About Tech Talks
In this Tech Talks series, we will directly share with you the attitude and vibe of the PayPay Tech team through the voices of the unique product members from over 35 countries! This time, Lang “Kevin” Liu from the Web Frontend team will share his story.
*The Japanese version of the article is also available.
I joined the web frontend team at PayPay in August 2020.
What I’m working on currently:
As a frontend engineer, I am mainly responsible for frontend-related feature design and development. Besides writing code, I also need to work with product managers to confirm the spec, designers to discuss the design mock, and also backend engineers to check the API interface which will be consumed by the frontend. Recently, I am also fortunately promoted to the sub-leader position. Besides attending more meetings :), learning how to lead becomes one of my next targets as well.
The Web Frontend Team:
There are about 10 members at the PayPay Web Frontend Team currently.
A Technical Challenge I Experienced Recently:
Just a few months back I was working on my first assignment of a big project to renew the payment linked coupons (PLC) feature. It has a fresh new design but keeps the backend API unchanged. The difficulty in this project is the existing feature has been iteratively developed for a long time. Like all the software developed in the world, there are bug fixes and improvements with the development of the feature. The current documents do not fully reveal all the aspects of the current feature. So I need to go through the documents and codes to summarize all the information I need. And then map the information with the current new design. Fortunately, I work with a group of very supportive colleagues. They took the time to help me clear out my concerns and are willing to answer any questions I have. So I can draw a complete picture of this feature and continue the development part. Of course, there are some technical challenges in this project as well. But I always think a supportive environment is much more important than working alone. It helps you keep motivated and come up with new ideas to tackle more difficult problems.
What I like to Challenge at PayPay:
I have been working as an individual contributor for quite a while. In my next step, I would like to try to step up a little bit further to become an engineering manager. So I can work at a high level to think about how we can build a maintainable, sustainable, and reliable application as a whole instead of only focusing on building a feature.
My Typical Daily & Weekly Schedules:
I usually start my day at 8:30 am. Thanks to the WFA (work from anywhere) policy, I don’t need to wake up early :). After taking a shower and having breakfast, I normally start to work around 9 am to 9:30 am. The first thing I will do is to check unread messages in slack, emails, and finally, take a look at the calendar of the day to see what meetings I need to attend. I then make a prioritized list of the tasks I need to work on that day. Normally I would also allocate around one and a half an hour each for morning and afternoon as a focus time, so I can focus on my work without distractions. Normally, our team also has daily standup meetings in the afternoon. Every team member can share their current task progress and any concerns. Every once a month, our team also has a team-building activity at the office (yeah, we still have offices even though we work fully remotely). We will prepare some snacks and we will do some random talks except for work :). However, we can’t go to the office after the pandemic started. We moved this activity online. I like this kind of activity so we can get to know each other. I also like the knowledge-sharing meeting and the all-hands meeting held in the product division every week. It is a good chance for me to know what other people are doing and what will happen at PayPay in a bigger scope.
My career before joining PayPay
Prior to joining PayPay, I joined an eCommerce company right after graduate school. My first assignment was the frontend engineer position in a product page team. The funny story was I never did any frontend development before joining that team. I actually studied machine learning at graduate school. Since then I have started to spend most of my time on frontend development. After spending a few years on the same team, I was luckily able to be transferred to a data science team which was my original interest to help data scientists build internal tools for better using their machine learning models.
The reason that I decided to join PayPay
The reason why I decided to join PayPay was also another interesting story. Back then, I had no intention to move since I liked what I was doing and the colleagues I had been fortunate to work with. There was a time I very often saw a campaign called the “10 billion YEN giveaway campaign”. It was either from TV commercials or from posts on the train. It was basically everywhere. Pure curiosity drove me to check it out. That was the first time I knew there was a Japanese company called PayPay that was doing cashless payments. Since I came from China, I knew the good impact it could have on society and people’s daily life. So I decided to give it a try, maybe I can also help people here to have a better cashless service.
A Message to Aspiring PayPay Employees:
One of the benefits of working at PayPay is the WFA (working from anywhere) policy. You can work from anywhere in Japan if you have an internet connection. There are also lots of talented engineers at PayPay. Working with them is a great joy. PayPay is a fast growing and leading company in the cashless payment area in Japan, there are lots of opportunities and projects going on everyday. As an engineer, you will have a lot of opportunities to work on some challenges other companies do not face. If you want to work with talented people, If you want to work on a product with a large user amount, if you are interested in the cashless payment service, or if you just want to be free of working location, come and join PayPay!
Currently available positions
Author: Lang ”Kevin” Liu ／ Editorial Supervisor: Mune ／ Managing Editor: Az
* Employee affiliations are as of the time of the interview.