Honours boost career and public confidence
When Thomas Lee worked on e-commerce applied research at the University of Hong Kong, the honour he received from the Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS) Outstanding ICT Achiever Awards helped the public to understand his research output and its contributions.
"I believe the award of 'Outstanding ICT Achiever in Research' gives the others confidence not only about my technical competence, but also my capability in applying IT to generate business benefits. This was very important for my career switch," says Lee, who is now an IT architect (technical manager) at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
"This recognition has helped me gain my employer's trust, that I can transform IT innovations into real business values. With this award, I believe I can do more to contribute to the industry, both locally and internationally," Lee adds. "I now serve on different IT committees, including the Hong Kong Computer Society and the United Nations."
Dr Andy Chun, a double winner in the research and professional competence categories of the HKCS awards, thinks the honours are a major boost in that his peers have recognised his achievements.
When Chun entered the awards in 2008, he was an associate professor at the department of computer science at the City University of Hong Kong. The following year, he was promoted to chief information officer of the university. "Perhaps the awards had something to do with it," he notes.
"The judging and assessment process was intense and the panel asked me a lot of questions on best practice, professionalism and ethics. It was a memorable experience," Chun continues.
Lee believes the award helped him enhance his communication skills. "We develop technologies that may help many. [But] we need to help others understand [our findings] and instil confidence in management and users [so] they will adopt the technology we've developed," says Lee.
"The judging process helped me realise the importance of communicating the values of the technologies to others," he adds.
Chun says the awards focus on candidates' past achievements. "It looks at experiences accumulated over the years, rather than individual projects," he says.
"The awards recognise individuals who are dedicated and passionate about the ICT sector, and who have made it their lifelong career," Chun adds.