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Careers Review

2019 in Review

And that’s it! We’re now at the end of 2019 which also means it’s the end of the decade too. These past 10 years have gone by in a flash, at the start of the decade I started high school, now at the end of it I finished my degree at Monash University. So here’s a look back across 2019.


A Look back on 2019 – a year of achievement

I know that in my review from last year I talked about how fast it has gone by, this year felt more fast paced then ever before. But this year, after coming back from a long well-deserved holiday, I felt that I have achieved more than ever.

Releasing MonPlan

Towards the end of last year, we released MonPlan as the university’s official enterprise course planning software. At the start of this year, we integrated into the enrolment processes for VTAC round offers – this was the first test of MonPlan with over 7000 users using our sites within the first few minutes of the offers going out. We also rolled out to South Africa and Malaysia in the later part of the year.

Towards May/June 2019, I made a tough decision to hand over a lot of the maintenance and development of MonPlan to the rest of the team, as I was beginning to field offers from external companies. I made this decision as it made me knowing full well that MonPlan was in good hands when I left.

Awards

Something that really surprised me was that I was announced as a finalist of the itNews Benchmark awards – the awards night was hosted at KPMG Barangaroo in Sydney. Surprisingly I took the award jointly with the other finalist Fiona Sparks of Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

itnews

Leaving Monash

In November 2019, I said goodbye to Monash eSolutions as I had taken up an offer with Google, where I will be starting as a Test Engineer mid-February next year. You can read more about my reflection of my time at eSolutions here. The interviews were pretty hectic, overall I did 5 interviews (1 initial phone call and 4 ‘on-site’ interviews), with a lot of practice on LeetCode (at least 3-4 problems per day, for 3 weeks up to the interviews).

A few weeks ago, I also wrapped up my degree at Monash. Which means I am graduating next May (let me know if you want to come) !


Volunteering

Something that I am always passionate about is giving back to the community.

WIRED

At the start of this I was elected Graduate Representative of WIRED. Some of the major events that I organised included TechFest and Bit By Bit Hackathon.

These events were really enjoyed by the students, hopefully will continue over the coming years.


Overall, this year has been the fastest and most hectic its ever been, with the end of the decade coming up, I feel like I have accomplished a lot this year. And hope that next year is even better.

A big thanks to my friends and family for being there for me for the past couple of years, and I know that moving away from Melbourne is going to be sad but I will always come back and visit. You know who you are.

Let me if you want to catch up before I head off!

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Review Volunteering

TechFest 2019 in Review

As some of you might know, I’ve recently joined Wired Monash – the Students IT Society as the Graduate Representative.

So, recently we’ve just completed a hectic week of events called TechFest! 🎉 And I was looking after many of the events. During TechFest we’ve tested out many ideas, including live streaming & just inviting a lot of sponsors for a week of awesome events.

TechFest

Overall, TechFest went really well. I looked and helped coordinate after many of the events. But the ones that I lead included:

  • CyberSecurity Panel with IBM, EY & Deloitte
  • Docker from Scratch Workshop w/ Aaron Powell (Microsoft Azure Developer Advocate)
  • Breaking into Tech & Diversity Panel w/ Microsoft, Xero, REA Group & Red Hat

Live streaming

I really love playing with new technologies, and as I talked to a few fellow students, I realised that some of them might not be able to make it to classes either because of travel, studies or just other activities in general. So as part of Day 1, we launched our live streaming service to test it out.

As students use many platforms (and not on some in general), we had to find a solution that allows to stream to multiple services in general. In the end we settled on using a service called Restream.io which allowed us to stream to multiple services at the same time.

By the looks of it we will be continuing to reinvest into Live Streaming and perhaps working with the AV team so we can capture both video input and display input (eSolutions).

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Careers MonPlan Review

March 2019 in review

As I previous stated back in late February 2019, that this year was going to be hectic. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been quite busy, with:

  • Going up to Sydney for the 2019 IT News Benchmark Awards – in which I manage to win the Rising Star Category, you can read more about that
  • Did my first round video technical interview with Google for a Test Engineering (SRE) role in Taiwan! 🇹🇼. Fingers-crossed on getting into next stage of the interviews
  • Was at Industry Night promoting MonPlan and working with eSolutionsMonash University
  • MonPlan will be placed in Operational Mode as of 1st April – meaning that all the major bugs/issues have been resolved.
  • Signed a new contract with Monash Uni, and as of 1st April – I’ve been promoted from a Junior Software Engineer into a Software Engineer!
  • I’ve been elected the Graduate Representative of Wired Monash, which is the IT Student Club at Monash.

