Thoughtworker Spotlight: Vivian So

Thoughtworks Canada

Thoughtworks Canada

March 17, 2023

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Two photos of Vivian

Bubble tea enthusiast, crafting up homemade desserts and adventures in new cities – these are a few of Vivian So’s favourite things outside of work. When she’s not solving the latest musical easter eggs from Taylor Swift’s album, you can find her leading high-performing teams to solve complex business problems while building value for clients as a lead software developer. As a strong mentorship advocate, when she’s not crafting sweets or exploring the streets, you can find her teaching and facilitating practice sessions for upskilling developers. As a dedicated individual who is both a learner and teacher, can you guess what her favourite product? Hint: It may be as versatile as she is! Check out this week’s Thoughtworker’s Spotlight to find out. 

Tell us about what you do in 50 words or less.

As a lead software developer, I lead high-performing teams to solve complex business problems and to iteratively build value to our clients. I’m passionate about developing others on my team to grow their career and their skills.

What’s the most interesting challenge you’re working on?

The development of others has been something I’ve worked on in my past projects. I’m currently focusing on how to upskill developers within the tech community at Thoughtworks through code kata practice sessions. It’s given me a space to teach and share my experience on test development practices. As well, I get to write code with others in a mob programming environment. In every session that I facilitate, I find myself still learning and growing as a developer.

What inspired you to have the career you have today?

Software development is all about problem solving by breaking down the problem into smaller pieces. I was in high school when I learned how to make websites. It motivated me to take a computer science class in high school. My interest was sparked in that class because I felt a sense of accomplishment after solving each coding problem. It then further motivated me to pursue it in university to start a career in software development.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

I’m most proud of leading and being part of teams where we’ve released what we’ve built into production. It’s really fulfilling to see something we worked hard on that’s being actively used by customers. It’s always exciting to see user traffic increasing on analytics dashboards. This is one of the reasons why I love working in the retail domain because I’ve contributed to different e-commerce platforms to streamline how users complete their order online.

If you could go back in time and give yourself career advice, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Focus on things that you can control and ask for support when you start to feel really stretched.

What do you love to do outside of work?

  • Enjoying a bubble tea
  • Trying out different restaurants
  • Cooking and baking at home (I love to try out new recipes that I find online)
  • Traveling to explore new cities and its culture

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?

Album – reputation by Taylor Swift
Movie – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Book – What’s for Dessert: Simple Recipes for Dessert People: A Baking Book by Claire Saffitz

And finally, what’s your favourite product and why? 

My instant pot has been a great addition to my kitchen over the years. In addition to being my rice cooker, it also makes delicious soups in less time and makes fork-tender braised meats every time. It’s so versatile!

Three photos of Vivian, one of her posing next to a large bubble tea cup, one where she is standing in Antelope Canyon, and a third of a group photo during a Christmas party

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