leads a team of programmers at semiconductor firm Micron Technology, decided to volunteer and teach primary school pupils from disadvantaged families coding for free under tech giant Google's Code in the Community initiative.

"Giving kids the opportunity to work with computers and phones can build their confidence in learning to use the devices and even coding," she said.

Ms Huin, who estimates that she has volunteered about 80 hours since she started in 2019, was among six people and nine organisations honoured on Tuesday (March 30) at the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) annual Partners' Appreciation event at Suntec Singapore.

They were recognised for their efforts from 2019 to 2020 in supporting the Government's initiatives to get people digitally ready.

ST Engineering was among the donors and sponsors given special recognition for donating $1 million to IMDA's programmes to help needy people go digital.

Others honoured included Ms Winnie Teo, 79, who volunteers at non-profit organisation RSVP Singapore to teach other senior citizens tech skills like using WhatsApp and digital banking.

"I feel very happy guiding seniors in picking up new skills, and I've made many friends as a result," said the retiree.