My first month in AssetGenius as a Full-Stack Software Engineer intern
Six months ago, I decided to end my HKO placement earlier and pursue my passion for working as a Software Engineer in Japan. One weeks earlier, I have officially completed my first month as a Full-Stack Software Engineer intern in AssetGenius; and what a journey it has been!
From a practical context, this transition involved negotiating with my placement supervisor and learning mobile app development with React Native. From an emotional viewpoint, it involved building my confidence, taking the risk, and most importantly — trusting my intuition. So how have my first month in the world of software development been?
While I was starting the first month of my 8-month placement in the Hong Kong Observatory, one day I got this interview opportunity from Ronald Sidharta, the founder of AssetGenius. And during the interview, apart from asking me technical question, he spoke very positively about the business and his vision of this startup. Some days later, I was being offered a role as a software engineer intern there. I was really excited of being able to do my intern in a startup company in Japan as well as experience the lifestyle there. With this opportunity, I took the courage to negotiate of shortening my 8-month placement into 6 months, and get myself prepared for the new work.
Settling into the team
It was a bit surprise to me that I was told to be mainly working on the mobile app instead of the web. When I started working for AssetGenius I have no idea what to expect. I had neither worked in a team of software engineer nor a startup company before, and despite my experience as a freelance developer before, I had a feeling that things could be quite different in the real world. However, the most challenging thing of all was that I had little experience in real world mobile app development, even I have learned and prepared for 3 months before I join the team.
Having worked in the team for a month, one thing I can tell for certain is that I have been pleasantly surprised. Working agilely makes me feel flexible at work and helps me developing a good pace for making contributions. And with this flexibility, it allows me to have the time to learn new things every single day and improving myself as a better engineer. What’s more, since there is a lot to do and learn in startup, every single day is exciting to me and I’m dedicated to try my best to contribute more. During my first month, I have added new features such as chart and gross yield, not only that, I also try to enhance the current React Native app’s development experience by adding tools like eslint & pre-commit hooks, and optimized it to make it more performant and scalable.
So far the work has been very enjoyable and I truly felt part of the team — through taking parts in idea discussion and team socials such as lunch, dinner & talking about new techs. Overall, the team have shown me more support that I could have asked for.
Challenges, Successes & Learnings
Despite the great intro, it has of course been challenging at times. There’s been a lot of new things to learn — from new libraries and tools such as Docker, software structure & architecture, to settling into a new culture, learning Japanese and managing expectations. Whilst learning can be great, sometimes it could be exhausting as well.
Another thing I’m still struggling with is to communicate using Japanese, cause my Japanese is self-taught and It is still difficult for me to notice when to speak with Keigo(敬語) or Teineigo(丁寧語). I wish to improve my Japanese by speaking more often.
And what about successes? I have been made to feel welcome by everyone in the team and realized that it is a great place to work. The learning opportunities has been tremendous which I have learned a lot by working on real world applications. I’m glad I have made the right decision of taking my internship here.
After a month in AssetGenius, the key learnings for me are to ask questions, share your ideas & learnings, and most importantly — be yourself. For me, it is very addicted to learn and discover new things about programming. And coding, building applications, fixing bugs & learning cool stuffs have made my life as a software engineer.