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- How LINE Prepares for the New Year’s Rush: A Developer’s Tale Three midnights on New Year’s Eve at LINE For developers at LINE, there are three major New Year’s Eves each year: First the New Year comes to Japan, then an hour later it’s midnight in Taiwan, and an hour after that the people of Thailand ring in the New Year. For each one, LINE experiences a major surge in traffic, which forces our engineers to be alert and ready to act. To learn first-hand what it’s like to go through those three big surges, we talked to Hyunsu Kim from the LINE PLUS Service Engineering Team, who was the project manager for the 2021 New Year’s Traffic Response Task Force. New Year’s traffic response Q. Please share what exactly entails LINE’s annual New Year’s traffic response. A lot of people send New Year’s greetings to their family, friends and work colleagues right around midnight on New Year’s Eve and early on New Year’s Day, and LINE is one of the most popular ways of doing so. In fact, New Year’s is our biggest traffic surge of the year, in terms of greetings and messages. In fact, in the early days of the LINE messenger, sometimes that surge caused service failures because we could not handle this large volume of traffic. In order to prevent such failures, we inspect the system and fix potential issues starting in September each year. If it is deemed necessary, we expand our infrastructure or adopt other solutions to improve the situation. The chat room and monitoring desks of developers preparing for the New Year Q. How is the New Year’s traffic response task force staffed? Since a lot of people participate in the New Year’s traffic response, we create a task force rather than a team. This year, around 200 developers based in Korea and Japan worked hard to ensure the smooth handling of traffic on New Year’s. First, we select a leader to take charge of the New Year’s traffic response for the year. Then, that person organizes the service components that are required for the New Year’s traffic response and starts preparing for New Year’s Eve together with the teams and service owners who are in charge of each service component. Q. What are some of the tasks and important factors that the New Year’s traffic response requires? The details of what needs to be done varies a lot, depending on a service component’s aspects and features. But, in general terms, each service component needs to estimate the traffic volume it expects to handle that evening and checks whether we have sufficient infrastructure to handle it, such as servers and network.On New Year’s Eve, we come to the office at around 4 p.m. and work until 3 a.m. Because the traffic is usually high between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., we restart the entire Talk-Server, which is the core service of LINE messenger, at around 5 p.m. in order to avoid potential issues. In addition, we continuously check whether everything is being performed correctly, such as adjusting the log level and turning off the push tracking function (which does not have a direct impact on the service operation, but could slightly improve the capacity of the service).The most important factor in the New Year’s traffic response is inspecting whether the LINE Messaging service is handling the traffic without any issues. We pay extra attention to the benchmark test (BMT) process to check whether the anticipated messaging traffic is being handled sufficiently and we make corresponding improvements if necessary. A LINE traffic chart showing midnight on New Year’s Eve, with no signs of error Q. Cooperation with LINE’s other offices must also be crucial. How do you all work together? I focus on keeping communications smooth when working with the other offices. We hold a number of conference calls during the preparation process, and use interpretation services to make sure everything is clear. In addition to the conference calls, we open a separate communication channel where everyone can talk and share. This channel is in English so that everyone can understand what is being said. Screenshot of Slack 40 minutes before midnight showing the current service status Q. The work environment has changed a lot due to COVID-19. What changed about the 2021 New Year's traffic response? Because of COVID-19, most of the 2021 New Year’s traffic response was done from people’s homes, not in the office. In the past, when we were all in the office together, we could do most things verbally because the work mostly involves checking various things over a short period of time. Working from home, however, required us to arrange the means of communication in advance. We created a conference room for each component and a separate conference room for emergency discussions in the event of any failure. We pre-arranged contact methods to ensure a smooth communication environment.As we prepared a lot in advance, this year’s New Year’s traffic response went well, without any issues. Afterward, we had some assessment meetings and made a list of improvements that could be made in the work-from-home environment. Personally, I was pleased to know that many of my colleagues who have been working on the New Year’s traffic response for several years were able to spend this New Year’s Eve with their family, thanks to working from home. A successful New Year’s traffic response meant everyone finished the evening pleased with their work. Developers celebrating a successful evening by photographing their finished work stations (and with ramen and beer, too). Q. Anything else you’d like to share? We were able to finish our New Year’s traffic response smoothly and welcome 2021 thanks to a lot of people who worked hard and did their jobs well. I’d like to thank them and express my sincere gratitude for every LINER who worked hard. I wish you all happiness and good fortune in 2021! (And I hope we will soon be able to live without wearing face masks!) Read the LINE Engineering Blog post related to New Year’s traffic response [Click here] Watch the LINE Development Archive video related to New Year’s traffic response [Click here] ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
