Staff Spotlight – Kevin Hwa

This month we get to know Kevin Hwa, one of the technical pillars for our supply chain product, BOLT. He’s an instrumental player in the team both in the office and on the soccer courts kicking goals for the Poly Panthers (our indoor soccer team).

Let’s get to know Kevin!

  • I understand you had quite a studious upbringing, what was life like growing up?
  • I grew up in Taiwan and it’s a very different culture over there. In high school you start your day at 6am and finish around 5pm then go to cram school until around 11pm.
Cram schools are very commonplace in Asia, as the name suggests, they encourage cramming to prepare students for university.

  • That work ethic certainly carried over to your career. Which brings me to the quintessential question, how did you hear about Polymathian?
  • When I was at Uni during a first year Python course, someone from Polymathian gave an introduction. Years later when Polymathian was hiring, one of my mentors introduced me to Mitch (our CTO) and the rest is history.

  • Tell us what you do at Polymathian?
  • I’m on the BOLT product team, which involves dealing with the client and translating their requirements into features for the software. I work with implementing changes to the engine and making sure our clients are well supported.

  • How would you describe your job to a child, for example to my son who is 7?
  • Ok, well I would say to him if your dad has a problem, he’ll probably come and talk to me. I would then write some code to help your dad solve that problem.
If only there were more Kevin’s solving people’s problems!

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career?
  • I never imagined working in mining and it has been really cool, there really isn’t much mining in Taiwan. On my first trip, when the client showed me a lump of coal from the site that BOLT was optimising, I felt proud that I was helping him to do his job better.

  • Any advice for young people starting their careers?
  • I got some great advice from someone at Polymathian, if you’re in your 20s and you’re the best guy in the room, that’s probably not the place to be. Try to always learn from seniors, learning should always be your main focus.

  • What is your favourite dish?
  • Pork mince rice with milk fish soup. It’s very common in Taiwan, but you can’t get the soup here. When I go back, I have it every day.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not working?
  • Soccer. Playing soccer with the Poly Panthers, watching Liverpool play and gardening.

  • If you had to be an inanimate object, what would you choose and why?
  • Ummm, probably a big tree. Like one that’s been there for hundreds of years. When the world is changing, you’re still standing strong and providing shade for everyone.

  • What a great choice, I love it!
  • Yeah, if you receive help from others you should always try to repay back to society and help others.

  • What is one thing you cannot live without?
  • Air...

  • What did 10 year-old Kevin want to be when he grew up?
  • I wanted to play baseball, but I didn’t really think about it. I was too busy studying…

  • Anything else you’d like to add?
  • Ummmm, yeah. If you’d like to play soccer, let me know. We might have a position for you with the Poly Panthers!


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