How to sharpen your problem-solving skills

Everyone is born a natural problem solver, but:

Do you feel jittery making tough decisions? Are you often at your wits’ end handling problematic situations?

If it’s knowledge, it can be acquired. If it’s a skill, it can be improved. All tough problems have a solution, it’s just a question of figuring it out.

Give yourself a break, we’ve got you covered. Make your problems a breeze with these 5 brilliant DOs and DON’Ts to sharpen your problem-solving skills.

1. DO change your mindset

Mindset is the frame of mind. It’s the sum of beliefs, opinions, and thoughts that you have about the world and yourself. Think of mindset as a lens through which you filter reality. Changing mindset is hard but it’s important that you don’t always see problems as something terrifying that you can’t overcome.

Problems are not always rocket science. Not overstressing yourself sounds straightforward but it is our nature to perceive difficulties as obstacles to be surmounted. Amid anger and anxiety often comes blurred vision.

Try to liberate yourself from seeing problems as frustration instead of opportunities by shifting your perspective. Take our advice and avoid lingering on any negative first glances. What you should focus on are the learning chances and long-term self-development.

2. DO get to the root of the problem

Dealing with problems is like baking a cake. You can go straight into the kitchen without a recipe or the right ingredients and do your best, but the end result is unlikely to be tasty!

Believe it or not, the tendency to come up with an immediate solution means adding fuel to the fire in many cases. Even if it’s urgent, first, step back, identify what actually happened, the nature of the problem and the involved parties. Don’t just jump in with both feet.

Here’s the 5-step process for problem-solving, which focuses on digging into the details of an issue to understand its underlying causes. By answering the suggested questions at each stage, you can get to the root of any problem and map out solutions easily from there.

(source: mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_80.htm)

3. DO break the problem into smaller problems

Big problems are nothing more than a collection of minor problems. Managing tangible tasks is less ambiguous than tackling the trouble as a whole.

Charles Conn, co-author of the book Bulletproof Problem Solving, believes most problems can be solved by first, “very clearly formulating what the problem is” and second, “showing the structure of the problem using logic trees.” This approach allows you to get into different aspects of the problem while preventing you from being uncertain of not knowing what to do.

Logic tree, or issue tree, can come in various forms. You can use this example of logic tree by McKinsey & Company or other visual methods of breaking down the complex problem into simple component parts.

(source: mbacrystalball.com/blog/strategy/mece-framework/)

4. DON’T undertake everything yourself

Don’t be afraid to seek outside help. Gather your team and get as much manpower to step in. People are willing to give help much more often than not and they won’t think less of you for needing assistance. It’s always the last resort to handle everything yourself.

Also, try to communicate with all involved parties, be it the clients or whoever with interest affected by the matter, and allow them to share their perspectives. Ensuring that every voice is heard not only helps you get to the result quicker but also allows the solution to be more objective.

5. DON’T forget to look back and celebrate

After the problem is solved, should you just forget the settled problem on which much effort is already spent?

No, take your time, try to think of better alternatives to undertake the past problematic circumstances. By doing this, you will keep exceeding yourself in dealing with problems after each case. Appreciating your accomplishments is also a skill, it helps to reinforce your confidence to triumph over future harsh situations.

Feeling more confident now? Why not put your problem-solving skills into practice? At NashTech, we are trained to excel in providing solutions to business obstacles. Join us and be a Nasher today.

How to make a good impression in a face-to-face interview

After submitting your impressive CV to NashTech in line with our guide from the previous post, it’s time for the preparation of your in-person interview.

Overloading yourself with dozens of tips on the internet doesn’t mean covering all the bases! Believe it or not, you may have unknowingly fallen into some stereotypical traps of this sometimes-stressful process.

Here we shed light on 4 false assumptions about the face-to-face interview that candidates commonly have. 

1. Arriving at dawn, dressing to the nines

Appearing too early can put pressure on the interviewers to rearrange their existing obligations (or just let you sit there awkwardly by yourself!). Show up to the location as early as you need to, but only walk in through the front door 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled time 

Forget the stuffy suits, the dry-cleaning appointments, the high heels, and tight collars. Overly formal attire only makes you feel uncomfortable and look out of place. Be yourself and bring your best smart casual clothes to the interview. 

