Pizza & code: ST Innovation Lab gets a taste of Singapore’s vibrant tech community

ST Innovation Lab opened its space to over 30 developers from Singapore’s tech scene in its first event for 2016 on Monday, Jan 18.

The pizzas and drinks were set up on the Genius Bar before participants arrived.

Over pizza and curry puffs, developers from a range of backgrounds formed teams with SPH journalists and editors for a night of intense debates over technology such as QR codes, real-time applications and web forms.

One group even got a first-hand demonstration of a 3D scanner from Tee Jia Hen, chief technology officer for local start-up, VR Collab. He scanned one member of his group into a virtual dressing room where it was possible to put virtual shoes on him, all viewed through an Oculus VR headset.

The event began at around 7pm in the workshop space inside The Straits Times newsroom and was open to all SPH staff, members of new media grassroots organisation, Hacks/Hackers Singapore, and members of the Javascript community, SingaporeJS.

The event is part of a series of monthly meet ups for Front End Developers Singapore called TL;DR, which is short for ‘too long, didn’t read’. It provides a forum for developers to discuss new tools, technologies or code they may not have had a chance to play with or test in their own time.

Once participants have had a chance to catch up over food and drink, they are then randomly assigned to groups of four to five people and are sent off to discuss a topic of their choosing for an hour or so. After the hour is up, each team then presents what they learnt or discussed in a series of lightning talks back to the rest of the group.

Some of the discussions at the event involved how print thinking can influence digital design and development and how to use technologies such as WebGL for online rendering of 3D objects, d3.js for dynamic data visualisation and Socket.IO for real-time applications.

One of the groups discussing WebGL — a framework for rendering 3D objects online.

One participant even said he was surprised to learn there are “more than just journalists” working behind the scenes of ST’s products.

Overall, there were about 45–50 participants which provided for an enthusiastic atmosphere of discussions between two groups — journalists and developers — who normally don’t get the chance to meet.

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