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Experience is more important than GPA, says engineer with ‘big tech’ firms



Le Van Hong Chan, who was an excellent student at Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted in HCMC, is a software engineer who has worked for big technology firms such as Microsoft, Google, Asana, Facebook and Snap.

Experience is more important than GPA, says engineer with ‘big tech’ firms

Le Van Hong Chan

Chan (born in 1991) is now a tech lead at Snap in the US, which provides technology products favored by youth such as Snapchat and Bitmoji.

“Since childhood, I have liked all things related to technology. I like seeing technological products change human life,” he said.

Chan believes that people in the field should go to Silicon Valley at least once, because it ‘has good advisors, good facilities, precious job opportunities and the best conditions to develop your passion for technology’.

For Chan, the US is a suitable environment because there is a balance between work and life.

“I think that the US is a good place for those who want to work in the technology sector. Come to Silicon Valley at least once to learn about a professional work attitude and business culture. In the US, people are quite serious, professional and concentrated,” he said.

“Google is an extremely large company and I am quite impressed about Google. But I think Google is a little bit ‘slow’. As it is too large, it spends time on plans and papers. Whatever you do, you must have a detailed plan, go through each step of the discussion, and then start implementing the plan,” he said, explaining why he finds the working environment professional but restrained.

About Facebook, he said: “In such a free and creative working environment like Facebook, you will get opportunities to do what you want.”

As for Snap, Chan said the business culture there is like the products Snap creates: private and secure. While the working environment at Facebook and Google is comfortable and open, in Snap, the environment is more disciplined and everything is more strictly controlled.

Talking about his career, Chan notes that he has had opportunities to work for large technology corporations, but has had to work hard.

“I feel that I am quite fortunate to have had the first probationary job at Microsoft, from which I could go further and try opportunities in other large corporations. The experience has given me good jobs,” he said.

Before going to the US, Chan worked as an intern at Infosys in India and took other jobs in South Korea (he studied at KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).

As an intern, he learned many valuable lessons. He likes Steve Jobs’ saying: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”.

The years of internship were interesting with different jobs because he needed to try many things to know what he liked the most.

Chan believes that scores are not as important as experience.

“There are some things that you should not pay too much attention to, for example, GPA (grade point average). I know some guys who have GPA of 2.0 only, but still can obtain good jobs, thanks to experience during the internship,” Chan said, adding that what companies want are not scores but experience.

The Vietnamese engineer at Snap advised students to spend time on internships at companies during university. The more they practice, the more opportunities they will have to work for Big Tech. But in order to obtain internships at big companies, they need to begin with smaller ones.

“You need to make every effort to get the first intern job. After you get first jobs, you will get the second, third and subsequent jobs,” he said, adding that internships offered him many good relationships.

“Always ask for what you want” is what Chan advises young people to do.

“Don’t be afraid of raising questions. Please ask about what you don’t know, not only at work, but also in life, including about what you want to do. Many people are hesitant to ask, maybe because they are afraid of being refused,” he said.

Chan said Vietnam has advantages in the market, and has good human resources to develop technology. Blockchain is a typical example. Vietnam is now a ‘bright spot’ in the world’s blockchain map.

“Vietnam is an Asian country with good human resources in information technology. The country is quite capable of developing technology,” he said. 

Phuong Uyen



Vietnamese spends $1.1 billion on food delivery apps

In Vietnam, overall spending on food delivery services reached $1.1 billion in 2022. As of now, the most popular services are Grab and ShopeeFood.



According to Momentum Works, Southeast Asian nations’ total expenditure (GMV) on food delivery services in 2022 reached $16.3 billion, up 5% following two years of a delivery boom due to Covid-19.

For the first time in three years, growth in the area was mostly driven by small-scale markets such as the Philippines (up $0.8 billion), Malaysia (up $0.6 billion), and Vietnam (up $0.3 billion).

