Hall of Fame, 2016
Robert's interest in computer programming started in 1979 when he first learnt to program Radio Shack's TRS-80 microcomputer using the BASIC language. Since then, he has been passionate about using Information Technology (IT) to solve problems in business and for the community. Half of his 30 years' experience in the IT industry was with Accenture, where he led the Communications and High Tech practice in Singapore and the Strategy practice in Southeast Asia. Among the many challenging projects he took on, he fondly remembers the time when he managed the project to develop more than one million lines of code for a telecommunications service provider (telco) in Singapore.
During his career at Accenture, Robert served as council member of the Singapore IT Federation (SITF) and as Chairman of its Wireless Chapter from 2004 to 2006. He organised programming and application development initiatives to promote mobile computing as part of the telcos' efforts to introduce data and 3G services. He also facilitated and formulated SITF's recommendations for the iN2015 vision and strategy, and served as a member of the iN2015 Infocomm Infrastructure, Services and Technology Sub-Committee.
Robert has also contributed to the development and promotion of national IT standards. He chaired the IT Standards Committee (ITSC) for six years from 2005. Under his chairmanship, ITSC developed the Singapore Standards for the Contactless E-Purse Application, and the Smart Card ID and Reader Application Interface. Since 2011, he has chaired the ITSC Cloud Computing Standards Coordinating Task Force and, working with the National Cloud Computing Office, developed standards for cloud computing service levels and security.
At ITSC, Robert introduced the codeXtreme Apps programming competition, a 24-hour programming competition that held its inaugural event in 2007, in collaboration with Google. All this was pursued at a time when programming was generally considered uninteresting or of low value. This competition has grown every year and, in 2015, was the key partner of Hackathon@SG with nearly 1,000 participants.
Robert also served as an Executive Council member of SCS from 2010 to 2013, during which time he successfully implemented several key initiatives. One such initiative started even before his term of service on the Council - the SCS Infocomm Survey. The results of the most recent survey (its fourth edition) were published last year. This survey continues to serve as a guide for SCS and government agencies in shaping Infocomm policies and strategies. Another new initiative led by Robert is the Best Tech Company To Work For Award; this was conceived to promote best practices within the industry and recognise remarkable talent development practices by organisations.
He continues to stay engaged and active in the IT industry as an angel investor and as a Managing Partner at Stream Global and iGlobe Partners.
Robert's volunteering spirit extends to the healthcare and social sectors. He is currently serving on the boards of Alexandra Health System, National Council of Social Services, Shared Services for Charities, Dover Park Hospice, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital and TOUCH Community Services.