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Past 5 Months About -

It was quite some time that I didn’t share my updates about my personal life on this blog. It’s not that I’m extremely busy or maybe I’m too free as probably what other people might thought about me. There were so many things happened unpredictably during last half year. Sometimes, I just feel it does look like a novel and the first chapter is started from the minute I returned to KL.

 

Interviews

I didn’t immediately looking for a job when I came back to KL because I need to redo one of the components for my uni research project. After I had finished the research, I only started to look for a job after Chinese New Year, which is probably around end of February or early of March. I guess the first few interviews wasn’t really my interest to get the job but it’s more for me to use the opportunity to understand what kind of interview questions (particularly in technical area) will be asked during the interview and also the market rate. I haven’t attend any interviews last four years and I wasn’t in KL for two years. Besides that, I plan to move back to development and I really have no interest to continue working in support although I have more experience in customer support. Well, I never expect this will be my longest break I ever had so far in my working life but I understand that it’s not easy to switch from one field to another field and I know that it requires more effort to convince a company that willing to give a chance to someone from a different background to work in the development team. Despite of those reasons, I still want to strive for the development opportunity and went for different interviews (including support role) to know more about the interview questions and market rate.

In fact, I knew I can easily get a job if I put more effort in interviews for support role but it’s just so hard for me to do so. I really don’t like support job at all. I can accept a job which involves of dual roles, mixed of development and support but I can’t accept a full support job. Although there were times when my inner feeling keeps telling me to stop striving for it anymore because the chances of getting it seems quite slim and I’m just wasting my time of keep waiting and striving for the opportunity but still , I want to keep trying and I believe I will get it one day. The interview experience was not that good compared to those time before I went to Sydney. Among all the interviews that I had attended, there were only two jobs which I really interested to get it and I received an offer from one of them.


Recruitment Agencies

So, I had attended several interviews and also some were recommended by recruitment agencies. I would say most of the recruitment agents did a really bad job. I still remember my first interview (contacted by a recruitment agency) was from a local setup company and the lady interviewer was a bit harsh, demanding and stingy. I never experienced this last time. The second interview was from a lady as well but she’s quite friendly and definitely nicer and more professional than the first one. Unfortunately, I really have no interest in support role and also, I feel the job it’s not technical enough to capture my interest and requires me to work shifts. Another interview arranged by a recruitment agent was a mistake where the company is looking for a .NET developer but she arranged the interview for a Java developer position. It wasted my time and I never pickup the agent’s call anymore. I never have good impressions on recruitment agencies all these time but after a few arranged interviews especially that one, it’s really a big NO from me since then.


Worst Interview

Another interview that I went which is the worst one I ever had in my life so far was not from a Human Resources manager or technical managers but two young girl developers. That interview really wasted my time and I was so tired after I had a long flight on the day before. They were more to background checking and asking a lot of irrelevant questions. Those questions are more related to my personal background (maybe my personal background is more interesting like a story book or a tv show to them) and nothing about checking whether my skills are relevant or suitable for the job. They were trying to be friendly and making up some jokes which are so lame and not funny at all. Worse than that, they used my background or my answers as a joke.

I have the thought to leave the interview session half way because it’s really wasting my time, humiliating my IQ to attend the interview and forcing myself to listen to their lousy jokes. Besides, I went there to present myself to get a job, not for entertainment purpose or being used as a joke. Furthermore, I feel it’s intolerable when the interviewers are not serious and trying too hard to create some jokes which makes them look like a fool. Their questions have indicated that they didn’t prepare or do any research on the candidate’s background because they asked me a lot of stupid questions related to my previous support job and couldn’t even pronounce my previous company’s name. I can see their faces looked blank and when they heard the softwares which I mentioned to them, it sounded like alien words to them. It gives me the impression that they have limited exposure to the outside world and technologies and never work hard to improve their knowledge but just doing the same thing everyday. They applied their software features and try to create some questions to apply them in my previous supported software. In short, it seems all the applications in their world only have add, edit, view and delete features and nothing else. At first, I tried my best to answer their questions but after so many stupid questions being thrown to me, I feel it makes me look stupid if I try to answer all of them and so, I made up some stories for the answers because at that moment, I just want to leave that place as soon as possible and I know they won’t be able to differentiate whether it is a true or a fabricated answer. I managed to take a peek on my test and I saw there were many correct answers for the programming section. I assume I will not get the offer from that company but even if they will offer me, I will reject it although the job scope seems interesting. I knew that I won’t be able to tolerate working with people like that and that company is already in my blacklist. In short, the interview was conducted in a non-professional way.


