Simya Solutions is a tech company that provides solutions in terms of language learning, exercising, lifestyle, and etc., for many people around the world.

With the motto “We want to enable all people to learn something new every day, anywhere”, that is the reason why all of our applications are created, especially “Learn Language with Ling App” aka “Ling“.

Since 2016, our teams at SIMYA have been working so hard to achieve the accomplishments, and we are still improving to push “Ling” to be one of the best language learning applications in the world!

One of the important keys that always strive and push us for success is that we adapt and apply Agile project management (APM) frameworks in order to create efficiency and effectiveness. And Scrum and Kanban are two APM frameworks that we are using.

Japanese working space at Simya Solutions Ltd.

What is Srcum?

Scrum was developed in the early 1990s by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. According to Atlassian, “Scrum helps divide work into a series of fixed-length iterations called sprints; whatever is scheduled for a sprint is the team’s top priority”.

Let’s see how Scrum works at Simya!

What is Kanban?

Kanban is another Agile methodology that breaks the work into a small section, helps to make workflow rules smooth, cuts down each project, and estimates the time to finish on time.

At Simya, we use Trello as a tool to manage and track the progress of work in all projects and tasks. It is used for people in the team to see the state of every piece of work at any time by following these basics steps including;

Apart from the APM frameworks, we also adapt Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) as a goal-setting framework to set an objective and track outcomes every three months which we called Sprint Quarter.

It can be said that the “Scrumban” (Scrum + Kanban) environment together with the OKR is our method to achieve all the goals. It does not only make us more active but also helps us see big pictures with clear steps to follow.

If you are interested to work in this productive environment, check our job opening positions here.

We are waiting for you to create awesome projects and achieve all goals together 🙂

Have you ever boring with your working environment? Work in the same place, or same room every day. Especially, most people who work remotely from home since the COVID-19 situation. They may need to work and stay there all day all night. These can make some people lose their passion and motivation to work. Changing workspace is also a good idea to go out and bring your work to a coffee shop, bar, or public library. In the COVID-19 situation, going outside may not be a good idea anymore.

How about move other windows around the world into your monitor as your window? Instead of moving yourself to the outside, why don’t just move them to your place?
This is the website called “WindowSwap”(ref-https://www.window-swap.com) which provides you a lot of views from different places around the world to let you enjoy the view from other people. “WindowSwap is a place on the internet where people from around the world share the view from their windows to help someone else relax, focus, meditate and travel without moving.”(ref-https://www.window-swap.com/blog)
The website will randomly display a view video in a short around 10 minutes then it will automatically randomly pick another one for you. If you don’t like the current video, you can click the random button to skip the current one, and random again until you find the view that you like.
Moreover, this is also good for some people who want to feel a good atmosphere from other countries. They can sit in front of the screen and chill out with the view from another country. Just like they’re traveling there now. The video view also contains city and country names. The users can see it and plan for their new journey.
On the other hand, the website is not suitable for people who need to work and watch the view on the same monitor or desktop. But if you have a wire screen, so just do it and enjoy.


Window Swap for office workers, looking the preferred view will help them to relax from their hard-working. They can feel like working on the beach or wherever they want. It’s similar to when you work in a coffee shop, but in this case, you can choose to be anywhere from your room.
I have been used it for a year, and I feel good and relax with Lofi music. Window Swap together with Lofi music make me more focused and concentrated on my work. Moreover, I always drink a cup of coffee during enjoying myself with them. This is the way that I can focus on my tasks and reduce pressure and stress.
Finally, if you feel stressed or bored that you need to work in the same place every day in the COVID-19 situation, you can just open your new view vision with Window Swap. It will help you with your productivity and your emotionality.

Before giving you the 3 best things I learned at Simya, I’d like to give you some background information about who I am and what I am doing at Simya.

My name is Lieu Dang. I’m a Vietnamese young woman who moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand more than 3 years ago and started working for Simya as a Product Owner of the Ling and Simply Learn apps. After a year and a half, I was selected to be the first marketer when the company realized that marketing could boost our business faster.

And now, at the time I wrote this article, I’m the Marketing Manager of a team of 5 full-time members and a network of part-timers as well as freelancers.