- How LINE Prepares for the New Year’s Eve Rush: Employee Care Team One of the biggest nights of the year is without a doubt New Year’s Eve, as friends and families gather to count down the minutes and seconds until the old year is over and a new one begins. Here at LINE, however, all that holiday joy means a huge surge in traffic, and that’s something that has to be managed carefully. The moment the clock strikes midnight and December 31 turns into the first of January, everyone sends out a flurry of messages. Let’s take a look at how the Employee Care Team helps our developers ensure everything on LINE continues running smoothly at the big moment. Preparing for the New Year At 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2020, with just a few hours to go until the New Year, at the LINE office, the Employee Care (EC) Team is busy preparing nutritious dinner boxes, light refreshments, and gift bags for those developers who came to the office to prepare for the New Year’s traffic surge. But this year was a bit different from most, because of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of our developers were working from home. For those developers working remotely, the EC Team had refreshments and gift bags delivered to their homes. Notably, the LINE Developer Relations Team prepared beautiful and colorful gift bags for those developers who had to work overnight. Those bags contained a variety of vitamins as well as health juices and eye warmers, along with LINE DEV merchandise and thank-you notes! Refreshments and gift bags were delivered to developers working from home while preparing for the New Year’s day traffic surge Watch the video “[Best wishes for a happy start] Behind the scenes: The New Year’s Greetings” [Click here] Best wishes for a happy start with Employee Care! Q. What is “Best wishes for a happy start?” A. “Best wishes for a happy start” is the last service that the EC Team provides at the end of each year on December 31. We provide warm meals for the developers who work on the last night of December to prepare for the LINE messenger’s traffic surge at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It is a care service that we provide in order to comfort our developers for not being able to spend New Year’s Eve with their loved ones, featuring small gifts that they can later share with their families. We named the service “Best wishes for a happy start” to show our hope that the New Year begins smoothly and the traffic surge doesn’t cause any troubles. Refreshments, gift bags, and meal boxes prepared for the developers who came to the office to prepare for the New Year’s traffic surge on Dec. 31, 2020 Q. What is the most important part of preparing for this event? A. Up until last year, the most important thing was to help the developers feel warm and comfortable even though they were stuck in the office, so we paid extra attention to keeping the food warm when we prepared the meal boxes. This year, however, most of the developers were working from home, so instead we carefully selected some refreshments and things that the developers could share with their families. We also reviewed the delivery schedule and process very thoroughly to make sure the refreshments and gift bags arrived at their home in time. Q. You have been hosting this event for the New Year’s Day Traffic Response task force every year. Any memorable stories? A. One of the most memorable New Year’s Eves happened at the end of 2016. Like in previous years, I had to prepare the meal boxes and refreshments in the office, so I listened to the New Year’s Eve countdown bell with my team members. To celebrate the New Year, we cooked rice cake soup with the ingredients that we had prepared, and delivered the soup to the developers who were in the office. I still cannot forget how delicious that rice cake soup was. The start of a new year with warmth and care Thanks to the support provided by the LINE Employee Care Team and the Developer Relations Team, our developers who worked through the night were able to work with full bellies and hearts! To hear about LINE’s New Year’s Eve preparations from a developer’s point of view, check out our second story. [Click here] ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
