Along with the increase in foreign investment, especially the investment of Japanese companies in Vietnam in the IT field, the job of Bridge Engineer (BrSE) has appeared. This job is interesting to some of you because of the good income and enjoyable working environment. However, this is also a challenging job and you need a lot of effort to do well. Are you interested in a BrSE position? Are you looking for a career path in the IT industry? Or have you simply set your sights on becoming a BrSE and need more information about this position? Let’s find out with this article!
BrSE can be understood as Bridge Software Engineer or Bridge System Engineer. I prefer the second interpretation. There it requires BrSE to be both a System Engineer and a Bridge.
As a System Engineer, you must understand the overview of the system, from the top level which is the purpose of the system to the specs of the main functions and their relationships.
Firstly, let me tell you the reason why I think it’s important to understand the purpose of the system? The success of a system or project depends on whether it meets the customer’s system-building goals or not. We will find the answer to the questions:
When using the system, will the customer’s work performance be enhanced?
Is it a reliable, convenient, customer-beneficial system?
Or is it the core values that any customer is aiming for?
Secondly, as a System Engineer, in order to build a system that meets your customer’s business goals, you always need to have an overall view of the system. You are the one who explains the specifications to your team members to build the system. During development, you may not remember every detailed specs, that’s okay, there are already specs documents, Q&A…but you need to understand a general overview with key functions and relationships between them to ensure that the system does not deviate from the target. It can also be said that the job of a BrSE is a bit similar to a PO (Product Owner), right?
Last but not least, you also need to know the overall situation of the project’s progress, risks… and as much as possible the problems, expectations…of your members to motivate them.
In addition, the connection and transmission of information between the parties is also an important role of BrSe. First of all, you must be a reliable bridge to ensure accurate communication between the Vietnamese development team and the Japanese PMs and customers. However, in practice, communication is not always smooth. In the process of working, disagreements are inevitable, and it is those disagreements that make us understand each other better to work together towards the common goal of perfecting the product at the best level. This disagreement can stem from cultural differences between the two sides, or from the perspective and role of each side. And it is at such times, that we BrSE need to use all the ingenuity, flexibility and sophistication to be effective in the process of communicating and conveying information. For example, if you have worked with Japanese customers a lot, you are certainly no stranger to QCD. This is considered a tool to measure and manage the quality of products and services, at which Japanese customers , considered to be very strict, always require products to have Q (Quality)- Best quality, C (Cost)- Cheap price and D (Delivery)- Fast delivery.. But the development team has its own characteristics with its own limitations. And it is really a challenge for you to balance the requirements and desires of both parties.
Moreover, “空気を読む-Reading the air” is one of the characteristics when we talk about Japanese people. This word represents the Japanese “like yes like no” communication. They want other people to understand what they want, but they don’t even say it out. They expect other people to understand the hidden meaning in their sentences somehow without saying anything. This is a difficult obstacle for many Japanese learners in general, and BrSEs like us in particular. You hear one but you must understand ten. It’s no accident that we’re called “Bridges”, isn’t it? You need to practice reading the situation and asking often to confirm the problems. Customers will be more satisfied if you think and give appropriate recommendations with a pros and cons analysis for them to choose instead of asking for guidance from them.
And another important thing with Japanese customers is the prestige, I think. If they trust you, the work will be much more convenient. How can you win their trust? There is no absolute correct answer to this question. But from my personal experience, maybe it’s “Responsibility”. Because I think “Attitude is more important than qualifications”. Maybe you are not technically good at first, you don’t know how to propose specs, your Japanese communication is still poor, and your team’s performance is not high. But you can still earn continued customer loyalty if you demonstrate a constant drive for improvement by you and your team. That is reflected in the way you make reports of problems or delays with solutions, you prepare documents carefully, send meeting summaries to customers before each meeting, you respond to customers as soon as they ask questions, in case of need even outside working hours. For questions you do not have an immediate answer to, you simply tell the customer that you have received the information and will check it. Before holidays or in your absence, notify the client in advance and arrange for a replacement if possible. We’re just trying to tell you that, just as important as Hard-skill (Japanese-technical), Soft-skill (flexible problem-solving skills, responsibility) also contributes to your success in your BrSE work. Do you see that?
In the end, one hand can’t clap alonemake a clap. We, working as BrSEs, would not have helped the project succeed without the smooth coordination of our team. Please really genuinely care about the members, solve their problems like your own. Always not only ensure that the members meet the requirements of the company, the project and the customers, but also ensure the legitimate interests. Being an elder brother, a sister or simply a friend to empathize and share your thoughts with your teammates must be a valuable experience and also is the way you connect your teammates. The way you do one small thing is the way you do everything in life. The way you treat your teammates is how you interact and support the project to succeed. “Do what you love – Love what you do”- Isn’t that what we often hear? You want to work in a dynamic environment that respects personal growth and promotes creativity and so will your teammates. Be a small but influential factor in creating such an ideal environment. Even in the system requirements specs, let them come up with the features they think are most relevant, you listen and analyze it with them. Also pay attention to give them opportunities and challenges so that they can develop themselves to their best through each project you do together.
In summary, BrSE is the position like everyone’s cup of tea, in which you have to do whatever you think is necessary to help the project be successful as well as your team and the client get the best working conditions. By doing so, you have the key to success in your career.
We, BrSE team of Vareal Vietnam, always welcome your joining.
Author: BrSE Team
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