Polo is a Front-End Engineer at the Rakuten Beauty Department
As a front-end engineer for the Rakuten Beauty Department, I am involved in on-site operations and new development, working closely with development engineers in the division. I worked as a system engineer, designer and director at my previous job, but it wasn’t until I joined Rakuten that I gained experience as a front-end engineer. Every day I hone my skills in UX improvement, such as pursuing page speed (speed until the screen is displayed). This year, my team created a new design system “taRe,” which is unique to Rakuten Beauty. We aligned it with “ReX,” which is working on Rakuten Group’s UX issues, and created a unique design while maintaining the unity of Rakuten Group. We also succeeded in compressing the design and coding work process to about a third of its original size.
We are now aiming to reform Rakuten’s culture in a way that is unique to us. When we work on big projects involving many people, it is sometimes difficult to fully communicate with the development team, but instead of treating this as a “gap,” we actively approach them despite any organizational obstacles hindering our communication. In addition to this, we have strengthened our cross-team relationships to the point where we can listen to each other’s opinions and even suggest projects whose development will be led by other teams. All employees enhance each other’s skill sets and work on projects from the same perspective: this is an ideal environment for creators.
As a front-end engineer, I am constantly improving my skills by keeping in touch with ever-evolving web technologies. Aside from that, I have also been working as a mentor for the designer team members in the same department. Originally, design should be created after drawing up a scheme and developing it up to the coding phase. In order for the designers of the division to be able to complete the entire coding process by themselves, I provide them with guidance and study sessions on markup tips and how to write code neatly and without mistakes. This management work helps me to improve my skills by seeing how far I can go to strengthen the department from the bottom up. By reflecting on my own words during such instructional moments, I am able to realize how much I can improve my own capability as well.
The four of us front-end engineers often talk about how we can lead Rakuten’s technological development. We really want to accumulate successful examples of products and services that introduced the latest technologies as quickly as possible so we may enhance Rakuten’s reputation in the IT industry and ultimately become a team that, in fact, leads the IT industry. In the future, we will not limit ourselves to creating services solely within the division, but to grow into an independent team that operates across the entire company, like ReX. Eventually, we want to become a team that can lead the entire business.
What do you like about the working environment/systems at Rakuten?
Rakuten features a reward system, including bonuses, that is commensurate with my evaluation. Another good point is that we can eat nutritious meals in the company cafeteria free of charge.
How many people are in your current department and what is the ratio of mid-career hires?
There are about 20 people in the UX design section, and approximately 60% are mid-career hires.
What do you do on your days off?
I am a competitive canoe polo player. Last year, I served as a coach for the Japanese national women’s team. I am very busy practicing myself and teaching players on my days off.
*The affiliation and contents of the article are based on the contents at the time of the interview.
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