2. Poor communication means disqualification 

Don’t be stressed about whether you’re a good talker. You can show your confidence for the job in many ways. Convey your ideas fluently and maintain a good pace of speech just as you would in a normal conversation. A firm handshake, smile, eye contact and positive responses make a great impression. Fidgeting may distract the interviewer and make them think you are not paying attention. Try to relax, find a pleasant seated position, breathe and sit relatively still. 

At NashTech, we encourage Nashers – our beloved employees to communicate their ideas openly Anyone who shares the same mind is always welcomed here. Thus, comfortably expressing yourself while being honest will be a plus for your interview. 

3. Interview is a one-way street 

As the workplace becomes more balanced and equal, you should develop a mutual respect with the recruiters. Contrary to common belief, a job interview is actually a two-way street that should allow both you and the employer to decide if you are the right fit for the role.  

Give the recruiters the impression of being proactive by exuding a positive, can-do attitude throughout your interview. Try not to be blank at the end, ask questions, be it on your profile, about the company, pay working hours, etc. 

4. Patiently wait for the result 

It’s easy to leave the room, let out a sigh of relief and simply wait for your prospective employer to call. However, it’s good to stay on the employer’s radar. Sending a follow-up note or email can create a long-lasting impression to the recruiters. Keep the appreciation be brief, friendly and conversational. 

Here’s a bonus tip from our recruitment experts: 

Bring a notebook 

With the notebook-pen combo, you can jot down any questions you’ve developed, important facts and figures, or information you are given while at your interview. Best of all, the notebook signifies that you come well-prepared and ready to jump at the chance! 

 

Exploring the career pathway of a DevOps Engineer at NashTech, what will it be like?

The pace of today’s digital world demands a new approach to software development and production operations. Many organizations are turning to continuous integration, a software development practice rooted in DevOps and agile methodologies. Although DevOps is still in its infancy, it’s making a huge contribution to the IT field, and this makes its development roadmap an exciting topic that people are often curious about. So let’s explore what the career pathway of a DevOps Engineer at NashTech will be like.

What exactly is DevOps?

DevOps is perfect combination between software development (dev) with operations (system engineer, infrastructure engineer, etc.) for the purpose of shortening the software development life cycle (SDLC), which means that software will be built, tested and released faster and more reliable.

With DevOps, strategies are formulated from both a technical and business perspective to develop an integrated approach between development and operations team that will help the organization to deliver solutions that are on par with customer expectation. Issues are owned across teams, instead of isolating the issue as a development problem or operations problem or testing problem. This has bridged the gap between the development and operation teams, which were historically functional silos. Traditionally, if you build software based on the Waterfall methodology, perhaps the development and the operations would rarely bump into each other.

The Agile methodology divides the product development process into smaller sprints and integrates them for the shift-left testing, enables participation in detailed analysis of the software, and provides quick feedback that can help prevent potential defects in the software.

Therefore, DevOps was born with the idea of being a bridge between those stakeholders in order to optimize the software development life cycle as well as enhance the link to microservices, cloud native, and container.

The goals of DevOps

  • Fast Development Methodologies;
  • Fast Quality Assurance Methodologies;
  • Fast Deployment Methodologies;
  • Faster time to market;
  • Iteration & Continuous Feedback (strong and continuous communication between stakeholders – the end users and customers, product owners, development, quality assurance, and production engineers)

DevOps Mindset

DevOps is not only a methodology but also a mindset that should be adopted by everyone who participates in the process.

Effective, transparent and efficient collaboration is at the heart of any successful DevOps culture. There is a strong focus on people, process and technology and a shared understanding of goals, rewards, values and metrics. There is also a common objective focused on user experience and serving the customer.

Career Ladder of DevOps at NashTech

DevOps is now playing a unique role in the IT field. Despite the fact that many technologies evolve over time and become obsolete, the DevOps trend won’t vanish very soon.

A DevOps engineer is expected to administer the SDLC and have an insight of the diverse tools used in the deployment. DevOps engineers need to be well equipped with software development skills, combining with IT operations. They also work closely with developers and system administrators. An individual undertaking this position is required to have a background in the Information Technology field and have a solid understanding of cloud computing as well as its deployment tools.

