2024 Tech Trends, Managing Conflict, Gaining Respect & More | Beyond Coding Q&A #7
Hi, everyone. My name is Patrick Akil and welcome to Q&A number seven. Today is the 29th of December. And when you hear this, it might be when it releases 3rd of January or it might be in the far, far future.
But in any case, it's no longer 2023. It's 2024. I got my phone again with my questions, which you sent me.
Thank you so much for that. And we'll get to answering those. Let's go beyond coding. Okay. Are you ready? Yeah, I think so. Cool. All right.
What new hobby would you like to try for 2024? Actually, I'm going to start with all the future things. All the 2024 things. So those are going to be at the start. So what new hobby would you like to try for 2024? New hobby. Haven't really given this a thought, but I would always I always wanted to be able to play an instrument piano and specifically. So maybe I'll start with that.
I've gotten more and more into bouldering and recently through the company, actually I got a fitness subscription, so I've been starting to go back to the gym and yeah, I already messed up my neck so I have to be more careful. Usually I don't wait until the new year starts to play around with hobbies. I just try them out. I'm going to go remote working, most likely in March and mid of April. In Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka, next to a co-working space, there's a lot of surfing and yoga going on. I've never done yoga.
I have done surfing and it's really, really cool. So I might really get into that knowing myself and being in that environment. So that's going to be a lot of fun.
There's also this like paddleboarding, which I really enjoy doing in Amsterdam in the summer, and you can do yoga on a paddleboard, so I might try that out. Those are more so things to try out and not really hobbies, but we'll see what spring's out and becomes a hobby. What tech trends are you anticipating for 2024? This is a hard one because I'm not really on top of the game when it comes to what is trending.
I guess I recently saw like a webinar when it comes to men, I always forget the name Webassembly. Webassembly was very much known for, for example, running Photoshop in your browser, a certain technology which allows you to do programing any language and then run it very small in both the front end as well as the back end and more so people are leveraging that technology specifically within Docker, even on the back end side. So you get faster startup times, for example, less latency, but I guess latency has already reduced to a point where it's really specific scenarios where you need even lower latency. But that's the technology I'm keeping my eyes on because I think is interesting.
Other than that, I mean, this whole year of 2023 has really been booming with AI technology. I think 2024 is going to continue that. The only problem I see that 2023 hasn't really solve this, the accessibility part. So how does it how does it increase its user base? It's through accessibility.
I need to be able to pick up my phone, be able to ask a question, and then get the answer. Now I have to specifically go to chat CBT. I don't even know the website. ICOM. Basically they coined that domain log in, typed my stuff and then get the answer as soon as it gets more accessible. If I could say, Hey, Google and my Google home, ask a question, get like a legitimate answer. That's not just based on a Google search, it'll become more accessible.
And I think then adoption will start to happen. I think people are starting to work on it, but the fact that I have to go to a website specifically be able to log in, have a specific account, would just pay to get the latest models. That's a hurdle I think, to most general population.
And since I'm in tech, I have all of that, but not everyone does. So as soon as A.I. gets more and more accessible, if I just have it at the fingertips, which I already have a lot of, if I even have more, we'll see a lot of cool stuff happening. So I'm looking forward to apps actually adopting it and making it easier for people. Maybe that's my final answer.
Other than that, no, I think a lot of product productivity tools are going to come out specifically for software engineers when it comes to creating software. Leveraging AI. Copilot is a big one and I'm going I feel like more and more tools will align with that and will allow developers to be more effective in whatever they have to create. So yeah, those are my thoughts. Our future stuff is hard. You should get a crystal ball as you get a crystal ball.
Yeah, I just got this new bottle for Christmas as one of my favorite gifts. I'm a simple man. Give me a water bottle and I'll be happy.
How do you see the future of yourself? Future of software and the future of I.T companies. And is it worth to be in this field? I'll answer the second question. The last question. Basically, I think it is worth to be in this field.
Otherwise maybe I wouldn't be in this field. I think it's hard for me to say because I'm very much biased and I'm very much in this field. I think it is worth, though I think it is not easy.
I think a lot of people can transition to it and it's going to take time and dedication. I think there are a lot of factors and a lot of roles that people need to play within this field, and a lot of them have a technology focus, but a lot of them also have a people related focus because this is all working with people trying to figure out what people want and then create that in a piece of software. And the creating that in a piece of software gets more and more easy.
So then we leverage or people can leverage figuring out what people actually want or how to work together and get this done, or how to get it done faster or cheaper. There's a lot of ways to optimize for that. So in that way, I think the field of the software related fields are very, very broad and I think it is worth to be in this field because the world is digital housing has been digitalizing, it's going to digitize more, it's going to leverage AI more and more. Even So, I think it is worth to be in this field when it comes to organizations. It's very hard to say because I, I had a previous conversation with London, for example, and he said, I don't know exactly the statistics, but 20 to 30 years ago we had a Fortune 500 list of companies, and only 10% of those remain nowadays, which means that it was either 10% or 2%.
But I'm going to go 2% for the sake of my argument, because that's even less if 2% of the companies remain. That means that all the other companies either died off or got merged or acquired and then died off, which means that I.T. industry or I.T. related companies, companies that have a digital component need to be able to adopt to the ever evolving outside world, outside of their organization.
