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My 2017 Review

Passion for System Design

After finishing a one year project, my longest stable team (lasted for 3 years) was separated into two smaller teams. Sadly, but that was a good chance for me to become a key member in my new team. My preferred skills were about system architectures; therefore most of the tasks of building the application structures were handled by me. In order to enhance my design system skills, I have spent much my time for reading books closely after work. These following books help me a lot.
- Object-Oriented Thought Process | Matt Weisfeld
- Head First Design Pattern | Elisabeth Freeman and Kathy Sierra
- Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, Streams, and Functional-style Programming | Alan Mycroft and Mario Fusco

Junior Technical Architect

I was requested to join a technical architect team (aka Team. Alpha) where I actually had gained experiences almost on interviewing candidates for my company (lol). Besides, I noticed myself must improve the skills of convincing people because I had had a strong debate with other members once in a sharing session (yes, I failed). It was really tough to convince others when introducing a stuff/an idea was totally new. But, "Do it Anyway" because debating makes problems clear.

New MacBook

This was something very normal but I think it's worth the money for tackling a new experience on a new operating system (macOS). I really loved it!

Facing challenges in finding a new company

I had worked at my old company (Axon Active Vietnam) for more than 4 years. It was not too long but I felt that it was the time for me to move out of my "safe zone". I had spent much time for interviewing to select a company for my new journey. Sadly, I had failed in a lot of places, from Outsourcing to Product to Startup companies. It was really a frustrated decision but eventually, I made a resignation when I didn't have a new offer. And, even my manager who also suggested a raise to keep me on my team. I appreciated that.

Fortunately, I had received several offers (exactly 3) at the end days before I left my old company. The following was my log: (Company | Applied position | Interview Notes)
  1. NVG | Senior Web Java Developer | Various questions about frameworks are being used.
  2. LenderRate | Developer | Algorithms (level: hard, difficult).
  3. ContentNet | Senior Developer | Deeply technical questions about Java core, design patterns and how to approach a technology.
  4. Absolute Vietnam | Developer | Deeply technical questions about Java core (but, it's my strong points).
  5. Innotech | Full-stack developer | Behavior questions (quickly, only <30 minutes).
  6. FPT | Developer onsite longterm in Singapore | Specific frameworks (Restful API, NodeJS, Microservices).
  7. Adnovum | Professional Developer | How you understand your most favorite projects and used technologies; algorithms (level: easy/medium).
  8. Freelancer with my beloved team | So, I passed it without conditions (Haha).
  9. Politely declined to interview at Zalora, SAI GON BPO.

Winning my first project with my freelance team

With a strong spirit of a startup, my team focused on trying to make our first project super succeed by providing a good quality and fast-building application. It was not only collaborating well with customers but consulting them to have a "better" application.

The following were key values of my team:
- Having the same vision: sharing a "can do" attitude. We organized some practical sessions each sprint such as knowledge sharing, code reviewing, and retrospective.
- Focus: reflection and adaption on whole sprint goal, not individual tasks status.
- Being agile: being flexible/effective at work rather than following strictly a process.

My desk at CirCO CoWorking Space

Happy New Year! 2018.


  1. It's cool is that I also applied to LenderRate back at the time when I was looking for a new job after leaving Axon Active. Can't deny that their exercise was a bit tricky. My "homework" is a task to deal with 2D nested array rotation algorithm. My implementation back then was accepted as clean and correct way but they demanded a far better solution, agh !

  2. Holy crap! but, it was cool. Algorithms can be called as "Chi" in Kung Fu!


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