Get up close and personal with some of PayPay’s first-rate professionals. In this issue, we introduce two engineers working at the Corporate IT Department who are responsible for driving business recovery planning or BRP. We chat about the appeal of contributing to enterprise development as BPR and low-code engineers, as well as discussing the atmosphere of their team.
System Division, Corporate IT Department, Leader of Process Automation Team
Joined PayPay in June 2022 after working at a development outsourcing venture, a marketing company and a consultancy. He currently works as leader of the Process Automation Team and BPR lead engineer.
System Division, Corporate IT Department, Process Automation Team
Joined PayPay in February 2020. Prior to that, he has worked at an EC, SIer, and a mobile game company. Currently he works as a low-code engineer in the Process Automation Team.
Freedom to make decisions and engage in challenges
What was the background or what prompted both of you to join PayPay?
I had only worked as an SIer for clients, so I wanted to try in-house engineering at a corporate. I was particularly interested in the financial industry because I had no experience in it.
In my case, I wanted to work at a company that had started from scratch that would become crucial to Japan in the future. But, I was not interested in just changing jobs, rather I wanted to join PayPay so I only made one application.
After joining the company, did you notice any gaps from your previous job?
I think many people were surprised by the fast-paced nature of the company when they first joined PayPay. The process of creating a mock-up is especially fast. As there is no time to make a specification document, we create a mock-up first and then have the requester try it out to see if it works. This is not because the deadline is short, but because it allows individuals to work flexibly, which simplifies the process.
We have a lot of flexibility when making decisions and freedom. We can work how we see best, so I make full use of my previous work experience to determine what processes to follow. At the same time, even though PayPay is such a large organization, it is still essentially a start-up at the core, so it is easy to embark on something new. Moreover, since we already have an established presence, this environment allows you to take on .
The appeal of being involved in improvements that get directly to the core
Please tell us about your responsibilities
The Process Automation Team provides Application services to improve operational efficiencies so that PayPay’s employees can focus 100% on their essential tasks.
Specifically, we respond to requests to build or modify application systems such as those used for approval applications, asset management, account management and data integration. More recently, we also created a robot that can be used for analyzing communication on Slack.
As the team leader, I coordinate the team, conduct meetings with the requesting department coordinate with them, define requirements, and present this to to Mr. Atsumi and the other development members.
In this phase, we often implement new ERP, accounting, and HR tools, as well as inter-tool integration and automation. Once our growth has stabilized, we will probably see fewer of these tasks which is why now is the most exciting phase.
Tweaking one system may affect other departments , so we must always be on the alert throughout the company. For example, when we import data into the system for personnel announcements, the internal request (Ringi) system gets affected, and that influences corporate governance regarding regulations on administrative authority…and so on. So, we have to involve all departments that may get affected by the project.
What do you find most fulfilling and interesting about your job?
One aspect that motivates me is the fact that we know the faces of the people who use our products. That means we can easily gather the opinions of our users, which is rather stimulating.
The other is that we can have discussions on equal footing that lead to actual solutions. When working with clients they have the final say, so even if you wonder, “Why do I have to go through all this trouble?” you have to obey. With in-house development, we can honestly discuss the issue from its root and we can be flexible, developing in stages depending on the situation. This is the allure of being an in-house BPR engineer, and not something you can experience as a contractor.
BPR engineers can solve a problem in multiple ways, and there is no single correct answer. One method may be good for a certain department, but other departments may be in a different situation, so we have to choose the best option for each one while discussing the matter with them . To me, that is the most exciting part.
That’s why I can take on different challenges each time. I bet engineers would get bored if they had to make the same thing over and over again, but here we don’t make the same thing twice, and each project has its full share of excitement. It feels immensely good when I have a lot of ideas that become a reality throughout a project.
What is the team’s atmosphere like?
The entire company I feel has an open vibe. We can say what’s on our minds at morning meetings and we can send DMs to our Division Head, which may come as a surprise to people in other companies.
Many of us come from SIers or were subcontractors, so are quite professional at what we do. Some are even learning UiPath on their own and uploading videos.
With the WFA (work from anywhere, anytime) system, it’s not unusual to meet other members in person for the first time after a year. After all, Furuyama-san lives in Hokkaido and another person on our team lives in Okinawa. I personally like this kind of work environment.
Everyone has a wealth of experience and are good communicators, so everybody is given a great deal of discretion when moving a project forward. With this environment, you can challenge yourself with certain tasks if you want to improve one skill, and you can hand over tasks that you are mediocre at to others who are good.
One’s own growth and work determine the growth of the company
What do you both uphold in your work?
We make sure that each project is a positive experience for all of us. We talk with each member about what kind of experience they would like to gain, and we assign projects based on these conversations.
In the “PayPay 5 Senses,” the fifth maxim is “Work for Life or Work for Rice.” So, while the essential objective is to improve the requesting department’s operations, we also encourage our members to rise to the challenge even if they have no experience related to a given assignment, or to focus on skills they want to improve.
As an engineer, I am always conscious of the goal and impact. “How would this benefit the company?” or “What sort of effect would this initiative have?” are usually the first questions that come to my mind.
I also feel that the second maxim, “Speed is our bet on the market” is also important for PayPay. As a case in point, when I joined the company, we had to select a development tool, since developing one from scratch would mean too much time spent for new hires to learn how to use it. So, we introduced a development platform called OutSystems instead. This has been very useful for speedy development, and I think it has contributed to our quick rollouts.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
For the most part, I currently make improvements in response to requests from various departments in the company. Eventually, though, I would like to proactively devise and build services and deploy them for the entire company.
PayPay is a fast-growing company, and recently there have been instances where the tools we previously created no longer match the scale of our business. So, I would like to promote the development and operation of large-scale applications in proportion to the scale of PayPay. Plus, I also want to maintain an environment in which operations can continue without decelerating and without waste, even if the number of employees increases tenfold. To that end, I think it will be important for me to be able to see far into the future with my design philosophy at the time we adopt those applications.
Any final words to job seekers?
PayPay is an exciting place for me, with challenges constantly coming my way. That’s why it’s important to know how to deal with tough situations. So, rather than people who have made fantastic achievements, I would like to work with people who can learn from their failures or setbacks and apply them when a similar situation arises.
PayPay is still growing, so you can experience things that you cannot at any other IT company. I would like to enjoy with you the excitement that comes with the growth and change of the company!
Special Thanks: Jumpei, Junji / Editor: Misaki / Author: PayPay Inside-Out Editorial Team / Photographer: Tak
*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.