I’m backing up photos migrating from OneDrive to another cloud provider, and I saw the pictures of the olden days. Fujitsu Ten is now Denso Ten.
I started working with Fujitsu Ten in October something, 2010. I don’t remember the exact date anymore. I remember it was Ate Shi that informed me about the job opening. I was ecstatic as it was (or is) a known electronics company.
The industry was embedded software for automotive electronics, and here’s where I learned about the actual practical usage of pointers in C. Here’s where I also saw how we used function dispatch tables to act like methods in a procedural language… heck, you would even see how they (the Japanese guys who wrote the base software that we were building on top of) implemented hashtables, and other necessities that we take for granted on a modern programming language.
I joined the company initially as a source code analyst for C language-based systems, and to put it mildly super yabang mode, I smashed it… Like, 3 promotions straight smash, homerun kinda thing. I left after my 3rd year though.
In the grand scheme of things, my contributions are minuscule compared to the size of the company. However, I’m still proud of it.
- Was consistently very productive in my initial role as a source code analyst, our team was a performer within the section.
- We wrote a tool that… unfortunately… eventually replaced us by analyzing prior klockworks reports based on the base software. Some old-school tool that is written in C# that analyzes Excel documents. I won’t say ML, but it’s kinda going there.
- One of the main contributors to an intranet system used for document management used by the whole department. I had many many sleepless nights on this project, trying to optimize our SQL queries.
- Was sent to Japan thrice! I’ll share pictures down below, that’s the whole reason why I remembered about my 3 years in this company, due to the pics on my backup.
- The first time I was sent to Japan, I received positive feedback from our Japanese counterpart, Kitamura-san, which directly resulted in my promotion. I jumped ahead of my batchmate, Kelvin, due to this.
- The second time in Japan, I experienced getting sick, and although I still got positive feedback from Kitamura-san, I’m forever bitter about the fact that he decided to treat the PH team to dinner when I was sick >_<
- The third time in Japan was the worst, as the project was in a dire state and we had to render overtime every day. It was in Hyogo-ku, Kobe, and the whole town turns into a ghost town when the clock struck 9 pm. I usually go home past that time, so it’s pretty… lonely and dark. This whole project (TDJA) was the one single project that caused me to resign from Fujitsu.
- Btw, it was a surreal experience, from the moment I was told to go to Japan. It was a mere 2 days’ notice, my supervisor asked me if my Visa was still valid and told me to pack up, buy stuff (because it’s autumn there, so I need to buy warm clothes), and fly I go.
- I wrote a tool that allows us to do systems testing using our 32-bit computers, although the target system the base software is written for is usually 8-bit/16-bit systems. This tool also got me a promotion.
What I disliked
Although my trajectory in the company was looking good, I didn’t exactly like the company culture. I remember my first few months there when my batchmates made a big deal about some dance stuff for a company event that I straight-out declined to join. That got me a negative reputation from my batchmates, but I’m glad that I didn’t care one bit. Well, I was a regular in the promotion ceremony which happens only once a year.
To this day, I hate those events. I’m in a position now to influence other individuals to stop this stupidity, and let others join if they want to, but making a big deal about it if they don’t? That’s childishness. We hired individuals for a specific role and that’s the only thing we should make a big deal of. Talk about priorities from this people who were stuck up on college life. You didn’t join the company to be a company clown, dude.
The other thing I disliked was the overtime. The longest overtime I rendered for the company was 36 hours. It was the worst during the last project I got involved in, which is also the project that sent me to Japan for the final time, which wasn’t much of a great experience apart from the Kobe and USJ trip on the weekend.
Lastly, I wasn’t a fan of the strict hours they had. Given that it’s a positive Japanese trait, giving emphasis on the importance of being timely, I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of it. Mainly because of the travel time in the PH. I used to live in Taytay, Rizal back then, and I have to leave the house at 6 am to arrive at work at 7:30 am. I leave work at 4:30 pm and arrive home at almost 7 pm. Not fun.
However, when I was in Japan, it was a lot better. Sure, the hours were still strict, but there was no stress that came from the transit to go to work (twice I was in a dorm, and once in a hotel, both relatively near to the office). Weekends were also fun in Japan, their rail system really is efficient, a pleasant experience indeed.
What I liked
The sections that I got involved in were generally great sections, and the individuals there were great to work with. Thankfully I never had to be in the same section as that person who had different priorities in life, bringing his college days with him to a professional setting.
In my first year or so, the only person I competed with in terms of who’s better at writing software was Kelvin. When I transferred to the same section of my now wife, there were a couple of brains that I looked up to and very much respected. They’re now in Singapore, hopefully being compensated with what they deserve. I like being surrounded by smart, driven individuals because that stops me from slacking off.
The camaraderie was also great back then, especially when I was in my first year or so. We had multiple night outs with the team, and it was generally fun. It wasn’t like a forced “Hey dance for me you clown”, but instead, a chill billiards game after some food and drinks. Mess around the nearest Starbucks, or crash on a teammate’s friend’s condo.
Also, my first two trips to Japan were superb. I joined the ministry in Japan, and it was a nice experience, although since I joined the English group, it was more of a special one as we went to pre-assigned areas where there are English speakers.
Apart from that, Mamoi-san, Ma’am Mai, Mame-san, Jonggu-san, JP-san, Bok-san, Neil-san, and others, were fun dormmates. Multiple trips to Kobe port, eating out in Fisherman’s Market, walking the whole length of… whatever that market is, where I bought a Seiko watch for me and my now wife, and some custom chopsticks for her too. They were all fun. Also, whatever that factory outlet was and our trip to Himeji Castle, they were all fun experiences.
Lastly, this is the company where I met my wife. Read the whole love story here :P.
The 3 years and 9 months I stayed with Fujitsu Ten was a great start to my career, although I moved on to XSplit, the company which I credit most of my professional growth with, I still appreciated the core foundations that Fujitsu Ten gave me. As what Mame-san said:
Pag napagtiyagaan mo na ang Fujitsu Ten, lahat na ng ibang kumpanya ay sisiw nalang sa iyo
Also, obviously, this is the company where I met my wife, so definitely something that sticks to my memories.
Anyways, here are some images :)