Dear Recruiters/Future Employers

I'm writing this post to help you find out if your job is right for me.

I've received numerous job invitations but that realised most of these jobs do not meet my expectations. Rather than reviewing each one manually, I'm automating the process by writing this so I can focus my attention to the jobs that I can give my 101% efforts, without wasting a trip down to your office.

I have high expectations for my employer - just as you have for me. So these are what I expect from you:

1. You solve big problems

I believe in making an impact in what I do - or I would have stuck around building websites for SMEs. I want to know that my work helps make the lives of people better - to put a small dent in the universe.

In my current team, we:

  • combat identity fraud through my work on verifiable claims
  • automate document processing and facilitating electronic asset transfer for Singapore's multi-billion dollar trade industry
  • and, protect the privacy of foreign workers through user-controlled data sharing schemes

2. You focus on solving problems instead of building products

If you are asking how I can help you 'build an AI/Blockchain/Chatbot', we are probably misaligned. I'm interested in solving problems, not just building products. I believe that the best solution to a problem is more than just a tech product, it is usually a cocktail of political, environmental, societal and technological changes. The precursor of which, is a deep understanding of the problem.

My team primarily deals with blockchain technology. However, we do not aim to 'dispense' the technology as the panacea to all problems. We have the autonomy to decide on how we engage businesses or problem owners to design a solution for their problem. Often, we find synergy in our expertise in the technology and our partner's expertise in their problem space. Aside from building the product, our work as partners involves user studies, industry outreach & partnership and policy changes. All of which are essential to ensuring the success of the solution.

3. You are not afraid to fail

I need a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes, yet unacceptable not to learn from them. Not designing rooms for employees to make mistakes and or fail is a deadly flaw in the organisation design. It is as immature a thought as believing that your softwares can be bug-free. The best teams have processes to approach these problems, solving them iteratively and guardrails to prevent everyone from making the same mistakes.

My current role involves navigating uncertain and rough terrain. Working at the bleeding edge involves conducting tons of tech spikes and experiments, charging ahead to build a solution with nothing but an abstract concept, and in the process, break things. We do not allow perfect to become the enemy of good. My guiding principle is to not make the same mistake twice - to fail better and fall forward each time.

4. You respect individual strengths and diversity

I am me. There is no one else like me. And I cannot fill in the role of someone else perfectly. I expect your company to understand that I have my strengths and weaknesses, and that doubling down on my strengths is the only way I can add the most value to your organisation

The diversity in my team allow us to play to our strengths. Each of us is good at different things. I shine at breaking down complex problems into smaller digestible pieces, and I can put my team on track to help them focus on what to work on next. In my team, we respect that people likes to work of different things. That's why everyone owns a part of the project that resonates with them and that they can best contribute to.

5. You are radically open-minded

You don't need me if you think that you've got it all figured out and all I need is to do is to toe the line. I would like to think that experts in your organisation have been hired so that they can tell you what to do. Not the other way around. To do that, your organisation needs to recognise that decision making is a two-step process: First take in all the relevant information, then decide.

Working with complex problems means that we cannot possibly know all the information beforehand and we cannot allow the uncertainty to cripple our decision making capabilities. My team is empowered to make decisions with the latest available information, allowing us to continuously deliver. We are encouraged to bring in more information and perspectives to the problem to make sure that we are working in the right direction and if it is not, steer the development as necessary.

6. You compensate fairly

I expect your company to pay north of fair and have performance metrics tied to compensation. Of course, I will be reasonable to consider the entire package consisting of working arrangements, learning & growth opportunities, and additional benefits. It's an added bonus if your organisation focuses on making the pie bigger, rather than on how to slice it so that myself or someone else gets the bigger piece.

In my company, we tie compensation strongly to individual performance yet careful enough not to create an environment of unhealthy competition. The icing on the cake is the liberal funding and support for trainings and conferences.


Now that I've laid out these expectations drop me a note if your company meets my expectations. This is what my current job offers and I expect no less of my future employer.

If you were an experienced developer, wouldn't you expect the same? Now, read this as a job invitation:


This article was written to help recruiters understand that developers are neither nameless or faceless. Every decent developer has expectations. So stop approaching us with messages that goes like 'Hi, another headhunter here. I have a position for X. Good budget.'. You will not find decent developer that way.

The above accounts are based on my personal experience in my workplace. Is that environment for everyone? No.

In writing this article, I have referenced many work of Ray Dalio's Principles and Tom Rath's StrengthFinder. I highly recommend these two books for managers.

Yes, you may approach me for job offers if you meet the above expectations. I never close doors on opportunities.

Yes, I'm hiring for my team. We are working on super cool blockchain projects related to data privacy, provenance and tokenisation (for asset transfer).