If they cannot adopt and adapt and pivot and be agile, then they might actually be legacy and die off in that way. So I think for the future of companies that have a digital component, they need to be as agile as possible, not just pivot within really I guess, but really have a data component to it, a research component to it, and then actually be able to pivot in that way as well. I think that's the only way to stay on top of the game, maybe even ahead of the game, but definitely not fall off the game, which is what a lot of companies need to be able to prevent.
So yeah, I hope that answers it. Otherwise let me know and I'll continue. I missed the small component, actually, when it comes to the future of myself. Yeah. Don't really think about the future that much, I think.
And this was really hard for me. I think now one year ahead. So when I came out of my educational journey, I only thought months ahead, a half a year was already pretty hard. Now I've gotten to a maybe a point of age, maybe a point of experience that I can think one year ahead and for one year ahead. Hopefully, if nothing changes, I would love to be able to do this podcast for another year. Continue with that, really enjoyed that and learn through that, educate myself through that and others hopefully make impact in that way.
And when it comes to the far, far ahead future, I have no clue. I want to travel the world. I want experience as much as I can. I think having outside point of points of use really helps and gains like a grounded perspective, which I can leverage then in whatever I do, whether that's working with people, whether that's creating software, whether that's podcasting or anything beyond, I think the future is very, very much open and I love to try things out. So hopefully be able to try as many things out as I want. And I've just really been enjoying this last year, so I look very much forward to the coming period as well.
Is there a demand on the DOT net framework in the Netherlands? If so, is it going to persist in the future? The dot net framework, I'm not as much into the dot net space as maybe other developers are. We have a specific Microsoft part of the department, and I am not part of that part of the company. When it comes to dot net specifically, I can't give you any specifics, but you could basically cross out dot net for any other technology. And I would probably give the same answer on LinkedIn. You can find people that are specific types of engineers. You can find a Golang engineer, an engineer, a dot net engineer.
So finding those people and seeing what companies they work for, whether that's based in the Netherlands or based in any other company, any other country, rather, it will give you an idea of what types of companies are hiring or have hired for which types of roles that's technology wise. So then you have, for example, maybe a large list or maybe a small list, depending on your region, depending on your home country. Now a lot of JVM technologies are very much established. I would put dot net and the whole dot net ecosystem, Microsoft ecosystem, when it comes to software engineering all under there as well.
It's an established technology just by the virtue of having been established. I don't think it's going anywhere. But when you, for example, land a dot net related job in your dot net engineer or any type of engineering, rather, technologies will evolve.
So then at some point you'll come to a point where you can either keep doing what you're doing, let's say that's dot net or try out a new technology. And from my point of view, with my experience, I would say always try out, at least maybe in your personal time, maybe on the job, the new technology, because that gives you, again, an outside perspective that makes you consider what you really like about whatever ecosystem you're looking or what you don't like about whatever ecosystem you're working in. But in that case, it gives you a perspective and you can make decisions based off that.
When that new technology is better for whatever problem you're trying to solve, you need to be able to leverage that, because if you don't leverage that within the organization, other organizations might. And in that way you they outpace you or the technology you use might be outdated or might get outdated. Now, established technologies don't really, really die like there's COBOL engineers still very, very much being prevalent in certain organizations in certain environments, because once software goes live, it needs to be able to be maintained and it needs to really have a business case for it to be phased out and to get replaced by a different technology that does the same thing but better. So in that way, I think certain technologies never really die in a fast way. Let's say there will always be years and years before transit, before technology really transitions and gets phased out completely.
So in that way, I would say start with dot net, start with whatever excites you, be open and able to change with the outside world with the technologies that advance as well. But if that dot net is still prevalent within your organization and you really enjoy that ecosystem, then who am I to say, don't do that? I would say go for it. Go for whatever excites you because this is a long term game. You need to be able to enjoy whatever you're doing.
And if you're working with a technology which you don't enjoy, then doing whatever you have to do is not going to be as enjoyable as it would be. Loving the tech and loving the stuff you're working with. Mm hmm.
All right. Or A.I. stuff. I should have known this was going to be A.I. focused. As well. As AI continues to advance rapidly, how do you foresee the roles and responsibilities of software engineers evolving in the coming years, and what new skills will become essential for professionals in this field? We've touched upon it in previous episodes, and I'm still of the same mindset that figuring out why we're doing things and what needs to happen is going to become more and more prevalent for any professional within kind of the digital space, as well as software engineers figuring out why we're building this thing, why we're building A versus B versus Z even, and being able to leverage the data to really prove that we need to build this or being able to build even multiple solutions at the same time, which really requires speed. I think are going to be skills and responsibilities that are new, kind of not new, but maybe are going to be more prevalent in the coming years with A.I.. So figuring out the what and the why from a software engineering point of view, from an organizational standpoint, when it comes to skills, that's a hard one because I think software engineers and just people within the space, I think any person is going to try and leverage AI.
But when it comes to software engineers specifically, I'm going to differentiate between probably juniors and people that have more experience, let's say. So people with less experience need to be able to figure out and get up to speed and leverage A.I. in a way that accelerates their own learning path and learning process. And that's really hard because they're going to a certain age who is going to spit information at you, and you need to be able to figure out if that makes sense or not. And the only way to do that is by doing more research, by leveraging other information sources that are out there. But I do think it can accelerate your learning path in that way.