I have to admit that I have learned a massive amount of knowledge since I worked at Simya, more than any company I’ve ever worked for when I was in Vietnam. I’m more than happy to share with you all of what I have learned, but within this blog post, I will try to be selective and share with you the three best experiences. If you want to connect and ask me for more details of any aspect, find me here!

So are you ready to read on? Let’s jump to the first thing I’ve learned at Simya!

Learning Helps You Grow

This is me reading a book at a coffee shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

When working in Vietnam, I was mainly responsible for sales and partnership management. I didn’t have to run any command lines to upload content to the server, nor running a sprint meeting with developers. What I had to do was working with clients to clarify their requirements, preparing proposals, pitching, and nurturing business partnerships.

Working as a Product Owner at Simya, I learned about how to build an application for learning languages. It was not coding but more about the whole app development process. I also learned how the server and the client (devices) work together, the data structure, and other technical stuff. To be honest, learning technical things was challenging to a non-technical person like me. Luckily, I was patient enough to learn them step by step.

I realized that it took a lot of time to get started, but once you understand the basics, the more advanced knowledge can be absorbed faster. Not long from the day I started, I could even build new APKs, upload the sound files and CSV files to the server, and do ASO (app store optimization) for our apps on Play Store and App Store.

When I started working in marketing, I also had to learn everything from scratch. For example, I learned about SEO (search engine optimization), how to write an article that meets SEO standards, how to build forms and email sequences to generate leads & nurture them. Marketing is so interesting and dynamic to me. I enjoyed learning new things every day, from influencer marketing, paid ads, to affiliate marketing, backlink outreach, and so on.

Because I’m open to learning new things and I’m not afraid of doing new things, my bosses let me pilot different marketing ideas. Once an idea seemed to work, such as influencer marketing, we invested more effort and money to build a team to boost that up. Thanks to that, I had opportunities to learn more about marketing, from the basics to advanced stuff like strategies and analytics. It is more fun and meaningful to me when seeing what we have built from zero has become profitable. It is also awesome to see more young people who have joined the company also learn more knowledge and skills from the marketing activities we are doing.

The Power Of Teamwork

Ananda and I are discussing the ideas for our marketing team

Have you ever got the fear of other members cannot complete a task as well as you do? I believe that if you are a responsible person, you always want a task to be done as best as you can, and of course, you will trust yourself the best. However, I learned that I just have 24 hours per day and 8 to 10 hours of that are for paid works. No matter how hard I work, I can only complete a limited number of tasks and get limited achievements if I do everything on my own.

Since having more members for my marketing team, I learned to delegate tasks to them and trust that they will do their best. This change of mind has brought me and my team a lot more success.

For example, I have Ananda to manage our Ling blog. She did it great! She managed and hired new writers, so now we have 28 weekly blog posts that have increased our website’s DR (domain rating) and traffic significantly. For other marketing activities such as backlink outreach, affiliate marketing, social media, email marketing, we have Anchisa, Erin, Dear to take care of accordingly.

From doing everything from scratch, I currently focus more on coordinating team members, giving my recommendation and support to my team, and exploring new strategies to boost our business such as building business partnerships. In addition, I have time to learn more about leadership and management, hiring and training new members.

Working as a team doesn’t just bring more work results, but also helps you feel connected. No one can work totally independently without others’ support. You will need to learn how to respect different perspectives, different cultures, and different personalities. At Simya, we have people from different nationalities such as German, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, and so on. Thanks to diversity, we have learned to be adaptive and open-minded.

The Difficulties When You Are A Leader

I proudly presented the marketing goals my team achieved in quarter 1 of 2021

As mentioned earlier, I’m currently leading the marketing team. As a leader, I have encountered multiple difficulties. This also created a chance for me to be more responsible, patient, and learn skills to be a better leader. I prefer to identify myself as a leader than a manager because a leader will support team members and encourage them to reach the team’s goals, while a manager will manage people, so they will do their tasks as assigned, rather than influencing the members.

So, what are the difficulties I have when I am a leader?

Members Keep Asking A Lot Of Questions

Since I have more members joining my team, I have also received a lot of questions from different people. It is sometimes time-consuming to reply to the questions, so you have less time for more complicated tasks.

