Vu Dao

Vu Dao

NodeJS Developer

© 2021

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A new journey to UMB.

It’s been a while…

Since the last time I blogged, it must have been half a year, right? On the occasion of my blog’s first anniversary, I am publishing this non-technical post so I can tell you what has happened in my life in the first half of 2021 =))))

You guys must be wondering why I wrote this in English right? Currently I’m working in a company with 100% capital from Switzerland. My daily work is in English so I decided to use english to blog to see where my English skills are at =))) Please feel free to point out if I make any mistakes.

A lot of changes happened in the first half of this year.

The biggest one is that I said goodbye to dirox after two years. I got a new job at UMB as a Software Engineer.

I also started learning a bit of German as I’m in the process of applying to work in Germany through a program supported by the German Embassy. But this will take at least another year. Because of Covid, a lot of things are delayed.

I also signed up for a driving course. In fact, I was in the middle of the course when the 4th wave of covid hit lol. Therefore I had to pause the course for now. The situation is quite tense but I feel everyone around me is not taking it seriously enough. It’s a bit worrying.

I started investing in crypto currencies . I bought BTC, SHIB, TRIC, Moonrat (a pretty good token developed by Vietnamese people),… My account has already hit rock bottom a few times. I only put in a couple of millions VND and keep them there for now. =))))

I started playing games on my phone =))) Which I never thought would happen lol, but I was so tempted by my new colleagues that I couldn’t resist haha.

I started raising fish too. There are five of them. They were thin when I bought them, but after 3 months with me they are all fat now =))))

I also moved to a new place, although on paper I am still in No Trang Long with my homies =))) Currently, I only live like 1km away from my old place, quite close right. It’s so convenient for getting my stuff from one place to the other lol.

When I was at dirox.

Going back in time a bit to November last year, I was working on my one man army project with lots of OT. In the end the project was not released to the customer huhu. But after that project, the customer did ask my team to estimate another project for them. But it didn’t come to anything, possibly because the estimation I gave them was a bit high lol :v

After that project, I was allocated to another project using python. The project was quite interesting but the architecture was a bit complex. I haven’t used python for a long time so it took a lot of time to get used to the syntax again, not to mention time to learn the business of the project. While I was working on this project, my company had another project (related to blockchain) that was also interesting. =))) So I asked the manager of that project if I could join. I ended up only spending about one month with that blockchain project. Nonetheless, I learnt a lot of things. I’ll probably publish more technical posts related to that project in the near feature :D Sounds promising right?

A new challenge is starting.

After the Tet holiday, I informed dirox that I was going to leave. After this announcement, I still had to go to work for one more month. During this time, I went for interviews with a few companies to see where I was in the market.

While I was at dirox, I worked very hard and didn’t take any days off for the whole year. So by this point I had like 12 days of annual leave =))) I arranged to have interviews with 2 companies a day. I asked for the interviews to be online via skype since at the time the 3th wave of covid had just ended. Besides, I would probably faint if I had to run back and forth dozens of kilometers a day for interviews haha.

I remembered on a Monday, I interviewed with Fsoft in the morning and NashTech in the afternoon. I felt that they didn’t evaluate me correctly in terms of experience because their questions for me were too easy and more suitable for freshers. Sometimes I wanted to talk back at the interviewer but I was afraid that they would think badly of me so I didn’t :v

Interview with UMB.

On Thursday afternoon of that same week, I had another interview with UMB, my current company :)) Actually that day I also had an interview with a Japanese company in the morning but my experience wasn’t really good so I will not mention them in my blog =))))).

Back at the interview with UMB, there was a technical leader named H. who called me via Skype. At first, I thought the interview would be English only for the self-introduction part, like in my interviews with Fsoft and NashTech. But with UMB, the entire phone screening interview was in English. I panicked a little that day as I never had a technical interview in English before. I also didn’t prepare, it is true that in JD they required candidates to have good English skills, but I didn’t expect that the technical leader would interview me in English :)))) Fortunately, I was able to answered his questions and also asked about the project that I would join.

After that interview, I was invited by the company’s HR for the second round of interview at the company lol. This time, I knew there would be a coding challenge and a full English interview. At that time, I thought I would fail for sure as I never did a coding challenge before, but YOLO.

One fun fact is the HR lady from UMB actually contacted me about a year before, in July 2020, I read the JD at that time and was quite interested but I felt that I wasn’t experienced enough for the position at that time. I was also working on a good project that I couldn’t just leave =))) So I thought I would talk to her again another time. At the beginning of this year, I was about to change jobs when she PMed me lol. This time I went for an interview, because if not now, when?

Ok back to the second interview with UMB. When I entered the company, I was a bit amazed because the company’s facilities looked very good. Each person had a standing desk, a macbook and an external monitor lol. I was taken to the meeting room by HR to wait for the technical leader. When he came into the room, my first impression was that he didn’t look like his avatar :))) Ahuhu sorry Mr.H. I thought you looked a bit serious and proper on your avatar but when I saw you in real life, you were not as serious as I thought =))))

At first he said hello, then he gave me the coding challenge. When I received the topic, I envisioned a few directions, but in the end I chose the most “primitive” way, using 2 loops =))))

That coding challenge I remember I did for like 30 minutes and for the remaining 30 minutes, I texted my gf that I was doing a coding challenge but I already finished it and was texting her to show off. =)))

Later, Mr.H and another guy called N. came to interview me. First they asked me to explain how I did the coding challenge, then they asked about error handling and finally about projects that I had done. I won’t go into this part, but in general we used English 100%. Going into the interview, I wasn’t too stressed as I thought I probably would fail anyway. My interviewers were friendly too, so I thought of it not so much as an interview and more as a knowledge-sharing session :)))

That same afternoon after the interview, HR called me back to tell me that I would have another interview with the CEO. I was actually at the clinic the first time she called and couldn’t answer the phone. After her call I felt sure that I would pass the interview after all. So I canceled the onboarding with Fsoft (I was offered a job at Fsoft and had accepted it), completed the resignation process at dirox and just waited to start at UMB.

After that, there was a period of about 2 weeks when I was just resting at home, because my start date at UMB was April 19, 2021, but March 31, 2021 was my last working day at dirox, After those 2 weeks, I couldn’t wait anymore so I pmed HR and asked if I could start work a week earlier :v


I’ve been working at UMB for about a month and a half now. My probation will end on 12th of Jun 2021, but so far the team’s feedback on my contributions is quite good, so I’m sure I will pass the probation haha ​​:v Mr.H , Ms.T, Mr.N, Ms.L, if you guys are reading this, please don’t reject me, poor me =)))))

During the 2 weeks that I stayed at home, I also sent my CV to a few more companies. It was mainly to see how companies evaluate my CV and where I can improve myself :D

Besides all of that, in 2021 I’ve done a lot of other things too. I got out of my comfort zone and tried a lot of new things. For example I’m currently co-leading a freelance project . I am to deliver a website consisting of a landing page, a portal page for users and an admin page for managers. The project is quite big, but it is running smoothly so far.

That’s a wrap of my first half of 2021. I look forward to reviewing ongoing projects at the end of this year. Goodbye everyone, see you in the next blog post.