As soon as you go into this mode of accelerated learning, you can also increase your productivity because this tool or A.I. tools will pop up that spit out code and generate code that makes sense or don't make sense. You have to figure out what makes sense, what to adopt and what not to adopt, and what is rubbish. Basically, you can do that by yourself and you can do that more so within a stable team, within a good environment, with colleagues that maybe have more experience or are doing and treading the same path as you. So in that way I think people with less experience are really going to have to figure out how to use this to accelerate their own learning path.
And I think it's very much possible and I think it's going to be a lot of fun, especially when you're early on in career. For me, the biggest like Joy, would be to learn a lot of things and then to reflect and think back. All these are the things I've achieved, these are the things I've done, and there's so much more. If you're really enthusiastic and passionate about certain field, about a certain domain that's going to drive you in the field to learn more and to do more. At least that's how it was for me. Then when it comes to the people that have more experience, they already are able to figure out what is rubbish and what is not, which means that they really can use the idea A.I.
capabilities to its maximum when it comes to their own productivity. So you can use whatever you need to, You can ask any question, you can output any generate code, and you'll be able to tweak it to make sure it fits whatever mold you're trying to have it fit in. I don't know if that saying makes sense, but in any case, you'll try and make it work basically, and you'll be able to make it work with the knowledge that you have. Foundational knowledge will become more and more prevalent and more and more effective.
I think that's more so for skilled professionals. Make sure to figure out how to increase your productivity, because I feel like a human component will still be necessary for the coming year. I don't know how it's going to be in 5 to 10 years. I'm not going to say anything about that for the coming years. For the coming year, a human component will be needed.
That is going to be software engineer. So figure out how to be more and more productive. Pair programing is going to be a lot of fun because you're going to see other people be more productive or different. You can see different ways of being productive and in that way you can take and pick and choose whatever you like to fit your own work style. So I think that's going to be a lot of fun.
Now, when it comes to organizations, I think if you have a product, whether it's a software as a service, whether it's a physical product with a digital component, it's very interesting to look at what I can bring in the form of any type of digital assistance we already see. I don't want to say a lot of organizations, but some organizations pop up with a specific help component in. For example, Adobe, I use Premiere Pro for editing, I use Photoshop for stuff.
Then I'll have an API component. You can ask any question. They'll figure out what you need and actually adopt that and put that into whatever you're editing, whether it's a picture or whether it's a video. And I've heard it's actually quite good.
I have to still have to figure out how to use it. I still have to try it out myself. There's whole documentation center toils available already, and that's only one tool. That is what I'm using, which is completely not software development related, which has adopted it.
And I think it's going to increase the people that are using that too. All the productivity, the joy, the effectiveness, which is really cool if you have that tool, if you have those capabilities and your competitors don't. It's a really neat thing from a user perspective. So I think that is really, really crucial from an organization point of view to figure out what product you have and how you can leverage any type of AI assistants in there. I'm saying A.I. Systems because that's kind of the most prevalent thing right now.
But there's a lot of things, a lot of unknowns from my side which are going to pop up as well. And they're going to be fun to see, to use and to see evolve. Mm hmm. This person gave me a question as well as some context there. In the last year of university computer science degree did both front end and back end internships have done full stack projects as well, and they're in kind of an incubation program when it comes to enterprise worship, I think tech startup.
But our question is, what is the approach to probably figure out what field to focus on? Now that's a hard one because there's numerous amounts of technologies, there's a lot of different domains, whether you like fintech, health care, e-commerce, Iot, even domain wise, there's a lot to learn there. And then from your standpoint, what you like, what you like within this process of creating software, whether it's the people component, the tech component, the nitty gritty details, the infrastructure, the operations are really figuring out what is needed from a user perspective. That is a lot. And especially when you're in university and you don't have as much, I would say, experience beyond just your educational journey. Sure. Internships here and there. Honestly, I think any starting point is a great starting point.
As long as it's an environment that is open to you, learning as much as possible in a small time frame that's really hard to and really abstract, but it's really going to be custom because you're going to apply to organizations or organizations that could be big or small. You have to figure out what you want to start out. Small organizations are a bit more chaotic, a bit more. How do you say that in Dutch? You would say like cowboy landscape. I guess in a way that you might get a lot of responsibilities but you might not get as much guidance.
So if you're a person that really figures out what needs to be done and loves figuring things out on their own, this is a great way to do so. But what larger organizations can offer you is a bit more how do you say that? A bit more process and a bit more guidance. They can accommodate for a person with less experience and leverage the people that have experience and match that. For the people that have more experience, they can educate, which hones their own craft and their learning capabilities. And for the people that don't have as much experience, they can really learn and get guidance because figuring out what needs to happen is good, but figuring out what needs to happen and then implement it in the right way as well, that is sustainable for a production environment that is even better. And if you like, a team that can offer you that, it's going to be most crucial as a starting point.
And then once you've started, honestly, try things out, try what you think you like, learn what you might not like or what you don't like and just keep learning. I still right now have positions that I'm going to try out hopefully soon of things that I think are interesting or could be interesting. Product ownership, for example, product management.
