IT job – 5 myths of bittersweet

June 18, 2019

IT personnel has never been so hot in Vietnam. According to TopDev, Vietnam will be short of 75,000 IT workers in 2019, and that is set to increase to 100,000 in 2020. Thus, IT is the rising hot job that all parents want their kids to pursue. High salary, minimum physical work, cool office… what’s not to like? However, there is more to the job than meets the eye. There are many misunderstandings and stereotypes that IT pros have to face from their family, friends and the society.

Here are five myths of bittersweet you may have to go through on the journey of becoming a developer:

Stage One – Gender balance

This is something you already know because at school, there are too many boys and too few girls doing a tech major.

Dr Lê Thị Kim Phụng, Deputy Head of HCM City University of Technology’s chemical engineering faculty, said at a conference that gender imbalance in technology is a visible problem in Vietnam. The low number of females in both the campus and workplace might explain the norm that 2 out of 3 young coders are single (2018 New Coder Survey).

Luckily, the gender gap is shrinking. According a survey, young women are 33% more likely to study computer science compared with women born before 1983. So… female programmers everywhere are now full of hope for a more diverse workplace.

Many tech enterprises are concerned about workplace diversity and trying to keep gender balance in the workplace. The largest tech company in Vietnam, NashTech has been a pioneer in encouraging female IT talents and promoting successful female leaders in tech.

Stage Two – Misunderstanding

Every programmer has suffered, not once but many times, from requests like ‘how do I fix my computer?’, ‘Can you fix this software?’, ‘The Wi-Fi isn’t working…’ from their friends and family. In fact, the majority of developers said they were expected to be IT support in their family (Developer Survey 2019). And as a developer, you can’t help but think, ‘Why do they think I can fix ANY IT issue?’ 

The common misunderstanding is that there is only one field in IT. Like when you work in software, but your uncle asks you to fix the hardware of his computer. When encountered with a situation like this, try to explain that the computer industry is a lot like the medical industry, it’s specialised these days.

You can bring your family along to family day, so your family can see, first hand, where you work and what your job entails. It will remove any misconception about your job and make them proud of what you do.

Stage Three – Stereotype

“Programming for the heart” is the first ever sitcom portraying how Vietnamese society and media view IT professionals in the workplace: nerdy and socially awkward.

The stereotype that programmers are weird and anti-social people is not true at all. In fact, working in IT requires many interpersonal skills like collaboration, communication and emotional intelligence. A big software system can involve dozens, hundreds or thousands of engineers working on the same code base. Therefore, social skills are essential for effective teamwork and keeping things together.

Tech companies, like NashTech, include soft skills in their employee’s training to leverage coordination in teamwork and personal growth. 

Stage Four – Work-life balance

The working schedule of an IT worker is often very busy which can make work-life balance a real struggle for new families. The stress and pressure are frequently high during projects. You’re racing against time to meet the deadline. If, unfortunately, your solution does not work properly, then you might have to spend hours looking into every dot and comma. The work seems to consume us, and you are left with very little time for your family.

You’ll be pleased to hear that NashTech shows great attention to employee’s wellbeing through organising various activities to help them maintain a balanced life. For example, day care day is organised during school holidays to help IT-ers who are parents. On top of that, extra activities like sports and recreation, charity visits and company trips are offered to nurture employees’ mental and physical health.

Stage Five – Update & upgrade

Nothing changes faster than technology. That is why, after more than five years working on the same job, most developers feel the need to upgrade their IT skills.

It can be both challenging and exciting to stay up to date. Nevertheless, learning a new programming language or a new skill set can be difficult, as difficult as learning a new foreign language. It might take three months to get close to being fluent, but only when you’ve put in enough time and effort.

For a working professional to take time out from their job, and private life, to learn a new skill / language is difficult. You will need hands-on experience when acquiring new skills, take learning a new programming language for artificial intelligence (AI) such as ‘Python’ or ‘R’ as an example, to master it.

That is why most tech companies provide employees with technical training and lab practice, and this is no different at NashTech.

What stage are you at? Do you have the passion to change false perceptions about IT jobs?

Apply for a job at NashTech today.