Home Jobs & Career Tech Candidate Spotlight – Myron Yao, Software Application Engineer

Tech Candidate Spotlight – Myron Yao, Software Application Engineer

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Thanks for joining! Let’s start by talking about your educational background.  

My Bachelor’s Degree is in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. I learned general software development principles but the most practically relevant language taught at the time was Java. I taught myself Javascript in two weeks on my first job to adapt to a role as a full-stack developer and continue to maintain a general interest in programming language design.

Related: Code Your Career: Staying Competitive in the Developer Job Market (VIDEO)

In terms of certifications, I completed a short course on the Google Cloud Platform while with my previous employer.

Which, if any, educational opportunities, have made the biggest impact on your tech career? 

I still highly appreciate my education at a traditional institution for equipping me with a high-level understanding of hardware, algorithms and data structures, concurrency, language design, parallelism, operating systems, distributed computing, and human-computer interfaces.

Aside from equipping me to tackle complex and technically demanding design and debugging tasks in a large enterprise software system, my theoretical interest in how languages structure programming made me an enthusiastic adopter of new language standards. This includes the introduction of patterns of Functional programming to Java and Javascript.

What would you like to learn more about?

I have a deep interest in physics and biology particularly as they relate to Neuroscience. AI really fascinates me. It’s not necessarily the statistical models currently driving a lot of the mainstream hype and economic development, but more so the biologically-inspired models. They provide incredible insights into human behaviour, experience, and consciousness.

What led you to pursue a career in tech?

Coming from a background/environment with an emphasis on academic achievement, I gravitated toward tech as an applied field with a high degree of freedom in what it created. Computing and automation are fundamentally about learning to harness non-human intelligence. Programming is an incredible force-multiplying tool for anybody with novel ideas.

How has your skill set evolved over the course of your career?

I began my career cramming on front-end technologies to become a full-stack developer. But as I gained experience, I pivoted into backend performance/stability, leading to system design and architecture.

If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

In my previous role, I gradually focused on backend development because the firm’s product was targeted at an enterprise client base. Improvements to the core system had the greatest impact on the widest audience.

Is your new role different from previous ones?

My new role is somewhat different from my previous one. The internal platform is mature so development manpower is presently focused on feature development for customers (externally as opposed to internally facing). I am excited about the mission and social impact of the product and I don’t have any issues with customer-facing development.

Nonetheless, it is not out of the question for my new job to parallel how I started out with my previous role. I began with a focus on front-end development but ended up contributing to the core platform after gaining knowledge and experience as a full-stack developer.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

My new role is with a team in a growth area for the company, which also has significant room for positive social impact – student information systems for large educational institutions. Besides the huge addressable market, the company’s mission – digital transformation of information systems of large enterprises to help them reduce the acceleration gap between technical debt and innovation – means that, particularly for the student product, the platform may even eventually be in a position to improve the learning experiences of students directly.

Additionally, I am excited to work with the in-house internal platform at Workday. This sounded more bold and efficient the more I learned about it. For example, eliminating the inefficiencies of object-relational mapping for its crucial core data models by keeping business objects fully in memory. I look forward to deepening my understanding of software architecture by studying the system and reaping the productivity benefits of actually working with it.

What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

Hired was one of the first services I looked into when I began my job search. However, with regard to my job search outside of Hired, it was fairly difficult due to several barriers:

  1. Importantly, I was coming off of a 2.5-year employment gap involving an international Master’s Degree. COVID and several months of exploring possibilities for self-employment interrupted my degree completion.
  2. As a Canadian without a US work permit, I was limited to local opportunities.
  3. Unfamiliarity with the non-tech firms doing the majority of tech hiring in the current job climate meant I was mostly applying to big tech firms. Unfortunately, those firms were the ones downsizing after over-hiring during the pandemic. In anticipation of a recession, they weren’t very responsive.

What’s your best advice for jobseekers registered on the Hired platform? 

The two key differentiators which make the Hired platform uniquely effective are the Assessments and Preferences features.

Assessments

Take the time to fully use all three attempts on each assessment, even if you get a decent grade. Candidates are ranked on the basis of both correctness and completion time. So, it is preferable to get the best score possible. Furthermore, if you plan to complete multiple assessments, space your attempts between them instead of completing an assessment all at once. The material in the assessments overlap (e.g. Full Stack with Front-end with Programming Skills), providing opportunities for more practice.

Preferences

Given the present job market, keep an open mind regarding which industries you’re willing to work in. Do some research into which ones are actually hiring. Definitely, DO take the time to specify some preferences. A strong match between a candidate and a company will predict cultural fit, giving you greater visibility.

Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 8 Key Tips!

Remember the recruiting process is costly for hirers (e.g. sacrificing work hours for devs or managers to conduct interviews). Recruiters who perform candidate searches on Hired want to have as high of a hire-through rate as possible. If you manage to get an initial interview request, you are already highly likely to meet their basic requirements. All that remains is for you to demonstrate you are authentic and motivated. At the same time, the bias toward a high recruiting success rate means the initial screening process can be all the more stringent and impersonal.

In this sense, my honest experience was that optimizing my profile for initial views and interview requests was the hardest part of the journey. Once you land an interview request:

  • Research the company
  • Identify what you like or want to know more about
  • Review the ample tips and preparatory materials Hired provides for interviews

This should put you well on the way to passing the final screening!

What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

Hired is a modern hiring platform leveraging data-driven techniques to make matching candidates and companies more efficient. It also democratizes hiring by surfacing additional information not visible via traditional processes.

Hired creates value by generating productive matches between jobseekers and employers who might not even be aware of each other. For candidates, this removes the most time-consuming yet inefficient stage of the job hunting process – mass-generating job applications with little guarantee a human will even look at them.

Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

The resources on the Hired blog are extremely informative. By highlighting the perspectives of both past candidates and recruiters representing real conditions on the platform, they provide great examples of success on Hired. A tremendously important skill in all aspects of life is being able to consider things from another person’s perspective. For job-seeking, the advice, suggestions, and testimonials on the Hired blog represent vital data for helping you do so.

About Workday

Workday is an on‑demand financial and human capital management software vendor. Founded in 2005, Workday has 5001+ employees and is headquartered in Pleasanton.

Benefits

Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, 401K plan/matching, performance bonus, paid time off, parental benefits, job training, fitness reimbursement, flexible working hours, and more.

Tech Stack

Java, Scala, Ruby, Python, Elasticsearch, iOS, Swift, Android SDK, MySQL, Javascript, Hadoop, Spark, Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Kafka, Apache ZooKeeper, Ruby on Rails, Hive, React, Chef

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