My Journey From Bartender to Technical Trainer

John Smith

My introduction to FDM was quite unusual. Unlike the traditional ways people usually hear about FDM, I didn’t find the company through university careers fairs or advertisements on job boards. For me, it happened when an FDM Account Manager and an Irish consultant walked into the bar where I was working in Hong Kong.

I myself only planned on being in Hong Kong for the summer. I had just finished my college finals in Ireland and decided to spend the summer working and traveling around Asia, before I went back home to find a ‘real job’. At that point in time it was still quite novel for me to meet another Irish person in Hong Kong, so I instantly started talking to him. I learned that he had moved halfway around the world to start his placement at HSBC with the help of FDM. Intrigued by this conversation, I ended up researching and ultimately joining FDM; a decision certainly that didn’t disappoint.

I began my training on the Software Development stream in the Hong Kong Academy before securing a placement at HSBC. My role on-site was as a COBOL Developer on the Mainframe. This meant that I worked within the deposits team, which was part of the OBS (Online Banking Services) umbrella team. While this job wasn’t the most glamourous, it did offer me my first taste at being a developer in the commercial world.

Joining any new company, with an established culture and programming practices, can be a daunting experience, but HSBC was probably one of the better companies to join as a fresh graduate. My  experience there allowed me to learn what it is like to work as part of a small team in a large company; working with a range of technologies – some not even a year old and some older than I am – and gaining insights into best practices that can be found in software development regardless of the industry.

Since completing my placement at HSBC, I have taken up the position of Junior Technical IT Trainer within the Hong Kong Academy. This was not an opportunity I was expecting but I couldn’t turn it down. It offers me a great way to continue to improve my development skills, whilst also having a strong accent, so developing my communication and presentation skills. It has allowed me to gain a deeper insight into how FDM works as a business, as well as the culture that it has built in the Hong Kong office.

I am still getting used to my new role, whether that be meetings with the sales department or preparing to deliver some of the material in upcoming training courses. I continue to work on code projects with the consultants, shadow the trainers and take part in various activities hosted in the academy. I am very much looking forward to the year ahead.