Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why I take the path less travelled? (Part I)

I had been trying to recall when did I start having the idea of setting up my own company. I graduated from NTU on the year 2000. Like many other graduates, the first thing that came to my mind was to look for a job. My savings was depleted to less than S$300 then, after paying for most of my university school fees. Setting up a company wasn't in my mind back then.

I joined a german MNC shortly after I graduated, as a R&D software engineer. I had a colleague HK who is 5 years older than me. We became very good friends and often went out for supper after work. Being the older and more experienced one, HK shared with me things about the real working life. I started to think beyond the daily job and asked myself what should be my career path. I was lamenting about how IT specialist and technical personnel weren’t properly recognized in Singapore and often encountered bottle-neck which forced them to switch over to project management instead. One thing I remembered HK told me was: “你不要去想做别的东西. 你天生就是搞软件的.” (Meaning: “Don’t think about doing anything else. You are born to be a software designer/developer.”) That was probably the first time my passion and ability was explicitly recognized. And HK was probably the first influencer that led me to holding on to my passion. And I started to toy around with the idea of starting my own company, or pursue a software developer career in the states (where I presumed would be more recognized).