iKala Young Talent

Embrace the Unknown Before Learning; Unleash My Potentials In A Flat Organization

Shawn Yang, Software Engineer, iKala Cloud

I graduated from the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering at NTU. I didn't take part in any internship when I was an undergraduate, and I chose to look for a full-time job right after graduating. To be frank, little did I want to do a job related to information engineering before entering the workforce. I had every intention of being a dive instructor, then I could emigrate to Australia with friends. While it might not be a thoughtful and long-term plan, I decided to turn back to work in the information industry.

Benefit Becomes A Less Important Factor While Selecting A Company To Work With

When I was looking for a job after graduating, I saw many positions which required 3-5 years work experience. Therefore, I chose to join an interesting company without this requirement. At first, I regarded employee benefits highly. For example, when we had a make-up workday, we could go out and have fun for half-day, and take the other half-day off. We also had birthday parties and club allowance. Nevertheless, when we were so busy, we might not have a chance to enjoy these benefits. Although there were so many coworkers, their abilities and competencies varied – that made me think it is not always better to work at a big company.

Two Perks Of Working At iKala – High Productivity And Horizontal Communication

iKala is the second company I joined after graduating. Before iKala, I worked at a camera/streaming related company in the traditional industry. The biggest difference between my last company and iKala is the efficiency of clarifying problems. At my last job, my team may spend an afternoon finding out the problem of wrong way of connecting joints for clients. But at iKala, we can get to the root of problems quickly with correspondent personnel solving them, so that we can have a high productivity at iKala. What's more, coworkers are highly qualified and reliable here, so you can learn a lot from them.

Another difference between two companies is ways of communication. Because my first company is a very hierarchical organization, you couldn't refute the boss and managers. But at iKala, everyone has the right to express your thoughts. As long as you explain your ideas clearly with proper reasons, your opinions may be adopted. It is a more horizontal communication way at iKala, which means your ideas wouldn't be ignored even if you are a rookie. 

My Opinion On WFH

I think it is great to work from home, which has been useful before the outbreak of Covid-19. Nonetheless, it was totally not allowed at my last company. Work-life balance is pretty essential for me. That is, you have to manage your working hours. Sometimes I get inspiration out of working hours, and I will get some work done. I think it is hard to separate your work and life clearly, yet you have to strike a proper balance for yourself. Hence, the flexible culture of iKala is suitable for me. Except for discussing stuff with a large scope, it is more efficient to meet in person. Other times, I really enjoy the working mode of WFH.

You Can Learn Everything Here

Many internal documents are left by predecessors at iKala, so you can learn how to deal with problems from them. If you still have no idea after referring to these documents, you can consult a colleague. Senior coworkers will also provide wonderful ideas at meetings, then you decide how to do it by yourself.

iKala's employees are active learners, and everyone is willing to answer others' questions. Even though sometimes they don't know the solutions, they will introduce colleagues who know better for you. Compared to senior coworkers, I have more chances to ask questions when I do something wrong or don't have a good understanding of something. As a rookie, I can attain numerous feedback from learning. At iKala, information and communication are considerably transparent. In other words, everyone's willing to share what they know with each other.

In addition to hard skills, what I learn most at iKala is to reduce costs of communication. For instance, each feature may be assigned to only one member in our team. And everyone has a backup partner who will cover you when you are absent. Thus, you need to organize a document with easy instructions within the least time, which could be understood by someone who doesn't have the basic knowledge. For me, it is a tough and challenging task.

As A Rookie, You Can Get the Hang Of Work By Two Tips

As a rookie, before I ask colleagues questions, I will prepare a big picture and different ideas. After that, I will let my manager or coworkers know what's the key problem I encounter, then they may evaluate pros and cons of different methods for me. Namely, you should organize your thoughts before discussions, which can reduce costs of communication. On the other hand, if I am stuck at the same place for too long, I will set a stop loss point like 2 hours. In case I still can't figure it out, I will seek help in time. Since it would be a waste of time to keep holding on, I would rather learn what others will do. To put it in a nutshell, listing problems and reporting regularly are useful tips to get the hang of work as a rookie, which are also good ways to build a sense of trust in your team.

Before Getting Started On Learning, You Need To Embrace the Unknown

If you would like to join iKala, you need a strong ability to learn because there are too many things you can learn here. If you specialize in a specific area deeply, even you are assigned a task never seen before, you can get the hang of it swiftly. Yet, before you have a strong ability of learning, you need to take the first step into the unknown, for you will never know what you will encounter.

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