I think that's fascinating and I would love to be able to try that out. I don't want to let go of any software development stuff, so I have to figure out how to do that. But doing that for a few months, for half a year even sounds like a lot of fun. Honestly, if I get the opportunity, I might jump on that. Otherwise it's always going to be a what if? And there's other roles like that that I think might be interesting. Score was one in the past where I thought, okay, this is very interesting and then I felt like I was missing this fulfillment of delivering value from a software perspective.
And I mean, based on that, I might not enjoy the product on role product management role as much, but I still have to figure that out. So even from your standpoint, coming out of uni, going into an organization, get a good starting point when it comes to the people and the organization and then just be hungry for knowledge, be eager to learn, be open and honest with feedback and receiving feedback and yeah, keep an open mind, learn as much as you can and then you figure out what you like. When it comes to the domains. It's the same, I think. Try a lot of domains. I mean payments Iot again, I don't have to name any of them.
I don't really get excited as much when it comes to the domain is what I thought in the past and is still kind of true. But is the more domains you've been in and the more domains you've created software for. I mean, I have a preference now.
The last project was awesome. It was Iot related, so that might be on top of my list after reflect a bit more and figure out what is that list in any case. But yeah, I won't go to a project specifically for the domain. Most of the time I'll go for the people and I'll go for the technology.
But the domain is a very prevalent component in that as well. So yeah, hope that answers that. Otherwise, let me know in the comments or I'll send the message in any case to this person. So yeah, what are some organization tools I should incorporate into my workflow tools that you use and tools that are industry standard specifically for web developer related roles, organizational tools? Man there's a bunch, I would say.
I mean, whatever messaging type of software you use, whether it's Microsoft teams or whether that's Slack, that's, I think, easy, that's accessible, you'll figure out how to use that. So that one is, I think, check. I would say make sure you figure out how to like, manage your email and manage your calendar in a way that works for you.
And that took me a long time to figure out as well. Used to have an inbox of like 2000 unread emails and then things would slip through the cracks. And now I really try and archive stuff and make sure stuff is read, make sure to follow up stuff at least, or put reminders for myself to follow up in the future whenever I think I need to. So I'm more on top of my email game since I didn't use the emails much in our email. More so communication is more and more important then I would say any type of documentation tool that your organization has, whether that's SharePoint or the stuff gets put on Dropbox, where the stuff gets put on Confluence, even figure out where information is usually a piece of software where you can find things that are important to you. When it comes to the organization, maybe you have an intranet somewhere, so whatever information you might need, make sure you need, you're able to find it.
And at least from my point standpoint, that's more so the organizational software. Some people have like a bonus system where they can give points and then receive points and points transfer to money, or they have a different system where they can get credits and then credits credits transfer to gifts and stuff like that. We don't have those. But if you have those, make sure you don't miss out on any of that good stuff because those are all secondary benefits which are really, really nice.
Any type of stock program. We also don't have that any type of stock exchange program, whether you can leverage your monthly salary for stocks at a cheaper price. Some big organizations have that, which is incredibly nice and a big, big benefit.
So make sure you use any type of stuff like that. I think that's anything organizational related. Now when it comes to specifically what development or software engineering, I think more so for web development, any type of tool that you express in or UI person uses, whether that's Figma Zeppelin, whatever the tool they have now figure out how to use that specifically because most of those tools have a visualization component. And then that visualization component also, for example, has to see CAC classes and headers and styling that you might use then to implement. Now it's not great to copy paste because you might have a framework, you might have different opinion of how things are or need to be able to be structured in that way.
But it's a great starting point. For example, I'm a little bit a little bit colorblind. So when it comes to colors and web development, yeah, I always love going at picking exactly the colors that need to happen because otherwise it'll be a bit of a mess to be honest.
So that's always been a big, big help. Then when it comes to any type of development role, I would say the idea is going to be so, so crucial, whether that's and I've transitioned from voice code. So whether that's via Scout specifically, figure out your shortcuts, how you open files, how you navigate, how you give files, how you interact with your kit, specifically your vision management control system in any way or form, through your ID or through your terminal.
We'll get to the terminal in a bit. I think your idea is very much crucial. I've transitioned to Intel and I was one of those people that kept both open for the longest time until I actually had to make the transition and I transitioned because Intel that you had to plug in specifically to Google Cloud, which Vsco didn't have.
So I had to transition specifically for that project. In any case, I'm fully intelligent now, so I'm always going to have to pay the premium license to get all good stuff, and maybe I'll be able to transition to free. In any case, in the future. But yeah, Jay is now my editor of Choice. I'm super fast in it. I know how to do files, knew I knew how to do, I know how to do multicast to select, I know how to copy paste, generate code, stuff like that.
Copy paste was not the best example, but copy paste. And then based on that paste generate, that's where I was going with that. I know how to how do you say that? Change the interfaces of functions to do it everywhere? My renaming point is on game and my renaming game is on point and I stuck with the references. And lastly, the terminal. Honestly, I use the terminal and I have all git related specific shortcuts, so I'm super fast when it comes to adding files containing specific messages. I have a convention in the message I have.
