Welcome to the first post of our Employee Spotlight series! Every month you’ll get a chance to meet a member of our #OneTeamOneBGC. First up, Hanchen Hou.

Hanchen moved from China to Canada in 2011 to attend university on a scholarship. He first lived in Ottawa and spent time at Algonquin College to work on his English language skills and then went to the University of Ottawa. Wanting to further his studies in computer sciences, he decided to make the move across the country and enrolled at Okanagan College in Kelowna where he spent three years before finally landing in Vancouver and transferring to the University of British Columbia. After completing a co-op and graduating, he started his job here at BGC. Hanchen has had a particularly interesting start to his professional career as he started at BGC pretty much right around the time the COVID-19 pandemic began!

How long have you been with BGC and what do you do here?
I have been working here for 1 year and 8 months as a Software Developer mainly focused on front end and currently working on Cambio.

How would you describe your job to a class of Kindergartners?
My work is focused on geohazards. I help figure out how we can identify a geohazard and then how we can avoid them.

What is your favourite thing about working at BGC?
The working environment at BGC is great. In my sub-team, which is 7 developers, we are very connected and we work together to help each other with problems and share ideas. Our connectivity and how we work together really helps make our jobs less stressful.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to new hires at BGC?
When I started, I was worried that I’d need to be a geotechnical expert and would need to know all these things about groundwater and geology. I realized that I didn’t need to worry about that and just focus on doing a good job as a Software Developer. I would encourage new hires to focus on doing well in their job and, over time, you’ll learn more about the other areas of BGC.

If you could switch jobs with someone in BGC, who would it be and why?
I would switch jobs with my product owner. I want to be closer to the engineers we work with so I can have a better understanding of what exactly they need and want from the software we develop. I feel like I can learn a lot of things from the engineers at BGC.

If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be?
Ideas! I would be able to come up with creative ways to solve any problem in both my personal and work life.

What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
Since I’m originally from China, I am not familiar with Mexican food. The first time I ordered a burrito, they asked if I wanted a jalapeno. I had no idea what that was so I just said yes. By the second bite of my burrito I was sweating as I’m not good with spicy food! I will never eat a jalapeno again.

What fictional place would you like to visit?

If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Nightwish – Last of the Wilds

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I can’t think of a specific piece of advice but I’d generally say that the encouragement my parents have given me. When I was considering moving to Canada they said “go for it” and encouraged me to experience things outside of home country.

Interested in joining our team? We currently have openings across around Software team including Full Stack Software Developers, Mobile App Developer and Test Automation Developer. Check out our Careers section for more information and to apply today!