Hideki is a Senior Application Architect.
My department looks after everything related to database systems on the Rakuten Ecosystem platform, from membership authentication to account data management. As an architect, I am in charge of designing solutions, reviewing implementations and checking the process of making releases in the real world.
At the backend of core systems for each Rakuten company, it is my job to give technical support for development, maintenance, updates and more. If ever the system stops, it is going to have a major impact on the group, and definitely society as a whole, therefore I have a sense of adrenaline and motivation every day in my work.
Before I joined Rakuten, I was a researcher for a foreign IT firm, then I got involved in the development, operation and maintenance of application servers for an American startup company. I moved to Rakuten in 2019 as the next step to capitalize on the skills and English ability I had developed.
Most of my team members are top-flight foreign engineers from India, China and elsewhere. In a global environment, it is vital to communicate openly. The culture of tacit understanding and “reading the room” is not strong overseas. We exchange ideas very frankly and there is a sense of openness. There are so many revelations and observations that come out of our discussions.
The fun of working at Rakuten and job motivation
Rakuten’s systems are used every day by so many people around the world. It is highly motivating to be involved in building the systems that are an infrastructure for our lives. From a systems developer point of view, I also feel that I am involved in the growth of the Rakuten Group as a whole, which is very exciting.
What is good about Rakuten is that it is a global company with a startup dynamic. We are involved in a wide variety of business areas, which makes this an easy place for me to find the job that best suits me. The company culture is such that whenever a challenge arises, everybody works together regardless of their position or department to overcome it. This is an attractive aspect because it is something I had not experienced much at previous companies.
Currently, I am working on a project to integrate an old system into a new system. This involves taking a large amount of data, converting and then transferring it. It is like building a new bridge without stopping traffic going across it – it is a huge challenge to replace a system without stopping the service. In order to minimize the impact on everyone, careful and diligent preparations are required. It is both nerve-wracking and motivating at the same time.
The goal is to create and maintain a resilient system that will go on working, even if it is kicked or stepped on. It is also a matter of creating a team that can handle such a challenge. To advance the system and our team overall, I hope to contribute to the development of our IT staff.
How many projects are you currently working on?
Counting everything from small upgrades to big projects, I am working on 20 to 30 projects in parallel. The majority should be finished in the next few months, but some will take years, like the system integration.
What do you do during your time off?
I like road cycling. I used to go on long rides but lately, I have been enjoying sticking closer to home.
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