about Tech Talks
In this Tech Talk series, we share the everyday life of the PayPay Product team through the eyes of members from over 35 countries around the world. This time, Rashmi from the Backend team will share his story.
* Japanese version of article is also available.
What I’m Working on Currently:
As a backend engineer, my primary responsibility is the development of new products related to PayPay Wallet. Whenever a new feature is introduced, I take part in the business and technical discussions with the respective stakeholders. In one of my most recent projects, I worked as a backend technical owner for an important feature. I had to work closely with the product manager in order to understand the business requirements and turn them into technical specifications. I also created the backend architecture design flow and UML diagrams that would be used across multiple teams. One of the most fun parts of this project was the interaction between the teams. All the tech stakeholders and the product owners came together to brainstorm ideas to design the various APIs that would help serve our customers better and more efficiently. Even though I work as a backend engineer, I need to think about how to enhance the user experience in a variety of ways. Currently, I am working on some of the SRE-related tasks. Being a part of a fast-growing digital payment company, we need to ensure that the PayPay systems are capable enough to handle the increasing amount of traffic without compromising performance. As a member of the SRE team, I am in charge of ensuring that the Wallet system is able to handle more traffic, and thereby, successfully scale it up.
The Backend Team
The Backend team is made up of microservices and is divided into systems for each business domain, such as the Payment system that processes payments, the Wallet system that manages PayPay balances, and the Merchant system that manages merchant data. Nine different teams support the backend.
A Technical Challenge I Experienced Recently:
There was a feature that I was associated with called Payment Linked Coupon (PLC). It was a platform where merchants were able to run their marketing campaigns to grow their businesses in a self-service/DIY model. It was one of the biggest features launched by PayPay in 2020. I was the PIC of this feature from the Wallet team. This feature was a critical business requirement that was technically challenging too. We had to make sure that the Wallet system was able to handle tons of traffic when coupons from merchants were released for users. To achieve this, we created a new service that focused on handling requests for big merchants. We had to design the architecture in such a way that the other components would be able to call this service easily. It was kind of a plug and play design. For this, I had to create new Kafka topics, configure them with the new service, and ensure that even in times of high traffic, there wasn’t any loss of data. While working on this I learned a lot. Not only about Wallet systems but also other PayPay systems. Finally, when this was released into production and we were able to tend to the expected amount of traffic without any failure or issues, there was a sense of satisfaction.
What I like to Challenge at PayPay
It has been almost 14 months since I joined PayPay, and I am well-versed with its ecosystem. I have already taken ownership of a few feature developments over the past few months. As for my future plans, I would like to increase my role and responsibility, so I can handle more important customer-facing projects and lead them to success. I would also like to play a part in redesigning the architecture of some of the core Wallet components to make it more scalable and efficient.
My Typical Daily & Weekly Schedules:
My typical day begins with a standup meeting with the team where we discuss our proceedings for the assigned task, and point out any possible hindrances. If any are present, we figure out a way to solve them as a team. I then start with my assigned tasks for the day. We have 30 minutes per day set as “teatime,” where the team engages in non-work-related stuff. This pandemic has forced us to work from home, and it’s obvious that most of us miss human interaction. This small gesture helps us relax from our busy schedules and hang out as friends, not just as colleagues. Along with this, we do have our sprint ceremonies once a week where we review the past sprint’s procedures and talk about any shortcomings.
My Career Before Joining PayPay:
Before joining PayPay, I worked as Senior Engineer for the Electronic money service. I was in charge of migrating the monolith architecture to a microservice one. My main role was the creation of a customized micro-frontend architecture/framework that would help the engineers with further development.
The Reason I Decided to Join PayPay:
I have been associated with the fintech and payment industries for quite a few years now, and this field has always fascinated me. The need to solve real-time problems that affect actual human lives intrigues me. PayPay was the company that gave me the chance to work in the area that I wanted, especially in terms of the scale of the customers, heavy traffic, and the technical challenges. Also, it was a fast-growing start-up with lots of learning opportunities and an attractive tech stack. Last but not least, my entire interview process felt as if it was more of a discussion and less of an interview. This greatly piqued my interest in joining PayPay.
A Message to Aspiring PayPay Employees:
In a world where cash is soon going to be obsolete and digital payments are the future, where else do you want to be rather than at the company that has become the leader of the digital payment industry in Japan?
If you love the fintech/payment industries, PayPay is the place for you. Since PayPay is a customer-facing company, you’ll be taking on real-time problem solving every day, which is a challenge in itself. Whichever role or team you are hired for, the sole purpose will be to make our users’ lives easier. We work on the latest technologies and keep exploring new ones to build highly scalable and performant systems. Last but not least, we regard communication as our primary asset, where each and every person can put forth their opinions on any matter. Be it to introduce a new feature to a product or make our systems better. If you speak, you shall be heard. Everyone is easily approachable regardless of their position in the company.
PayPay is the place that ensures that you reach your full potential in order to take on any new challenges that are thrown your way.
* Employees’ affiliations are those of the time of the interview.