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Featured Employee, Software Development

“Wild Child” to Programmer – A Journey

When Mitrais Software Developer, Giang Nguyen Hoang (known as Andy) was born in 1984 Hanoi, Vietnam was still rebuilding from years of terrible war. Although the country was still suffering economically from the aftermath, Andy’s parents provided a great environment for Andy and his brother to grow up. His father, a veteran and talented mechanical engineer, and his mother, a qualified accountant, worked hard to provide for their family. Andy and his brother spent more time playing in the local rice fields than concentrating on school, and really pushed the limits in their play.

Andy clearly remembers almost drowning in a local lake during one adventure, and was stung by bees and insects countless times. Andy says his brother was always a good student and gifted in mathematics, but Andy was usually more interested in playing outside, climbing trees and hiding in the cornfields than staying inside studying.

That all changed when their family moved from the countryside to the suburbs, though. With no more rice fields or lake to take up his time, Andy became fascinated with the Windows 95 PC that his parents bought. Seeing his brother learn Pascal programming, Andy joined in as well. His focus changed to study, and he was soon involved in a gifted class in Physics – but he still loved the IT classes just as much.

All the while his parents worked hard to save money for the boys’ education, and after completing Year 11, Andy was sent to New Zealand to complete his high school certificate.

After returning to Vietnam and studying, Andy found himself working in a medium-sized software company in Hanoi, but he had greater plans. Andy’s ambition was to work overseas, so although he had been promoted to a team-lead in Hanoi, he left for Singapore to undertake his Masters Degree at the National University of Singapore. Singapore was a tough environment. Andy was told that one third of his classmates would drop out before completion or postpone their studies, and he admits that there were times that he considered this. But despite the hardships, Andy succeeded in gaining his Masters in 2015.

Eventually, Andy decided that his family would be better off in Vietnam, particularly since his two children were approaching school age. So, the family relocated back to Hanoi, where Andy discovered an advertisement from Mitrais. As he learnt more about Mitrais, he realised that the company’s focus was not only on making a profit, but also on developing staff. “That’s how I see Mitrais as being different from other companies around here” he says.

Now Andy is enjoying life as a Software Engineer working for a large Australian client, is a member of our prestigious Evangelist Team, and often conduct interviews for new hires in Hanoi. The work satisfies his desire to work with international clients, but also allows him to enjoy the benefits of his hometown for his entire family.

What about his “wild” childhood, though? All that running and swimming as a child means that Andy can still outperform many of his peers, and he enjoys training for and competing in triathlons with a local club. He often competes, including in a recent event in Halong Bay. In fact, he is now training for the prestigious 2020 Da Nang Ironman to be held in May this year.

Andy sees it this way. He loved his wild and adventurous childhood and feels it has contributed to who he is today. But as he has progressed through life, he has come to also understand and appreciate the benefits of self-discipline. As he says, “I believe discipline is key to success, and without it achieving goals is difficult”. As Theodore Roosevelt said in one of Andy’s favourite quotes, “With self-discipline most anything is possible”. Thanks, Andy! Mitrais is proud to have you as one of our family.

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