What 996 means to me

996 is a term to describe the common working hours at Chinese tech companies. People use the term loosely to refer to a 9am to 9pm work schedule, six days a week. These are not the official working hours of every Chinese company, but the term highlights the fact that the average Chinese tech employee spends longer hours at the office compared to a US worker (not to mention Europe). Having experienced Chinese tech working hours for almost three months now, I want to share a more personal account of what this work schedule has been like for me. »

Roger Zurawicki

Code Syntax (and punctuation) in Chinese

Being a software engineer doesn’t mean I just write code. I also talk with co-workers about how we write code. Regardless of the language spoken, we need a common vocabulary to talk about code syntax and punctuation marks. Since code syntax is not something that came up in my Chinese classes, I have had to learn from my coworkers, friends and Baidu how to pronounce all these symbols. This post is a quick note to myself when, 6 months from now, I forget what these code symbols are called. »

Roger Zurawicki

The Chinese Dictionary I wish I had

Just like Silicon Valley jargon can be incomprehensible the layperson, I’ve noticed that the words used in China’s tech circles are quite particular to the industry there. Many terms can’t be found in the dictionary (let alone Pleco) and won’t usually be known to your Chinese teacher. While Baidu Baike (Baidu’s Wikipedia) does a good job at capturing the meanings of these terms in Chinese, the entries aren’t readily translated to English. »

Roger Zurawicki

How to Use Pleco to Really Learn Chinese

As a Chinese-language learner living in China, Pleco is the most important app on my phone. Some days, I spend more time on it than WeChat. That’s 11 hours, 16 minutes on WeChat and 9 hours, 44 minutes on Pleco. Pleco is the super-app for learning Chinese. It’s not just the most comprehensive dictionary you will find for your phone, it’s also a web browser, PDF viewer, OCR engine, and text-to-speech engine, not to mention a flashcard tool. »

Roger Zurawicki