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Expectation vs. Reality: Working at Arcanys

August 05, 202213 min read

If you’re a software professional looking for thrilling career opportunities, you might have heard about Arcanys – one of the fastest-growing IT outsourcing companies in the Philippines

Maybe you’ve even applied to one of our many open positions.

But what do existing employees really think about working here? What is their day like? And does the workplace live up to their expectations?

For this episode, we chatted with two Arcanytes eager to share their work experiences as software engineers at Arcanys. One is James Figues, who’s been with the company for almost a decade, and the other is Shanelle Marasigan, who joined us just a few months ago. Sate that curiosity and read on. 

If you wanna see the video instead, check the full interview here:

So good afternoon, guys! Thank you very much for accepting our invite to have a chat with us today. Welcome to our first-ever video Career Talks episode. And so, guys, can you tell us your name, your tech, and how many years have you been with Arcanys?

James: Hi, my name is James Figues. I'm a software developer specialising in the frontend, but I can also do backend. The technologies or frameworks that we've been using in the team are, most recently, Vue.js. Before we were using Angular but we just migrated to using Vue. And I've been in Arcanys for nine years already. 

So that's almost like a decade.

So we have James like you know nine years with Arcanys and we also have…

Shanelle: Yes, hello! I'm Shanelle Marasigan and I work as a web developer in SRS team, on Tiqqe. Mostly, I'm doing some backend stuff because I'm still new with AWS. So we've been using Golang, some Typescript, and sometimes Vue, I think. And I'm almost four months with Arcanys. Still fresh. Still new. 

Yeah, newbie. So you're with Tiqqe and James is with Enfo. Am I right?

James: Yes, I'm with Enfo.

Okay. Introductions now out of the way… so let's get to your first question. So for each of you, can you tell us what made you apply at Arcanys and/or what were your expectations going in? Have you heard about Arcanys before? And what were you looking for in an employer when you made the change to Arcanys?

Yeah, and for James you have to remember it nine years ago.

Yeah, if you can recall.

Shanelle: It was really a tough time for me while searching for a new job. It's like you're not physically tired but you're drained with everything that is happening around you, especially in the environment that I used to work in before. So that time it was pandemic. So I’m really looking for an employer that really cares for their employees, especially when it comes to mental health.

Thank you and let's go for James.

James: As for me, I was part of the startup company, I think he (Shlby) mentioned this in the previous episode. Our company was merged or acquired by Arcanys. And that was 2013. And that's how I became part of Arcanys… and yeah, I really like being in this company. 

So Shanelle, how did you hear about Arcanys? Did you [find us] in social media or from a friend… were you referred to [us] by a friend?

Shanelle: By a friend… because he was also looking for a new job, and we were from the same company. So I think he just used me as bait for this.

So he recommended Arcanys but he's not yet working with Arcanys? 

Shanelle: Yes.

Okay, so where is he now? Is he applying?

Shanelle: No, [he’s] doing his own mini business first, before applying.

So Shanelle, is with Arcanys for just like four months. But how long are you, Shanelle, with the whole tech industry?

Shanelle:  Let's say, it's four years now. 

Just curious though… was that related or relevant to the course you had at college or did you like pivot?

Shanelle: Still related, yes, but for my previous job I've been put into the marketing side. Then I jumped to software development.

Okay, so now, I have a specific question for you, James. You mentioned that you've been with Arcanys for nine years already, just like Shlby. And you came from the same company, actually. So how has your career evolved in the nine years you've been with Arcanys? In terms of learnings, growth opportunities, clients, autonomy…

James: Yeah, okay. The startup company was basically focusing on mobile applications. And I think that was the reason why Arcanys acquired the company. Arcanys started in the gaming industry, selling items, you know that story. Then, we evolved into web development, web applications. And then, I think they wanted to expand to mobile application development and that's what our company was working on… and we have that portfolio already. 

