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CrimsonLogic brings out the fun in coding
BUILDING solutions for large government clients has certainly given tech company CrimsonLogic a glimpse into the future of technology.
It counts the governments of 25 nations among its customers, according to its website.
The Singapore-headquartered company helps design and run digital government systems, ranging from clinic management to global trade and logistics solutions. Through its services, said CrimsonLogic, different government agencies can seamlessly operate together to serve citizens and businesses.
It's no surprise then that the company decided to build on its strengths and use coding as a tool to educate and empower children as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) outreach.
"As an IT company, we are always on the lookout for talent," said Leah Goh, assistant manager for CrimsonLogic's corporate communications department, adding that one of the company's long-term goals is to strengthen Singapore's pool of IT professionals.
The company builds its outreach programmes around engaging youth and young children to bring out the fun and interesting side of coding, and to showcase it as a viable career option for their future.
CrimsonLogic works closely with local communities such as South West CDC and several children's homes to map out programmes and activities that will meet the specific needs of the children there. It also counts the Children's Cancer Foundation and Pertapis Children's Home among its beneficiaries, and has also supported the Handicaps Welfare Association for the past five years.
The company said it commits for a minimum of three to five years for its CSR programmes and relationships with its chosen non-profit organisations. The long commitment period trumps ad-hoc programmes because they help in setting the direction and objectives for the year ahead.
Ms Goh highlighted that all the company's programmes are mapped out before planning for the financial year begins. Planning for the programmes ranges from budgeting to working out the number of volunteers required - helping the company reach its corporate objectives while ensuring commitment to the partner beneficiaries and non-profit organisations.
Feedback from volunteers is also brought to bear during this stage to help enhance the effectiveness of the company's outreach.
"We learnt to be more creative in the planning stage so that we can keep our volunteers engaged during the various programmes and campaigns," said Ms Goh.
Despite its efforts, the company said it faces challenges getting employees to volunteer their time for CSR programs during and out of office hours due to work constraints, and hence tries to design its outreach programmes to be "all-inclusive, accessible and easy" for employees to take part in.
It also holds annual get-togethers for all its volunteers to showcase their activities throughout the year.
Every employee at CrimsonLogic is also given one day of volunteer leave so they can participate in other charitable events outside of the office. These efforts have paid off. From less than one-tenth of its Singapore workforce some five years ago, one-third of the company now volunteers for its various outreach programmes.
CrimsonLogic has also seen the gaps between its teams diminish, forging better communications and teamwork within the company, said Ms Goh. And the programmes themselves have brought joy to the staff participating in them.
She recounted how at the company's FUN with IT @ South West event, a group of children - both boys and girls - shared with her that they wanted to become engineers.
They were having fun programming and creating their own games, she said, and at the end of the day, one of the boys in the group told her wanted to become a programmer instead.
"I took the opportunity to advise him that he could combine both engineering and programming skills to carve out his own career path," said Ms Goh.
"The last I heard from his teacher was that he had downloaded the programming software and had been practising what he had learnt.
"To me, it was heartwarming to know that we have made a difference in a child's life through our programmes."
- This article is part of a series highlighting Champions of Good who mean business when it comes to corporate giving. Find out at www.companyofgood.sg if you have what it takes to be a Champion of Good. The Business Times supports NVPC's Company of Good programme as a media partner.