There are so many things that I love about Tennis. Not only does it keep me physically fit and healthy, but it also makes me mentally strong. I played in a lot of tournaments – each match I played, I faced a different challenge; by overcoming it, I came out stronger on the other end. And ultimately, that helps me overcome life challenges.
My full name is Khiem Huy Le, but my friends and family call me Jimmy. I am a Junior QA Automation Engineer. I’ve always had a strong passion for technology since I was a kid – I would always read about technology innovation in the news.
I’ve lived in Sydney, Australia, for about 3 years now. Before that, I lived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I moved here because I wanted to explore life in another country. And since my sister, Emmie, was already living in Sydney, I took the opportunity to come here to study and become an IT Engineer.
Outside of work, I love Tennis and Piano. My father was the person who started my passion for tennis. He signed me up for tennis lessons when I was in 6th grade – I picked it up very quickly. I think sports in general always come to me very naturally, whether it’s tennis, basketball, volleyball, football, or badminton. But tennis has always been my number 1 sport, and it was the first one that I picked up.
I would say that my playing style is very similar to Roger Federer, who has been my idol since I first picked up the racquet. I guess at some point when I was a kid, I “accidentally” picked up his playing style as I watched him play so much (unlike Nadal’s defensive playstyle, which is called behind-the-baseline). Federer is more of an “all-court” player, which is more offensive. The main strategy of this playstyle is to move the opponent around the court and expose his weakness, while standing close to the baseline, and then going to the net to finish the point when possible.
I have some great memories and experiences with Tennis – I have won a couple of tournaments and lifted a couple of trophies. But surprisingly, my favourite moment was when I first held the racquet and played with my parents. I think it is my favourite moment because that’s when my passion for tennis was ignited.
For tennis, everything has changed dramatically in the past year. I discovered that I had a brain tumor. It was said to be benign. But unfortunately, because of where it was situated, it affected my eyesight. My vision gradually got worse. I went through two surgeries. And after the second one, half of the left eye’s vision was gone. And tennis would never be the same again for me.
However, I did not give up tennis and still enjoy it as much as I can until this day. I guess I’m just the type of person who always sees the positive sides of things. And I promised myself I would never stop playing tennis despite my current health issues.
Looking at my other activity, I also love playing Piano. I can’t really remember when I first became interested in playing piano – I just know that my father had a private piano teacher give me lessons once every week when I was little. I was probably 9 or 10 when I first started. And gradually, without realizing it, I started to love playing the piano more and more.
I like to cover popular pop songs, mostly Vietnamese. I would listen to the songs from time to time to remember their melody and figure out how to play them on the piano by myself.
What I love the most about playing piano is that it helps me relax whenever I am under a lot of stress. Whenever I play the piano, I can just focus on the songs and the techniques and completely forget all the unhappy things.
In the future, I hope to achieve a higher level of playing. That is, being able to play the piano while singing. Or, I can play the piano to accompany a singer – I haven’t been able to do that yet.
I definitely think that playing Piano and Tennis has been a benefit to my technological career. What benefits me the most is the virtue of patience. As a QA Automation Engineer, one of my many day-to-day activities is manual testing on the system, which involves defect or bug replications, where I attempt to recreate the errors so that I can send the test results back to developers to fix the issues. Sometimes, this process can be tricky and time-consuming. Therefore, being patient and calm is really needed for my career development.
My advice for those who are interested in taking up either Piano or Tennis is that you really need to be patient. You cannot become a good piano/tennis player overnight. It takes months or even years to successfully master the skills. Passion alone is not enough. You must be consistent and must never let go of that strong passion. Along the way, there will be obstacles. You will feel tired and want to give up at some point, so set yourself short-term goals. After months of continuous hard work, look back. You will be amazed at how much you have achieved. You will have that feeling of satisfaction. But on top of that, you will become a better person.
Finally, I think it’s very important to share the passions of technologists. I’ve always thought that I was a bit different from other IT Engineers because, besides technology, I also have a deep passion for tennis and piano. However, that way of thinking has completely changed thanks to Otia Magazine. Otia has been very successful at “uncovering arts and culture” in technologists all over the world. Ultimately, I think it is very inspiring and crucial to let the world know that underneath all that tech side is a creative and passionate person for sports and music – there is always more than tech.