I started as a web developer making websites. And then I was advised by the owner of that startup to venture into cross-platform mobile applications. So that's basically using Javascript for web technologies… Javascript, HTML, CSS in developing mobile applications. After that, we were acquired by Arcanys…

Wait, so Arcanys acquired the company or just the team? 

James: The whole company was acquired. I'm not sure if acquired or merged is the proper term. But yeah, and then I became part of the Enfo team. To give you some context, the team is basically supporting Swedish clients. They were mostly doing some frontend stuff. But they wanted to also venture into other technologies, and that time Lambda on AWS was becoming popular. So that's what I started with in Enfo.

You also took the certifications with AWS?

James: No, sorry but I'm not a good example… because currently in that team I mostly focus on the frontend. And we have a lot of competent backend developers on the team. So although it's very useful to have those certifications… But then, I was honest with the clients, with Alan, and with the management that I really wanted to focus on the frontend side. Yeah, it's a personal choice and that's the great thing about Arcanys. They listen to their developers, what they want, and support them. And that's how I grow… I mean that's the development of my career.

And one thing that's also been very important in my growth is that I learn or I developed my communication skills because we are directly communicating with the clients. And that was really a big factor that we were able to see how they work, or your voice is equally valuable to the team. So yeah, that really, really helped me in my career.

We agree! So yeah, from a guy that is already nine years with Arcanys, let's go with our newly hired developer Shanelle. So for Shanelle, does your experience so far match your expectations about the company?

Shanelle: Yes, it does. It was kind of surreal for me. I'm not expecting to be where I am right now. What I'm experiencing and what I've been receiving from the company… it's like, after all the hardships, I still can't believe it, that I'm still with Arcanys.

Yeah, so far, aside from your experience, with your expectations from the company, what you've seen on social media… like how was it? How's your relationship with your team? How many are you on the team? Are they welcoming?

Shanelle: Yes, they're so very kind to me. It's like… because from what I'm experiencing right now, they're really good at giving some compliments. They're giving it every day.

Is it from the client or from…?

From the client.

How about your team in Arcanys? I understand that you're from Batangas and unlike James, he spent, you know… with us in the office for many years before the lockdown. We want to know about more… from someone outside of Cebu, joining Arcanys. So how was the Arcanys team? Are they nice to you or?

Actually, I haven't met them.

You're with who's team, or who's the project coordinator?


Do you have other teammates?

No, we are just four. And two of them are really from SRS. One is from Vietnam, but he’s with Arcanys.

Do you have any plans for coming here, maybe for the year-end party or the other events?
Oh wait, did you attend the Summer Outing?


Oh, why?

I asked for my parents' permission if I can go there and my dad just say “No.” 

Okay, so for the next question, to both of you… What's one good thing you've experienced now at work here in Arcanys that you've never experienced before with your previous employers… as an employee and tech professional?

James: The one thing that I really, really like about Arcanys, that I really value is giving their employees this benefit of travelling outside the country. So I’ve been to… it was my first time in Taiwan, and with my wife. As a person who loves to travel, it was really a very nice experience.

In a nutshell, what is the five-year club?

Line: Arcanytes who are able to survive five years and more will be able to get a ticket to this exclusive club of five-year and ten-year club members. We already have 10-year club members right now. From the time you become a five-year club member, you will get to enjoy a trip… or when we had the pandemic, a really nice gadget with a very generous budget. 

But usually, if we're not locked down and are able to travel, a five-year club member Arcanyte and one other person, a plus one, will be whisked away to another country for four to five days. All expenses paid, for you and the plus one. And that's really great because you guys are now eyeing Southeast Asian countries, and maybe, beyond Asia? So hopefully, cross fingers. Echo will be joining next. It's something to look forward to, for staying long with the company.

Anyways, James, aside from leisure, Arcanys also gave you the opportunity to travel for work in Sweden, correct? 

James: Yes! We were very fortunate to have that opportunity to travel to Sweden. I think back in 2018? I'm not really sure of the year because of the pandemic. But yeah, we were able to experience Europe or Sweden. It was winter at that time. We were able to play with the snow. We were able to visit the frozen lake. It was really a very wonderful experience, especially for us who live in a tropical country. That's really different and I learned a lot from the trip.

