From Engineer to AI Specialist

02 May 2024

Meet 90s rock music fan and goal getter, Fong Derk Ming. Being in Averis for more than two years, Fong has contributed to the AI & Automation as well as DevSecOps teams, and is now the newly appointed Vice President of the Averis Recreation Club. Read on to learn about Fong’s career pivot and how he applies a positive approach to goal-setting.

  1. Nice to meet you, Fong! Tell us one thing that people would be surprised to know about you.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I took a leap of faith and embarked on a new career path. I went from Production Engineering to becoming an Al Analyst.

After September 2020, I left my job as an Engineer during the initial peak of COVID.

Most of my colleagues soon followed as all businesses were on stand still. I tried getting another job in the same field but was only met with disappointing outcomes.

That’s when I decided to switch fields. It was something like a wakeup call. So, I signed up for an acceleration programme for data scientists for three months and thankfully, Averis decided that I was a good fit.

  1. How long have you been in Averis and how has your journey been so far?

I’ve been here for about 2 years and 8 months in total. I spent the 1st year being part of the Al & Automation team which exposed me to a brand new work culture. This new work culture was like a paradigm shift in how to approach different problems.

Currently. I’m in the DevSecOps team where I oversee different work pipelines for various projects.

  1. What does your average work day look like? Is there any special ritual that you follow before you begin a productive day?

Before the start of the day. I would listen to early 90’s rock music from the likes of AC/DC, Queen, and others, to hype myself up. 

During the work day itself, I like to set a ‘mini goals’ list consisting of simple tasks in order to maintain a sense of accomplishment. The more complex the task, the more simple it gets to tick off.

  1. When you first joined Averis, how did you find a sense of belonging?

To be honest, I didn’t really feel a sense of belonging until I joined the Averis Recreation Club (ARC). Being a part of such an engaging group feels very refreshing and it’s the polar opposite of the technical work that I do with Ace Digital.

  1. What do you look forward to at work?

One of the things that I really look forward to each day at work is the diversity of people and culture that I get to work with. It’s very interesting to be able to interact with fellow peers from different backgrounds. I get to learn so much from them too.

  1. In your opinion, how do you think sustainability can begin in the workplace?

I think the first step is to perhaps put up bins for recyclables at all workstations. I believe that a small and simple step can really go a long way.

  1. What is the biggest life lesson that you’ve obtained throughout your time here in Averis?

My favourite motto to live by is ‘Optimum satis est’, which means ‘The best is enough’.

  1. What are your goals, be it personal or career, and how do you plan to achieve it?

Practising positivity in all aspects of life!