Xie Liwei tried a ton of things before he realized that building products for mobile phones is where his true calling lies. Working at ParkMan has allowed him to improve his craft in a work environment that values freedom and self-management, along with a strong team spirit.
Trying out different tech fields is one of the best ways to discover what really gets your intellectual curiosity ticking. This is also how Xie Liwei, now an iOS Developer at ParkMan, was able to determine where he wanted to focus his talents.
“I actually tried out quite a few things before iOS – all of them somehow tied to the IT world. I soon figured out that I really enjoyed building products for mobile devices – not just any products but products that help people and the world”, Xie says.
ParkMan is Xie’s first workplace as an iOS Developer. He joined the company in 2016 and has been a vital part of the team ever since. Looking back at his first months in the new role, Xie feels grateful for the guidance and help he received.
“I received quite a lot of help from my team, and still do. What is also particularly motivating is the fact that you can get involved in shaping the role yourself. I got to choose which project I wanted to join and what tech stack I wanted to work with.”
Xie believes mistakes are an unavoidable part of any learning process.
“I sure did many mistakes, especially in the beginning. As long as you own your mistakes and are willing to learn from them, they can be seen as positive steps towards success. This is also the overall attitude in the company.”
Tackling challenges through transparency
A lot has happened in the company since Xie joined. The past three years have seen a steady growth but it hasn’t been smooth sailing all the way. Xie remembers a period when ParkMan adopted a new business model and there was a lot of uncertainty in the air.
“What helped during that time was transparency in terms of talking about what the changes meant and what were the new company targets. I wish this open communication culture stays because it enhances trust among the team.”
When asked to name the best part of his job, Xie replies without hesitation:
“The people. I feel like many of my colleagues have turned into friends – lifelong, even.”
He describes the work environment as flexible, free, and joyful.
“You can always hear somebody laughing in the office but it is totally okay to tune out as well. You can just wear headphones if you don’t want to be interrupted.”
Overcoming the coder’s block
Coding is often seen as something computational and mathematical but it is actually a much more creative pursuit than most people think, requiring both left and right-brained thinking. Most developers who have worked in their field long enough have likely experienced a cousin of writer’s block – coder’s block. What is Xie’s method to overcome this and get his codes flowing again?
“Whenever I have trouble coding, I shift my focus on something entirely else. I like to read and cook to relax. Sometimes, simply sleeping it off helps. Somehow the problem gets solved in the back of my brain, almost like by magic.”
The best ideas don’t always pop up during the usual 9 to 5 and the employees are encouraged to find work style options that work best for them.
“The work culture is very flexible. As long as you finish the tasks on time, it doesn’t matter whether you do it in the day or midnight.”
Find your craft and perfect it
Xie says that many of his friends are using the ParkMan app and hearing their feedback has helped him to identify things that are working and things that need to be fixed.
“The cool thing about working in something like parking is that it’s such an essential activity for so many people. Seeing the end users happy with the product is what keeps me excited about what I’m doing.”
Xie believes that he is never done with learning and improving his craft. One of the greatest lessons Xie has learned so far is finding and nurturing a skill that you truly enjoy practicing.
Everyone should be good at least in one thing that their life relies on. For me, it’s the coding. Coding and product building are some of my favorite things to do, so in that sense, I consider myself successful.