When I first met Becky, she was sitting on a couch in the reception area waiting for her interview. I could tell right away she was incredibly kind. After knowing her for the last year, she is without a doubt one of the most polite people I’ve ever met. Always thinking of others first, Becky works extremely hard, all with a very calm demeanour. It’s also evident she appreciates the little things in life – I’ve often found Becky on our patio enjoying the sunshine. Her smile brightens up the office, and her dumpling-making skills are on point. Seriously, she should consider a dumpling-making side hustle. We are very proud to have such a generous and selfless lady on our development team.
Position: Developer Productivity Lead
Favourite game: Minecraft
Fun fact: I can cook without a recipe
Last movie watched: Coco
Favourite food: Chinese food – especially hot pot
Tell us about yourself. What’s your story/background?
“When I was back in China, I took Digital Media while studying at the Communication University of China. In my earlier years, I started off as a designer. I enjoyed creating mechanisms from sketch to make games and apps, especially for kids. That’s why my friend and I started up a small studio (Barley Tea Studio) to develop mobile applications for kids. We had a lot of fun designing technologies, but soon realized that it’s hard to validate our designs without implementing them programmatically. I decided to pick up programming and worked both as a product designer and developer. My partner and I worked together at that studio for two years. I learned a lot from initializing, developing and managing the project, as well as from the publishing and marketing side of things. Even though there wasn’t a lot of profit, I never regretted the experience.
After I finished University, I continued with the same major for my Masters program. During one of my breaks in first year, I got a chance to visit Vancouver for a short term exchange student program. I was very impressed with the software development industry in here, so I decided to come to Canada to complete my second masters program at SFU. After I graduated in 2016, I worked as a contractor for three startup companies before joining Two Tall Totems in September 2017.”
How did you end up at TTT? First impressions?
“It was very interesting how I came to TTT. My previous company had moved their development team back to China, so everyone here was laid off. But one of my coworkers knew Vinson (TTT’s previous VP of Engineering) and said that TTT was looking for iOS developers.
When I arrived for the interview, I felt like it was a very clean and friendly office. I remember two guys from the office, Bari and Wali, told me they just went to Miniso to pick up some stuff. It’s a very chill environment. But the interview was very technical. I could tell that they hold their developers at a high standard, and I was very excited to get the chance to work here.”
What are some interesting things about yourself?
I like to listen to classical music with piano or guitar. When I see artists playing along the street, I will buy a CD if their music is good. I really like the guy who plays guitar in Burrard station. His name is Ron Forbes-Roberts. (Becky pulled out her phone and showed me the song ‘La Vie En Rose’ by him. She really does buy his CDs!) His CD is called Somewhere Along the Line, referencing the skytrain line. His music is really enjoyable, especially in Burrard station since it’s a glass ceiling so the acoustics are really good. You can tell he gets lost in the music; it’s really beautiful when that happens. He moves around between different stations, but when I hear his songs at Burrard, I know it’s going to be a nice day.
What’s your most memorable moment working at TTT?
I like the day we made dumplings to celebrate the Spring Festival. (So when Becky says ‘we’ made dumplings, she’s actually referring to the fact that she made dumplings for everyone in the office). I love to share my food with the team and introduce some Chinese traditions to this multicultural company. I feel that TTT is very diverse and I am super proud when everyone compliments my dumplings, telling me that they really want to have them again. (This statement could not be more true).
What is your secret super power? (something you’re very good at, that not everyone knows)
“I’m good at making dumplings, but everyone already knows that so it’s not a secret anymore!
I’m very good at concentrating on one thing. No matter how noisy the environment is, I can create a magic bubble that isolates myself to keep myself concentrated.” (This is extremely impressive given that not everyone in the office is all that quiet).
What do you enjoy working on the most?
“I enjoy the feeling of being a developer because we can implement a design to help someone’s product come to life. I like helping them solve their problems. I also enjoy when we need to deliver and implement a project. It is quite satisfying when we make the client happy.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I really like cooking, sleeping, watching tv and snowboarding in the winter. I mainly enjoy cooking Chinese food – dumplings, wonton soup, chinese stews. I also learned a few things about baking recently. It’s a good way to relax and share my food with friends. I also try to go snowboarding a few times a month. It’s so much fun to slide on the snow, and the air is really fresh up in the mountains. You have to concentrate on not falling, so you get to forget about things that are bothering you and escape.”
Who do you look up to? (Who is your hero?) Why?
“My heroes are my family members. I’m the only child in my family and it’s quite a pity I can’t be with them since I’m living in a different country. They are always so supportive and encourage me to pursue my career overseas.
Before I came to Vancouver, I never lived in a totally different environment, so they gave me a lot of support when I felt frustrated. I try to FaceTime with them daily, to let each other know how I’m doing. It’s our way of looking after each other in a remote way.”