Shanelle: The one good thing I experienced working with Arcanys is how they value their employees when it comes to mental and physical health. Plus, it's having a flat organisation, and it's very transparent.

Yeah, it is. 

Thank you. When it comes like mental and physical health benefits, are you using the ArcWorkouts app? Or are you going to the gym? What are your physical activities right now?

Shanelle: Actually, none.


Is there a near Anytime Fitness in your area? Or a gym? 

Shanelle: Yes, there is.

Maybe you could register there and start using the ArcWorkout app since you could earn up to one thousand a month extra. And also, you’ll be helping the foundation.

Last but not least…

So how do you think Arcanys will help you achieve your career goals for the long term?

Shanelle: To me, Arcanys will help me hone my skills as I'm starting to explore things that I'm interested in. Plus, I'm getting some feedback from the client and peers, which will help me know which part I should improve. For me, getting feedback from someone you are working with has an advantage if you are going to take it positively because it's for yourself and for your own growth also.

And also we're doing a work-from-home setup, which I think has an advantage for me. Having a work-life balance, flexible schedule, and more time with loved ones.

Yeah, that’s so true. 

And you know, hopefully, more time with your colleagues soon. 

So James, for the last question. How do you think Arcanys will help you achieve your career goals for the long term… longer term since you’ve been with the company a while.

James: Actually, I’m pretty satisfied with the current state of my career. I'm not looking into, like other people say, “climb the ladder.”

Since we have you know this flat style management, we don't have that “ladderized” setup. From a technology perspective, do you have other technologies that you want to learn?

Maybe AI? 

James: Yeah, technology is constantly evolving or it's constantly updating. Every now and then, there's a new update. Like Vue just released their version 3. So I'm looking forward to learn. Actually, I’ve started learning it but I wasn't able to apply it yet with our current projects because of deadlines, priorities, and (things) like that. 

The good thing with Arcanys is that you can learn whatever you want, as long as it's beneficial for the company, of course. For example, we have this weekly training that you can avail… wherein you can learn anything you want. Let's say, I'm a frontend developer and I want to expand my skills in the backend. So I could do that on the weekends and have an allowance… It's paid weekend training. So that's a really nice benefit. 

And also we have that, I think Shanelle mentioned this earlier, regarding feedback. We have this biannual evaluation. It's not to evaluate if you can still work in Arcanys. But you will receive very good feedback on your new growth. You will receive feedback from the team, from the client, and from your peers… which will help you, of course, if you receive it positively.

Like for me, for example, I was starting with the Swedish clients, I was a bit shy. I was not really speaking out too much or I tend to hold back my ideas. I received feedback that I was doing that. So I learned toexpress my ideas, my thoughts, or even share my personal life. So I think that's how it can help you to grow in the long term.

Arcanys is always doing a follow-up evaluation. How you do with the company and if your goals are met, and also if you want to improve your skills in the areas that you wanted.

So thank you so very much guys, James and Shanelle, for accepting our invite. For coming here and on video, to answer our questions. Thank you so very much for sharing your insights, and hope we get to see you more often, especially face-to-face… hopefully in the coming company events. Hope you have a lovely evening ahead! Thank you so very much. 

Thank you! 


Thank you. Bye!

To wrap it all up…

No one company is perfect but it’s vital for an employer to always look out for its employees holistically — not only making sure to give competitive compensation but also sufficient support for other aspects as well, health-wise and stress-wise. And with Arcanys continuously aiming to improve its benefits, we promise to always strive for that. 

Line Arias

Line Arias

Content Writer

Line Arias

Content Writer

Line is a Content Writer at Arcanys. She's also an editor, a bibliophile, a collector of pretty knickknacks, and a versatile doer with serious OC tendencies. She loves the written word undoubtedly, reads creepy stories by Poe, and shows great enthusiasm for every project like an eager beaver.