QASymphony’s Competitive Advantage: Our Vietnam Development Team

I recently joined QASymphony as the Chief Marketing Officer.  As I was evaluating the job opportunity, one of the things that intrigued me was that all company’s development was done in Vietnam.

When you work in the software business, overseas development is very common.  But, usually the teams are in India or China.  I hadn’t heard much about development being done in Vietnam.

The reason that our development team is in Vietnam, is our co-founder Vu Lam.  Vu immigrated to the US from Vietnam during the war.  You can read his amazing story in the NY Times here.  Vu has been a pioneer in the Vietnamese technology community, building KMS Technology, a leading services provider located in Ho Chi Minh City.  QASymphony originally grew out of the KMS operation and they are still located in the same building.

The QASymphony Vietnam team hard at work.
The QASymphony Vietnam team hard at work.

Today there are 40 full-time employees working for QASymphony in Vietnam.  Unlike traditional outsourcing, these employees are actually part of the QASymphony team.  So, they are completely invested in our success and every bit as excited about the company as our team in the USA.

Our Vietnam team has become a real competitive advantage for QASymphony.  They are smart,  highly skilled developers working hard to continually innovate our software platform at a rapid pace.  Many of them have been with the company since the very start so they are 100% committed to our success.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit our Vietnam office for the first time.  I had spoken to the Vietnam team several times via video conference.  But, there’s nothing like being there in person to build the relationships.

My Selfie with the QASymphony team in Vietnam.
My Selfie with the QASymphony team in Vietnam.

We spent a lot of time with the team talking about the business and our roadmap.  The members of the team highlighted what’s working and what’s not.  We also talked about what we can do to get better as a team.  Of course, we had some fun as well with an offsite at the beach and an evening in a karaoke bar.

Mot Hai Ba YO!
Mot Hai Ba YO!

I didn’t pick up much of the Vietnamese language when I was there.  But, I did learn the most important phrase – “Mot, Hai Ba, Yo!” which means “cheers” in Vietnamese.  When you say it, you put extra emphasis on the “YO”.

The trip highlighted for me the need to do more to keep our United States and Vietnam operations connected so we truly feel like one team.  When you’re 13 hours and 9000 miles apart, it’s challenging to keep everyone on the same page. Out of sight, out of mind. I know I’m going to make it a point to communicate what’s happening in the US to my colleagues in Vietnam on a much more frequent basis.  And we’re also going to start to bring some of the key people in our Vietnam office to the US every few months.

I also learned that Vietnam has some amazing food.  You can see some pictures below.  Needless to say, I didn’t lose any weight when I was there.

Whole Fish
Whole Fish
Dim Sum
Dim Sum
Seafood Hot Pot
Seafood Hot Pot

So if you have an opportunity to travel to Vietnam for business or pleasure, I highly recommend it.  And make sure to stop by the QASymphony office and say “hi”.

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