Interviewing with Google

My plans after uni isn’t that amazing, I’ve applied for a few roles across some really big tech companies – Google (Sydney & Taiwan), Atlassian (Sydney) and REA Group (Melbourne). Though if I don’t get any of these roles, I’ll be applying for a mid level roles later this year. So yeah, I’d applied for this role (Test Engineering) back in January, and the main reason why I applied for this role that’s going to be located in Taiwan, is not only because I love doing DevOps/SRE, I also wanted to travel a bit more (especially back to Japan – 🤣)

Yep, that’s right despite my not so good grades/GPA, I’ve managed to snag a video interview with Google. The interview went fairly well, I did a lot of Hackerrankquestions before the interview. But for those who are looking for a test engineering role – the questions were straightforward, having a knowledge for general data structures, SRE/DevOps/SysAdmin strategies and complexity will be very beneficial.

I’m hope that I can get this role though! 🤞

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Careers Review

2019 itNews Benchmark Awards

It’s a great honour and privilege to win the 2019 itnews #BenchmarkAwards – Rising Star Category along side Fiona Sparks (Go Victoria!)

Firstly, a big thanks to Josh Nelsson-Smith who started out this project (originally as an Open Source Project) with me – without your initial help and your awesome development and management skills, we wouldn’t have transformed the student experience. Also a thanks to all the other students who worked on this project: Saurabh Joshi, Charles Campton, Robert Koch, David Copley, Harry Ferrier, Ben Clare, Isabel Sprengers, David Lei, Callistus Tan, Katie Ng, Nicholas Whittaker, Mansi Vyas, Hyun Shim, Rebecca Young and Benjamin Yap – you guys are awesome!

Special thanks to Teresa Finlayson, Trevor Woods for really transforming and supporting Student Innovation at Monash University, and thanks to Edwina Harvison for supporting this project through the Student First Program.

Another big thanks goes out to the mentors and managers who without the help of we wouldn’t have made it this far: Linh Truong, Chau Lam and William Harvey.

You can check out the original article here

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Careers Review Travel

2018 in Review

That was quick! 2018 went by in a breeze and we’re here with a new year. For me this year, it was about making a difference to the community.

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone (friends, family, co-workers) who have supported me throughout this year. And all the best for 2019!

MonPlan

As many of you know, MonPlan this year has been bigger than ever. In February, we launched MonPlan into beta – which is one of our biggest launches ever. The university adopted our product as the official course planning tool shortly afterwards. And just recently in October, we officially released MonPlan – a big thank you goes out to everyone who has supported us all the way through the journey.

  • Firstly I would like to thank Josh Nelsson-Smith who co-founded this awesome project with me, having working with him for the best part of 2 years, having supporting me when I was feeling not that great and learning a great many things with me was really amazing.
  • Another amazing person that I would like to thank is Saurabh Joshi, Saurabh is a really amazing person who is really great at what he does, but without his initial help at the start of the project MonPlan wouldn’t be where it is at.
  • All the awesome team members that we had: Charlie Campton-Strachan, David Copley, Robert Koch, Harry Ferrier, David Lei, Callistus Tan, Katie Ng, Nicholas Whittaker, Rebecca Young and Ben Clare: you guys really helped us get over the finish line, even though our team shrank in size and grew many times – but without the effort from you guys we wouldn’t be where we are.
  • All the staff, managers and senior executives at eSolutions (such as Linh Truong, Chau Lam, Teresa Finlayson)
  • Lastly, all the friends who have supported me: Emily Dao, Michael Williams and Nick Priebatsch. I know that I’ve thanked you already, but without you guys being there for me and listening to me ramble about random stuff, I wouldn’t have been able to get most of the stress out.

Tech community

For me, this year I’ve participated across two hacks: Hackamon and UniHack. I mentored at this years Hackamon instead of competing, helping others grow ideas, giving them tips on pitching is something that is really enjoyable and seeing an idea grow into a solution is what makes the entire experience worthwhile. As well as giving out two Tech talks on Git and rapid prototyping.

Giving back to the community is something that I believe that every tech person should do. This year I’ve been part of 2 meetup communities: JuniorDev and MusesCode (formerly NodeGirls Melbourne). For JuniorDev, I’ve given 1 tech talk (on GCP with NodeJS) and once again mentored at this year’s Hacktoberfest event. I’ve also mentored at an event aimed at teaching JavaScript/NodeJS/ECMAScript to beginners, as part of the MusesCode meetup community.

Hobbies

This year, I’ve picked up photography as a hobby – around September I brought a new Canon 800D DSLR. And have slowly taking photos and learnt how to process them through Photoshop. Check out some of my best photos here

Travel

I know that I told myself that I would travel last year in 2017 but then it got busy.

This year I ended up going to both Japan (with friends) and China (solo) for around 5 weeks: which has been really fun. Big thanks to everyone who have travelled with me and made the experience more enjoyable. I really want to head back to Japan at some point in the future – maybe to the northern part (like Hokkaido) next time.


I am really looking forward to 2019 – with new ideas (and with it, startup opportunities), looking for grad/junior/entry level positions and finishing off my degree part-time, new hobbies and friends, potentially more travelling – I’m sure it will be an awesome year.