Success after DSE heartache: a Hong Kong systems analyst shares his story
Mobile app developer better understands ‘everyone is good in different things’
When Bond Ho Ting-pong received his Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education results back in 2012 as part of the inaugural cohort going through the new academic system, he was disappointed his performance did not secure him a seat at a local university.
“That moment, I felt I was not as good as others,” he recalled.
Scoring a “4” in mathematics, “3” in liberal studies, “4” in information and communication technology, and “2” in accounting, Ho exceeded the requirements for the two non-language core subjects and electives.
But his performance in the languages – a “2” in both English and Chinese – dragged him down. The minimum requirement for entry to universities in the city was a “3” for both languages, a “2” for the other two core subjects of mathematics and liberal studies, and a “2” for one elective.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity or blaming the system, however, Ho resolved to pick himself back up.
“I realised that everyone is good in different things,” he said.
“Maybe my English, Chinese and communications skills are not as good as others. I am confident in my own interest and can carve out a path for myself.”
Keen on information technology since he was young, he pursued a higher diploma in mobile computing at the Institute of Vocational Education in Sha Tin, operated by the Vocational Training Council.
At the school, Ho picked up extensive knowledge about mobile app development and other practical skills. Afterwards, he took a distance learning top-up degree at Coventry University in the UK.
Now 22, Ho works as a systems analyst at Application Technology, a business located at the Science and Technology Parks Corporation. He works on mobile apps, delving into artificial intelligence as well as augmented and virtual reality. Clients include the Hong Kong Police Force, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Samsung Hong Kong.
When he joined as a fresh graduate, in 2015, he received a salary of around HK$10,000. After several pay increments, he now earns around HK$16,000.
Company director Edmund Lee Chi-wai described Ho as “very responsible” and “capable of completing his tasks independently”.
The young employee attributed his current achievement to early career planning as well as the acquisition of useful skills and a positive attitude.
He claimed when he was in Secondary Three and Four, he already had an inkling of his future. Accordingly, he attended career planning sessions to learn about studying at vocational schools.
“I realised it’s not the end of the world when you can’t enter a university,” he said.
What Ho found more important, he added, was finding his own interest and working hard towards it.
According to the Examinations and Assessment Authority, 59.1 per cent of 51,008 day school candidates did not meet the basic entrance requirements for local undergraduate programmes this year.