My Journey as a Professional Services Consultant in Netrust
Every graduate’s biggest dilemma is finding the right job. How do we actually define the “right” job? The highest paying job? A job in a well-known company? The one that offers the best working hours? The job that allows me to pick up the most relevant skills? Like every typical graduate, these were the thoughts that were running through my mind as I was about to graduate and embark onto the next chapter of my life, joining the workforce.
A Career in IT and Cyber Security Sector
Graduating from the University of Wollongong with a Computer Science degree, specialising in Digital System Security, I decided to pursue a career in the IT and Cyber Security Sector landing a job in Netrust Pte Ltd as a Professional Services Consultant. As many will know that IT Security consists of many sub categorisations like Infrastructure Security, Crypto & Identity Security and Application Security etc, Netrust has a fair share of dealing with each of these domains.
Me as a Professional Services Consultant
Being a Professional Services Consultant in Netrust, I was able to experience the full spectrum of the SDLC (Software development Life Cycle). I had the opportunity to be exposed in all stages, from the initial stages of Planning to the final stages of Deployment, which I would not have been able to do so in a very specialised role.
Understanding Netrust In-House Products
Upon starting my journey in Netrust, like all my predecessors, I had to understand all our in-house products, ranging from all variants of nSign to SAM (Singpass Authentication Module). No better way to familiarize myself with all the functionalities of the products by actually doing many deployments and maintenance tasks as well as some development on the side. Thus in the first few months, I had a lot of on-job trainings by going for deployments and maintaining the product and system within the Maintenance phase in the SDLC. Through these experiences, I was able to expose myself to various Operating Systems and improved my understanding of how networking works in different environments. Of course, most deployments did not go smoothly proving Murphy’s Law right that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”, which unfortunately yet fortuitously helped built up my troubleshooting skills.
Tasks pertaining to the Integration and Testing phases were mainly assigned to me during my 7th to 18th month of work in Netrust where I did more development and enhancement works for SAM and nSignSG. I got to immerse myself in many different programming languages such as Typescript, HTML, CSS, Java and frameworks like Angular and Spring Boot through front and back end application programming (Not to mention some Swift and Objective C for our IOS mobile application). I was also exposed to different protocols such as OAuth2, SAML and OIDC when our in-house products interact with Singpass.
In my second year in Netrust, I was given more responsibilities in a Presales role. This allowed me to actively be part of the Planning to Design phases; for example, I would drive meetings with clients, trying to understand their use cases and requirements and suggest solutions that help to bridge the gap between their needs and our solutions. Taking all these information back to evaluate and streamline the requirements, we then architect the solution, which brings us to the Design and Analysis phases. Through these, I was able to extend my knowledge in the different types of system architecture, services and product features from cloud providers as well as system networking and security. Who would even expect a graduate in his 2nd year of work, to be given the rare opportunity to draft workflows and design solutions and architectures alongside the Solution Architect. Not to forget the core domain knowledge regarding cryptography like encryption, decryption, digital signatures and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) that I definitely had to equip myself with and apply along the way.
Apart from these technical knowledge gained, I have also improved my interpersonal and communication skills through opportunities like Presales which most of my peers would not be able to do this early in their careers. It is also worth noting that the opportunity to interact and pitch solutions to upper management in both private and public sectors are experiences that really amplifies my exposure as compared to my peers. Such functional skills and experiences will definitely put me one step ahead and aid me when I eventually climb up to a managerial role.
Of course, many may debate that being specialised is better than being a jack of all trades. However personally, for uncertain young adults like myself who is unsure about what he wants but yet wants to dip his foot in every single pool before diving in for a swim, Netrust fits the shoe perfectly. The Professional Services team was also able to offer me a nurturing and friendly environment with the ever patient superiors and helpful teammates. Being a Professional Services Consultant in Netrust has offered me plenty of opportunities and exposure to help me streamline and equip me with a strong foundation and skills for the career path that I want to pursue.
Choosing Netrust as the first step for my career has definitely been the right choice.