Providing the best experience for all Engineers: What Kind of Team is the Engineering Office?#MercanRelay

Nice to meet you, everyone!
I’m Kayoreena from the Engineering Office.

Looks like @saimaru from the Brand Management Team has tapped me for the next #MercanRelay, so join me as we take a closer look at the Engineering Office Team.

This is #MercanRelay!

This time, @Kayoreena (left) stopped by with @jjoshi (right) from the Engineering Office to introduce their team.

Seven Steps to the Perfect Employee Experience

The Engineering Office is an organizational development team which supports Mercari’s engineering organizations exclusively. Our mission is to provide the best employee experience for all engineers at Mercari.

The Mission of the Engineering Office

The Engineering Office plans everything from recruitment to onboarding, employee reviews, skills training, and internal events for the hundreds of employees belonging to Mercari’s engineering organizations. These processes aim to help engineers develop products effectively and efficiently, build their careers, and promote growth of the organization.

We have a number of projects which aim to provide engineers with the best experience from the time they join Mercari to the time they move into the next phase of their career. I’ll try to briefly summarize the kind of work we do using the Engineering Office’s “Employee Journey Story” below.

The Engineering Office’s “Employee Journey Story”

From the Moment Engineers First Hear About Mercari

We use the company website, social media, events, conferences, and other initiatives to share information externally, in order to make Mercari’s engineering organizations better understood outside the company. From there, we have potential engineers join Mercari hiring presentations and expand points of contact with the best engineers. The opinions of engineers working on the frontlines at Mercari are reflected in the hiring criteria, helping us to establish high-aiming, clear standards which look beyond candidates’ educational history or background.

A Wonderful Onboarding Experience

We standardize onboarding materials, design surveys to confirm how new employees are doing, and consolidate information on MerPortal so that new members are able to contribute to their teams as soon as possible, even when working remotely. More members are joining Mercari remotely due to COVID-19, leading to a rising need for a more standardized orientation program and ways to visualize employee status during onboarding.

We aim to create even better mechanisms to ensure a good career start for engineers at Mercari. For example, we regularly conduct surveys to check the condition of our engineers and work to further improve onboarding methods based on discovered issues.

“DevDojo,” Mercari’s two-month skills improvement tech training for new graduate engineers

World-Class Employee Review System and Organizational Development

We created our “Engineering Principles,” which put the culture of Mercari’s engineering organizations into writing, as well as the “Engineering Career Ladder,” which visualizes engineers’ abilities based on the Engineering Principles and provides a framework for evaluating those abilities. These define the behavior and competencies expected of engineers at each job grade.

We are currently working to incorporate them into employee reviews, expectation setting, and recruitment benchmarks. In this way, the Engineering Office seeks to create a shared language to describe the organization’s vision for engineers and create a stronger engineering organization culture where each engineer can grow and utilize each other’s strengths.

Data-Driven Organizational Development

In discovering and working to solve issues facing the organization, we analyze HR data and conduct regular surveys to define issues quantitatively, based on data rather than instinct. By adopting a data-driven approach to not only product development but organizational development as well, we aim to create a situation where organizations can be updated quickly and accurately.

Building a Foundation for Learning

For every generally transferable, core engineering skill or knowledge, there is expertise particular to Mercari. The Engineering Office aims to maximize productivity by creating a framework for putting that information and knowledge into writing and turning it into training contents. For example, by improving operation of the Learning Management System (LMS) and Knowledge Management System (KMS), we reduce over-reliance on specific engineers and create an environment where engineers can continue to grow through new learning opportunities.

Internal Engagement

We run internal events and share content to facilitate a sense of solidarity among the engineering organizations and enable engineers to work with high individual motivation. Previously, we held Mercari Camps Talk, where engineers could come together from different teams to share knowledge and information, and Mercari Hack Week, where all engineers were given the chance to step away from their usual work to spend a week working on a pet project they would like to develop or which interested them. We also run Engineering All Hands, which regularly brings all engineers together to share information about their organization.

2nd Mercari Hack Week

1st Mercari Hack Week

Fundamental Training, a tech training course for new graduate engineers (picture from the Mercari Engineering Blog)

Bringing Together Members from Diverse Backgrounds

The Engineering Office members truly come from a wide variety of backgrounds, counting among their numbers everyone from an ex-CTO to an ex-customer support specialist. They also come from many different countries, including Japan, India, and Brazil. We asked a few of them about their careers up until now, their current work, and their passion outside of the office.

@kayoreena: Before joining Mercari, I worked as a talent consultant in India. I actually graduated from a school of medicine and worked as a public health nurse as well. Since joining Mercari, I’ve been in charge of the onboarding program for overseas engi

@braitom: I worked at an SIer before joining Mercari, as a member of a company-wide tech organization. I looked into new technologies, applied potential technologies, and worked to set up a development infrastructure throughout the company. As a manager at Mercari, I’m now working to create mechanisms which ensure the work environment empowers engineers to demonstrate their maximum abilities. Lately, I’ve developed a bad habit of buying car-washing supplies I don’t need.

