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This article originally appeared on Vulcan Post

It’s been less than ten days since Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong released a Sudoku solver that he personally coded in C++ on his Facebook page — thereby proving just how awesome he is — but Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has already come up with an alternative version. Last night, our Minister for the Environment and Water Resources proved his own geek credentials when he posted a Javascript version of PM Lee’s Sudoku solver on his Facebook page.

Dr Balakrishnan was recently put in charge of the Smart Nation Programme Office, an office which aims to achieve economic and social goals via technology in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision. And it seems that the minister is no slouch at hacking and coding: according to PM Lee, Dr Balakrishnan “used to be an eye surgeon but since he does not get to operate on eyes nowadays, he dabbles in building simple robots, assembling watches, wireless devices and programming apps.”

Image Credit: news.asiaone.com
Image Credit: news.asiaone.com

The fact that two of our ministers are already planning to fit “learn new coding language” into their busy schedules — PM Lee plans to learn Haskell after retirement, while Javascript is the language of choice for Dr Balakrishnan — should provide more than enough inspiration for anyone wanting to learn programming. Already, helpful Singaporeans have commented on both PM Lee’s and Dr Balakrishnan’s Facebook posts to recommend everything from alternative coding languages to meetup groups.

It’s amazing to think that a humble Sudoku solver is connecting local tech enthusiasts from all walks of life, making the future a hopeful one as Singapore pursues our Smart Nation ideal.

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