As part of our Tales in Tech series we’ve been catching up with members of our tech community since the beginning of lockdown to share the journeys, lessons learnt and advice that has helped them through their careers to date.
SQL Developer, Kim Chung, joined our onsite partners Bionic last month in the midst of the UK lockdown. Ranked 7th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to work for 2020, Bionic are one of a number of growing tech companies continuing to hire and onboard new starters remotely during this time.
Joining the virtual office via Microsoft Teams and learning the ropes remote, we caught up with Kim to hear her tips for working from home and her advice for anyone wanting to begin a career in tech, but unsure of where to start.
Tell us about yourself and your new role at Bionic
I've just joined Bionic as a Senior SQL Developer. Currently I’m working on a migration piece where we’re migrating another company into our system, so I’m learning the ropes at the moment and understanding how the Bionic business works.
You were onboarded during the lockdown, how has that experience been for you?
Working from home is normal for me as I used to work one day a week from home at my previous company, so overall the experience has been fine! The people at Bionic and the team I’m working with have been lovely and friendly and always lend a hand if I need anything.
You interviewed before the lockdown, so you saw Bionic’s amazing office and the energy and culture there, do you think that you’ve still got a feel for that culture whilst you’re all working distributed?
Once you walk into Bionic the first thing you hear is the music and you can feel the energy from the sales floor. There’s a different type of energy in the tech team as everyone is very focused and working hard to deliver their processes so it’s a different kind of buzz compared to the sales floor atmosphere. The company uses Microsoft Teams where we have our daily stand ups and meetings sharing what we need to do each day, so I’ve still really felt the collaborative culture from home.
As you’re used to working from home, have you got any tips for a productive home setup?
You need to find a comfortable setting. You also need to establish your working hours and try to enforce strong boundaries where you’re able to pull yourself away at the end of your working day. It’s all about creating a good working balance and a daily schedule or routine.
What has been one of your biggest achievements throughout your career?
Probably when I was a Junior and I got promoted to be a Technical Lead. I was handing in a project and because the project was quite tight, I created a new framework that I was able to design, implement and see how it grew. It’s different when you're just supporting the project but when you're actually managing it, scheduling the work and talking to other businesses, that's really fun and seeing the end result is a huge achievement.
What about the biggest or most interesting challenge you’ve faced?
I think it would be working with people who have a different mindset to me. I have a very product-focused mindset so future-proofing my work is really important to me as a Developer, whereas other Developers may be more focused on just finishing a project. It can be a challenge working with people who are less invested or passionate about the project you’re working on.
What do you think is the best part about your job as a Developer?
For me I think it's being in the background, we’re quite often called the engine workers. I like being given an idea and then putting that into logic, I think that's the best part. I'm not a very customer facing person so being a Developer suits my personality.
What advice would you give to a Junior Developer or someone who’s recently finished university who’s looking to progress into a role similar to you?
If you know what you want to do, then go for that stream. If you’re not sure, then starting out as an IT Technician is a really good place to familiarise yourself with different areas. That's what I did and where I learnt SQL, which led me into the Developer world and to where I am now. If you don't know what you want to do but know you want to do something in IT, starting out as a Technician will introduce you to different industries and show you how different things work.
A huge thank you to Kim for taking the time to talk to us and sharing her journey into tech. If you’ve had an interesting pathway into tech or are working on an exciting project you’d like to share, please get in touch! We’d love to hear from you and share your story with our tech community.
If you’re currently hiring and need any help, advice or support on your hiring needs, we're here to help. Get in touch with our Managing Director, Chris Spranklen, at email@example.com.
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