- Starting a New Career While in Pandemic Lockdown? Not a Problem at KASIKORN LINE Despite a pandemic, the KASIKORN LINE team keeps growing In March 2020 when COVID-19 appeared in Thailand, the LINERs of KASIKORN LINE — the company that operates the Thai social banking service LINE BK — started working from home. At first, most people were fine with working from home, but as time went on, we increasingly missed the KASIKORN LINE office, where we used to work, play, and eat together. Collaborating virtually did not seem like a big deal because we didn’t have so many employees back then. But COVID-19 hit us harder than we expected. Working from home was extended again and again, so we decided we could not wait for the pandemic to resolve or to delay growing our team. Despite the pandemic, KASIKORN LINE began hiring new talent aggressively. We doubled our headcount in just a few months. And, although it was challenging, we did our best to do our work and onboard our new personnel virtually. Let’s take a look at the interesting journey of Tayart (Kum), from our Business Strategy team, who was one of those new hires who had his first day with KASIKORN LINE from home! What is it like to start a new job from home? Imagine how you would have felt if you were just about to start an exciting journey with a new company, but because of a public health crisis, the company decided to start a “Work from Home” system on your first day. Well, let me tell you the story of how I did it, and how KASIKORN LINE made it so easy. It was roughly a week before my starting date. I dropped by the KASIKORN LINE office to have lunch with my new boss, our CEO, picked up a new laptop and got the system set up. That day, our HR department introduced me to the other LINERs, all who were still having a good time in the office. Then, one day before I was supposed to begin, I got a LINE message from HR that the company was switching to a Work-from-Home policy and no one would be at the office tomorrow. On my onboarding date! I started to get worried, wondering how I could get to know my fellow LINERs and collaborate effectively. But it turned out, even though starting a new job working from home wasn’t ideal, it went better than I expected. The first few days were chaotic, especially for me because I needed to collaborate with almost every team. Thanks to our employee directory (my best friend during COVID-19), I was able to reach out and introduce myself to other LINERs on each team with no problem. After I started to settle in, working remotely was not an issue anymore. Although it could sometimes be hard to connect with colleagues on a personal level, KASIKORN LINE initiated a lot of activities to make our working-from-home life more engaging and inclusive. How did LINERs stay close while social distancing? Each day started with “Good Morning LINERs,” when each LINER took turns giving a 5-minute morning call talking about anything to light up the day. The contents were entertainingly random, like a morning news update, LINE MAN food reviews, interactive games (free lunch if you win), and even horror stories. LINERs also gathered twice a week for a “Virtual Lunch.” The HR team arranged for all kinds of guests and activities to spice up our lunch time, including live music from a well-known Thai musician, a live session with a celebrity fortune-teller, a personality guru, and countless contents from our own LINERs (like latte art, face yoga, homemade cooking, and ergonomics tips for WFH). In addition to those live activities, we also had a weekly mission in our private chat group, which we called “WFHchallenge #openingthedistance (but close at heart).” Each week, a photo competition was announced with a specific hashtag and for more than 20 challenges, LINERs competed by sharing photos/videos according to the topic. The most popular challenge was #StickerFromHome, with more than half of the LINERs from each team participating! (Fun fact: LINERs spent a lot of company-provided LINE Credits purchasing tons of stickers that week) #StickerFromHome #SkyFromHome #RelaxFromHome #SleepyFromHome And after the pandemic … ? Finally, around July, the COVID-19 situation in Bangkok really improved. There were no new domestic cases reported for a few weeks, malls resumed their business, and our new office space was ready! We welcomed back LINERs to our new office — located in Bangkok's newest co-working space, right in the heart of the city, just next to a BTS Sky train station — with a memorable BIG PARTY!!! Since then, our spacious-but-cozy KASIKORN LINE home has been an excellent HQ. Our office provides all the essential facilities and support to enable LINERs to work at their highest productivity. Whether formal meeting rooms or casual discussions over coffee around our stylish lobby, a peaceful zone for working intensely or a private phone booth for an important call, we do have it all. Our home is even equipped for a full-stream press conference and exclusive blogger events! From time to time, our familiar lobby can be magically transformed into a concert hall, food hall, a playground, or even a beer hall. We are also proud of our very own KASIKORN LINE bands, assembled by talented musicians from every team! Our journey is still getting more and more interesting every single day. New faces become old faces, juniors become seniors, colleagues become friends, coming to work becomes meeting up with friends. We value our differences and unique characteristics. We put ourselves in customers' shoes. We enjoy overcoming challenges. And we believe everything is better when we are together! In addition, we also believe there are a lot more interesting individuals out there. Don't hesitate or doubt yourself. Introduce your uniqueness to us. We can’t wait to get better together with you! ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
