Human-centered is treating employees as the most valuable assets of the company.
Dictated by Yachun Tsai, Lead Engineer, iKala CDP, iKala Cloud
Written by Iris Hung
I joined iKala in 2013. From LIVEhouse.in to Straas to CDP; from Mobile to the back end to streaming engineer; from member to leader, I have experienced an incredible journey, one that has presented me with a series of challenges, as well as multiple chances for growth.
I remember the first time I was put in the role of Mobile Engineering Team Lead of LIVEhouse.in. I was nervous but happy that I had been chosen to lead a team of around seven members, after just three years as a full-time worker. I was very grateful for the chance the company had afforded me. However, I eventually discovered that more than managing a team, I wanted to be closer to the development process of a new product. When the company understood I wanted a change of responsibilities, they were less concerned about how to fill my soon-to-be vacant position, and more desirous of seeing a talented person stay with the company and find new room for development. Shortly after, I was transferred to the back-end engineering team. Under the leadership of our colleague, Li-fong, the entire team was a swell of positive energy, and I acquired many back-end engineering skills.
The change of job positions brought its own challenges, such as the difference in technical know-how and field knowledge. But in terms of the frameworks and concepts, there are quite a few similarities between engineering and product development. A bit later, I was put in charge of the back end of the Straas product; and then, I became the streaming engineer; after that, I was made head of the entire Straas team. The company has devoted every effort to nurturing my career; my only hope is that, when the company has need of me, I will be ready to step up and give something in return. iKala is mindful of every individual's personal growth, and it is careful to place you in a team where the right leader and right team members can help you develop new skills and contribute to the team effort. I think this is closely related to the unique quality of our company: we like to share, and we are not reluctant to teach someone about something they don't know. The culture of the entire company is the catalyst for this kind of camaraderie. It is what helps everyone achieve personal growth and acquire new skills when changing from one job function to another.
Looking back, my different roles and responsibilities have afforded me a more fulfilling experience in my career. I have been given a more complete understanding of our products, and now I can look at new problems from a more all-encompassing perspective. For example, engineers are accustomed to using the work hours it will take to complete a task to evaluate whether a client's request can be fulfilled. But if we looked at this problem from a broader perspective, we would realize there are other questions to be asked. For example: does the client really need this? Is it possible they don't fully grasp what they want? We leverage our in-depth understanding of the product so we can return to our client with counterproposals. Sometimes, there is more than one way to give customers what they want.
In recent years, as the person who's in charge of a whole team, I've spent a lot of my time communicating with team members about our "vision". You must first help everyone understand what the company's ultimate vision and goal is. Once everybody is on board, you can get down to the nitty-gritty and provide individual assistance, such as helping colleagues learn new skills, earn a bigger paycheck, or develop an affinity for the team. In the process of communicating, I can clearly feel the company is willing to listen to its employees, to accept logical counsel, and to strive for a win-win situation.
After so many different roles and responsibilities, I still choose to stay with iKala, precisely because of the people. The company has always offered me a chance to grow. It has given me a platform to develop my abilities, and it has demonstrated that it values and respects the talent of its employees. After more than eight years with iKala, I can say that I like my workplace and my colleagues from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to working harder to make my team and company even better.