Ah, you've found yourself a software architect.

About me

Lilei Z.
Computer Science

About this profile

Principal Embedded Software Engineer
ABB Hangzhou Winmation Automation Co., Ltd.
Large business (250+ employees)

About the job

What I do

I'm an embedded software architect and developer from the industrial automation domain. I lead firmware engineers to develop various products in DCS systems.

Skills I use and how I developed them

A lot. Daily skills are C/C++ coding skills, UML modeling, design pattern.
The only way to master a skill is reading and practising.

What I like most

A very professional and formal development process of giant software.

What I like least

Hardware, software libraries, tools are not so modern, for we have safety and security concerns on products.

What surprised me most

Have you ever seen UML diagrams of a marvelous DCS system and its accessories?

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

Help will always be given at job hunting websites to those who ask for it.

How studying in the UK affected my job seeking

As a Chinese, life in York tremendously improved my computer science technology, and English skills, as a bonus.

How I found out about the job

Personal contacts

The recruitment process

The recruitment process doesn't change much since my joining. After a brief phone interview, the on-site interview starts with a software development skill testing on paper, followed by a few rounds of face to face interviews with technical experts and management team.

My career

My career goals when I graduated

Honesty, no clue about career goals at all on graduation, except some software engineer common sense of "being a project manager, or an architect".

My career history

I had three years of work experience in UTSTARCOM in China before postgraduate studying in York. It gained my basic ideas of the professional software development process.

By returning to China with a master degree with distinction, I joined ABB as a junior firmware engineer. With the experience of a various scale of software projects, from humble projects of developing an IO module in C, to a stand-alone single loop controller, I was promoted to be a senior software engineer. After a few more projects, I joined a C++ "cross OS and hardware" software platform development project in Sweden for around one year, I'm now leading a team in China as a principal software engineer, focusing on software architecture for a consequential project.

What has helped my career to progress

By continuously improving professional skills based on computer science knowledge gained in York, I become more sophisticated in software development.

Mastering English language skills opens the door to the whole world. I can roam around the Internet to get first-hand information, rather than waiting for an extremely delayed translation.

Courses taken since graduation

The most impressive training I've had after graduation is called "innovation headship". I realized that innovation doesn't have to be a changing world idea. Tiny innovations improve daily life. This is almost the same idea of "optimizing software".

How my studies have helped my career

It doesn't matter whether you learn in a classroom or in the study room at home. The most important thing is to integrate new knowledge into your existing skill tree. Otherwise one gains nothing by reading.

What surprised me about my career so far

Working with domain top engineers all over the world in fantastic projects is no longer a dream.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Try to find a silver bullet for software development.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Never stop learning and practicing. Once you know exactly what "the mythical man month" is talking about, you are probably good enough to be an architect or a project manager.

My advice about working in my industry

It's totally a different way from Internet software development. Please think twice whether it is the way you want.

Other advice

The more you know about software development, the more complex projects you can manage.

Here are a few things I have done in previous projects:
Extract product requirements from market requirements./Implementation proposal./Definition of Function./Software architecture./UML modeling./Design description.
Coding./Code review./Refactoring./Agile development: Scrum product owner and scrum master./Functional type test plan./Unit test./Code coverage./Static code analysis./Automatic integration test./Continuous integration./Factory test for mass production.

Contacting me

Anything related to software development will be warmly welcomed. The R&D center in China is open to international talents. We've already had two Indian fellows in the testing team and a British software engineer in the software team. An internship would be available from time to time. Meanwhile, we have cooperation with R&D centers in the UK, Sweden, Italy, Germany, and the US. I would be happy to do internal job recommendations.

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