Don’t get me wrong! I don’t mind sharing knowledge and supporting people. However, I would expect that my team members can actively find the answers to easy questions, either by googling and reading from websites, or trying by themselves first. It would be great if they could learn to analyze the problems, give their 2-3 solutions with pros and cons, then ask me for my opinion. If everyone does so, I believe that we can come up with a lot of creative ideas that I myself might not think of.

I understand the fear of making mistakes that a new member has. I was like them when I first started too. That’s why I learned to be patient with new members, to motivate them, and to show them that I trust them. I hope that my efforts can help build a team in which each member can be a solution provider than just a task doer.

Different People Have Different Personalities

I see a bit of myself in different people in my team. For instance, I was stubborn when I did my first job. I was afraid of making mistakes when doing something new.

When I am a leader of my team, I have a better view of how different people are, and different people have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, this member is good at visual aids but not suitable for customer services, the other member is a bit stubborn but has the potential to do outreach.

What I should do, as the team lead, is to put people in the right position where they can work at their best, with their strengths, and to learn how to work with different personalities.

You Are The Pioneer

When working in marketing, Simon, the CEO and the Co-founder, whom I work directly with, lets me try new marketing strategies all the time. That is awesome because I can explore new ideas and try to apply them to our business. It is also challenging when there is no one else within my team has done that, so I am the pioneer. I have to do a lot of research about a new subject, brainstorm what we can do within our company, and try that by myself first.

In addition, I also have to keep learning from online courses, from conversations with different people, from the competitors. I understand that I have to learn more to help my team and my company. If I feel satisfied with the knowledge and skills I have now, I cannot bring more benefits to the organization.

You Have To Motivate Yourself, No One Can Help You

Give me a name of a person who doesn’t have any stress during their work-life! I doubt there is a person like that. I myself have pressures too. If you have a leader or a mentor, you may find them when you are stressed, and ask them for advice. You may look for motivational talks from them to get over the depressing time. But when you lead a team, you have to be strong, or at least you have to look strong, sharp, and positive in front of your members. Why? Because people are influenced by you, so you don’t want everyone in the team to see you weak and depressed.

Being a leader, I have learned to understand my thoughts and motivate myself. I cannot depend on my team members and hope they can help me when I’m stressed. I have to do it myself. Therefore, I spent time reading about meditation, how emotions work, and doing yoga. I’m still learning about myself and trying to stay in a positive state as much as possible.

So, that’s it! I’ve just shared with you from my gut three things I have learned when working at Simya. They are not step-by-step guidelines that can help you do a specific task but I hope they can give you some ideas of a work-life at Simya. If you want to join my marketing team, you are most welcomed! Connect with me for a one-on-one talk!

Chiang Mai, Thailand. On a rainy day in September.

Lieu Dang

Hi there, as of now it has already been six months since I was an intern at Simya Solutions. I thought now it would be just a wonderful time to reflect my internship life there as a sharing experience to those juniors who are looking for the best place to have an internship with since I understand that making a decision for which company you should go for was not such an easy. For those that do not know, I am Dara who is currently working as a full-time remote software developer at Simya Solutions.

During Internship

As a senior student at College of Arts, Media and Technology, Chiang Mai University, this was my first real-world experience in a such fast-growing company. I was nervous, doubtful, not quite sure if I can manage to finish my four-months internship fruitfully there since the in-class project and the company project were 180 degree difference.

But everything was turned out to be an amazing experience ever, everyone there was so helpful and supportive. When I was in troubles with the given tasks, there was a mentor or other senior developer who will directly assist, teach and train me. I am so fortunate that I have got a chance to join a team to develop an amazing online platform, Ling Live, for enabling students to learn a new language with an online tutor. During the development there were some interesting challenges and that help improve my skills a lot both technical and soft skills. Regarding the technical skills, I learnt and improved a lot with programmings and other tools used in the company like ReactJS, React-Native, Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, Cloud-Function and other products from Firebase like Firebase Hosting, Firestore, Cloud-Messaging etc,. For the soft skills, I improved considerably in communication which confidently to talk and discuss with other teamwork which I was before so shy to talk and ask for helps from others. The company used Scrum methodology, so what we usually did in the morning was called the Daily Standup which is the 15 minutes update meeting within the team to talk about what was done yesterday and what plan to do today. It was such an interesting meeting but sometimes I did not like it haha. After from that, we had a sprint review meeting which usually a sprint lasted seven days, so in the meeting we had to review all of what has been done for the sprint, what problem was meet during the sprint, what to improve and to plan tasks for the next upcoming sprint. All the mentioned above was such an unforgettable experiences and what I learned during my internship. These really helped equip me with the needed skills and made me ready for the employment after graduation.