It's basically brackets. That's the ticket number. And then whatever new thing has happened, based on the changes that I'm committing, sometimes I make a bunch of changes and then specifically commit specific parts of files. So I figure out how to do that because your legacy in your messages is very crucial for you future you future team members, your current team members, any of those people for that context, which is incredibly valuable, figure out how to rebase your code when it comes to specifically get a can and optimize for a great developer workflow version Management related. That is a lot and it's not going to happen overnight. It's not going to happen in one year, maybe even a few years, but it will happen as long as you keep looking at what you have, keep looking at what other people are using, how they're using it. I work with people that don't use their mouse, so their whole developer workflow is fully.
How do you say that they can do everything with keystrokes to the point where they'll go to a web browser, they'll have a shortcut, and then you can see based on any clickable element, they'll see it keystroke and then they'll put that keystroke in and then it'll click based on that so they don't have to use their mouse. Well, from a developer standpoint, they are really, really fast. From my standpoint, I'm not going invest the time to get to that point and I'll happily use my mouse because I don't know how much of a difference it will be, but as long as I don't know, I don't have to put in the time investment because probably I'll go insane. But some people are really, really good at that.
So I'm not I'm not taking any digs. I'll just be like, for me, it's not my preferred way of working. Maybe I should try it out. Some people even change their keyboard layout to make it more optimized because Quirky is not optimized for a developer workflow or any type of typing.
So yeah, I felt like I'm out of breath, which means I was rambling, but I hope this was helpful to take a breath. So when changing careers into tech, what is the best way to explain the career gap? Because it takes time to learn languages, frameworks, etc.? In terms of gap, could you specify between short term and long term? Have a year, a year on career gaps? Are interesting and I've only I can only talk from the position of the interviewer. Having talked to interviewees which had career gaps on their resume, I would ask about that because I think that is fascinating or interesting and what I'm looking for is honesty. But that's from my site. So anything you can give with regards to I was learning X framework, I was transitioning from so-and-so to now applying for this role or for the future applying to another role for the past.
Looking at the past are the roles in that way. That for me is all valuable insights. It doesn't have to be specifically on the resume. Again, that's from my standpoint and it's really hard to generalize in that way. But as long as you're honest and open about what you were doing in that period of your life, I think that's what the opposite person is looking for.
And that's hard because that assumes that you're already at the table talking to a person when it comes to your resumé, specifically whether you're learning a framework, whether you're learning a language, it really, I think, holds value if you're able to show what you've done with that. So whether you're working, let's say a few months on a project specifically because you're learning a framework or a language, putting that in your resume, putting even a link to the GitHub or to up an interface where people can see that I think is incredibly valuable because it shows you're you're self-educated in that way. You can educate yourself, you can have output, you can be productive in that way in that period of time. You're not afraid to show what you've done. I think show your work is an incredibly important mindset and people can actually see and play around with it, maybe even give feedback if it's open source. But when it comes to the code, so the answer to your educational journey, a learning process still on the job or off the job, I think it's valuable to show what you've created with that time.
See, I hope that helps. I think if you're transitioning from a completely non-tech related role to whether it's web development, whether it's back in development, whether it's any type of software engineering or people related role within the digital space here, I think time will be necessary, whether you're going through a bootcamp or whatever. I would say still put that in, whether you're building a project or self educating, also put that in. But I do think other perspectives are probably necessary, maybe perspective that is more from a recruitment standpoint than the one I can give you, because I'm already talking to people that have passed kind of the first round. So it's hard for me, but I hope that helps.
And I would say don't be afraid to ask for help when it comes to your resume. I love seeing people post specifically on Reddit when it comes to questions like these, because then you get more varied, maybe still specific, but you get more perspectives. And I think more perspectives have better to kind of figure out what your perspective was on this and then execute on that. All right. This one is in Dutch, so I'll have to translate it. Have you ever been in a situation in your job or an assignment which was, on a technical level, fun and challenging? It had a lot of benefits but were not ethically responsible, so it would have make the world a better place? Yes.
And I'm not going to name which company, but you'll be able to figure it out if you just go to my LinkedIn and look at my work experience in that way, because it was in my period IQVIA. I mean, the period before was only a couple of years, so it's not that much. So it was one of the assignments here.
And in that way I was kind of new ish at the company and there was already a team working on that project. Now the project had big, big benefits in the way that I missed out on a trip to Japan. I think I've talked about this before. They went to Japan and I was on a different project and I was so, so jealous because I want to go to Japan.
I've never been and that's still the case. So still jealous actually, because they got a complete how do you say that their flights were paid The hotel was paid. They did some work. Obviously, that was hard work as well, especially within the kind of Japanese culture. But they had a lot of fun as well. So they combined fun personal learning as well as executing and making stuff happen on site with this whole trip.
And based on that, I rounded off my project. I was like, I want to go to that team because I don't know what other trips they might do because they were still working on a product that was going to go live in Japan specifically. That's why they got to go. Completely missed that context. But now you have it and they were actually pivoting because that same product needed to go live in Russia. So I was involved throughout that whole period.
But the domain and the product we were building, so the product we were building was e-commerce, but the thing we were selling is not the best for society. Looking back now, looking back still, I don't really agree with that. But the team, the knowledge and the technology, the ownership, the autonomy, those were all really, really good. So I wanted to experience what it was like working in that team with that technology and learn from that. Because honestly, back then I was probably like, What was I? 23? 24 Yeah, I don't really care about the domain, to be honest at all.
