When the previous generation imagined the technology of the 21st century, they probably didn’t imagine wallets still bulging with cards. And yet here we are carrying around little squares of plastic like credit cards, licences and loyalty rewards cards. Old-school much?
Now software engineers are working behind the scenes to streamline our wallets – people like Chrisnel Tiglao, who works for a company called Cloudstaff. Founded by Aussie tech pioneer Lloyd Ernst in 2005, Cloudstaff uses the power of the internet to help businesses find the services they need in the Philippines.
Through Cloudstaff, Chrisnel is currently working as a Software QA (Quality Assurance) Engineer for fintech start-up OpenSparkz – they’re the ones helping get rid of all those bulky loyalty cards in our wallets.
“OpenSparkz accesses payment data, in real-time, from payment schemes, calculates the reward and notifies the customer via their mobile device,” explains Chrisnel.
“Our vision has been to ‘re- imagine’ the loyalty and offers world, where there are no physical or digital membership cards, codes or coupons, no complicated point of sale integrations and no expensive back end system development. No second swipe, scan or tap of a loyalty card, no code scanning, no backend integration, it all just happens simply and in real time.”
When Chrisnel was in high school, she loved maths but had no idea the kind of career her STEM skills could lead to. “In the past, your future was somewhat dictated because if you were good at mathematics, everybody said you should take up engineering or accounting. If you were good in science, most chose health-related courses,” she says.
Chrisnel says she’s happy to see there’s now a bigger push to promoting the diverse career opportunities in STEM. “STEM offers us a wide range of opportunities just not here in the Philippines but also in other countries as well.
“Three years ago, I was introduced to blockchain and cryptocurrency. I met awesome women who managed to start their own cryptocurrency app to help farmers who are too far away from cities to open their own bank accounts. This innovation is just an example of opportunities out there,” she says.
When Chrisnel’s not working on tech projects with Cloudstaff, she loves singing and playing guitar, and marathon computer game sessions.
She says if you’re interested in STEM, don’t be afraid to try lots of different areas before you discover your passion.
“Do not be afraid to test the waters. If you love what you’re doing, you will surely excel and reap your reward.”
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.