Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)

Sim Yu Jie

Intern at InfoComm Infrastructure Programme Centre

Yu Jie will be graduatng with a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering) from the Natonal University of Singapore (NUS) in 2022.

For students interested in computing or engineering like me, an internship with DSTA provides an excellent environment to grow and develop in your chosen field.
7:00 AM
My morning ritual consists of a 2.4-kilometre run, a cold shower and a cup of iced coffee to perk me up and get ready for the day ahead.
8:30 AM
To kickstart, I recap the previous day’s tasks and set the objectives I wish to accomplish in the day.

At the Infocomm Infrastructure Programme Centre within DSTA, my project involves uncovering software vulnerabilities – which are weaknesses in code that can propagate quickly and compromise security – through natural language processing (NLP). Keeping up-to-date with the latest software vulnerabilities is important as they can be exploited by hackers for malicious activities. However, since there are huge amounts of data to be processed, this can be laborious. NLP techniques can help automate this process, as it allows faster and more efficient detection of vulnerabilities.

As a computer engineering student, I enjoy being able to apply the skills I learnt in university to real-world cybersecurity threats. Through my DSTA internship, I experience first-hand the real-world applications of software engineering, such as software architecture design, code refactoring and technical documentation. I have gained diverse exposure in engineering, information technology and cybersecurity domains across the multidisciplinary, integrated projects here!
12:00 PM
On the days when I am in the office, I will have lunch together with my colleagues while discussing the latest trends in artificial intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). These conversations have really sparked my interest in defence technology, and made me realise how I can contribute to keep Singapore safe.

I really like the open and friendly work culture at DSTA – I believe that when you surround yourself with like-minded people in the same field, it gives you an opportunity to grow and improve your skills. My internship has given me valuable insights into IoT, Cloud and cyberinfrastructure technologies to craft solutions that are effective, scalable and secure.

For students interested in computing or engineering like me, an internship with DSTA provides an excellent environment to grow and develop in your chosen field.
1:00 PM
I check in with my mentor regularly, and we share updates on the job I have accomplished. I value these sessions very much, as they are good opportunities for me to clarify questions, or simply bounce ideas of my mentor and work together to resolve issues.

As NLP is a new area for me, I have to learn quickly on the job, and also take the initiative to do research outside of work. My mentor is a great help as he always offers guidance whenever I run into problems.

Because of COVID-19, physical activities at the office are reduced. When working from home, my colleagues and I stay connected on the digital space. We also participate in virtual activities, including hackathons and even cooking competitions. I remember joining in DSTA’s online celebrations for National Day, which was very engaging even though it was held over Zoom!
6:00 PM
When I work from home, I usually wrap up by having dinner with my family and catching up on my favourite shows before heading to bed. I get my daily fix of adrenaline through watching Chicago Med on Netflix! I figure there is no well-deserved break like binging on some medical drama.