Savvy for software

Savvy for software

Kitty Tse wasn't always a high achiever. But her love for computer language led her to do great things


Software engineer Kitty Tse began tinkering with computer programmes in primary school.
Software engineer Kitty Tse began tinkering with computer programmes in primary school.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP
Kitty Tse Po-ting doesn't consider herself a typical computer geek, preferring to hike or eat out with friends rather than stay chained to her desk, playing computer games.

But there is one thing that will keep her glued to the screen: when she is programming, she turns into a computer-coding whiz as hardcore as the best of them.

A graduate of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), her talent has already earned many accolades in an industry populated mainly by men.

Her stellar academic performance while pursuing a Higher Diploma in Software Engineering at IVE won her the VTC Outstanding Students Award, which came with a cash prize of HK$10,000.

She was also given the Alistair Harvey Foundation Scholarship, worth about HK$500,000, which will allow her to study computer science in Britain.

Tse was also offered a chance to study at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, but says she prefers to study abroad.

Tse has yet to decide which school and course to pick.

"All the tuition and living expenses in Britain will be covered [by the scholarship]. It was a pleasant surprise for me and my family," she says. Yet Tse had not always seemed destined for such academic feats. She failed to secure a university place after her A-levels and never stood out in secondary school.

"I knew that my results were not that good. I never thought I could receive a university degree," she says.

But she always showed a flair for programming, designing Flash games when she was just in primary school. She also "spent a lot of time designing websites about [herself]" in later years. While she was studying at IVE, she developed her craft, spending hours tweaking, debugging and making computer programmes from scratch. "They can be challenging and rewarding," she says.

Her dream job is to work for Google - but wherever she ends up, she hopes to play a role in developing cybersecurity.

"E-business is growing rapidly ... and there will be a demand [for] secure and reliable systems. I look forward to contributing to that field," she says.



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