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“When I was in high school, information technology has already been famous. Surrounded by too many alumni that chose to go for IT and me myself had developed a passion toward the field. Hence, it was a great motivation to pursue IT.

My starting point bumped into many obstacles. First, the accent. Growing up in the middle of Vietnam makes it hard to pronounce words accurately. That weighed me down. I found it hesitate to communicate. Second, I wasn't much of a social butterfly. I refused to raise questions about the knowledge gap, and school just went by as I didn’t pay much attention to the foundation knowledge. In fact, I got lacked.

I did try to work with PHP, Java and .NET. But none of them triggered my curiosity as React Native did. I approached and learnt to code it at a beginner level with some basic apps. Then I met Luan, my first mentor, who managed to fill up my knowledge gap and pushed me to go further, literally in anything. Short courses. Theory. Pair practice. I even dived in React JS, Redux, UI & UX to support the work because we didn't have tester back then. Three months of internship and two more for probation weren't enough as I insisted on learning more from him. And it was worthy. I was so grateful to follow his lead.

We all know that COVID affected a lot, including the tech industry. My company was one of those to receive the hit. Investors figured that it was too risky for an F&B startup during this pandemic as they decided to withdraw their investment fund. We had no choice but to be insolvent. It was a hard time, indeed. We only had a one day notice. Beside the living cost, I also had to take care of my daughter's tuition fee. Working in programming means the laptop is an irreplaceable device. My current laptop was provided by the company. I had to buy myself a new one, or I'll have nothing to work on. And since I worked in React Native, a Macbook is a must. Can you imagine the frustration?

After many ups & downs, and many help from the former co-workers, I got a new job, which is also my current place. By this milestone, I got to learn so much on APIs and other related tasks. It's a small team, and my workload gets swamped sometimes. But I'm happy because that means my quality is valued. Thought I understand that people get better if they're willing to learn, but I know the training I got from my previous mentor plays the most significant part. If there's a note for those fresher, I believe it's vital to choose your first mentor than your first paycheck. Trust me. It's their guidance that worths all the way.”