Stephanie Lew

Stephanie Lew

Defence Engineer

My company and my job

I am a defence engineer specialising in software engineering at DSO National Laboratories (DSO), the largest research and development defence organisation in Singapore. A typical work day for me involves full stack application development with a software team and collaborating with other defence engineers.

How I got my job

I did my six-month internship with DSO during my undergraduate days. What really attracted me to the organisation was its strong culture of knowledge sharing, its interdisciplinary approach to engineering and its mission to provide cutting edge technologies to keep Singapore safe. 

After I applied for a position in DSO, I had to go through a two-stage selection process. First, I went for an interview with a senior panel of interviewers with whom I shared my interest in software development through previous pet software projects and technological encounters. The second stage involved touring labs with a potential supervisor to understand the nature of the job better. I thought it was a comprehensive selection process as it allowed me to fully comprehend what I was signing up for before I took the job.

The highs and lows

What I enjoy most about my job is the fact that I am doing something that I like and that it allows me to delve deeper into my interest in software development.

There would be times when work may become overwhelming, especially when I am tasked to solve many technical issues in short notice. However, it is with these moments that I am able to grow and be better at my job.

My happiest moment at work

Having a eureka moment when I finally found and fixed the source of an “infinite loop” in one of my projects, which solved another chain of related issues as well! As with all coding work, when an error happens, it may take a lot of time, sometimes even days, to find the code that was wrong; thus, when I found the source of the problem, I was truly overjoyed.

Training and support

In DSO, there is a strong focus on learning and development and staff are given a wide range of courses to choose from. Apart from professional courses related to my field of work, we are also given the opportunity to attend courses that build up our soft skills, like the Professional Presentation Course, that was compulsory for all new staff. Engineers like myself tend to be really technical in their presentations and I’m grateful that, through this course, I learnt to identify my audience and adjust my presentation to suit their needs.

Work-life balance

To erase the knotty software bugs in my mind, I enjoy playing piano duets with colleagues in the recreation room during our breaks.

As DSO is committed in contributing back to the community, we also take time off from work to participate in Corporate Social Responsibility activities, such as the recent one organised by my division where we helped to clean and paint the homes of the underprivileged.

Some advice

Be adaptive to the environment and open to learning.