After Internship

On 17 March, 2021 was my last day at Simya Solutions for the internship. We had a farewell dinner together joined by my classmate who was having an internship here as well, senior developers and a project owner. I was so elated about that and also sad to leave my current working project since I would also like to see it grow. After one week holiday, I had got a meeting with my boss to talk and discuss about my next plan after internship. I told them my plan and luckily got hired as a full-time remote software developer with the Macbook provided. That was an indescribable feeling for the great opportunity they gave me and I have never forgotten it.

Regarding the full-time remote work, the working time is so flexible. For me, I usually start working at 09:30 and leave at 18:00. Even not working at the office, but I still get the full supports by the helpful and friendly teamworks like working at the office when there is some issues needed to be discussed and solved. So far, I really love and enjoy working remotely.

I would highly recommend for those who is currently looking for the internship opportunity in the fast-growing company, Simya Solutions should be in your whitelist.

Over half of all resolutions fail by the end of the year, but not this year!

Greeting from Anchisa, I am working at Simyasolutions as a marketer. Working here gives me a work-life balance where I can have my own time for myself. There are so many things I want to do but Let’s admit that we all have procrastinating behavior like we want to do this or that and it ends up never happened! I experienced this before, so I was finding a way to get things done, and one of the most exciting ways is to create new year resolutions.

To start the new year is to restart yourself, be open to opportunities and good things to come. The advice from a time-management coach indicates that During times when things don’t go the way you want, making a New Year Resolution or setting goals for yourself can help increase happiness, enthusiasm, and productivity. Putting a New Year Resolution will also help your brain recognize that we are in control by setting a direction or a plan for our life. This method is called Self-determination.

Usually, at the new year’s festival, people tend to be surrounded by a pleasant atmosphere and have a good time to think of lots of things you want to do in the upcoming year. There are many ways of setting new year resolutions. In today’s post, I will pick some of them that work for me.

When you are making new year resolutions, it does not have to be complicated or something serious. You can make it short and straightforward “Make it about what you want to achieve today, and for the rest of this month” It can be like “I want to go shopping at 4 pm, then you need to plan what you have to do to make it there by 4 pm.”

Let Make Your Resolutions Happen

resolutions

SSS = Short, Simple, And Specific

List down what you want to do and separate it to long-term and short-term sort by the easiest because If you can get to the goal in a short time, it will motivate you to go for others goals. For example, you want to quit drinking. You can start by being specific ‘3 Drinks a week is max’ for the first three months, then you can go for 2 and 1 and 0 at the end of the year. Another example is if you want to have 2,000$ at the end of the year, you can collect 30% of your salary. It sounds accessible and able to do.

Make A To-Do List

After you get the list of things you want to do, you need a to-do list to ensure you will do it and measure if you are doing it right. Then, you can put the thing you want to do somewhere on your daily to-do list to remind you that you have to do this too. For example, after you know that you have four meetings today and still have time. Why not put a thing from the new year’s resolutions list so that you can do it today? Says 1-hour learning new languages.

Measurement Your Resolutions

How do you know that your goal is success? You have to measurement it set the expected result. It’s good that you want to have a work-life balance, but how do you know that you have it? You can set the expected result like Every weekend there is no job for you or every 5 pm. You need to be at the gym, not in front of the computer. This way, you know that you have achieved the goal.

Take It Easy

Once you set the goal, You don’t have to put pressure on yourself. If you can reach the plan, that’s great, but if you can not, that’s also okay because at least you tried. And if you can’t get the goal, it can also reflect that you need improvement at some point, so that’s also a benefit for you. You can just set the plan because you want to. For example, you want to travel to another country but end up going nowhere cause Covid-19 pandemic, then it’s not your fault; it’s just can’t.

