Explore Life at LINE
- What is LINE STYLE? LINE is … “A place where people who dream the same dream and realize that dream together.” The dream goal at LINE is to create No. 1 services, loved by users around the world, and to realize LINE’s mission of “CLOSING THE DISTANCE.” With that No. 1 goal in mind, LINE is the place where we work together as a team to achieve great things.In order to realize the mission of “CLOSING THE DISTANCE,” LINE always tries to understand consumers’ constantly changing needs, challenge ourselves and look at the bigger picture. Although LINE started as a search service, it drastically changed directions to become a messenger app due to the support we got from our users. And from that messenger app, we have grown into so many other fields, like gaming, fintech and AI. WOW=NO. 1 The value that LINE considers to be most important can be summed up in a single word: “WOW.” “WOW” is that “amazing first experience and impression that people want to share with friends.” No. 1 services that lead the market and that change paradigms always have “WOW.” The two ideas are inextricably linked: Pursuing Wow creates No. 1 services, and aiming to become a No. 1 services means creating WOW. Therefore, LINERs always need to ask ourselves this question, “Is this WOW?” This isn't just about products or services. It is a value that all LINERs must adhere to regardless of the organization they belong to or the job they are in charge of. LINE STYLE, LINE's DNA! LINE STYLE refers to LINE’s unique way of acting and thinking, and is the actualization of “WOW=No.1.” It is like LINE's DNA. Just like a species’ DNA isn’t created overnight, a company's own way of working and thinking evolves over time, too. And LINERs are the people who comprise LINE's genes, that is, LINE STYLE. The word LINER, which you can see all over the BLOGs on the LINE recruitment page, implies the meaning of individuals who make LINE's worldview. The story of LINE STYLE’s creation In January 2017, the first LINE STYLE (1.0) was created, consisting of six keywords: NEEDS, SPEED, DETAIL, DATA, TEAMWORK, and ENJOY. In fact, the ideas behind LINE STYLE had always existed at LINE since the company’s birth, but this was the first time we fully explained those ideas and came up with a common language to talk about them. People who had been working at LINE for a long time already knew those values from their experience, so they didn't need to have them explained. However, as of 2018, the total number of LINERs globally had grown to more than 7,000, with more than half of them joining LINE in the third and fourth year following the company’s establishment. So, for those newer LINERs, we needed to narrow the gap between them and those who had been at LINE since the beginning. In order to make it clear to everyone what kind of work style we are pursuing and to deliver it to the next generation of LINERs, we had to organize that knowledge in writing. This meant not creating something new, but a prioritization of what we have always talked about. Through this approach, we believe that LINE's unique corporate management and working methods will be maintained and will continue to develop!Reflecting the feedback we heard about LINE STYLE 1.0 — that the six keywords were somewhat abstract — each keyword was explained in more detail in LINE STYLE 2.0, which came out in October 2018. LINE STYLE 2.0 also demonstrated the changes in the internal and external environments that had occurred between the two versions, and the changes that LINE required in response. LINE STYLE will continue to be updated in the future as needed. LINE STYLE keywords There are a total of 11 LINE STYLE keywords and key concepts. Shall we take a look at them together? Users RuleIt’s not about us. It’s about them. Our entire business is built on understanding our users. To create WOWs, it is most vital to truly understand user needs. You must think from the users' perspective when making critical decisions and make their needs your prime criteria because users are the judges who ultimately determine success.But uncovering our users’ needs is a more difficult challenge than you may realize. Their needs can change from moment to moment. Often users don’t even know what their needs are, so discovering them requires an obsessive, almost fanatical, level of analysis. You need to keep an eye on their every action, no matter how slight, to uncover those hidden needs, constantly checking and re-checking, using every quantitative and qualitative method. Stay a Step AheadA swift beta rollout is better than a perfect one that comes too late However perfect, a service won’t draw attention from users if it misses the timing. The competition LINE is taking part in is a speed battle in a volatile environment. To be the best, a service must offer an amazing and unprecedented experience—with an emphasis on “unprecedented.”But unprecedented means more than just being first. What matters is being the first to be recognized by users. Plans can never be perfect, so you have to take risks, put them to the test right away, and then revise them constantly. Perfect Details‘Good’ is never good enough What makes the difference are the details. Detail is what differentiates a top service from the also-rans—because when we talk about details, what we’re really talking about is meticulousness.Those details emerge only after we repeatedly and painstakingly ask “Is there anything we can do to make this better?” “Is there any way to make this a little more perfect?” That attention to detail forces us to tweak and make endless tiny adjustments, gradually improving our services and taking them to a higher, more outstanding level. Always Data-drivenFollow the data, not your feelings Numbers don't lie. However, our feelings are much less trustworthy. Especially after putting a lot of hard work into a project, all of us have the tendency to see what we want to see. It’s tough to stay objective.Are users embracing a service as we expected? If not, why not? How do we fix the problems that are holding a service back? The solutions are in the data. You should always make decisions based on the numbers, especially in