As Covid-19 became an endemic illness and economies reopened, GMV in bigger markets such as Singapore (down $0.4 billion), Thailand (down $0.4 billion), and Indonesia (down $0.1 billion) dropped.

Grab and ShopeeFood are the two most popular applications in Vietnam, with 45% and 41% of the GMV market share, respectively. The remainder is split between Baemin (12%) and Gojek (2%).

As of the end of 2022 in Southeast Asia, Grab’s GMV is estimated to reach $8.8 billion, accounting for 54% of overall GMV in the area and rising by 16% year on year.

Foodpanda is estimated to contribute $3.1 billion, accounting for 19% of the region’s GMV and reflecting a 9% decrease; Gojek and ShopeeFood still maintain the same GMV level in 2021, reaching $2 billion and $0.9 billion respectively.

Source: ZingNews


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Apple to begin producing MacBooks in Vietnam by the mid-2023: Nikkei Asia

The American tech giant Apple plans to shift some MacBook manufacturers to Vietnam for the first time in 2023 as tensions between Washington and Beijing over technology continue to rise.



According to Nikkei Asia, Apple has contracted with Taiwan’s Foxconn to begin producing MacBooks in the country of Southeast Asia in May 2022.

For all of its key product lines, Apple has been seeking to build production facilities outside of China. Still, the final one, the MacBook, it has taken longer due to the intricate supply chain required for producing laptop computers.

Almost two years ago, the company has planned to move some MacBook manufacturers to Vietnam, where a trial production line has already been set up. 

Apple produces between 20 and 24 million MacBooks annually, with factories situated in the Chinese cities of Chengdu, the Sichuan area, and Shanghai.

For China, the loss of control over MacBook manufacturing represents a general deterioration in its role as the world’s factory. 

Since former U.S. President Donald Trump began a trade war against China, major electronics manufacturers like Apple, HP, Dell, Google, and Meta have all announced at least some preparations to relocate production and sourcing away from the nation.

The majority of data center servers manufactured for companies with U.S. customers, including Google, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft, are now produced in Taiwan, Mexico, or Thailand.

Apple has regarded China as its most significant assembly base for many years, but in 2022, that successful formula ended. 

Due to a lengthy COVID lockout in the spring, important MacBook and iPhone production facilities in Shanghai experienced significant interruptions. 

Apple issued a warning in November on delays in the premium iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max’s Christmas deliveries, citing labor shortages caused by the epidemic at its most significant production facility in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

AirPods, which began commercial manufacturing in Vietnam in 2020, served as the catalyst for Apple’s expansion into that country. Nikkei Asia was the first to reveal that the business moved some of the production of Apple Watches and iPads there this year. 

Source: Nikkei Asia


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Saigon hi-tech park earns $23 billion from exports

The Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), home to 162 projects worth over $12 billion, obtained $23 billion from exports in 2022.



The export turnover was more than $10 billion and $20.9 billion in 2017 and 2021, respectively.

According to Le Thi Bich Loan, deputy head of the SHTP management board, the park has become a trustworthy destination for global high-tech powerhouses with the presence of over 10 international conglomerates in the field, including Intel, Jabil, Rockwell Automation, Nidec, Nipro, Samsung, and Sonion.

Established in 2002, the park has seen its accumulated production value reaching $120 billion so far. It now houses 51 foreign-invested projects worth $10.1 billion.

By 2025, the SHTP aims to become a smart technology park and the core of the interactive and innovative urban area in Ho Chi Minh’s eastern part, contributing to the city’s socio-economic development. In addition, it plans to attract investment of around $3 billion in 50 hi-tech projects and establish at least one global hi-tech enterprise.

To achieve these goals, the park is going to accelerate investment projects for its scientific space with a total surface area of 93ha.

It will increase the link between its enterprises and universities and research institutes in the region, especially the Vietnam National University-HCM City (VNU-HCM), in order to increase the proportion of hi-tech products by domestic companies.

Source: VietnamPlus


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