From Olympiad bronze medalist to Google engineer

A male student who won the bronze medal at the 2007 International Olympiad of Informatics (IOI) in Croatia is now a Google engineer in Silicon Valley in the US.

Ngo Minh Duc said he began using a computer at an early age.

From Olympiad bronze medalist to Google engineer

Ngo Minh Duc

“I decided to learn to code because I wanted to develop a game of my own,” he recalled. “Of course, after a period, I realized that it was really a difficult work, with the teaching and learning tools in the 1990s."

At that time, the 10-year-old took classes on informatics and programming in Pascal language, and attended the national informatics competition for youth.

The internet had just entered Vietnam and there were not many products or large technology firms as now (Google was established in 1999, Facebook in 2004). For Duc, computing was just for fun after school hours.

It was 2004 which marked a milestone in Duc’s life. In that year, his score on the exam allowed him to enter the mathematics and informatics majoring class of the High School for the Gifted under HCM City National University.

“At first, I intended to enroll in mathematics majoring class, because I loved the subject and I attended some competitions for excellent students. However, I finally decided to go to informatics majoring class as advised by my parents. And I found so many interesting things in the subject,” he said.

After graduating from the National University of Singapore in computer science, he worked for Facebook and Addepar, a fintech, in Silicon Valley. But later he decided to work for Google as he felt he needed to learn more. Now he is a software engineer at Google Ads.

“The way work is organized is very methodical and the technical standards are very high. My colleagues are from all over the world and they are very excellent,” he said about his the Google working environment.

“At Google Ads, a small team with dozens of workers is in charge of one product which can bring revenue of billions of dollars a year,” he said.

Creating opportunity for others

When Duc was at general school, he noted that only students at schools for the gifted could access good teachers in informatics.

One day, Duc heard that a group of students from the Hanoi National University had created a community for informatics majoring students, called IOICamp. The community was active had to stop operation because of a lack of funding.

This prompted Duc, who was then a first-year student, to join forces with friends to set up a new community, VNOI, where Vietnamese students with a passion for coding and algorithms could gather and exchange information.

 

VNOI now has 12,000 members aged 14-22. But Duc believes the figure will be much higher in the next 10 years.

“Previously, the community was reserved only for general school and university students. But now I want to expand VNOI, grant scholarships to needy students, and help connect students and opportunities to experience internships and work for large technology firms such as Google and Facebook,” he said.

Duc last summer took part in a program teaching Scratch programming language to over 5,000 children from 30 countries.

The training course was part of a STEAM for Vietnam project initiated by Vietnamese engineers and people from around the world who wanted to give Vietnamese students access to free instruction of an international stature.

Duc and other members of the project are working to prepare for three free courses on introduction to computer science, scientific thinking, and robot control, expected to be held in January 2021 within the framework of STEAM for Vietnam.

Duc and other members of the project are working to prepare for three free courses on introduction to computer science, scientific thinking, and robot control, expected to be held in January 2021 within the framework of STEAM for Vietnam.

Keep your passion

Duc said his career path has been smooth, but he had to always work hard.

“When I was at general school, I regularly read documents in mathematics and information technology. I did a lot of exercises which teachers did not require. Sometimes I stayed very late at night every day just to learn,” he said.

Later, at his job, he realized that everyone needs to have persistence and long-term efforts.

“Make an effort and strive for achievements. This is a good thing. But do this only if you have passion for your work and think that you need to gain achievements to prove your capability,” he said. 

Ngan Anh

Vietnamese students bag five medals at int’l distributed physics Olympiad

Vietnamese students bag five medals at int’l distributed physics Olympiad

All five students of the Vietnamese team participating in the International distributed Physics Olympiad (IdPhO) 2020 have won medals, with four silver and one bronze.

Vietnamese students to compete at Microsoft Office World Champs

Vietnamese students to compete at Microsoft Office World Champs

Three Vietnamese students are to represent the country at the final round of the Microsoft Office World Championship (MOSWC), an event which is scheduled to take place in 2021 in the United States.

 
 

Other News

.
Local movie industry at stake this Tet
Local movie industry at stake this Tet
FEATUREicon  07/02/2021 

The Lunar New Year (Tet) has always been an ideal occasion for film distributors, but it will probably be different in 2021. 

China’s Coast Guard Law increases risk of collision in the East Sea
China’s Coast Guard Law increases risk of collision in the East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  07/02/2021 

Analysts say that China’s Coast Guard Law is an attempt to set the stage for China's coast guard to increase assertive behavior in the East Sea.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam to play in Japan, Boss Duc is proud
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam to play in Japan, Boss Duc is proud
FEATUREicon  07/02/2021 

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam is going to play for Japan’s Cerezo Osaka club, turning the dream of Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) group’s President Doan Nguyen Duc of “exporting” Vietnamese football players into a reality.