new markets. Fierce disagreements and fiery discussions are fine, but always look to the data for evaluating your opinions and choosing outcomes. Build Lean and Exceptional TeamsLeading services are made by agile, elite teams, not sprawling bureaucracies Making a team twice as large doesn't mean it can accomplish twice as much. In fact, it can often result in slowing down the team’s working speed. Leading services are often created by elite, compact teams, not sprawling bureaucracies. A soccer team with 100 good-enough players will lose to a team that has 11 elite players.As a company grows, its operations should be like a hundred lean start-ups working together, rather than like a bloated conglomerate. No one can compete with the giant global conglomerates based on size alone. Our advantage must be in the quality and efficiency of our workers. Always focus on organizing small, elite teams and strengthen them. Better, not bigger. Open Communication, Vertical Decision-makingTeams need to discuss things openly, but follow the leader’s decisions Everyone, including leaders, can make a wrong judgment. And no one is an expert in every field. The odds of finding success increase when you can have passionate, frank discussions, and everyone in the team feels empowered to add their voice when necessary.However, after going through the discussion process, only one direction can be chosen. The leader is the one who makes the choice and is responsible for the results. To successfully achieve that goal, a team’s members need to trust in the leader's judgment and work together toward putting the decision into practice. Keep in Sync, Aiming for the Same GoalThe end point can change, but the team always stays together When working towards a goal, a team has to concentrate its energy on going in the same direction. Otherwise, you’ll never get where you’re going. Every member should clearly understand the objective of the project, and if the needs of users shift then the team members also need to understand exactly how that changes their goals. It is the leader’s job to communicate those goals clearly and make sure everyone understands any changes. Team leaders and team members have to keep moving together, constantly sharing feedback and always aiming at the same target. Work Intensely and Be FocusedYou’re in trouble if you’re just ‘working hard’ Working a long time doesn't guarantee results. You are in trouble if you are just “working hard.” When you work hard, you get caught up doing whatever is right in front of you and never think about why you do what you do. To be the best LINER, you have to use your time in a smarter and more focused way. It is better to spend an hour working really intensely than 5 or 6 hours just kind-of-hard. You should also always be aware of the fundamentals underlying your work: What you are doing, for whom and why. 1% Problem-finding, 99% Solution-makingDon’t ask ‘What’s wrong?’ Ask ‘How do we make it right?’ Thinking critically can be an important part of creating a product or service, but don’t spend too much time fixated on what’s wrong—just 1% of your energy. Instead, put the other 99% into figuring out how to make it work. Anyone can find obstacles and potential problems, but at LINE we want people to concentrate their energy on discovering new things and generating new solutions that nobody has thought of before. Go Brave. No Fear. No RegretsIf you want to hit a home run, you’ve got to swing for the fences In baseball, a home-run king also tends to be a strikeout king because hitting home runs requires taking full, hard swings, which increases the risk of strikes. You cannot hit a homer from a bunt.The same is true for creating new services. If you have identified a feasible project with a sizeable potential market, you should take a serious swing at it, without being afraid of failure. And when someone else’s bold play turns out to be a failure, you shouldn’t criticize them. Instead analyze what happened and figure out the key lessons you can share, to prevent others from repeating the same mistakes. Learning from failure is the first step toward creating a success. Enjoy the ChallengesIf your heart is beating fast, then you’ve taken on a true challenge The history of LINE is the history of achievement and growth made through boldly taking on all challenges and failing without regret. This process is not enjoyable for everyone. Sometimes it can be so exhausting that you just want to walk away. But the harder the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement when you overcome it. It's exciting to know that, after so much effort and many trials and errors, our services can bring a sense of WOW to the world and make life easier and more enjoyable for millions of people everywhere.But that kind of heart-pounding experience is only available to those who enjoy wrestling with big challenges and who don’t give up in the middle. If you like being the first person to leave footsteps in the fresh white snow and are proud of leading a difficult challenge to success, you'll be able to enjoy your journey no matter how hard it is. And that's a great way to build a WOW service. LINE STYLE in LINERs’ everyday lives With the initial release of LINE STYLE in January 2017, the LINE STYLE keywords could found at every moment of LINERs’ lives. They aren’t just words, but concepts you encounter constantly throughout your everyday work. LINERs see LINE STYLE in the onboarding programs that new LINERS receive, in the in-house communication programs and events, the employee evaluation system, and the Global WOW Project Awards, where employees determine which projects created the most WOW each year! LINE STYLE is with you every moment from when you start and as you grow as a LINER. In addition, after the update to LINE STYLE 2.0, we began sharing the LINERs’ way of work by applying them to various products so that it can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere. In particular, a guidebook was created so that LINERs can understand LINE STYLE in more detail and in three dimensions. We also distributed WOW and keyword stickers that can be attached to visible places so that everyone