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THE VIEWS : A rewarding passion

Endowed with computer skills that set him apart from his peers and even most adults, Muhammad Akmal Hazim Hafizul Rasydan’s skills are so advanced that he was hired as a software developer, software engineer and backend engineer on a part-time basis alongside his secondary school years.

Among the projects he has worked on is the development of a school administration system to help parents bank their children’s fees online.

Akmal Hazim began bringing home an income at the age of 12 from pursuing his passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Along with his friends, he rented out Minecraft servers, which earned him RM400 a month for hosting services.

A year later, at the age of just 13, he developed a network speed testing application as a non-profit project.

Eager to share his knowledge, the Malaysia Techlympics 2022 STEM Icon spokesperson has been involved in community programs teaching coding and creating videos on the basics of online banking integration for new developers.

Akmal Hazim, the first runner-up at Digital Ninja 2019, where he built and developed a camera that recognized when a durian fruit was ready to be collected and notified the owner via text message, shares his passion with LEONG WENG SAM.

I have worked with many organizations on web application and mobile application development and won some awards. With my skills I can even automate small things.

My parents are very supportive of my work outside of school and I hope to inspire more Malaysians to immerse themselves in the world of very exciting technology. Anyone can program and improve lives.

Many local solutions have been developed by local people who understand the needs, context and opportunities of the environment around them.

Students should remain open to discovering their talents. A program like the Malaysia Techlympics will reach youth from all corners of the country. Programs are fun and make STEM less of a burden or difficult so that “everyone can STEM” and no one is left behind.

If STEM really isn’t for you, then try something else to explore your talent and purpose. I get inspiration by staying curious about what I can solve and always adopting a learning attitude.

If you follow your passion, you will learn and grow. Don’t just focus on making an income. I started tinkering with Minecraft – and we rented servers for an average of 100 RM per server owner.

It didn’t seem like much but it gave me the experience and I’ve grown so much since then, both in soft skills and technical ability.

I am currently leading a software development project for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to improve productivity and efficiency through faster document processing using web technology. My goal is to one day start my own business as a professional software developer.

Akmal Hazim, 17, SMK Shah Alam, Selangor, Student

Note: The Malaysia Techlympics 2022, an initiative of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, is a platform for students across the country to engage in inquiry-based and project-based learning in science, engineering, computing and micro-informatics, the Internet of Things (IOT) , robotics, drones, mathematics, creative design and animation, and three-dimensional printing and development.

A series of 25 competitions on five themes will be rolled out by November.

Competitors progress through qualifying rounds at the school, district, zone, and state levels to advance to the national finals, where grand prizes worth up to RM500,000 are awarded.

Weng Sam, 19, a student in Pahang, is a participant in BRAT’s Young Journalist Program run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. To join Star-NiE’s online youth community, go to facebook.com/niebrats.

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