Friday, May 17, 2013

Hoo Chang Sheng: Pride of NYP and an Up-and-Coming Mobile Application Developer

Chang Sheng presents his award-winning app, iGoNYP
Hoo Chang Sheng brought glory to NYP when he emerged as Champion for the Plugfest International Programming Competition 2013. He has also developed a crowdsourcing  application for SLA/ Restroom Association (Singapore) called LOO Connect, which has been launched on Google Play.

LOO Connect let users rate the cleanliness of toilets and locate clean toilets certified by the Restroom Association (Singapore).

So how has life been for this Year 3 Diploma in Information Technology Student after the competition?  I met with Chang Sheng to see what he’s been up to.
What have you been up to lately?I’m currently waiting for the graduation ceremony to be held in May. In the meantime, I’m working as a Development Technologist in the School of Information Technology (SIT) developing mobile applications.

iGoNYP is an interactive mobile map application that gives the user more information about NYP.
What triggered your interest in IT?
During my secondary school days, a friend helped me to configure my computer and did some tweaking which sped up the system. I was amazed by how a small tool can have such a great impact on the whole system. I started doing research on the tools available. From then on, my curiosity in IT grew into an interest, which subsequently became my passion.

What made you want to pursue an IT course in NYP?SIT has a strong reputation. I was interested in information technology, and I was confident that NYP could provide me with a good education.

Has your life changed since winning the Plugfest International Programming Competition 2013?There haven’t been many changes in my life. The lecturers are proud of me for putting what they have taught me into practice and winning the competition.

Let’s talk about your other big project, the LOO Connect. How did the opportunity to develop LOO Connect come about?I was serving an internship with SLA and was given this project.

How did you come up with the idea for a crowdsourcing, location-based app?LOO Connect was previously available on a web platform but it can be enhanced with location-based features. With my specialisation in Geospatial & Mobile Innovation, I applied what I had learnt in this mobile application and implemented the location-based feature, which is becoming more and more popular in today's apps.

What kind of work was involved in developing LOO Connect?Part of the work required understanding OneMap's crowdsourcing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and how it communicates with OneMap’s help desk in enhancing and improving the existing framework.

Did you have to learn new technologies?Yes, I learnt more about crowdsourcing technology and how to  develop apps for the Android ecosystem.

What was the biggest challenge faced when you develop the app?The biggest challenge was becoming familiar with OneMap’s APIs while ensuring that the app’s design is user-friendly and aesthetically attractive.

Why are you passionate about mobile application development?I am impressed by how a small application on a smart mobile device can be so useful and bring great convenience to our lives.

I understand that you like to keep yourself updated on the latest IT news. Where do you get your news from?
I used to read magazines, but you need to wait for a month before the next issue is released, so I switched to the internet. I usually visit American websites because most of the latest technology is developed there, so they will have the latest updates as well. Some of the websites I usually visit are and

How do you unwind?I like to watch drama and movies, preferably mysteries or crime-related genres.  I also like to read non-fiction.

Are you involved in any CCA or any school events?Yes, I was in Aikido where I held the position of Logistics Officer. I was also involved in Campus Road Run and SIT event s such as Open House and iStudy. I joined iStudy because I like to share my knowledge and provide some help to my juniors with their assignments.

With projects and competitions to handle, how do you manage your social life?I am a friendly and outgoing person, but I tend to keep my social circles small and stay with the same cliques.  So I don’t have much of a problem managing my social life.

Where is your favourite hangout place in NYP?I like to go to the library with my friends, or sometimes we will book a discussion room at SIT Level 4 where we work on assignments or hang out.

You mentioned you are an adventurous person, is there anything you’d like to try?I like fast-speed and thrilling activities, a bungee jump sounds appealing to me.

What are your plans after poly?I will be going for National Service, and hope to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Computing after that. I have been offered Computer Engineering by National University of Singapore and Computer Science by Nanyang Technological University and SIT.

With my passion in mobile applications, I hope to become a professional mobile application developer one day.

Can you give some advice to the current students in NYP?Time management is very important if you want to juggle your commitments while enjoying your poly life. For SIT students, doing research to upgrade oneself  and being updated with the latest news in the IT industry is  essential, as technology changes quickly. You may encounter obstacles along the way, but take them in your stride and enjoy the journey!

By Chua Sii Inn, Diploma in Business Enterprise IT , Year 2
Sii Inn is a Year 2 Business Enterprise IT student who enjoys detective fiction and mystery novels. She enjoys picking up new skills,learning new things and feels that food is the most primitive form of comfort. She also loves to indulge in the best entertainment and appreciates idiosyncracies, theatre performances, martial arts and piano melodies. Her dream is to go on a backpacking journey around the world to meet people from all walks of life and understand their cultures.