And I worked in that team for a year. I missed out on another trip because they had I had the option to go to Russia, but I already had booked another vacation, so I missed out on two trips. Japan and Russia one.
I mean, I should've just rebooked my vacation, to be honest. But yeah, at some point it got to a point where what we were building was finished, was done. We were going to go to another country and I wasn't going to stay on the project for a country trip because that was not set in stone. It might change in any case, and I don't think I'd ever happen in that way. And I voiced my opinion that I think I learned a lot here.
And it's funny because when you start a project, when you start in any environment, I think you're learning is going to go through the roof and then at some point it kind of curves out and you're in control to make sure it curves out or it doesn't curve out for as long as possible. But as soon as you feel like it curves out for me, and usually that might be a bit too late, even I'm going to need something else because I love that curve. I want that curve as long as possible and as many times as possible in my life, because learning is fun, at least from my standpoint. So then I voiced that it might be time to round off and that just even vocalizing that a person in my project then contacted my manager at the time and they decided it's time for me to round off, even though I never said, okay, now's the time.
I said it might be time. So then all of a sudden I found myself in a different project. Specifically, I wouldn't say health care, but for health related products in that way, completely different domain, a domain I got really excited about. And with that domains that you get excited about, that was kind of the first time for me that I got excited about this domain. And then the project after was even more excited domain wise, technology wise, it was different team wise.
It's always going to be different. But still it taught me that yeah, the technology's fine, but the domain can also be fun. Looking back, it wasn't really ethically sound, I think because I was earlier in my career, younger in age. I did that and I had no trouble with that. I'm not going to lie about that. I think nowadays I can still do that, but I will miss that fulfillment that a domain can offer you.
Getting really excited about making the world a better place or changing people's lives for the better, and not just making the company as much money as possible. Yeah. Having now experienced that, it's going to be rough being in that position again and though I think I can do it, something will be missing, So I might not do it for a long, long time. I might not do it even at all. Just being able to do it doesn't mean I like doing that. So if I ever have the choice, I'm not going to choose for that.
And I think it might might show some growth actually personally. But yeah, it's funny because in the past people would ask, like, what? What domain do you like? I'll be like, I don't I don't care about anything. And they'll be like pornography and I'll be like, maybe, maybe that one. And they'll be like, gambling.
I'll be like, maybe not that one. Like, obviously you have a preference and at some point you have to weigh out the options. Do you want to go specifically for this domain, even though it doesn't make the world a better place to learn and leverage your whatever you can? Basically, whether that's working with that team, with that technology, even within that domain, because the learnings can be applied anywhere. In that case,
you have to make that trade off. And looking back, you might say it's the right decision. You might say it's not the right decision. I don't really like thinking like that. It's the decision I made and I can live with that and I can leverage that knowledge now in whatever future project. So yeah, good luck with those decisions.
All right. For more questions now, this is a hard one. What is your career goal? I'm saying this is hard because I don't really give this much thought to it. What is your career goal given that you interview others about their goals? It'll be great to learn about you as a person and see a more human side. Now. I hope you a human side in any of these companies
or even any of the out of the episodes, because I try and be as authentic as possible and I don't try and force it. I'm just trying to be myself in that way. But when it comes to my career goal, honestly, it's not really a career goal. I want to have as much fun and as much learnings as I can. I do think it's important to have impact with whatever I'm doing. So if I'm just a cog in a huge, huge company, I don't think I like that.
I have never experienced that to such a degree that I was, but I don't think I'll enjoy that. I like making impact in in that way. Working at startups is a lot of fun, but when it comes to the end goal, honestly, I want to enjoy what I do on a day to day. I want to have fun little side projects which stimulate me mentally, fulfill me in whatever it is doing. Basically, this podcast is kind of an artifact of that. I'm doing this 5% of my time, which is not a lot, is it? 5%, let's say 5 to 10% to make it a bit more 90% of the time I'm doing other stuff.
But the fact that I can do this, 5 to 10% fulfills me incredibly. I'm doing 90% other stuff, but even that is not the stuff. It's also other stuff in there.
For example, I've become a team lead this year, which I'm really, really proud of, and now I have a team and I'm responsible for their learning, personal development, etc. etc. So I'm really trying to figure out how to do that, how to customize my way of communicating to leverage whatever they need in that way to meet the goals, to meet their goals, to make sure they're happy because their happiness makes me happy as well. So that is kind of the other stuff in my career. And as long as I can do that, I think I'll find joy going to work, doing stuff day to day, through stuff that is different, stuff that is still challenging from a mental side, intellectual side.
I keep saying mental, but I mean intellectual, and that is the goal, honestly, to keep doing that, sustain that for a long, long time. Don't burn out doing that. Don't do any stuff. That's boring.
Yeah, career goals are hard. I want to do more. Usually when I'm like, okay, what am I going to do? I'm going to do more.
Got to do more of the same stuff, more of the different stuff as much as I can on my plate. So that burning out needs stuff. I need to keep an eye on that. Otherwise I have life goals in the life goals or to travel the world to experience as much as I can.
Honestly, money wise, don't have any issues be able to do. Yeah, kind of anything. And I'm not living some type of luxurious life.
I'm very simple guy. I got a water bottle for Christmas. I was incredibly happy with that. So yeah, as long as I can keep doing that, sustain that for a long, long time.