Last But Not Least!

Give it a shot, no matter how the others tell you it’s impossible or not worth it. Do whatever makes you feel good about yourself. Every one of my New Year’s resolutions combines something serious with something absolutely insane. Trust the process; if it isn’t working today, it will work in the future. So live a life you will remember 🙂

Before we get started on how to stay productive as a full-time remote employee, kindly let me introduce myself first. My name is Ananda, and I am a full-time marketer at Simya. I joined Simya since I was in the university back in 2019. At first, I worked part-time and only worked on creating posts for Facebook and Instagram. 

And now, I am a 100% full-time employee at Simya for a year. So you might wonder how all of this information about me is related to the topic of how to stay productive as a full-time remote employee. And yes, I am a full-time remote employee. I rarely go to the office. Since I now live in my hometown, in the southern part of Thailand, our office is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand (northern part).  Honestly, I was in the office once. Yes, you understand it right, only one time in a year!😂

I have talked a lot about myself, so I think it’s time. Why don’t we jump to the topic now? Off we go!

 

How To Stay Productive As A Full-time Remote Employee

Due to this Covid-19 pandemic, most people have to work from home. Some of you love to work from home, and I am one of the people who enjoy working at home. However, many people don’t like it. There are several factors, like home is not the quiet place for some people or they cannot find the productive way to work. But don’t worry, I have some tips to share with you as a person who always works from home:

Prepare A Productive To-do List

Prepare A To-do List

Most people love to create new year resolutions, we can do that for your normal working day as well. To set your daily goal is a good idea to start your working day.

Before starting the new workday, the first thing you have to do is to note down a to-do list for yourself. Then, you can note it down on your phone, tablet, laptop, or even the old school way: write it down on a post-it. This way can help you plan what you need to do today. 

Second, note down today’s meeting on your calendar, and again it can be an online calendar or desk calendar (old school again). Since you work from home, online meetings are things you can’t avoid. However, sometimes you may forget about those meetings, so noting it down help remind you! 

The good thing is we have a daily standup every morning on working days at Simya. So we will give updates on what we did yesterday and what we plan to do today. Hence if your company doesn’t have a thing like this, I think it’s a good time to share this idea with your boss!

Get Off Your Devices While You Are Working

Stay Productive - Get Off Your Devices While You Are Working

Besides people at home and your lovely pets, your phone or tablet is the most interrupting thing in your working time. Sometimes you get an unnecessary notification while you are working. Once you touch your phone, you are mind-blowing. You can’t stop scrolling down your Facebook or Instagram feed. So setting off your devices to ‘do not disturb’ can help you with this. No one can disturb you, and you have more time to focus on work. 

The other way I usually stay focused on my work is to open some movies or videos on Youtube, but I just let them play without focusing on it. This way helps me stop scrolling my phone. 

But if the suggestions above are not helping. I have an app to suggest, the ‘Forest – Stay focused,’ in which you can plant a tree when you want to focus on your work. But, of course, if you are cheating and using your devices, your tree dies.

Work-life Balance

Stay Productive - Work-life Balance

Lastly, don’t forget to take some rest from your work. Try to find your work-life balance. This is the crucial part when working remotely. Sometimes, your work time and your life are mixed. 

Here is what I do: 

You need to keep in mind that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance. For example, someday, I work really hard. But the next day, I have more time to do what I love, since I did a lot yesterday. The meaning of work-life balance for me is not to feel stressed with work. If I feel stressed, I will stop working and do whatever I want to do. Then get back to work once I feel okay. And another important thing is you need to have room for yourself, to do your favorite activities! 

 

I Love Remote Work!

The important fact is to find your work-life balance. However, as I said above, there is no perfect work-life balance. You have to make sure that the workload is okay for you. 

Only one thing that I don’t like as a full-time remote employee is I don’t really have actual interaction with co-workers. 

Overall, I love remote work! Simya always gives me space; the team never expects me to work on my day off/weekend. I can decide my working hours, what I need to manage is the works that need to be done on time. If you can do that, nothing to worry about!