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Software Development

Career story, Shi Zhen: Starting a New Job amidst a global pandemic

Shi Zhen is a software developer – a Vincit newbie – who started working at Vincit at the beginning of March 2020 – right before the Corona pandemic started. The circumstances were challenging, but thanks to the Vincit’s well-thought onboarding process, it was easier to jump in.

Not the easiest start in a new company

When asked how it was to start working at Vincit during COVID-19, Shi admits that the beginning was not the easiest: “I was used to going to the office every day, and suddenly it was not possible anymore. Also, the onboarding had to be continued remotely after my first weeks.”

The cornerstone of Vincit’s onboarding process is our Newbie Trello, which includes 64 tasks that are essential for orientation. Some of the tasks are handled by fellow Vincitizens, but new employees can complete most of the list themselves – at their own pace and on their project’s terms.

Even though our onboarding is well thought out and organized, we were forced to fine-tune it because of the Corona situation. For example, meetings with new colleagues and our new employees’ introductions over coffee and cake had to be done virtually.

“Luckily, my co-workers were very helpful. Also, the virtual coffee breaks over Google Meet were an easy way to get to know my new colleagues,” Shi says. “And although working remotely was hard at first, it would now be strange to go to the office every day,” Shi continues laughing.

Vincit Newbie

Shi has now worked at Vincit for about 6 months as a software developer. “My friends recommended that I should apply here. I listened to their advice, and decided to send in an application”, she says. The whole recruitment process was very fast, and soon Shi started working in the Helsinki office.

At the moment, Shi is working in a nonprofit project: “It is a platform that helps new refugees to come to Finland. I find the project very meaningful because I can help other people with my work.”

“I’m also working on another project that is a bit different than my previous ones. The client is located in Germany and the whole team works in different time zones. So the first “major” challenge was to find a suitable time for us all to meet. We also needed to go through the client's recruitment process before we were able to start.”

Why Vincit?

When asked what the best part about working at Vincit is, Shi replies without hesitation: “Transparency. The salary model and all the benefits are extremely transparent”, Shi says. “During COVID-19, we were also informed continuously, and all internal communication was very straight-forward and honest. One day we even got a fruit box delivered to the front door,” Shi recalls. “This crisis showed me the importance and value of the employees to this company,” Shi continues.

And yes, the employees are the true cornerstone of Vincit. We strongly believe that satisfied customers stem from satisfied employees and we sincerely want to help our employees in their everyday life – especially during these strange times.

“Updating and sharing your knowledge is also very easy, thanks to our competence development organization Univincity and our Competence Development bonus,” Shi says. Univincity is Vincit’s internal training unit that provides study and reading groups, more traditional training sessions, and level-up training for small groups. CompDev bonus, on the other hand, can be used for working on your own projects during your free time. This means that if you have your own programming projects or want to develop your skills outside your working hours, we will pay compensation for up to 10 hours per month.

Programming is like solving a math problem

Shi’s dad is also a developer, so as a child, she used to watch his dad work: All the numbers and letters looked magical through a little girl's eyes. Problem solving is what Shi finds to be the most exciting thing in programming. “Programming is like solving a math problem. It's the best feeling ever when you can find a solution,” Shi says.

“Programming also helps many people's daily lives,” Shi says. “The corona pandemic has shown how important it is to digitize businesses,” Shi continues. Online consumption, for instance, has grown significantly during COVID-19, and people continue to focus their shopping on online stores. “I strongly believe that we can create a better future through software development, and that is why programming is becoming an increasingly essential skill to learn,” Shi ponders.