Walking down the corridor always ready with a good-humoured smile upon eye contact, that’s Antony, our Senior Product Developer (aka software developer) who was recently promoted. Congrats!
We sat down with Antony to find out his motivations, and some advice he has on what it takes to be a Senior Product Developer in his 7th year in Titansoft. Read on as he shares with us his journey of growth in Titansoft, the time a mistake he made affected almost 2 years’ worth of production data, and most importantly, what keeps him smiling!
1. In the past 6 months, you were doing something different i.e. being involved with new projects, going to our Taichung office to work with local teams. What motivated you to take on new responsibilities, going beyond your team to work on a company level, even across offices?
It is constantly on my mind to look for challenges. To do something unconventional. In our development processes, there is the day to day work. But I like to seek for the overlooked and work on those. Those are the things that will benefit us in the long run, even for other teams and departments.
I asked myself, what the company or department really expected from me, instead of just doing the same thing every day.
I received a lot of feedback during the promotion panel, and had a chat with my manager. I came away with the feeling that I did not lead a big impact in the organization. Luckily, there were new projects which came in at that point. As the in-link last year, when I attended the year-end Department Operation Review and Planning meetings and learnt about a big upcoming project, I approached relevant Dept Managers to volunteer to take up the challenge. And so, I went over to Taiwan for 1.5 months.
2. Can you share your growth journey?
My growth spiked during my first four years in Titansoft. I am now in my 7th year. During those 4 years, I invested a lot of personal time in learning. Because of my own interest, I would go home and study up on all the processes that relates to a particular feature. Even if there is no actual relation to my work, it is still new knowledge that I gain. I would say that for new developers, the first 4 years is critical for rapid growth. During those beginning years, there are many information that you do not know. Ask questions. Go find out how others would approach the same problem. If you know something, look for something else you do not know. Exploration is the mindset.
3. How did you grow yourself, to learn and keep updated with the necessary knowledge and skills?
It is easy for technical knowledge. Talk to others in the industry, go back and research. Recently, I learned and created a simple system to test our API. As opposed to learning from tutorials, I faced real world problems and would share my learning with the team so everyone have that knowledge. If I learn but cannot apply it to the real world, I will forget it. I might only learn a few things but I make sure that are applied in the system. That is the practical way to learn.
It is important for everyone to share knowledge so it will not be lost when people leave the company. I consider my learning cycle completed only if it is applied to our work.
4. Among V-CEPAT, which company value resonates with you the most? How do you apply it to your work and positively influence others?
I choose practical, because in the real world, I need to be practical to solve problems. To know what is necessary to be done at each stage, and to prioritize the most important task at each point.
5. As a senior developer in the company for more than 5 years, what advice would you give to your peers and junior developers?
Keep learning something new. You need to explore and be constantly learning so you know how to solve problems. Know what the company and business needs and join in on trips to meet customers. On those trips you will learn how customers and users use your system. You also need to know your product well, so you are able to solve the right problem with the right tool.
6. What keeps you here at Titansoft?
Learning and challenges. There are many things I want to change in the system that I have not had the time to, yet. For example recently, I managed to complete a project regarding flexible release management which greatly reduced the time and resources needed to handle release processes. The solution has now been applied to many projects, across teams. That is the kind of problems I want to solve. That is what keeps me here as a senior product developer. The environment and culture in Titansoft provides the flexibility empowering me to solve problems. All it takes is a second for me to make a change. There is no red tape, no waiting for approvals up the management chain.
Also, Titansoft provides an environment which allows mistakes, even accept it as part of learning. There was once a mistake I made affected almost 2 years’ worth of production data, I was so scared! Luckily, it was not a core part of the system – even then, it took the Technical Manager 1 month’s work to recover it. And it happened during the period of quarterly appraisal so I was expecting it to affect my bonus, but it did not. This is my personal best example of the learning environment I work in every day – a culture built around “fail fast, fail cheap, fail often” but most importantly, to “learn forward”. It was a scary experience but to me, it was worth it. The mistake allowed me to explore deeper into new areas of learning.