When a pharmacist becomes an IT-er: "Have you heard the phrase: Hai Phong people never beat around the bush?"

The protagonist of today’s news is N.T.Hai, 31 years old, from Hai Phong, currently a talented iOs Developer of Sun*. On this beautiful day, let's sit down, have a cup of tea and listen to Hai talking about his special journey to the IT industry!

Hai is probably not a stranger to many Sunners, because he has worked and devoted himself for more than 3 years at Sun*. He is currently the Team Leader of the iOS team (CEV3), and has achieved certain successes. Outside of work, he also stands out thanks to his optimistic and cheerful personality. Under his cold and quiet appearance is a colorful world that will make anyone who comes into contact with Hai feel happy and inspired.

Hai - iOS Developer of Sun*

But perhaps not many people know that, before joining the IT industry, Hai was a pharmacy student at Hai Phong Medical University - a dream school of many. Few people would have guessed that after 4 and a half years of studying and practicing at a Medical School, he decided to drop out right before graduation. His decisive decision surprised many relatives, friends, and even me, when I heard this story, it was really hard to believe.

Talking about this time, Hai confided: "I have had a passion for computers since grade 8. When I was in high school, I used to mess around and design websites for classes and schools, so at first I wanted to get into HUST so badly. But at that time, Information Technology was not really developed, and I did not have a clear orientation. Meanwhile, my parents' insisted that "No.1 choice is Medicine and no 2 is Pharmacology", so they told me to get into the medical field and I went with it.

I studied Pharmacology for 4.5 years, then I quit before graduation. After this decision, I was beaten up pretty badly by my father and my mother didn’t talk to me for several days. My relatives and friends must have felt surprised and regretful too. But for some reasons, I was very decisive at that time. Maybe it's because I realized what I really wanted, and if I reluctantly continued to do something I’m not that passionate about, the future probably wouldn't bear much value to me, so I stopped. What I regretted most at that time was making my parents sad and disappointed."

For many people, it is not easy to sacrifice their youth for a major, go back to the starting line and embark on a new path. That year, Hai was already 23 years old. When his friends were ready to go to work and build a career, he started all over.

"This is the first time I’ve told anyone this. It was actually just a matter of time before I switched to IT. While studying at med school, I secretly applied to a Vocational College to study Information Technology, but because the schedule of med school was quite tight, I couldn't fit it all in. At that time, I could only occasionally study with my high school friends who were studying at HUST.

I kept learning and researching by myself to feed my passion. While learning about programming through my first programming language, PHP, in 2013, I happened to be given an iPhone 5 and was extremely intrigued by its technology. I started reading about Apple and Steve Jobs, the information made me even “crazier" about it and I was determined to learn how to create iOS apps. Fortunately, I have a younger brother who was finishing his studies at Tech Master and I decided to go to Hanoi to learn about iOS from that younger brother in 2015."

"Have you heard the phrase: Hai Phong people never beat around the bush?"

Paulo Coelho once said in his book “The Alchemist”: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it". This quote resembles Hai's situation greatly. He has had a passion for programming languages since he was a teenager, this passion was then secretly nourished during his med school years, awaiting the decisive turning point of his life.

"At first, I didn't dare to ask for anything from my parents. I took money from my piggy bank and invested 12 million VND in an old but working Macbook. Then I went to Hanoi. I stayed with my younger brother who was learning about iOS and I also learned from him. I studied every day from morning till night, sometimes I forgot to eat because I was too immersed in studying. I was living in a rented room with no air conditioning while it's 40 degrees outside, but I didn’t care. Sometimes, when the heat reached its peaks, I had to sleep on a stone bench on the roof. After 2 months of studying, the younger brother introduced me to a company and I had a 1-month unpaid probation. After that 1 month, I was given 2-month paid probation and then I got my first salary, which was 4 million VND. At that time, I felt very happy." - Mr. Hai recounted his journey of studying IT.

The more he studied, worked, and experienced hardship, the more he learned about life. He said: "I don't see much difference between studying Medicine and studying IT. They both require learners to always cultivate and learn, to improve day by day, learners can't work if there’s no progress. They also require absolute precision even with small details. Sometimes I think to myself, 'fixing a bug' is like treating a person's illness, I need to be extremely careful and precise."

I find it fun and tireless when working in the IT industry, when I’m tired, I read books for entertainment!

For Hai, his great achievement in pursuing his IT dream up to now is becoming a member of Sun*.

He shared: "My proudest time period was when I passed the interview for Framgia (now Sun*). I had received some reviews about Sun* from a few friends and learned about professionalism in both the working culture and manners here. I told myself that I would grow even more if I worked here. Fortunately, I passed and have been working here for 3 years now.

I told myself that I would grow even more if I worked here. Fortunately, I passed and have been working here for 3 years now.

For me, 3 years here are the 3 years showing my apparent growth in the IT field. My proudest and happiest achievement is when I created an English-learning application and published it on App Store. At that time, it was downloaded more than 10,000 times. Back then, many colleagues admired me for it, so it can be considered as my first honorable achievement.

I think that we must always innovate to keep up with technology. I know it's very difficult for many different reasons, but I consider it a guideline to strive for in the profession. At Sun*, I am free to grow and have many opportunities to become an expert in this field."

Back to his story of switching fields, fortunately, at present, everything seems to be going very well for Hai. During the 4.0 era, when everyone uses smartphones, fortunately, everyone in his family understood a little bit about his job. "If anyone asks my parents, they will confidently answer that Hai works in information technology and he is paid in dollars!" (Laugh).

If you can pursue what you like, try to stick with it to the end. You have to be happy with it everyday. Because if you live and do things you are not comfortable with, that will be the most regrettable thing in your life. And anyone who wants to switch to IT should not have the old-fashioned notion of: IT-ers must master math - Must go to university - Must become an adult to be able to learn programming. You too can start today.


Hai (iOS Developer - Sun*)

Wishing Hai great health and enthusiasm for his profession and more success in the future!

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If you have read articles of Humans of Hanoi, Humans of Saigon, you may have fallen in love with the simple storytelling, simple writing style and good values ​​behind those stories. Inspired by those stories, the Corner of Sun* subsection (under the category Sunners) was established to share and keep small but inspirational stories in the life of Sunners, so that each of us can love each other more and be proud of being a part in a great team.

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