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Avaturians Experiences
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Victor Chu: Leveraging Passions and Experiences to Thrive in Software Development

Victor Chu is an adventurous Avaturian who’s been with us for +2 years. When not at work, his hobbies include traveling the world, reading, writing, and doing all kinds of sports and outdoor activities. Whether he’s cycling around Shenzhen, perfecting his jiu-jitsu moves, or even rope jumping, Vic is always on the lookout for a new challenge — both personally and professionally.

In this interview, Vic talks about his Avaturian experience switching roles from product marketing to a more technical path as Software Engineer in the Templates team. We explore how he combines the soft skills acquired during his time in product marketing and through his many hobbies with his development tasks. And all this while keeping his impact as an Avature cultural ambassador in the APAC team.

If you are about to join the A-Team, this article is what you need, as Vic offers words of welcome and encouragement to embrace the creative, open culture, and flexibility that Avature has to offer. Get comfy and ready to enjoy a good read!


How did you first hear about Avature and what attracted you initially?

I first heard about Avature through an open position post. The company name appeared as “艾睿德”. I had never heard about it before, nor the English or Chinese name, but it caught my attention right away. As I read the job description, I found Avature to be different from standard or typical companies that search for candidates with a specific background or who are studying a particular major. Avature initially seemed to have an open, welcoming, and flexible culture.

I applied and, during the interview process, realized my thoughts weren’t only reflected through the job post, but through the people: they were all really polite, friendly, warm-hearted, and respectful to the candidate's time, performance, and needs.

Back then, my CV had a link to my blog where I mainly documented my habits and travels. The interviewer (later my manager) took the time to read my blog before our interview and she was really curious about it. She asked a bunch of questions, creating a less by-the-book interview and offering a great experience. This immediately raised my interest in Avature even more.

Before joining Templates you were part of Product Marketing, right? When and why did you decide to make the change? How has your transition been?

That’s correct! After a smooth interview process, in 2021 I joined Avature’s Product Marketing team as product marketing specialist. I gained a lot of knowledge about our product and over a year after joining the team, I started wondering about a potential career change and considering the possibility of exploring a more technical path. That was when I heard there was an internal requisition for a technical role within the Templates team. I decided to talk to our regional Talent Management Specialist and she was very interested and kind, eager to know my motivations, ideas, and goals. She then suggested that I talked with my manager, and that’s exactly what I did.

My manager set up a meeting with Product Marketing’s director and myself to understand what I wanted to do. Since there were some pending items before the internal mobility kicked off, I stayed on the team while planning my transition, meanwhile, me and my manager checked in about projects and progress weekly.

In July 2022, we came to an agreement and decided I’d start transitioning teams gradually: first, I’d work on some projects with Templates and then I’d switch fully. I was told by our Talent Management Specialist that, and I quote, “These % can be flexible as you can decide to dedicate more or less time to one team, depending on your work.” That was really considerate.

During the transition, I was able to balance my workload and projects quite well. Both managers appreciated my transparency of thoughts, supported me all the way, and checked on me constantly to see if I needed more time or resources to transition into Templates in the smoothest possible way.

Has your experience in Product Marketing influenced the way you approach software development in any way? If so, how?

Absolutely. I appreciate the experience and skills learned as a product marketing specialist. When I was part of PM, we collaborated with many cross-functional teams and prospects from day one. I still remember my first day at Avature. I was asked to join a meeting with Sales right away and then a demo with a customer. That was lots of fun! Joining those meetings made me understand the Sales’ team dynamics and how they could laugh with customers while also being super professional and attentive to their needs and questions.

On a more practical note, my previous experience helped me work on my soft skills, like teamwork, efficiency, and collaboration, which I now put into practice every day. It also gave me a huge database and knowledge to quickly find the resources I need, leverage our product and new features, and make the most of our workflow. For example, Avature’s lists feature is very powerful and it shows up a lot in demos, so I’m familiar with it. As soon as I joined Templates, I started using lists to manage my pipelines and projects, and introduced them to the team. It’s easy to have everything in a glance, and now the whole team uses lists since they are convenient and reduce a lot of back-and-forth checking or manual editing in our meetings.

In your opinion, what are the most important skills to thrive as a software engineer at Avature?

You should have your problem-solving skills quite sharpened. It means a lot when having to deal with a new request. I don’t rush to do as requested; I first analyze the new request and then evaluate and review my pipeline so I can better prioritize my list of projects. I usually ask myself: is it a brand new request or is it something I can solve leveraging my previous experience? And then estimate the time-cost before kicking into it.

Other skills or tips to thrive as a software engineer are to respect the delivery date, ensure quality through every step of the project, check-in with POCs to ensure mutual understanding, and always reach out to the team if in need of help or resources. And last, to track everything through the project case and leave any valuable info there for whoever works with it later — a short time cost from my end but a huge reduction of time in the project cycle. In short, maximize resources to get to the best possible result and document it all for future reference.

Have you participated in any Avature events? How would you describe the experience? Are there any memorable experiences or anecdotes you’d like to mention?

Yes indeed, I participated in many Avature events, including the latest in-person #AvatureUpfront conference in June 2023, in Shanghai, which I joined as host. 

Before that, due to Covid-19, we had to plan or join most of the events virtually for a few years, and I had the pleasure of presenting on the Avature Quarterly Roundup webinars and #AvatureUpfront China 2022 to introduce the latest features, and participating in events we sponsored.

Each experience was extraordinary. Here’s the one I remember best.

It was early June in Shanghai. A big crew of Avaturians flew there from Shenzhen to prepare for the conference, and the sunshine was intense, just as our enthusiasm. Gear was setting up. Microphone and stage screen testing. Our Office Manager and Account Managers were making the front desk look good and with ID cards and gifts for attendees. Others, including me, were practicing for our presentations. Everyone was busy with their stuff and it seemed we all forgot about time. Suddenly, it was 9 pm. We ordered food and laughed for the entire dinner. And all of a sudden, the moment threw me back to the time when I was younger, staying late in the conference hall with classmates and teachers, all together forgetting about time and just concentrating to make the best of us practicing. It was the same feeling with my Avature colleagues; we were trying our best to make the conference great.

Of course the next day, the day of the conference, there was an exceptionally smooth organization and constant support from the A-Team, and plenty of innovative insights from speakers which can’t be put into a few words. These kinds of moments remind me how creative and collaborative Avaturians are, and that real team effort comes to life when we are there to support each other to achieve the best results.

How do you combine your hobbies and passions with your life at Avature?

I endorse the word “combine” you use as a way of finding a balance between the things I enjoy and my tasks at Avature. I have many hobbies and they help me boost/expand my skills. For example, I have the hobby of watching videos about manufacturing, and that comes from my previous job in a related industry. Every manufacturer tries their best to improve their processes to gain higher-yield. The ways of improving are various and creative, and they always inspire me with lots of new ideas and perspectives to solve things. It also helps me liaise with people with different backgrounds, manage my projects, and think of ways to improve constantly.

I get to combine my passions, different ways of looking at things, and skills from previous work experiences with my current job, which I see as beneficial since I constantly come up with new ideas. For me, this creates a virtuous cycle, leading to greater achievement for both myself and Avature. It’s a win-win, and I find joy in it.

What would you say to someone who’s about to join our team about life at Avature?

Read the #LifeAtAvature blog and follow @LifeAtAvature on Instagram ;) If you’re about to join the A-Team, you'll find a bunch of creative and talented people, flexibility that allows you to make the most of yourself, and an open culture from pre-hire, onboarding, and everyday life here. Welcome to a place you will like, and see you soon!

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