The required skills for DevOps varies from project to project. At NashTech, here are some general highlights of DevOps tech trend:

  • CloudNative (Docker, Kubernetes, ServiceMesh)
  • IaaC (Terraform, Ansible, Packer)
  • CI/CD (Jenkins, Gitlab CI, Github Action, ConcourseCI)
  • Microservices

So if you are taking your very first steps on the DevOps path and wondering about the development roadmap, here is the career ladder for DevOps Enginners at NashTech with the specific requirements on a level basis:

For NashTech, our employees are our the most valuable assets. That’s the reason why we are always keen on nurturing our Nashers’ passion, supporting them to grow by offering a variety of training courses including technical and soft skills as well as the flexible career roadmap.

NashTech becomes the first company in Vietnam to successfully achieve CMMI-DEV V2.0 Maturity Level 5

The CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) was developed at the American Software Engineering Institute (SEI Institute) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh. In 2012, CMU founded the CMMI Institute in order to extend the benefits of CMMI beyond software and systems engineering. This appraisal is valid on a global scale, determining the level of maturity of the capacity of companies in software construction and related services.

NashTech is delighted to announce that we have just successfully achieved CMMI Development V2.0 Maturity Level 5, making us the first company in Vietnam to be assessed at the highest Maturity Level of this new CMMI model. This has been marked as one of the company’s most momentous milestones during its 20 years of operations in Vietnam.

CMMI Maturity Level 5 version DEV 2.0 is important for NashTech as it is a significant factor to obtain clients’ trust, a guide to departments on how to drive innovation and performance management in training and operations, as well as optimizing process to deliver quality of project.

Released in March 2018, CMMI Maturity Level 5 version 2.0 is the highest standard of the appraisal. In NashTech, sustaining NashTech Quality Management System and successful renewal of the CMMI 5 version 2.0 is a journey, not a destination. Understanding the importance to achieve this target, the project lead by PM – Ly Vo and facilitated by Managing Director – Mr. Nguyen Hung Cuong, was established in March 2019 by the SEPG (Software Engineering Process Group) department, with outstanding advantages:

– Focus on performance;

– Improve usability and integration guidelines;

– Easier to understand and more accessible;

– Improve the value and reliability of due diligence.

– Elevate Performance through Process Improvement

– Apply Process becomes Persistence and Habit

– And especially, using statistical and other quantitative techniques to optimize performance and enhance the achievements of objectives including business, measurement and performance, and quality and process performance objective.

There were hurdles and challenges that occurred during the journey. For instance, project selection or resource allocation combined with the fact that the team was fragmented and spanned from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. However, with outstanding capability, passion for continuous improvement as well as collaboration among team members, NashTech proved that success is dependent on a great effort of the organization.

It has been taken a long time for the company to practice, prove and acquire this new version of CMMI, appraised at the highest maturity level. Hence, there are very few companies in the world who have achieved the CMMI Maturity Level 5 V2.0 so far. As the result of this, I am very proud that NashTech is the first company in Vietnam to have been appraised at the highest maturity level of CMMI-DEV V2.0. This is a proof point and acknowledgement about our service quality and the professionalism of our software development team – said Cuong Nguyen, Managing Director of NashTech.

About NashTech

We are experts in technology, delivering smart solutions that solve business challenges and create value.

Our award-winning teams apply deep expertise and passion to deliver complex IT projects globally.

For more information, please visit www.nashtechglobal.com

Exploring the inspiring journey of two Software Engineers at NashTech

Over the last 20 years in Vietnam, NashTech has always follow the motto “Employees are the most precious asset to the company”.

As such, NashTech organizes an annual ‘Employee of the Year’ award to recognize outstanding Nashers and express our gratitude towards our talent.

To continue the series of “Software Engineer of the Year 2020”, let’s explore the next two inspiring stories from Ms. Trinh Nguyen and Mr. Vinh Tu who tell us about their journey at NashTech.

Trinh Nguyen – Nothing is impossible

Trinh Nguyen joined NashTech right after graduation in 2017 through our Direct Entry program and now, to Trinh, NashTech feels like her second home. During 3 years of working at NashTech, she has been promoted to senior level in Front End.

When she shared the story of her journey with us, Trinh recalled exactly when she chose NashTech as her destination to settle down. She was drawn to NashTech by their good benefits and positive environment, and also by her Line Manager – who really inspired her and gave her a lot of support whenever she needed it.

Trinh’s first and foremost focal point is to advance her Front-End technical skills. She’s extremely curious about new technologies and frameworks and often researches by herself.

One of Trinh’s most happy memories at NashTech was when she joined her first project after passing Direct Entry program. The project applied the technology that she had already researched and mastered, so this made Trinh felt proud that she could understand and contribute to the client project easily.

