How one GovTech employee worked in two places in 2020
You might not have heard about it, but GovTech has this thing called the (Digital Technology Attachment Programme, or DTAP for short, that allows staff to get seconded to industry partners – while remaining as GovTech staff, of course.
We spoke to our very own Stephanie Yeo, a senior delivery manager at GovTech who through the DTAP programme, spent some time at VMware Pivotal Labs, an American multinational software company as a Product Manager (PM).
A picture taken on Stephanie’s last day at VMware Pivotal Labs. PHOTO: GOVTECH
Stephanie, what made you want to try the DTAP programme out?
After spending 5 years working at GovTech, I thought it would be quite refreshing to have a change of environment – even if it’s just for a year. In that sense, the DTAP programme is great because it lets us have new perspectives and experiences without actually leaving GovTech – a place that I still hold very dear to my heart.
Surely, working in a completely new environment must have some challenges. What were these for you?
Well, for one, the role that I held at GovTech and my role at Pivotal were quite different, and I’ve had to learn to adjust quickly.
In GovTech, we deliver the product as a GovTech team, the client is our product owner and usually projects span over a few years.
At Pivotal Labs, not only do we deliver the product, we also need to equip the client’s PM with the skills that they need to manage the product in the future.
Typical projects may be as short as 8 weeks, and usually not more than a year
In addition, there’s also the differences in culture.
Most of the people in Pivotal Labs are expats coming from all over the world (Jersey, Canada, US, UK, etc.) My boss is from Jamaica and my buddy is from Columbia. Because of the COVID-19 situation, I also got to work with folks from Sydney as offices around the world look for ways to collaborate.
They also have an amazing Slack (a business communication software) network where all the PMs in Labs around the world can join channels and discuss topics, as if we were all in the same office. People also are very willing to start video conferences to share their experiences.
One thing I’ve noticed is that my friends at Pivotal are all very outspoken, even for roles that you’d typically associate with more introverted individuals (such as engineers).
Overall, I enjoyed the energy and culture very much – people are punctual, and are able to have open and honest discussions about our challenges at work.
The DTAP programme lasted for 1 year, did you miss GovTech?
Yes, definitely. I miss my colleagues! Unfortunately, I only managed to catch up with my colleagues a couple of times in 2020 before COVID-19. Pivotal is based out of WeWork Funan, and the GovTech office I used to work at is at the Sandcrawler building at One North, so they’re not that far away.
That said, with the new WFH arrangements, I’ve adapted. – I’ve met my GovTech colleagues virtually several times and managed to join some meetings to share my experience so far.
Any tips for your colleagues at GovTech who are thinking about joining DTAP?
Just go for it! It’s a good opportunity to learn from the industry. The experience is similar to embarking on a new job. Keep an open mind, make use of your experiences in GovTech, and see how it works out when applied to private organisations!https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/how-one-govtech-employee-worked-in-two-places-in-2020