- CONNECT DAY at LINE Indonesia Every once in a month, LINE Indonesia holds an internal event, called Connect Day. It’s arranged by HR, specifically to bring all LINERs together and get connected with each other. Since we are be busy every day with our own works and sometimes we don’t have much time to catch up with each other; therefore, Connect Day has a purpose to be an opportunity to get to know each other, keep us together and catch up. There are some updates that is being conveyed during this Connect Day, such as introduction of new hires, farewell to the resignees or even some happy news about LINER’s marriage and/or new babies. We’ve embraced these news with the spirit of one whole LINE families. Also, this is also a moment for HR to announce several important news about the office in general.Connect Day always has a specific theme in each month. For example, in April, we celebrate the Sports Day; in June, we have Environment Day; in July, we have Friendship Day; in August, we have Independence Day celebration; and by the end of the year, we have Year-End party for the Connect Day. HR & GA team brings out the concept which relates to the specific theme on the month, and designs the event as a fun and engaging activity. Sometimes it is hosted directly by internal HR team, but sometimes it’s also hosted by other division, in coordination with HR team.It can be a sharing session, a mini workshop or games and competitions. Therefore, the engagement is not only one-way, but also two-ways interactive communication among LINERs. And surely, the event always treats LINERs with the delicious snacks and beverage. Thus, we always set the Connect Day as a 2-hour long event on the last Friday of the month. So, it will be a sweet ending for the entire week from work and a god start of the upcoming weekend for LINERs.By September 2018, the Connect Day had been hosted by LINE Games division. They made the live game competition between divisions, and it’s streamed live into LINE Games’s social channel. The event went superb and there were a lot of laugh and noises. It made us know LINE Games products better, and also was fun at the same time. In May 2019, HR arranged Connect Day to be part of the meaningful event, by having break-fasting together with orphans from around at LINE office. All the children were brought to the office, played games with us, then had feast with us on the break-fasting moment. We cared and we shared; LINERs shared the happiness with others at this moment. By December 2019, pre-arranged competitions were conducted among LINERs: LINE Got Talent. All LINERs were divided into group and each group had a mission to bring out the performance with the theme: “With Great Super WOW, comes Great Super-LINERs.” Unexpectedly, we found many good talents among LINERs who can sing, dance and perform very well! LINERs came with super creative ideas, from the story line until the costume productions. The group winners not only received interesting prizes, but also felt great sense of accomplishment and good memories. During the pandemic, LINE Indonesia has been working from home since March 2020 until further notice, It’s such a difficult situation for us because we could not have face-to-face interaction among LINERs, and many LINERs miss the office, craving for the human interactions. Therefore, we arranged the Virtual Connect Day to bring LINERs together and keep everyone warm. Although it’s not the same as the usual Connect Day, we arranged some group missions in each Connect Day to do engaging activities together. On August 2020, we celebrated Independence Day in the virtual Connect Day. In usual situation, Independence Day celebration should be full of fun games and competition, but we could not do it since we’re separated by social distancing. Therefore we arranged the Virtual Connect Day with several competitions for LINERs. LINE Indonesia will continue to arrange the Connect Day or similar events to maintain the closeness among LINERs in Indonesia, engage all of the LINERs and boost the motivations. ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
Meet the Global LINERS
- EngineeringWeera KasetsinTech ManagementWeera Kasetsin joined LINE in November 2018 as the lead of the Business Product Engineering Team. After less than a year, he became the Head of Engineering. Now, he is currently the Director of Engineering, taking charge of more than 12 teams under the Engineering Office, including Datalabs Team, Technical Project Management Team, Solution Engineering Team, as well as other teams. When he was invited to talk with us, he was genuinely excited to tell us all about his experiences working with high-caliber developers and delivering services to more than 47 million LINE users in Thailand. Let’s find out what kind of work and culture he has encountered here at LINE Thailand and what goals he has for the engineering teams moving forward.LEARN MORE
- Product PlanningChloe KungProduct GrowthAfter joining LINE through the recruitment drive for new graduates in 2018, Chloe has worked in a variety of business and marketing roles, starting her career on the LINE Game business team for Global Marketing. Her current role is to develop opportunities for LINE businesses. Coming from Taiwan, Chloe has had a lot of global experience, and she is always closely following the market conditions in the various countries were LINE operates. Let’s learn more about Chloe’s unique perspective on LINE.LEARN MORE
- DesignMingyu LeeProduct DesignMingyu joined LINE as a designer in 2014 through a recruiting drive aimed at experienced professionals. He joined LINE because, at the time, messenger culture was just evolving and he found those services interesting. He is currently engaged in product design for Timeline, LINE's social media service. Let's find out more about Mingyu’s fun experiences and achievements at LINE!LEARN MORE