When talking about information technology (IT) and martial arts, many would consider them male-dominated pursuits. However, Suki CHAN Yuk-han has upended this impression by virtue of her liking for taekwondo and becoming a young female cloud engineer with her great interest and enthusiasm. Suki is currently working with a bank. In the short space of more than two years since she graduated with a Higher Diploma in Cloud and Data Centre Administration from the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), she has obtained a number of cloud system-related certificates and successfully landed the job of cloud engineer, one of the IT professions posting the highest rates of salary increase in recent years. She indeed exemplifies the success of a female with strength and determination.
Getting hired hot upon graduation
Long hooked on computing, Suki studied Information and Communication Technology (ICT) during her secondary school years. After sitting the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) and having considered the popularity of cloud technology, she enrolled for IVE’s Higher Diploma in Cloud and Data Centre Administration. Graduating in 2017, she was immediately hired by a cloud system vendor on the recommendation of her teacher. The vendor arranged for her to receive training and work in Taiwan. “At that time, I was mainly responsible for designing suitable cloud systems for clients and helping them store, access and analyse data and files. In the course of that, I learnt that an IT professional cannot just communicate with the computer. He or she needs a careful mind and must know how to create a platform from the perspective of a user. For example, it has to be ascertained whether the system is to be used by internal employees or external customers, and what volume of different types of data is to be processed by the client. Exactly because of this reason, I found my job fun-filled and meaningful.” Suki noted.
During her one-odd year stint in Taiwan, Suki successfully obtained a number of certificates related to cloud systems. “These certificates provide proof that the cloud engineer is capable of managing a variety of cloud systems. They are well-recognised by industry,” explained Suki, adding that as technology was developing fast, so too were cloud systems. A cloud engineer will need to sit for examinations every several years to obtain updated certificates or renew them.
Taekwondo spirit nurtures cloud specialist
Suki knew nothing about cloud systems before she was admitted to IVE. “I had never come across cloud systems at the secondary school,” she recalled. “Studying for the Higher Diploma of IVE, I learnt the nuts and bolts starting with the basics, then progressing to professional knowledge like coding, designing computer networks and developing cloud applications.” IVE also arranged for Suki to join a nine-month industrial attachment with a telecommunications provider, where she was tasked with monitoring the data centre systems and supporting operations of transmitting stations. The training affirmed her interests and abilities.
Maybe quite a number of girls have hesitation in choosing IT as their career. But not Suki, whose Taekwondo training since junior secondary years steeled her resolve in the face of challenges. She remarked that “Taekwondo falls into two categories of techniques: Pattern and Sparring. The former smacks of good and splendid kicks and is usually more of a draw to females, but I also had a penchant for sparring, which tends to prove less popular with girls. Once I even made it to third place in a territory-wide competition. Just like my choice for an IT career, which many may regard as a job more favoured by men, I think differently. In fact, examples abound where females shine in the IT field as specialists.” What’s more, females are attentive to detail and good at communication, which are assets for gainful IT careers.
Returning to Hong Kong for long-term development
Suki returned to Hong Kong from Taiwan last year and switched to working for a bank in the capacity of cloud engineer. Her daily work centres on maintaining cloud systems at the bank, involving a huge volume of services in wealth management, financial operations and customer services to ensure smooth running.
Suki never stops learning despite having obtained a host of cloud system certificates. She is planning to attend a degree programme in IT-related fields and will continue to keep sparring for a career based on her interest.