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Career AdviceCareer counselling, advice and guidance

Cody Szeto

Cody Szeto is director of the IT&T, engineering, supply chain and procurement divisions at Kelly Services Hong Kong.

How easy is it to get a Hong Kong visa sponsorship for a tech job?

I work as a front-end web developer and I am planning on moving to Hong Kong soon to join my partner, who has been seconded by his bank. I am looking about the possibility of getting employment there in a programming capacity but I do not currently have a working visa.How feasible is it to get a company to sponsor me? I also have experience in app development and have been working for 15 years. ...

Is the move to a start-up a risk worth taking?

I am a back-end developer with a good job working for a financial institution. After a few successful ventures into app development, I have been approached to work for a new start-up.The enterprise has secured a first round of seed funding and has a vision and product that, if executed properly, could be hugely successful. I am a bit worried, though, about the potential insecurity of it all. Is it worth taking the plunge? ...

How can I make the jump to working in an internet of things-related area?

I am a back-end developer who has had some success in recent years working on apps for a number of online platforms, including retail and publishing. However, I find that the daily job is getting a bit over-familiar.I am interested in moving into an internet-of-things-based area such as programmes and appliances for smart homes. I am experienced in HTML5, Objective-C, C++ and Java and I tend to adapt quickly to new programming languages. What advice do you give for making the transition? And are there opportunities in Hong Kong or would it be better to look elsewhere? ...

Will finding a job without my usual contacts be easy?

I have more than ten years’ experience working as a developer for information systems firms. Though I am good at my job and have been successful, in all my three jobs, I was helped in the door by a friend or a contact. Of course, I went through the interview process like anyone else but my path was certainly eased each time.My current employer is scaling back its operations and I am looking elsewhere in anticipation of this. Though I have plenty of work experience, I am not so used to approaching companies off my own bat, especially as few of my former contacts are still in the city. What advice do you give? ...

How best to get that coveted permanent contract

I have spent 15 years working as a software engineer, but I have taken some time off for other projects in the last 18 months, supporting myself with part-time shifts for a start-up that has grown considerably in that time. Now I’d like to get back to full-time work and secure a position at the company, but am unsure how to negotiate this with the head of department. How can I propose a change in my current contract, without compromising the relationships and goodwill I‘ve built at the firm?  ...

Is digital marketing or e-commerce the way to go for my next career move?

I am a senior digital marketing executive working in the e-commerce department of a large traditional retailer. Looking ahead, my career path would logically go digital marketing manager, then maybe marketing manager or director. However, I’m wondering what other options might be open to me as I build more and more e-commerce expertise. With your knowledge on how the e-commerce landscape is changing and the demands of hirers, what sort of alternative career paths might you suggest? I have a particular interest in analytics and social media optimisation, not necessarily just in relation to e-commerce.  ...

Tech talent with skills suited for the AR/VR revolution are in the perfect position to make their mark

In 2015, 80 per cent of the world’s largest tech companies according to Forbes had invested in R&D related to augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) ...

Will MOOCs make me stand out to Hong Kong employers?

How much weight do employers give to job candidates’ skills that have been acquired via online courses? I have started studying some data analysis courses on sites such as Coursera and Udacity and I am learning a lot, but I’m not sure how good they will look on my CV compared to, say, a master’s at a recognised university. To me it makes much more sense to study these “MOOCs” (massive open online courses) because of their flexibility and the fact that a lot of them are free. Could I get a job as a data analyst having only studied related online courses? ...

Should I quit e-banking job because nothing changes?

About six months ago I left a job as e-banking product manager at one bank for a similar job at another bank for higher pay. The role sounded exciting – they were looking to totally revamp their ageing e-banking systems to something more suitable for modern banking. The reality, though, is that things move incredibly slowly here – high-level decisions go through so many different layers and there seems to be a reluctance from senior managers to move away from legacy software systems. In hindsight, things were much better in my previous position. Should I press on in my new role or bite the bullet and return to my old job?   ...

Can I prosper in programming as a late starter?

It seems that the whole world is going digital and I’m thinking it’s high time I got in on the action. I’ve always had an interest in computers and would love to be able to write software, but I’ve never studied programming and am not sure where to start. What programming skills are most important in Hong Kong? Is it feasible to pick up the required skills by studying in my spare time outside work and if so, would you recommend self-learning or online courses? Will I, as someone who already has several years of work experience, stand a chance in the job market against fresh graduates with computer science degrees?   ...