Turning Point

The last interview was conducted by two men and they are quite nice and friendly. They asked a few questions which makes me more understand about myself and know what I really want to do in my career. Although the questions sounded simple but it’s sufficient enough for me to re-evaluate myself. “Why do you like programming?” and my answer is simple: I’m not super smart in programming or a very technical programmer but I like to troubleshoot and find out the root cause of the problem if there is something doesn’t work well. I like to think a lot and think how the logic works, what causes the failures and how to resolve the problem. They asked me whether I can accept dual roles and whether I have experience working in a non-structural or not procedural work. For me, I never feel scare of dual roles and non-structural job because that was what I used to do all the time during my first two jobs. I never receive any proper training during my first two jobs. In my first job on the first day, I started to checkout the code, understand the product and what I need to do with the customisation request. In my second job on the second day, I went to the production site of a local bank for a migration and I jot down all all the alien commands for self-learning.

Somehow, I’ll prefer dual roles because it’s like taking the ownership of the system and I’m the one that understand the system, I’m the one that fix the bug, I’m the one that knows the logic and the which code belongs to which functionality, and I’m the one that provide the support to the customers. I used to work in such role where I fix the bugs, provide the support, troubleshoot the problem, resolve the failures, communicate with the end users, attend the weekly meeting, represent my manager for status update meeting, update the documentations, perform the testing and migrations, and so on. The interviewer told me it’s a rare case that someone from a support wants to switch back to development because based from his experience, the common thing which usually happens will be either someone from development wants to switch to support or chooses to leave the development work.

Although it took me around half year to get this job but I feel it’s worth to wait for this turning point. Of course, there were several times I asked myself whether I should give up and just continue with the support role but my inner feeling keeps telling me that I should continue striving for it. Even if I have to wait for longer than 5 months to get a development role, I will choose to wait and try to get a freelance work while waiting for the opportunity. In another way of thinking positively, probably I was working too hard last 2 years and I didn’t have much free time for other things besides of studies and work. The past 5 months was really a good time for me to practise my programming and clear my book list.


Support vs. Development

Why I always feel I’m not suitable to be in support role? I personally feel a person should have some of the following personalities to fit into the support team:

  • A person that willing to work shifts such as weekend shifts, night shifts or any irregular working hours and extra hours

  • A person that willing to explain the same thing several times to the customers

  • A person that likes to talk to the customers and willing to help the customers unconditionally

  • A person that can work according to the customers’ needs even if you know his decision possibly will affect the system’s performance

  • A person that can have more soothing words before jump to the main point

  • A person that can tolerate customers who prefers to follow their own ways

  • A person that willing to see the customers who prefers bang their heads against the wall rather than being saved

  • A person that willing to save the situation if customers ask for assistance after banging their heads against the wall

From the above listed items, I would say I have none of them. For the shift work, I guess I have the “shift phobia” after my previous jobs. My brain keeps telling me that I can’t take shift work anymore and I extremely dislike any mandatory tasks affecting my personal life. Somehow, a lot of people likes to tell me how high they can offer me if I’m willing to work shifts. For me, there is no price can be offered to pay for my “personal life”. I need my personal time to improve myself and not contributing my health to the company. Actually, I don’t have the tolerance to explain the same thing several times to the customers. Of course, I won’t show my anger to the customers but I will feel tired with this repetitive task. I can’t stand with customers that prefer to follow their own ways after I had explained tons of things even if the provided solution is for their own good. I guess the only anger which is a bit hard for me to control is when they rejected my resolutions and they prefer to kill the system and they will ask you to restore the system back for them when the system is in half dead state after they had tried their own solutions. Also, I like to be straightforward and jump to the main point rather than beat around the bush.

I can take a job involves of mixed role, development and support but I can’t take a full support role. Besides, I always feel it’s so hard to get an interesting, challenging and a technical support role in KL compared to the outside world. Somehow, I feel support role at here are struggling to be excellent in both communications and technical knowledge whereas overseas companies seem have lesser focus in communications and placing technical knowledge and customer satisfaction to a much more higher priority. Although I do feel all those are important skills in support but my interest is more into technical area and maybe due to this reason, I probably more suitable in development role.

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