I want to be a grown-up… NOT

When you were a child, how many times have you changed your dreams? One day you wanted to be an astronaut, and the next day you suddenly wanted to be a cool scientist after watching Dexter’s Laboratory. Well, I was one of those kids.

At first, I wanted to be a professional soccer player as I was a soccer maniac. Every day, when school ended, I would grab the ball and run out to play soccer with friends until one team gave up. Later on, as I was watching K-drama with my family, I thought that I wanted to become a lawyer because I wanted to punish all bad people just like the main actor in the drama! (K-drama is filled with cheesy moments)

When I joyfully came back home with my favourite ice cream in my hand, I heard very shocking news from my parents. My family decided to move to Canada as they believed that my sister and I would not survive in overly competitive country.

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Moving to Canada was a huge change to me. I was very afraid and anxious to live in very unfamiliar country where everything is new to me. Also, I was pressured with typical immigrant Asian parents’ expectations: “You must become a doctor to succeed!”. Honestly, it was impossible for me to fulfill “their” dreams because I was really bad at science (Hooray!).

Constant pressure and eagerness to survive at school peeled off my childish reasoning and completed me up with realistic views. So, here I am now studying one of the most popular program, computer science, which has and gets the most jobs out there.

Through 3 years of computer science program and few co-op terms, I partially found a path to my career. In 10 years, I want to see myself as:

  • Game developer
  • White hacker
  • Hacker to steal everyone’s info if something goes wrong in my life (Just kidding!)

I think that becoming a game developer would be awesome because not only I can see people playing the games I created, but I would participate in creating the world map, characters, monsters, items, and all the things I have been interacting when I played as a user!

But first, in order to achieve such goal, good communication skills are required as much as good technical skills.

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Many of you may think that why do developers need communication skills? Don’t programmers simply sit in front of the computer and code as fast as you can? The truth is that the best product comes from good synergy with the team.

I have seen couple “failed” developers because they didn’t know how to communicate with their team members.

Person A made rigorous comments to person B’s suggestion which caused person B to get mad. It was a disaster… What I especially learned from working at a start-up is that you really need to know how to accept constructive criticisms since you would not be always the correct or best guy in the team. If you make a mistake, your peers will correct it. You should accept, learn, and move on. If not, it will bring a long pointless conversation, and you may put yourself as “that guy” in the team.

Learn to know how to be respectful. Even though you and your colleagues are comfortable with each others, remember that you are within the office policies. That is, you can make light jokes with them, yet still keep professionalism. Also, do not make personal jokes (i.e racist jokes) like you do with your close friends. It may not only judge who you are to others, but it is going to offend somebody in the office.

With good communication and technical skills, you are complete package to become a successful developer!

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1 Comment

  1. This is really great advice Tim: be respectful or as I like to say “Be nice to everyone.” Your post actually made me laugh out loud (not LOL b/c that’s kind of taken on a new meaning). Parents of any race can pressure their children but probably best not to! You found your way and that’s fantastic! Thanks for a great post.

    Like

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