I think it'll be good. I think I'll be happy. I don't think more money's going to make me more happy. I think more challenges will make me more happy depending on the challenges. But at least it's going to be fun learning, succeeding.
All of that I think is fun experiencing. I want to experience as much as I can within my career and within my life. Maybe that's the end goal.
So yeah, goals are hard hit. Goals should make more goals. I hate goals. All right. How can you handle work when a family member is passing through a difficult illness? What is the general position of a company when an employee has this kind of a situation that's hard working when family is ill, it's really hard. Like both of my I never really had a good relation with my grandparents, but I had a great relation with my mom's grandparents.
They lived next to us a few streets down the road and during COVID in a short amount of time, they passed like first my grandpa and then a few months later, my grandma. And that was a really rough time. I get it got labeled as a COVID case, even though it wasn't really COVID specifically.
COVID just made it worse. Basically, and honestly, I was working from home day in, day out. I wasn't seeing many people. I was not in a great place, to be honest, and I never asked this.
But now that I've become a team leader, I learned that you can ask your company for special leave. So if you need time to recoup. I think I just took that time and I took days off because I didn't know that. But a company can offer you special leave. So if you're going through a hard time, if you need to go back to your home country because you're working abroad and take of your family company can offer you special leave.
So that's that's what I would advise. I think it's really hard to go through that as well as focus on your career. For me is kind of secondary when it comes to friends and family. That's what I tell myself. That's what I tell others.
When your home situation gets tough, it's hard to ask 100% of you at work, so make sure your home is okay. Make sure you're okay. I think that's the most important part. Otherwise you'll stretch yourself too thin and you'll do yourself and your team and your organization at this justice. Because then you're going to give your 50%. You're 60%. Whether you think that's right or wrong, I think it's better to take time off and then come back and give 70, 80, 90 work up to 100 again, because you were able to take that time off.
And sometimes you need more time than a company can offer you. So yeah, you'll be kind of in limbo and that's going to be okay. Like sometimes just time needs to pass.
That's what happened for me. I was kind of in limbo. Honestly, I don't remember much of that period. Day in, day out, I was kind of doing the same thing, kind of just waiting for time to pass, trying to process it really takes a long time to process. It was really one of the people, like the few people in my life that passed that were the closest to me.
And I know I'm very lucky saying that I have a huge family. And that was also a reality check that with a huge family comes a lot of happiness and is also going to come a lot of future sadness. And yeah, that's going to be it's going to be hard the time to process and that's at some point all you need.
And luckily a company can offer that. Yeah, if you're going through a hard time, I hope you're okay. That's the it. How can you differentiate when a coworker's statement is wrong, especially when they have more years in the company and experience than you? How can you stand your ground in that situation? It's really hard because I don't know the context what has happened with me when someone just yeah, it's hard to say plain wrong because obviously context matters and nuances are usually in the middle. But when I had figured out and in a very robotic sense how things work, if it happens, then B happens. If C happens, then D happens.
The whole scheme of the landscape that we were in, I talked to my colleague because they were going through kind of this work procedure and I started with this whole thing because I didn't like the work procedure doing the same thing day in, day out. I said, Well, we don't have to do this procedure anymore because if we do X, Y and Z, we'll have solved the problem. And I've talked to that and it's really hard to do X, Y, and Z.
But then that means when we get these types of error messages, we don't really have to look into them anymore. Specifically these because it was a specific message and as you can guess, was back in operations when I was 22, 21, 23, coming out of university, basically my first first job, well, that person looked at me and said, I I'm still going to do the same thing. And honestly, we had like probably 20 or 30 years of age difference. They probably also had ten, 20, 30 years of career experience. I didn't get it.
They said they were going to do the same thing. And I said, Well, we don't have to do that because of X, Y, and Z reasons. Very logical, very robotic. I was like, Well, because X, Y, and Z, we don't have to do it.
And if a person then is not convinced and says, I'm going to do the same thing I pushed, I was like, because I don't want it to quit. And I don't want to have him do it because if he might do it, I might have to do it. I pushed. I was like, Well, again, so and so and so, we don't have to do it.
And I did that again. And maybe too many times it's hard to look back because this was a few years back. But he snapped illegitimately, snapped. He said, You're not being a great colleague. He started yelling and saying, this is a well, I'm not going to swear.
He didn't really swear. But yeah, he started yelling and honestly, yeah, it made me feel very, very small. It made me feel like I might have done something wrong. This was on a Friday and he just snapped and walked away and I looked at my other colleagues because this was in an open workspace. I was like, Did I see anything wrong? Did I do anything wrong? They tried to reassure me and say, No, no, you're right and blah blah. And then over the weekend, it really sat with me because he snapped.
I was like, I do anything wrong, Maybe I should have said something differently. It was the tone of voice I had. Maybe I should have brought it in a different way. And then on probably Sunday or Monday, I was like, Maybe he just was having a bad day.
But in any case, I decided this is not how you talk to colleagues. This is not how you talk to people. You don't yell at each other when someone is trying to make a point and you disagree, you never yell. So then I confronted him. I said, I want to apologize that he's not going to do that.
