Meet Hai: Comcast Senior Software Engineering Manager
Hai, a Comcast senior software engineering manager, has been with the company since 2006. Driven by his desire to help people and inspired by his upbringing in Vietnam, Hai collects and refurbishes laptops for those in need in Philadelphia.
There’s a Vietnamese mantra Hai has been living by daily, Gần mực thì đen, gần đèn thì sang. Loosely translated it means, if you’re “near the good-the people that have been helping you or the really positive people-you’re going to pick up on their personality. Their energy and all the goodness,” explains Hai. Growing up relatively poor, says Hai, it was the generosity of others that created a positive impact in his life. It’s the driving force of Hai wanting to constantly “do more.”
Born in Vietnam, Hai recalls hearing the rain tap dance on the metal roof his family lived under as a child. He also remembers the flooding that would occur every time there was a storm and scrambling to the rooftop for safety. “It just makes me more humble,” reflects Hai.
When his family immigrated to the United States, Hai faced a new set of challenges and can relate to others in similar situations. “I knew nothing about English, so I took English as a second language all the way through high school. Those challenges opened my mind to what’s out there - what’s out there in the world.”
As a software engineering manager, Hai brings his supportive nature with him to Comcast and looks for ways to make sure his team is getting what they need to grow and do their best work. “I wouldn’t say I manage people, I support them,” notes Hai. Making sure his team is happy is what Hai believes is a large part of his role here. The other part, says Hai, is also constantly improving the system and making sure it’s running well. “We’re going to have fun while we’re creating great solutions and innovations.”
His passion for supporting others also spills over into his free time. When the pandemic hit, Hai saw an immediate problem to solve: students needed laptops at home for virtual learning. Hai is the founder of TechCycle, a one-man project that refurbishes, updates, and distributes computers for Philadelphians in need — for free.
“Too many people still take access to technology for granted,” says Hai. “But the unfortunate fact is that millions of low-income children can’t attend virtual school or do homework because they don’t have a device or even Internet access.” With each refurbished computer, Thai also includes information on Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed broadband Internet adoption program for low-income households.
Hai sees big things in the future for TechCycle, which include expanding the program globally and providing tech education and devices for developing nations and working to curb the illegal exportation of toxic e-waste to other countries.
“I want to help more people- be more impactful to others,” says Hai. “I think I'm at the point where it's time for me to give back to help others more, you know? That's my thing. I can do more.”