The Perfect Work-Life Balance and Great Passion for Work: Interview with Tufi from Pakistan [Work Style]

Hi, this is R-Hack Editorial office.

There are a variety of people working here at Rakuten Commerce & Marketing Company Development Department. Today, we interviewed Tufi from Pakistan, who newly joined Rakuten Group in November 2022.



Joined Rakuten Group mid-career in November 2022
Department...Dream Product Section, Leisure Product Department (LPD)

Position...Application Engineer
Hobby...Watching movies, cricket, badminton

Tufi’s belief is “the perfect work-life balance leads to success in every aspect of life”. 

From Pakistan to an IT company in Tokyo

――Please introduce yourself.

My name is Tufi, and I joined Rakuten Group in November 2022 as an Application Engineer. I’m from Swabi city in Pakistan. I graduated from Gomal University in computer science, and I have been working as a PHP developer since 2006. My hobby is to watch movies, and I like to play cricket and badminton when I get the chance.

――Please tell us about your career so far.

I came to Japan in May 2011 and worked for a small IT company in Tokyo for about 10 years as a PHP engineer and then as a PDM (Product Manager). I experienced every stage of the software development process from requirement definition, development, delegating work to remote teams, team management, QA, release, and finally operation and support. I was involved in almost all stages since it was a small team, which was a good experience for me as an engineer.

As a service, we mostly developed ERP systems and websites for used car exporters in Japan. The system enabled clients to keep track of a wide range of information, such as purchases, transport orders, shipping, and customers. The system allowed them to work efficiently with their remote agents as well as their customers, even with a limited number of staff.

My role was to work directly with stakeholders and propose and implement efficient and intuitive solutions to the problems in hand. This itself was a very rewarding job.

To Rakuten Group, where you can apply daily learning to work

――What made you decide to join Rakuten Group?

While I was able to take part in many stages and handle a wide range of tasks, I began to think that I should develop expertise in a particular field in order to build a career as an engineer.

I actually thought of switching jobs in early 2020, but the social situation was unstable due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so I was not able to make up my mind. However, as I mentioned earlier, I always had the desire to develop a higher level of expertise and to be exposed to more of the latest cutting-edge technologies as an engineer.

Apart from work, I felt that my work-life balance was disrupted, which was also the contributing cause to switch my job. As many of my friends were working at Rakuten Group, I decided to change jobs after hearing that they valued professionalism and diversity and how working in Rakuten Group helped them build their career paths. I believe Rakuten Group provides opportunities to learn and apply what you learn in your work.

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

I'm currently assigned to the Rakuten Keiba development team. Rakuten Keiba (link in Japanese only) is a service that offers horse racing information and allows users to actually purchase betting tickets. After users register to Rakuten Keiba, they can place bets on races, check the history of their bets, and provide predictions about race results. It also provides a back-office tool for adding and updating horse racing information.

Currently there are many projects in pipeline, such as a new service related to horse racing and optimization and features addition to the existing back-office tool. As a backend developer, I’m working on improving and adding new features to the service, and I'm very excited to be able to use my previous experience for this service. Of course, I look forward to not only utilizing the skills I learned in past projects, but also incorporating new tools into projects that I have not used much in my past work.

――How is the team atmosphere?

There are more than 20 people in the team, consisting of frontend, backend, iOS and Android mobile engineers. The atmosphere of the team is very friendly and cooperative, and everyone has a great passion for their work.

――What are your thoughts after actually starting work?

In Rakuten Group, the seating arrangements are not fixed. Each day you can choose your seat and work with different colleagues and get to know each other. And the cafeteria and free lunch! It’s great to be able to enjoy healthy food while exchanging information with your colleagues and other employees.

Gaining new knowledge and maximizing abilities

――Please tell us about your future career plans.

In terms of skill improvement, I'm interested in writing better code, maximizing test coverage, and streamlining release procedures. In overall work, I would like to gain new perspectives and get a better understanding of the service by taking part in more operations and new projects.

My goal after that is to maximize my abilities in larger teams and services. The global structure of Rakuten Group and the environment of working with professional team members will give me new insights and perspectives and analytical skills.

I will also be able to learn how to design and develop big services with a high level of professionalism. I would like to learn the development methods and professionalism of these big services as well as gain insight from like-minded members.

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

Working in Rakuten Group will let you learn how to design and implement systems designed for a large customer base and work with professionals from a variety of fields. Rakuten Group is an organization that takes very good care of employees both personally and professionally. A perfect work-life balance should bring you success in every aspect of life.

――Thank you for the interview.