How secure is your job in Vietnam? It’s a question we all found ourselves asking as businesses try to cut losses during the pandemic, as the lockdown is extended in Vietnam. Senior Full-stack software engineer La Anh Tu shares some great tips after nearly six years working with Norwegian colleagues at Facilitated Work Hub in HCMC.
1. Learn something new every day
Anh Tu is really satisfied with his permanent position in Norwegian aquaculture company AKVA Group. «The office environment and the way we work give me the chance to constantly contribute as an equal member in AKVA´s development branch. My target is to learn something new every day, to always improve. Pick up something about the IT field, my co-employer, their product or service, or general skills. If I fail to improve, I’m not adding enough value. It’s easy to be left behind, considering how fast this business moves. Making customers happy makes me happy. It’s pure return on investment.»
2. Look for a solid company to work with
When his previous employer was acquired by a bigger company, Anh Tu decided on a move. AKVA Group as an industry leader ticked all the right boxes. «I had other options, but they did not look as challenging in comparison. AKVA´s heavy focus on new technology, like mobile apps Flutter, Xamarin and React, combined with deeper use of .Net Core and Azure, suited me better. As I said, the more I learn, the more I can contribute. Straight away, and in the long run.»
3. Long-term employment makes you a key person
A normal day at work includes coding, problem solving, discussions and ideas. Online scrum with all Vietnamese and Norwegian developers takes place daily at 4 pm. In AKVA, they are all equal members. «My Vietnamese team take on more and more responsibilities, which again strengthens our influence. Our product knowledge grows ever stronger as the company invests time in us. This way, they create key personnel out of us. Our Norwegian colleagues respect our solutions, and we respect theirs. We collaborate closely, get to know each other, and gain trust. Trusting my colleagues is essential. And do you know what? I feel absolutely no distance between Saigon and Norway, as we are all one team. And we are an effective one at that. Together, we create value and growth for AKVA Group.»
4. Develop software with end-user in mind
In his first year in AKVA, Anh Tu visited Norway twice, having stints working in the HQ in Trondheim. An overnight trip to a fish farm installation by the ocean became an eye-opener. Watching the software he had created in use, on a guided tour hosted by real life end-users, put everything in perspective. The feedback was unfiltered, live and honest. Most app features got praise. Some others did not. The questions kept coming: «Why do I need to click both here and there to control the feed sensors? Couldn’t this UX be more simple?» Before seeing the software in use, Anh Tu imagined the apps as separate entities. On-site at the installation, he experienced how all apps, controlling 1000 sensors, were interlocked. Enlightenment ensued. With a clear overview of the end-user experience, Anh Tu´s product knowledge grew instantly. Motivation and inspiration to improve the solutions came flowing in, just as the waves crashing ashore next to him.
5. Choose your right co-workers
Anh Tu is an active participant during recruitment when AKVA expands their Vietnam team. What is he looking for during interviews? «CVs show me hard facts. However, I am more interested in how you implement your knowledge in real situations. How did you contribute in your last team? What challenges have you met, and how did you go through the problem solving process in projects you refer to? Love and passion for this field of work is so important in product development. The same goes for collaboration styles. All the way, from kick-off to product launch.»