Love to Tinker.
Growing up in a middle-class family makes you appreciate every little thing. It is difficult for me to get my parents to buy new toys or gadgets for me. My dad will usually bring home broken/old second-hand stuff and give it to me and ask to fix it or get the stuff from it and fix other stuff.
At first, I didn’t know what to but, once my dad showed me how to make a torch light with just batteries and a light bulb with no complicated mechanics required, I started to get curious about how stuff works. I started going through and disassembling all the broken stuff to figure out how it worked. It has become one of my hobbies and I’d start tinkering with stuff still worked and most of the time end up breaking it which put me in a tough situation with my parents.
At the age of 11 years old, I got my first computer. Even though it is a low specs computer with a CRT monitor, I was able to play all classic (it’s classic now, but it was trending then) games. That was the time I started getting curious about computer hardware and software. I started to open up the computer case and figure out the hardware inside and even managed to upgrade/fix some of the hardware. This is also the first time I learnt how to make animation using Macromedia Flash MX.
Once I started working, I spent less time tinkering and spent more time reading about other people tinkering and creating new stuff. Websites like Instructables have a lot of content for people who love to tinker or love DIY (Do It Yourself).
Live learning new things.
After SPM, I did not have a clue about what to do with my life. Do I continue to study or start working, and if I continue to study, which area should I focus on? One of my teachers suggests learning IT as it has more job availability. That struck me as a very good idea as I already love computers. So, that is what I did as I joined a local college called Sentral College Penang to get a Diploma in Information Technology.
It was very fun and full of experiences and I got to spend time with like-minded colleagues. After completing the diploma, the dilemma continued with either continuing to degree study or start working. People around me suggest continuing studying because I would lose the time and desire to study once I start working. I continued studying for a bachelor’s degree (Hons.) in computing at the same local college with a collaboration program with the University of Wales. I managed to get a good score and received a scholarship.
While completing my study, I was worried about what, how, and where to start my career. With the help of an internship program, I got a full-time job at the place I’m doing my internship, Refinitiv (also known as Thomson Reuters). I worked for 4 and a half years at the same company and never stopped learning new things every day. However, before getting full 5 years’ experience, the Covid-19 pandemic started. The company started closing down some of its departments in Asia.
Laugh at past mistakes and learn the lessons.
Looking for a job while unemployed during the pandemic was difficult. At the same time, I realised I did not have working experience as a programmer or software engineer. The whole time working at Refinitiv, I was doing process improvements, data analysis, automation scripting, and workflow development in Salesforce. So, it was difficult to get through interviews for programmer or software engineer roles.
With the support of my family and friends, I have managed to get a job at a local startup company as an IT executive. This was the first job where I used all the skills and knowledge I acquired to develop websites and solve IT technical issues in the company. Even though it had only been less than a year, I managed to experience and learn new things that have become the stepping stone for me to start my career in Kode Digital.
Working here at Kode Digital has been and always will be a pleasant experience for me. It is a new thing for me to work in an agency environment. With the help of my boss, Xian, and senior web developer, Lawrence, I have been able to adapt to the workflow. Every day, I keep learning new things from Xian or through research, trial, and failure. I am looking forward to pursuing my career at Kode Digital while enhancing my skills and knowledge to contribute to the growth of the company.