So then I went to my manager very childishly. I went like to the teacher to try and resolve this issue that we had because apparently the guy didn't want to give me an apology and I expected and wanted an apology because I don't think you should treat each other like that. And I had hoped that the apology would make sense and actually land. So then our manager put us at the same table, listened to the story, and then, yes, said, Hank, you give Patrick your an apology. Angers Jason an alias. That's not the real name. Trust me.
Give Patrick an apology. And then a person gave me an apology and that was that. And it took a bit of time to kind of build up that trust again and be able to work together again. I don't know if it was ever, ever exactly the same, but yeah, it was based on my actions and I was at fault as well. Maybe I shouldn't have pushed hard. Maybe I should have taken a step back and done it in a different way.
But me being the person I am very Dutch directness I pushed at that time and it had a consequence. So it's really context dependent. If you're truly right and that person is wrong, is it the right time to push? And it's really hard to say you should push or not. You can get buy in from other colleagues.
You can try it from a different angle with other people. You can try numerous things. It's really hard.
Is this point very crucial to you? For me, at that time, it was a yes. Looking back now, maybe I think I should have done things differently because I don't want people to snap. Maybe I was having a bad day and.
Then I just push these buttons in the wrong way, which means I need to be able to be more flexible from a communication standpoint as well. Make sure people don't snap. Maybe it was unavoidable, even. And then even if I were to do a different thing, he still would have snapped. I have no clue, but choose your battles in a way, if this is truly important, stand your ground and you can get buy in from colleagues.
If you're truly, truly right now, the less experience you have, it's really hard to say, okay, you were 100% right in that case. So it depends a lot on confidence, but outside perspectives will make that true or false in that way. For me, very early on, I had rare moments where I thought I was 100% right. Again, because this was a process, because I could logically explain this. I had buy in from other colleagues. I thought I was 100% right, and I was.
But most of the time I acknowledged that I might be wrong. And that was the mindset I had when I came to an into certain problem. When I had to explore things, I would be like, How do you think this works? Because I think perspectives help me for my own perspective, help us form a conclusion. I would bounce ideas off not acting like I was right, but saying, This is my idea, this is my opinion.
I don't like to be wrong. Maybe that's like a personal thing, but I don't like to be wrong. Which means I talk a lot in this is my opinion and what I think cannot be wrong.
What I think can change. I only talk in facts when I think it's 100% a fact. Even then, in the way I'm talking now, when I think it's 100% a fact, because I still might be wrong in that way. So it's really hard. You can always go to your manager, you can always get support from your colleagues. It depends obviously, in the on the environment, on the person sitting across from you.
What I'm expecting from a senior, it's that they're open minded and that they're able and willing to spend time in educating others. People that have more experience, people that have less experience. I don't really to care as long as everyone has that mindset and has the patience to be able to educate, then it's going to be a great environment. Obviously there's deadlines, so the patients might not be from that person because of the organization.
There's no patients, basically. But then still I expect the people aspect from that person to be there and to accommodate for that and to say maybe, I, I can't explain it now, but we can expand into the future and it has to do a lot with trust in that way. And trust comes from both sides. So yeah, I think confrontations are very good. I think for your personal development, definitely don't go them out of the way, reflect and learn from them and you'll do better in the future.
And those confrontations they're going to stick with you. This one was like six or seven years ago and I still remember just a snap like, Yeah, yeah. It was incredible to me. Honestly. So yeah, good luck. Last one.
If you're a junior with little experience in the domain field due to a career change, how can you gain respect from senior employees in the company and even your manager? So if you're a junior due to a career change, I think if you're if you have less experience in general, the way I give respect to people, respect comes by default. But I admire people that are really hungry for knowledge and willing to learn. Don't judge as fast and try and be objective and yeah, see them grow.
Like I really enjoy that This hungry for learning this eagerness to pick up anything and learn from that even though they've never done it. It doesn't have to be confidence, it has to be openness, their ability to ask questions, their openness for feedback. Those are all things that makes me admire people with less experience. Respect for me comes by default.
So if you come from a place where people don't respect you is really hard work environment wise. So I'd like to put that on admiration, but that's what I'm expecting from people with less experience. We've we've hired for people with less experience. And what we were always looking for was a specific mindset.
A mindset is super vague, but in that conversation there eagerness kind of shined in a way that they were asking about what I had done in previous projects to a certain detail because they wanted to know genuinely. They wanted to know because they had the right mindset. If you don't have the right, if you don't have that, let's say that drive for curiosity and knowledge, then it might not be the right field for you. The domain or the technology or the people might not be the right fit, but something in an interview process, something in your job makes you excited and that excited. And this if other people perceive that, if I perceive that, it's hard for me to see if other people perceive that, if I perceive that it makes me admire that.
And I think passion and drive can bring you far. And if other people see that, they'll be like, okay, this knowledge that I'm investing is not going to go to waste. And this is my assumption because I think that people with less patience they think is not worth it. If they don't see you in this field for a long, long time, just by virtue of you not being eager, not being interested, not being interactive in that way from their standpoint, obviously, then they might not invest what they know and in the types of education they can do with you or the knowledge they can transfer to you, or just honestly working together, programing, stuff like that might not be worth it to them because they think, well, in a few years they're going to switch again and it's all going to be wasted.
So as long as they perceive that you're going to be here for the long game within the organization, within the team, spoke of