My Challenges in Pursuit of Becoming a Great Engineer: Interview with Chris from the Philippines

Hi, this is R-Hack editorial office. There are a variety of people working here at Rakuten Commerce& Marketing Company Development Department. Today, let me introduce to you Chris from the Philippines, who newly joined Rakuten Group in December 2022!



Joined Rakuten Group mid-career in December 2022
Department...EC Logistics Development Department (ECLD)

Post... Application Engineer
Origin...Manila, Philippines
Hobby...Creating headphones and mechanical keyboards

Chris gained 10 years of engineering experience at an accounting software provider. 
He came to Rakuten Group to further develop his skills.

Working as a technical consultant and software engineer at an accounting software provider

――Please introduce yourself.

My name is Chris, and I’m from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. There are shopping malls everywhere in Manila, and you can buy a lot of souvenirs for very low prices. Apart from shopping, I would recommend everyone to try eating at the local stores.

Watching anime and reading manga have been some of my hobbies ever since childhood. Recently, I have been fond of traveling to places featured in animes and experiencing the beauty of the places that I saw on the titles that I liked. I also like to build headphones and mechanical keyboards and have even designed my own originals.

――Wow, originals?! Were you also doing technical studies when you were a student?

I studied Computer Science in my school days. The papers I published dealt with many topics.

For example, I dealt with topics such as the use of image analysis on satellite images to identify areas that could potentially provide renewable energy resources through crop waste, and a gateway application that would improve the performance of viewing and interacting with remote servers via thin clients to be used by public education facilities.

――So, you have been studying a fairly specialized field of technology since you were a student.

――Please tell us about your career after that.

I was in the software industry, to be specific in an accounting software provider for more than eight years. One year in technical consulting and more than seven years in software development.As a technical consulting lead,

I worked with some of the major partners to implement the integration and the gateway applications that they were using to connect to our product.As a software engineer, I worked on different areas ranging from the development of APIs to allow both customers and partners to integrate to our service, the single sign-on framework, and alternative authentication methods as well.

In addition, I developed monitoring functions to monitor server and network performance. I was able to gain a wide range of experience.

To Rakuten Group, to further develop engineering skills

――Why did you decide to change jobs?

I wanted to gain more skills in the e-commerce industry. Since my previous work, I have focused on delivering solutions tailored to the requirements of each business and service. Rakuten Group services have been able to develop applications that can handle millions to billions of requests in a short period of time, while maintaining a high level of resiliency and availability.

I thought that Rakuten Group will give me the opportunity to grow as an engineer. I also feel attracted to the company as Rakuten Group has been consistently providing social impact as a business. As an individual, working in a company that helps the society advance is something to be proud of.

――Please tell us about the work you do in your new team.

Currently (as of December 2022), I belong to a team that works on logistics solutions on the commerce platform. Our mission is to provide the right data at the right time to the right person and make sure that the necessary data is available when they need it.

All sorts of information that can be used for analysis can be acquired from applications involved in logistics services. My team enables these data to be used for reporting and visualization. By providing such data, people can better understand what is happening with the logistics equipment and applications, how they can improve them, and make data-driven decisions.

――How is the team atmosphere?

My team has around ten members composed mainly of very skilled senior engineers. The members of my team come from different countries and give a very warm and welcoming global environment. It is very exciting to work with my team since everyone has been very welcoming and has shared information to me that is helpful for my work.

My team members have been mentoring me very well, and even on days when we work remotely,everyone provides help to one another. The team is also detail-oriented and process-oriented which helps me achieve every part of the work.

One of the things that I enjoy about my team is that everyone is very thoughtful. Since I am a keyboard and headphone geek, I sometimes bring custom keyboards and headphone gears that I made, and I enjoy the kind comments that everyone gives me.

To realize te dream platform someday

――What are your thoughts after actually joining the company and starting work?

In terms of work, everyday has been challenging but very rewarding and excites the problem solver in myself. I believe that the day’s task will surely contribute to improving the service, and that is what motivates me.

Another thing that I also like about Rakuten Group is that the company provides all the required training that will help me build a more elegant solution. I get the proper mentorship since everyone is very skilled, and I get different insights to improve the task on a day-to-day basis from the technical conversations with my team members.

Aside from the day-to-day tasks, seeing so many people use our platform daily makes work ten times more exciting. For me, it’s rewarding to work on a product that has a great impact on everyone. Lastly, it helps that the lunch at the office is really healthy!

――Please tell us about your future career plans.

For my near future goals, I would like to be more involved in doing the architecture of the solutions that we provide and do a deeper dive into the system and drive further improvements to it.

For my goal after that, since my hobby is creating gadgets such as keyboards and headphones, I would like to build a platform within Rakuten services that will provide gadget creators a place where they can distribute and share information.

By allowing creators to showcase their work and get feedback from other users, the work can be refined as a product. If creators are also able to launch their work on the spot, I imagine the platform would become more active.

Since there are a lot of creative and innovative people in Japan as well as in Asia, I would one day like to build a platform where they can express their creativity.

――I think that’s an excellent goal! I look forward to seeing it realized.

――Lastly, can you give a message to those interested in joining Rakuten Group?

I am confident that Rakuten Group will help you achieve your goals as an individual, both in technical and social aspects. I continue to challenge myself every day to improve my skills to achieve a highly available and resilient system and further enhance existing services.

There is never a boring day at Rakuten Group, and every day is very exciting. If you want to challenge yourself in pursuit of the better engineer in you, join us at Rakuten!

――I felt the passion in you to further polish your skills and improve our services!

――Thank you for the interview.