Germany sends warships to East Sea - a strategic turning point
Germany sends warships to East Sea - a strategic turning point
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  06/02/2021 

The German government has announced plans to send its warships to ports of Japan, South Korea and Australia, passing through the East Sea this summer.

Passing the Coast Guard Law, China ‘probes’ the new US administration
Passing the Coast Guard Law, China ‘probes’ the new US administration
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  05/02/2021 

China’s Coast Guard Law took effect only two days after Mr. Biden took office as US President.

The man who holds aloft the flag at historic moments
The man who holds aloft the flag at historic moments
FEATUREicon  06/02/2021 

It was when the battle against corruption needed a leader to raise the flag that Party Secretary General and State President Nguyen Phu Trong appeared, with intelligence and courage.

2021 Tet: clay-made dishes, giant Mexican yams
2021 Tet: clay-made dishes, giant Mexican yams
FEATUREicon  04/02/2021 

The dishes on Vietnamese people’s offering trays for Tet days made of clay have attracted buyers. Many original products have been created to celebrate the nation’s traditional Tet.

The Party General Secretary with wit, simple lifestyle
The Party General Secretary with wit, simple lifestyle
FEATUREicon  04/02/2021 

The top leader of the Party and State of Vietnam is indeed an outstanding politician in terms of qualifications, solid political courage, and high prestige, who has a very simple lifestyle.

Party Secretary General, State President Nguyen Phu Trong and determination to clean and purify the apparatus
Party Secretary General, State President Nguyen Phu Trong and determination to clean and purify the apparatus
FEATUREicon  03/02/2021 

The disciplining of a series of high-ranking officials, including incumbent and retired ones, shows that the fight against corruption and wrongdoings in the last five years has been accelerated 

Making cars and smartphones, Vietnam moves to top ASEAN countries
Making cars and smartphones, Vietnam moves to top ASEAN countries
FEATUREicon  03/02/2021 

Vietnam’s industry has seen the fastest upward movement in ranking in global competitiveness among Southeast Asian countries, coming closer to the top 4 ASEAN countries.

Tens of billions of dollars poured into gas-fired power plants
Tens of billions of dollars poured into gas-fired power plants
FEATUREicon  07/02/2021 

Gas-fired thermal power is catching the attention of foreign and domestic investors, now that Vietnam plans to stop new coal-fired power projects, according to the eighth national power development plan.

Flower markets see peak activity on pre-Tet days
Flower markets see peak activity on pre-Tet days
FEATUREicon  02/02/2021 

Flowers and ornamental trees sourced from China are overwhelming Vietnamese flowers at traditional and online markets. Japanese orchids are selling like hotcakes despite high prices.

Ministry of Construction to reduce housing prices, paving way for VND20 million/m2 apartments
Ministry of Construction to reduce housing prices, paving way for VND20 million/m2 apartments
FEATUREicon  04/02/2021 

The Ministry of Construction (MOC) has joined forces with a number of ministries and branches to draft a government resolution on solutions to encourage the development of low-cost commercial housing projects.

Billionaires win big on pre-Tet days
Billionaires win big on pre-Tet days
FEATUREicon  03/02/2021 

The enterprises of billionaires Pham Nhat Vuong, Ho Hung Anh, Nguyen Dang Quang and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao have reported good business results for 2020.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: "What I do not polish myself"
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: "What I do not polish myself"
FEATUREicon  01/02/2021 

Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong has been re-elected as the General Secretary of the Party Central Committee for the 2021-2026 term. 

MIC outlines plan on preparing human resources for national digital transformation
MIC outlines plan on preparing human resources for national digital transformation
FEATUREicon  30/01/2021 

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is building a plan to develop digital human resources for national digital transformation.

Govt seeks 7.5-8% annual growth in next 25 years via digital transformation push
Govt seeks 7.5-8% annual growth in next 25 years via digital transformation push
FEATUREicon  02/02/2021 

To become a powerful and prosperous country by 2045, Vietnam needs to obtain a GDP growth rate of 7.5-8 percent per annum for the next 25 years. Only digital transformation can helps make this a reality.

Digital transformation opens up new development space
Digital transformation opens up new development space
FEATUREicon  29/01/2021 

"Like exploring new lands, the expanded cyberspace will open up a new development space for the country,” Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said at the 13th National Party Congress on Thursday morning (January 28).

Vietnamese-made games now played around the world
Vietnamese-made games now played around the world
FEATUREicon  31/01/2021 

To create a level playing field and help Vietnamese develop games reach the world market, it is necessary to have more reasonable policies, experts say.

Vietnam takes advantage of opportunities in digital economy
Vietnam takes advantage of opportunities in digital economy
FEATUREicon  04/02/2021 

The government, businesses and the public are enjoying many benefits from digital transformation activities.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN