June 06, 2022 • 20 min read
How satisfied are you with your career right now? How about your colleagues? Do they inspire you to learn and improve constantly? Many in Arcanys have various reasons for staying. For one Arcanyte in particular, the answers to all that are both simple and inspiring.
In the first episode of this new series, listen to a tell-all chat I had with one Arcanyte, from how he joined the company and what he thinks of colleagues to what makes him wanna stay in Arcanys. Here is iOS developer and PMT Shlby — coder, project manager, gamer, husband, and father.
Check below to listen instead to the interview:
First question. How long have you been working at Arcanys?
Since 2013. Yeah, I think I feel very much older… So yeah, 2013. I don't know how many years that is. But yes.
It's (been) almost a decade. It will be a decade next year. Wow! So how about how were you hired, and how did you find out about Arcanys?
Well, actually, I didn't know anything about Arcanys, but my previous company was merged to Arcanys. And yeah, I guess it turned out pretty damn well. So we got merged.
Nice! Really? I didn't know that.
Yes, you didn't know that. I think it was the mobile team, the whole mobile team, the Android and the iOS team were merged to Arcanys and some other developers from our previous company. I think it was along with Edward and James Figues… Rodel and the other guys.
So I want to ask you about how have you grown professionally while you're in Arcanys, like in terms of tech and role changes or pivots maybe?
So, I've been an iOS dev mostly in Arcanys. Well, since I started and until now. (Then) I got into project management... I think I started doing project management around 2014. So yeah, helping with the process, and of course, doing some projects as well.
I got in the PMT team, as well, helping with the processes and some projects. And then after some time, I also got to learn Angular and Ionic, which are also mobile development. But yeah, so far, so good. Currently, I'm still doing the iOS native language for the mobile development.
How was the learning curve for the other tech with you starting in iOS? Was it hard? Or was it just seamless?
That's nice! And do you have any plans of learning another tech in the future? Or are you interested in a tech at the moment?
I think at the moment, I'd like to stick with what I have right now. Maybe concentrate, maybe focus on Ionic or Angular. And I think from there it has many opportunities with projects… I mean, I pretty much don't have that much time to learn another one but (it) depends on the flow… I think I'd like to stick with what I have right now and maybe improve more.
Oh, so you wanna enhance what tech you have on your belt right now?
Okay. How about your team? Can you tell me about your team and your roles in your team? How many teams are you handling or are you a member of at the moment?
Currently, I only have one team that I'm a developer in it and one team that I'm handling. But not really full-time handling because I'm more of like 90% or 80% with my current project. As for my role, I'm the iOS developer. We're like two mobile developers in our project. We have someone who handles us as well. We have two testers, two back-end developers, and one front-end for the web.
So yeah, aside from my role that's purely development, we also do like specs making for the mobile development. And yeah, we get it approved by our client. We also talk directly to our clients, and their clients as well. So it's more of whatever works for us.
Okay, so which teams are these?
This is Think it Twice, at the moment. And then for the one that I'm handling it's the ArcWorkouts Internal Project.
The ArcWorkouts. Oh, okay. That's why when we have like bugs, people go to you.
Okay, so next is which accomplishments are you most proud of since you've been working in Arcanys?
The thing that I'm most proud of is… it's actually not even work-related. It's having to create something amazing with our RnR team, which I am a part of. And I'm really proud of it because it's something that we created as a team and that gives people a chance to have fun with the different events that we do, especially the big ones that we've handled before like year-end parties, summer outings.
Yeah, I think, that's what I'm most proud of, creating something very big… And it's outside of our work but it's something that gives most of the people in Arcanys happiness, or something like a reason to stay in Arcanys, as well.
Nice. Yeah, I can empathize. It's really really hard to organize events and me being with you in RnR for the past… how many years? For the past couple of years, it has been like a rollercoaster of headaches and then ups of like satisfaction when you see people enjoying the events, people giving good feedback.
Yes! And you always need to beat that event in the next year.
The previous ones?
Nice. How about… do you have any memorable or funny Arcanys story or anecdote that you can't like forget or stands out in your head since you've been working here in Arcanys? You have like almost a decade with the company already, so I bet you have like at least a couple of stories.
I don't know but I think we always looked forward to Friday lunch and that's something that I think is always special for me, Friday lunches. When it's Friday, "Let's go out!" Something like that.
Oh, when we were in the office?
Yes, we were in the office.
Why was it memorable? What makes the Friday lunches stand out?
Why is it memorable? In normal, I guess, days… it's always you going to the office. You drink coffee or whatever, turn on your computer, do your work, and then get out. Maybe take lunch, but then you're (always) on your desk, or just within the building.
But when it's Friday lunch before, the whole company has to go to a specific restaurant and you got to mingle with others. You ride the PUJ or you (take a) ride in your colleague's car. Have fun going there, and you know when you get there… you'd see there are empty seats, empty tables, and chairs. Like a lot of them, because we were a lot (back then). And when you enter you just go "Everyone's Arcanys, reserved." And you know after eating, you go back right away. You're full and you're satisfied and that's your Friday. You know, every Friday was always something like… What do you call this?
A highlight of the week?
Yeah yeah, a highlight or something like… your week is ending, you have to reward yourself. So… Friday lunch was always a reward.
So that was like when the company was under a hundred?
That was around 2013… '14, and '15, I guess.
Ah, I'm sorry I missed that!
Yeah, sorry. But then again…
So it was like a nice bonding moment?
Yeah, it was a very nice bonding moment. But it's okay because after they changed it to like everyday lunch… and it's free. It's still okay, I mean it's way better because it's every day now. I like the PUJ part and the part where you need to ride (to go out).
Ah, because you had to go to another place?
Yeah, and that's where you can see the actual culture of the company, you know.
Nice! Yeah, yeah, I can picture that. Okay, so thank you for sharing that. I didn't know.
So how about being an Arcanyte… What has your experience been with the Arcanys company culture? What has your experience been with the Arcanys company culture, in general? Give us the gems.
Let me see… I guess one of the major things that I really like about the culture in Arcanys is how you can easily, when I say easily, very easily talk with everyone. And we have this open-door policy, meaning you can just… if you need something or you have a problem with something it's that feeling that you're able to open up… yeah, right away to anyone. Like if you need something, you can always talk to someone right away instead of… like in my previous experiences, you can always talk to your "cheat mate" or something because you're afraid to talk with "them." But the aura, the company culture gives like (the aura that) we're here for you or something… that we listen.
It's that aura that's giving us the culture of Arcanys. And most of the people in Arcanys are fun to be with. You can really tell that there's this culture that we have maintained that… when you get to work here, you feel (at) home, and that's it, I guess. The key is HOME.
Nice, okay. Yeah, I can relate because it is true that you can easily talk to most of the people in the company. Even when I first started, like the first week, people are very friendly. And a lot of the newbies, too, say that people are friendly.
There's no power index, right?! There's no "sir" or "ma'am" so everyone's kind of equal.
Yeah, that, too!
So, how about the founding duo… what can you say about Alan and Fred? Their leadership styles or values, etc.
Leadership styles? How do I say… very approachable, very friendly. Like I said, open… you know, they listen to you.
Is there any difference between the two? Are there any differences?
Fred is actually stricter than Alan… *laughs
How about… can you cite a specific incident or example where you appreciated both of them, or one of them?
So Alan, I guess, is really a very understanding guy, especially during the Odette times. My family… our house, I mean we live in a mountainous area. Of course, everyone doesn't have electricity, and we don't have water. But actually the source for some of the people here in the city… it was still easier to get water because they live near somewhere that has a really good supply. So, our situation at that time, it was very hard for us because we can't really go down from the mountains… just to get supplies and whatever.
So when I say understanding, Alan gave us this chance to even stay at the office for free, and use all the things that we need(ed) — electricity, internet connection, water, even coffee. So it was something that really struck us. And aside from that, he has been like that since 2013.
He always listens to people. He listens to the problems that the company is facing. And we talk about it during our PMT meetings, and yeah, we improve from there, you know. Stuff like that. So yes, for Alan, very understanding.
For Fred, I always see him as the healthy, fit guy. And he inspires everyone in the office with that mindset. So I guess he has taught us a lot about eating healthy. How we should live and how our lifestyle should be changed with that in mind. That way we could work properly and, of course, have a healthier life. That's it.
Nice! Thank you. That's very illuminating.
So, what kinds of resources have you taken advantage of while in Arcanys?
I think the only resource I can think of, at the moment… that I've really taken advantage of is the five-year club benefit.
Yeah, that was quite extensive for the past year, right?
Yes, and even the previous years.
Would you mind telling us what did you get?
For my five-year club?
So last year, instead of going somewhere, I was able to get an iPhone 13 Pro.
Nice! I'm jealous.
So there's a reason for you to stay in Arcanys. For myself, I really don't have any plans to buy phones like that or something. But that was a chance for me to get that kind of expensive phone, so why not? Just because it's free.
Oh yeah, I forgot. There's just one more resource that I forgot, and I've always taken advantage of is this Arcanys foundation… the teachers that offer us free math and English lessons for our kids. So my kids, Riley and Dean, both are five and six, were able to enroll in that class. My kids got to learn a lot from, you know, (being) enrolled in that class for free. And that was given by Arcanys, as well.
Yeah, I remember. Are they still doing the online classes with the AELF teachers?
At the moment, we paused after the summer break and, of course, the Odette time. I'm not sure when it's coming back.
Oh okay. But if it's coming back would you continue?
Yeah, my daughter misses her teacher. So, yes.
Okay. So speaking of benefits, which perks are your favorite and why?
As always, it's the 5-year club.
Speaking of the 5-year club, can you tell us more about what it is?
It's one of the best perks for me. Yeah, 5-year club is when you get… Oh well, from the word, you have to be five years (in the company) to be a member of the 5-year club. So when you get this… and the perks of that is that you get to spend (with) oldies… when I say "oldies" (I mean) the 5-year members… on a vacation outside of the Philippines.
Uh no, it started with local areas. I think there were two 5-year club awards. And that was a trip to Bohol. I think that's the first one. And then the second one was in Boracay. The third one, which I was able to join, was in Taiwan. And then the next one was in Malaysia. Then the fifth one, because of Covid, we weren't able to travel. But we got the other bonuses, so yeah, the one I mentioned earlier. But when I became a member, my first outing was in Taiwan. So my wife and I… we never planned on traveling and we haven't even tried planning to travel outside of the Philippines.
But because of this opportunity we were able to go to places we would not have gone and it was really a great experience. It's really the best perk because everything's for free and it's not a very typical backpacker trip. It's a well-pampered well-planned trip for us to get a vacation, and we get to stay in really cool places, eat heavy, of course, and yeah, get to experience things.
Yeah, I remember that trip. And I'm quite jealous of that trip, too. I've never been to Taiwan.
And then, this year, I think we're planning, if we have the chance 'coz you know Covid is about to say goodbye, hopefully. Yeah, we are planning to go outside (the Philippines) again. Yeah, still in Asia.
Ah, still in Asia. Do you have your passports ready?
Of course. Passports are ready. And I'm planning to bring my kids, as well. Hopefully, everything is going to be smooth. I want them to experience…
Yeah, travel outside (the country) broadens kids' perspectives.
And they get to know how to prepare a five-minute self-preparation so that you can travel early, you know.
Good luck with that!
Yeah, I think that's the only problem parents have to face during travel. But you know, you have to train them to be ready in five minutes.
Okay, so you were only able to go on one trip… no, two trips, because you also went to Malaysia. So, of the two trips that you've had with the 5-year club, what were the most memorable parts?
Memorable between the two?
Do you have like a memorable part of the Taiwan trip and then a memorable part in the Malaysian trip?
So… for the Taiwan trip, the memorable part is… to even experience first time flying, and that, especially together with my wife. We're both first-timers, you know, traveling outside, riding an airplane outside of the Philippines. So yeah, it was memorable. And that part where we went to a place that's very cold. It was around, but I think it was around 12 or less than 12 degrees. It was very cold and it was kind of raining or something. And that place was the best because it was like in that anime, the cartoon movie. There's this Taiwan setting that's in a movie, I forgot… never mind.
Cartoon? Like Japanese cartoon?
Yeah, Japanese cartoon. I forgot the movie. Spirited Away?
Ah, the one on the train tracks! Near the train tracks?
Yeah, it's Jiufen, in Taiwan. It's an old seaside gold mining town.
Yeah, I saw the pictures.
Yeah, that part there was the best for me. It was like the whole culture of Taiwan in one place, I guess. And aside from that, there's this specific smell in Taiwan that makes you miss it. I guess it's the sticky tofu? But I don't know.
Now, how about the Malaysian trip?
So the Malaysian trip, aside from being scared because it was the start of Covid times… I guess the memorable part of being in Malaysia is the food. Food there is very nice, just like (in) Taiwan though. But yeah, it was the first time that I experienced something like it's 7 a.m. — and 7 a.m here in the Philippines, it's like you can see the sunrise. But in Malaysia, 7 a.m there is still dark.
So it's the first time that I've experienced that. It's very magical because, you know, it's a different time zone. It's the first time for me, so it's magical. I don't know, there were a lot of things in Malaysia that were very cool.
Nothing stands out, like maybe one tourist spot?
I don't know.
You had like a lot of pictures with your wife.
Yeah, that's why I cannot pick. Everything's very cool. So I think the one where we rode that gondola ba yan?
Gondola, really? Malaysia have gondola(s)?
We rode that… something that goes up to the mountains.
Cable cars, yes!
Yeah but it's also… I think that gondola is another word for (a) cable car.
And yeah… aside from that, the major stand out for me was they have this mall… a very big mall near from where we were staying you can go underground from that specific mall and you can go all the way to (another) mall very far away from there. And that's just passing (via) an underground (subway).
Yeah, like connected subways.
Yeah, and the twin tower, I like the twin towers.
Was that Petronas, right?
Okay, so how about you give us a glimpse of what you think about Arcanys. Complete these sentences Arcanys is…
Arcanys is, and will always be, the best for me, best at everything. The best company that you could work with, the best company that make you be a better person, and you know, (wanna) improve.
Okay, how about Arcanytes? Arcanytes are…
Arcanytes are awesome. *laughs* Yes, Arcanytes are awesome.
Because, you know, everyone's goofy… everyone's very approachable… everyone's friendly… everyone's an Arcanyte. They're like (a) family that you can always talk to, something like that.
Yeah, they're like family. I can relate. So who are some of your biggest inspirations within the company?
One of my biggest inspirations, I guess, is George. George, who is a part of the PMT as well. I find him as an inspiration because he can always easily talk with people. He goes out of his way talk with people. He finds solutions to help the company. And yeah, he's the go-to person for everyone. And it's something that I've always wanted for myself. I've always wanted to help as well.
And yeah because before I've even decided what to take in college, I've always wanted to be a psychology major… just to be able to understand people and talk to people. And George has that talent of, you know, talking with people and helping out people.
Cool! So you dreamed of becoming a psychology graduate. Really?
Yes, I dreamed it once, yes. But now that I'm in IT… and I'm in the computer world, I'm good. I guess I can still be that person.
Yeah, I guess, especially thinking about user experience.
Yeah, user experience… handling clients.
So yeah, I agree. George is the go-to guy for answers or solutions. So, what is the most unique part about working in Arcanys?
The most unique part about working here is that… no, it's really unique, I can say, because I remember when we were having our Friday lunch… and Alan was there. We asked about where the "Arcanys" name came from. So his answer was like it was from a game, about "arcane." I'm always a gamer, and I'm always interested in games and magic and stuff. It's going to work in a company that is inspired by games, and has a history of being in the gaming industry.
It's very special, it's very unique. If you know the history, they started with selling items from… in a game. And then they have their own Esports team.
Nice! Okay, so thank you kaayo. But do you have anything to say about Arcanys? Or your future with Arcanys?
But I always want to say "Thank you, Arcanys! I'm always… I very much appreciate everything that Arcanys has done for us.
So, extra question. Did you… 'coz I know since your kids are like under 10, you had them while you were already in Arcanys, right?
Did you also get married while you were in Arcanys already?
Yes, all of them… all major life happenings or events happened in the time when I was in Arcanys. So the first time... the time when we were, you know, girlfriend-boyfriend. And then the time we got married, (when) we got the first kid, and then, the second kid.
Cool! So it's like your life with Arcanys is in tandem with your family life. Nice!
Yes! And Arcanys has been supportive with my family, in a way in a way, you know.
So yeah, thank you very much for giving me your time this afternoon. And hope you and your family have a good evening. Bye!
For many professionals out there, salary may be a top determiner that makes or breaks their relationship with a company. But you can't deny that a lasting employee-employer relationship has to be a balanced combo of various factors. And for Arcanyte Shlby, he has certainly found that and more in Arcanys, which is why we're excited to see how further he will go in the future, in his career as well as in other aspects of life.
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.