Besides being a developer, Trinh also participates in after work activities not only within the company but also as part of the local community. And finally we want to share Trinh’s inspiring personal motto. Trinh says, “Nothing is impossible, just be determined”.

Following her own motto, Trinh is working hard towards conquering not only advanced technical skills but also herself – to be her better version.

Vinh Tu – Never stop striving

Vinh Tu is currently working as Senior Software Engineer at NashTech. He is an energetic and young at heart individual who makes others feel inspired when they talk with him. However, some people know that a while ago Vinh used to have more “downs” moments than the “ups”.

To be as successful as he is today, Vinh’s effort has been relentless and he has worked very hard. He had a “study-like-crazy” year at home and barely went out, striving to excel at technical skills and also soft skills like English language proficiency.

Vinh joined NashTech 3 years ago, and has acquired precious knowledge and skills not only in the style of work and the outsourcing process but also the experience gained from participating in various client projects. To him, NashTech is like a place that gathers friends. He feels so happy waking up in the morning knowing that he’s going to meet those people, to learn and to work with them.

Talking about receiving “Employee of the Year” award, Vinh shared a funny story behind this. He had noticed that all his peers had already had a check-point session with their manager but he had not. He wondered why his own review was so late and also thought that maybe he was being ignored. But then an email came to summon him to line up to receive an award, he was so surprised and could not believe that he was the one until he held the trophy in his hand.

Sharing his thoughts about the secret to success, Vinh said: “Keep striving! Everyone has their own periods of ups and downs, so keep trying is the way to get over problems”.

 

How do Nashers make work-life balance work?

After stressful working hours and chasing deadlines, it is a good time to relieve stress, meet other colleagues, and get to know each other.

Understanding this, at NashTech, there are a wide range of activities for Nashers to choose from and make the best out of their journey at the company!

Sport

One of the most common choices for people to relax after a long working day is sport. At NashTech, a diverse list of sports clubs is ready to welcome you.

  • Football Club: This is the largest and most active sports club at NashTech with the minimum of 6 active participating teams, comprising of 50 people. At NashTech, we give our hearts and are dedicated to everything we do, even in playing. The Football Club organizes weekly games and bi-annual internal tournaments to gather and enhance their skills. Furthermore, NashTech’s football club is also one of the most proactively participated member of annual ICT football tournaments where companies in IT industry in HCMC come together and compete for the best.
  • Ping Pong Club: This is an energetic club with a fully equipped facility right here at NashTech’s offices. This makes it convenient for everyone who can spare a minute or two to gather and have fun with their colleagues. For our Nashers, playing sports is not just about winning or losing but to gain companionship too. To them, their motto is ‘Don’t think about the triumph, think about the friends you make along the way’.
  • Badminton Club: Badminton club is an energetic and proactive club. The club frequently organizes meetup around 2-3 times per week so that its members can gather, get to know each other and practice their skills.

There are many clubs from different sports and games at NashTech. If you can’t find a sport or a game that interests you, you can always form a new club with just a few people who have mutual enthusiasm.

Corporate Social Responsibility

At NashTech, we don’t just strive for the best in our work and services, we also try our best to contribute to the society, giving back love and kindness to the community.

During the Covid 19 pandemic, NashTech has been working in harmony with the Community in Vietnam to fight against the pandemic.

With the motto “Let kindness be the loving seed that sprouts and grows with the good things we do”, our Nashers launched an initiative called the “Kind Action Campaign” to support frontline workers, who have relentlessly fought against the pandemic.

From 25th March to 6th April 2020, NashTech raised 269,831,000VND. We’ve utilized the funds to support four medical facilities in Vietnam with personal protection equipment and laryngoscopes.

Furthermore, during the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, many people suffered significantly from the economic impact. To support them during this tough time, NashTech has spread the “We Share Love” spirit by delivering meals to unfortunate people and sharing the anxieties with the Community during these hard days.

At NashTech, we also organize annual community events called “Community Day”. In 2019, with all the funds raised from our Green Market internal event, our Nashers went to Lucky House in Dak Nong to spread the love and care for the lovely children. We awarded 16 scholarships to the Lucky House, gifted packs of necessities and confectionery and had a lovely yet energetic day onsite with a warm campfire to celebrate the children’s birthdays.

Those would certainly be a cherished memory not only for the children, but also to each Nasher that joined these meaningful activities.