My Rakuten Experience: Olivier

Oliver is a Senior Manager in the Solutions Engineering Section of the Engagement and Loyalty Platform Department.

Career history

In 2005, I earned a Master’s degree in Software Engineering in Paris, France. After working as a Java Engineer at a consulting firm, I moved to Australia in 2008 and joined a consulting firm in Sydney. I came to Japan in 2012, and in 2013 joined Rakuten as an EC Architecture Specialist.

Why did you join Rakuten?

I joined the company because I was attracted to its philosophy of utilizing the internet to empower local communities and society.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, I have always been interested in preserving traditional craftsmanship and the local shopping streets that support local artisans. When I thought about working in Japan using my experience as an engineer, I was intrigued by Rakuten’s status as a large global company which empowers small, local businesses, and that ultimately motivated my decision to join the company.

Current Job

Working to make Rakuten’s system architecture simpler and easier to navigate.

I am involved in designing the system architecture that makes up Rakuten’s services. Rakuten is developing and implementing a wide range of projects, but the systems that support them constantly need to be improved as the times change and the business grows. I think about how we should combine hardware, applications and modules to meet future requirements, and about the appropriate timing for making those changes and implementing new systems.

In recent years, due to the diversification of devices, including smartphones and the impact of smart content, traffic for Rakuten Group as a whole has been increasing. Developing and operating a system that can withstand a consistently increasing volume of traffic is integral to Rakuten’s global strategy. As a senior manager, my goal is to set up meetings where I can gather opinions and ideas from lots of different engineers, and ultimately, build a system that users will find comfortable and easy to navigate.

Olivier was attracted to Rakuten's philosophy of utilizing the internet to empower local communities and society.
Olivier was attracted to Rakuten’s philosophy of utilizing the internet to empower local communities and society.

The appeal of working at Rakuten

“Rakuten employees involved in a variety of projects are working toward a shared vision of the future.”

I feel that the opportunity to exchange opinions and work together with people from different departments who think differently is an appealing part of working at Rakuten. In addition to the Architecture Department, the staff from the E-Commerce Department, which is Rakuten’s main business, work together closely, so I can learn about the structure of products and services from many different angles.

Also, the people involved in the project gather and discuss it enthusiastically, sharing their respective visions with one another and drawing up a forecast for the future. Although it has been four years since I joined the company, I am constantly learning and realizing a great deal since businesses need a multi-layered approach and require a vast amount of knowledge about systems, including system architecture.

My Team

As a Senior Manager working with a large number of teams to design Rakuten’s system architecture, I do not belong to a specific group myself, but rather interact with many people on a project-by-project basis and listen to their opinions.

At Rakuten, we have teams with people from different cultures and backgrounds, so each team and department can decide its own development tools and operation methods. Our staff comes from different regions, including Asia, the United States, and Europe. It is very stimulating to work in a global environment and hear what kind of developmental and operational environments people are looking for, what type of structure is needed in the future and how we can reconcile and make adjustments based on our respective opinions and strategies.

Olivier believes that teams from different regions aid global development and operations workflows.
Olivier believes that teams from different regions aid global development and operations workflows.

What makes your job challenging?

Rakuten’s system architecture connects people.

As a designer of Rakuten’s system architecture, my work helps people connect to one another. At the start of a new project, the team may have differing opinions. But, as we set goals and strive toward the same target, we start to better understand each other, leverage each person’s skills and eventually deliver greater success. Recently, we have been promoting event-driven development and the introduction of microservices. The process of taking on new challenges, even in difficult situations, and developing new technologies and ideas is enriching.

By utilizing Rakuten’s system architecture, we relay ideas by people involved in the project to benefit consumers and shop owners. Rakuten’s e-commerce has a mission to revitalize small businesses and companies around the world. I feel pleased to contribute to companies in countries and regions I have never visited through my work, and I will continue to strive to do my best every day.

*The affiliation and contents of the article are based on the contents at the time of the interview.

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