My Name is Pitchaya Thitiwimol (Song), currently a squad lead at Sunday Ins. I graduated from King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, majoring in Computer Engineering. However, I decided to continue my studies while doing MBA, Business Administration and Management at the National Institute of Development Administration.
Team at Sunday Ins
In our team, we have Developers, QAs (Quality Assurance) and POs (Product Owners). POs usually look after the direction of the products and support the business aspect of the team. Whereas a Developer focuses on coming up with solutions that answers wants and improving according to business needs. As a Squad lead, I take care of the retails of which may include the budgets and people management as well as helping developers clearing the roadblocks on technical issues and providing technical directions to teams. We provide guidance to team members to help them grow faster as we believe people’s growth is one of the keys to our success.
What was the Starting Point of Your Passion as a Squad Lead
As mentioned, I majored in Computer Science. I have always believed that technology is one of the main aspects that can improve our way of life. In the business perspective, technology also plays a big part in opening doors to opportunities. It can be in the forms of easing the working process for internal members and enhancing efficiency or into products/features that users can benefit from.
After graduating and being able to experience undergraduate jobs, I didn’t really get to fully focus on the innovation aspects. Instead, I had a lot to do on the leading side but still within the technology field. I had the opportunity to experience budgeting for R&D and support the process of product research. Honestly, I was actually curious since being a Developer on why the requirements were given to us like that. I wanted to know the way-of-thinking from the management perspective. It has led me to my Business Administration Master’s Degree.
Skills of a Squad Lead
As a Squad Lead, it is important to utilize the strong points of each individual to work as a team and get the best possible outcome, as well as help them develop both technical skills and people skills along the way.Especially for juniors who aspire to develop their leadership skills, you will have to definitely face difficult situations that will require backup plans.
Since we are the middle person between the team and other departments, I would like to emphasize the mindset we use when communicating. We will have to understand that each team or department will not talk the same language depending on their expertise. Try to always mediate to find the middle of both parties for the best outcome.
Impact of Covid-19 on Leadership as a Squad Lead
Not only have the products themselves have changed, but the way we operate has transformed as well. We have more of a hybrid working style where we work from home a lot. As a Lead, it has made me realize the importance of effective communication. When Face-to-Face, we were opened to body languages for intentions to be passed on. With virtual meetings, I find myself developing the skills of being more active in encouraging not only the members, but the juniors to express themselves more.
Any Advice for Juniors stepping into the working world in the middle of the pandemic
Communication does not come only in the form of verbal communication. Written communication and document-making is one of the most important skills that should be taken into consideration when growing
Communication was one of the biggest things I have realized while being a Squad Lead. Not only during the pandemic, but also throughout my career. Especially when we work with high technicality, miscommunication can often occur with other departments. This is why I advise you to also learn how to pass our technicality in a way everyone with absolutely no knowledge can understand. This also includes written content.
To add on to that, it is also a skill; to be able to choose the right channel of communication for the team. It can come in the form of email, or private talking platforms that best-fits the team.
InsurTech as a Fast-Moving Field?
Insurance itself surely moves fast. This is also one of the reasons why I chose to work at Sunday Ins. I have to admit that my passion does evolve around the tech trends of the world. Nowadays, people are more aware of their health and their well-being which is pushing us to adopt new technologies to deliver better insurance services in better ways.
Not only that, Covid-19 had also accelerated the growth of this industry which also brought in new technology from the rapid digital transformation. For juniors who want to experience new trends and tech I would say InsurTech will be a perfect field for you to speed your growth. Especially at Sunday where we work innovatively.
Final Advice for Working in a Fast-Moving Industry.
Technology transforms really fast. Without the mindset to grow or the willingness to learn new things, it is hard to survive in a really fast-changing world. If you aspire to walk down the path of a Software Developer, remember to not be afraid of trial and error. That way, you will be able to fail fast, learn fast and develop your skills at full speed .
Do not be afraid to learn. Do not be afraid to fall. Do not be afraid to Start
All of this might seem difficult but if you have the passion, I believe it will be easier than what you have expected. Use your passion to explore the basics of the domain knowledge you need and grow by falling over and experiencing how you can come back up.