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Interview with Chester Liew, Senior Data Scientist and Product Manager at Shopee

Introduce yourself and share with us what’s your role in Shopee?

My name is Chester and I currently work as a senior data scientist and product manager in the Data Science Team at Shopee. I joined Shopee as an intern in 2017 and was converted to a full-time employee in 2018. My responsibilities include working with different functions to better understand various business requirements and developing models and solutions with the rest of the Data Science Team to fulfil these requirements.

How’s your typical day like at work?

I start my day off by meeting with various stakeholders to discuss the progress of ongoing projects or brainstorm for upcoming projects. After which, I hold internal discussions with my team to go through the problems and strategies for our projects. I also conduct coding experiments and analysis to extract useful insights that might be helpful for the team and for our ongoing projects.

I enjoy attending a variety of training workshops and programmes across disciplines to improve myself. Shopee actively encourages us to grow and develop our technical and soft skills, through training workshops held under Shopee Academy, which also includes Shopee Techcademy; a programme that helps build and expand the technical capabilities of tech professionals like myself.

Beyond my job scope, I help to onboard new employees by conducting deep-dive sessions into data science during Shopee’s quarterly regional new hire onboarding. These sessions help them understand more about data science and what my team does at Shopee.

How did you get into programming in the first place?

My love for gaming sparked my interest in programming. While playing computer games, I frequently found myself questioning how games were developed and the reasons behind the existence of glitches or bugs that hindered the gaming experience. This curiosity led me to pursue further studies in gaming programming, which eventually led me to the world of Artificial Intelligence and data science.

What’s the best part about being a programmer?

The best part about knowing the fundamentals of programming is that it gives you an understanding of the different technologies being used in the world today, especially during this day and age where technology is so integral to our everyday lives. As a programmer, I am able to identify the possible causes of technical issues such as a system lag or crashed programmes and solve them on my own.

What’s the career progression like?

My Shopee journey began in 2017 as an intern and in 2018, I was converted to a full-time Data Science Associate as I invested my time completely in a major project. After a year, I became a full-fledged Data Scientist and started managing multiple projects concurrently. As my team expanded, I took on the leadership role of managing my team and rose to become a Senior Data Scientist and Product Manager in 2020.


Shopee recently launched the code-from-home league. What’s that about?

Lim Teck Yong, Shopee’s Head of Regional Operations & People Team:

The motivation behind the Shopee Code League came about during this pandemic. We believe that as people continue to study and work from home, learning should never stop. Instead, we should continue to upskill ourselves and remain prepared for changes ahead. At Shopee, we are also committed to nurturing and grooming the next generation of tech talent in all our markets. Hence, we designed the Shopee Code League – a first of its kind regional Code-From-Home League.

Held fully online from 8 June to 1 August 2020, the Shopee Code League is a two-month online coding challenge consisting of a series of competitions and training workshops open to all students and professionals. Through this challenge, we hope to bring tech communities across the region closer together through problem-solving and knowledge sharing.

Participation is free and open to all ages and backgrounds. Shopee has always been dedicated to inspiring and generating interest in tech, and this challenge is amongst the latest of its initiatives to develop a steadfast pipeline of talent who will make a difference in the tech world of tomorrow.

The top 10 teams from each category will walk away with attractive cash prizes and potential full-time or internship opportunities with Shopee. Registration closes on 12 June. For more information on the Shopee Code League 2020, do kindly visit: https://careers.shopee.sg/codeleague/

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