@t-hiroi: After working as an engineer, product designer, and EM, I joined Mercari because I wanted to work on building organizational mechanisms. Now as a manager at Mercari, I am working with my team to create those mechanisms and achieve data-driven organizational development. When I have time, I binge shows on Netflix. Recently, I’m particularly into stand-up comedy specials.
@rafa.888: I worked as an engineer for around 10 years, and I learned a lot of technical concepts which helped me to understand the structure and operation of this industry. Yet, I decided to move forward working on organization and management when I joined the EDM Team at Mercari. That was due to my interest in human relations and because I noticed good opportunities to improve relationships within the engineering teams back when I was an engineer. On the private side, I really love and miss the sea! I’m originally Brazilian and lived for 6 years in Germany, far from the sea, unfortunately. That’s why I like to watch Japanese fishing/cooking channels like CartopboarterNORA and KimagureCook. Sailing channels are also some of my favorites!

@sadah: I joined Mercari after working as an engineer at an SIer and at Tabelog, as well as working as a CTO at Goodpatch. As the person responsible for engineer recruitment at Mercari, I’m working to improve the engineer selection process. Recently, I’ve enjoyed putting together a comfortable WFH environment in my home.

@aisaka: After working as a communications industry network engineer in Tokyo, China, and India, I used joining Mercari as a chance to change my career, thinking that I wanted to get more involved with organizational development and working with people. I’m currently involved with onboarding and analyzing people data for the engineering organizations, as well as creating mechanisms for the learning system. I’ve recently been practicing piano so I can play at my little sister’s wedding.

@lestrrat: After moving between Japan, Brazil, and the US, I spent 20 years writing code while continuing to shift between the US and Brazil. While I’ve continued my work with open-source software since joining Mercari, my work here mostly involves planning and admin of external events. As for what I’m into right now, I’ve been researching the perfect curing period for dry meats and learning how to edit movies.

@afroscript: After doing recruitment in the engineering talent industry, working at DevRel (a Q&A site targeted to engineers), and running my own business, I joined Mercari in February 2019. I was put in charge of onboarding for new graduates and planning internal engineer training after I joined. Now I handle planning and administration of internal events (Hack Week, Mercari Camps Talk, etc.) and measure engagement of our engineering organizations. I’m a new father. Recently, I like to spend time playing with my kid, making the morning’s miso soup, and pickling foods.

@tweeeety: I worked as an engineer and EM at an SIer, CyberAgent Group, and DeNA. This got me interested in management and organizational development, so I joined Mercari. After joining Mercari, I worked on EM recruitment. Now, I’m helping to build our engineering organizations focused on engagement strategies and creating culture. In my spare time, I’m trying to use technology to achieve a “smart body” and “smart home.”

@yuki.t: I’ve always worked alongside engineers up to now, whether it be on customer support for web services or as a web director. I thought that I wanted to work even more for engineers’ sake, so I joined Mercari. Now, my work involves examining the employee review system for engineers. Recently, I’ve enjoyed reading other companies’ books about organizational development in order to learn from their case studies.

@jjoshi: I had started my career as LAMP stack engineer and gradually got an opportunity to move my career towards Tech Lead, Module Lead, Project Lead, and Agile Project Manager. I joined Mercari because I wanted to be involved and work in creating an organizational structure. In Mercari, I am working on the onboarding and knowledge management system to provide a good working experience, improve engineers’ job readiness, and help engineers be productive as soon as possible. For these activities, I mainly work on creating mechanisms and strategy plans to fulfill the requirements and make data-driven evaluation processes. Personally, I am passionate about bodybuilding and started again with bodyweight training in the routine.

@hisahiko: Ever since beginning my career, my work has involved the internet. I’ve worked in a variety of positions, including as an engineer, architect, PM, and PO. As a tech director at my previous company, Drecom, I worked to strengthen service development and engineering organizations. At Mercari, my role is focused on further strengthening organizations. I want to make the work environment of Mercari’s engineering organizations even better for engineers. My hobby is food touring, but recently I’ve been holed up at home due to COVID-19.

We have had many engineering-related members up until now, but their experience spans many different fields, creating a very unique organization. We’re all passionate about very different things as well. *laughs*
Members of the Engineering Office Team

We are currently working on a number of projects to achieve the Engineering Office’s mission of “providing the best employee experience for all engineers at Mercari,” and we have many other projects in the pipeline. While carefully pushing each of these projects forward, we hope to create an environment where engineers can demonstrate their maximum ability and create a future where Mercari is recognized worldwide as a company characterized by its many hard-working, motivated, and talented engineers.

And that’s all for the Engineering Office’s MercanRelay! Next time, we’ll be passing the baton to another engineer-related team. Stay tuned!

@kayoreena and @jjoshi (right), who introduced their team for this feature.

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