can be reminded of the LINE STYLE keywords throughout the day. In addition, LINERs are able to see the keywords throughout their office space, on desktop wallpapers, screen savers and digital posters. *See LINE STYLE BOOK LINE STYLE BOOK and soft and fluffy stickers LINE STYLE stickers for laptops, calendars and diaries Desktop wallpapers and screen savers on LINERs’ PCs while they are away We are looking for people who are ready to challenge themselves to make their dreams according to LINE STYLE. LINE STYLE is not just a word, but a way of thought and a system of values we use for making our choices and judgments, and the foundation for every moment of our work as LINERs. Those who want to hear users around the world say “WOW” work according to LINE STYLE. Those who dream of creating No.1 services and want to do so together with outstanding colleagues.Above all, those who think “LINE STYLE sounds like my style,” do not hesitate, but challenge yourself now! Go to LINE Careers *See LINE STYLE BOOK
- LINE Library in the Tokyo Office When you walk into LINE's offices, you'll find a micro library inside the cafeteria. The area is called "LINE Library," serving as an internal communication space where LINERs can grow together by sharing their knowledge and learning from each other through reading books. Sharing your knowledge inspires others to drive "WOW" Books lined up on the shelves are recommended by people in leadership roles at LINE or industry experts. LINE Library was designed to cultivate an office culture that inspires creative thinking among LINERs. To make the library easily accessible, it is located inside office cafeterias and allows anyone working at LINE to borrow a book for free. LINE Library at the Shinjuku headquarters. Just a step away from the cozy tatami space in the back,where people can relax and enjoy reading. Categorization based on LINE STYLE Books are displayed based on three categories chosen from the eleven elements of "LINE STYLE" You can find not only business books, but novels, comics, and more in the library. The little cards in front of each book outline why the book was recommended and insights the book might offer you for work. On the shelves, movies sponsored by LINE and LINE Manga's new titles are also available. Get inspired by someone else's scribbles As readers are allowed to underline words or scribble on pages that they think are significant, you will be reading the ideas of previous readers along the text, feeling empathy with their thoughts or ending up writing down your ideas on the same page. This is how knowledge gets spread and shared among LINERs. LINE Library—a place for driving "WOW=NO.1"—will evolve further so LINERs can take full advantage of it even while working from home! ※ 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.
- LINE’s Responses to COVID-19(2) Don't take good things for granted Unlike the office, where everyone sits in identical, evenly spaced desks, home offices can be wildly different from each other. For me, working from home made me appreciate just how nice the equipment and furniture is in the LINE office. I guess I was so familiar with the office’s good points — the dual monitors, adjustable standing desks, Herman Miller chairs — that I had been taking them for granted. But, as someone who’s been living alone for five years in a studio apartment, my lonely little laptop and desk feel so small. Plus, now that I’m sitting in my apartment chair for so many hours, I’m really realizing how hard it is and how much it hurts my back! Talking to my fellow LINERs, I’ve discovered I’m not the only one who feels this way. Lots of us miss LINE’s excellent office amenities. Fortunately, LINE has heard our complaints and decided to take action. Since we need to work at home, LINE is allowing employees to bring home all sorts of office equipment, such as monitors and desktops, so we can re-create the office in our homes. LINE even paid for the taxi and delivery expenses people used to bring that equipment home! Sending help to people’s homes As COVID-19 surged in Korea, LINE did more than just offer support for the office: We also made a point of helping people’s personal lives. When first big outbreak in Korea started in Daegu, a city in southeast Korea about three hours from Seoul, LINE sent protective masks to LINERs and their families who lived in the region. At the time, finding high-quality masks was really difficult in Korea, so the help made a big difference and was very much appreciated. CaptionMasks delivered to people’s homes! For LINERs with families, working at home meant working with their kids around, especially during those times that schools were shut down. While kids usually like having their parents around more, they often don’t understand why mom or dad won’t play with them. So, it can be hard to get work done when a little one is insisting on doing something together. For this reason, LINE devised the "Home Office Board," a handy tool to help LINERs defend their workspace while working from home. Three images of Home Office Board (Korean, English, and image versions for young children who cannot read yet) The Home Office Board can be hung on the door to wherever you work at home, letting the kids know that mommy or daddy is busy and cannot play just now. It’s a good way of ensuring you can get your work done. (Note: The Home Office Board is unfortunately quite ineffective with cats).Later, LINE held an event asking people to share photos of their home offices, with the Remote Work Board on display. People had a fun time comparing the different ways their colleagues have set up their home work spaces. Photos of the "Home Office Board" event Fun photos of pets infiltrating people’s home offices Don’t risk your health for cherry blossoms! In addition to the face masks LINE sent to everyone’s homes, the Product Design Team actually sent flowers to their team members, to try to lift their spirits. Along with the flowers, the team sent a message urging them to be safe and stay home instead of going out, even though it was cherry blossom season at the time. Together, the flowers and the witty message really brightened everyone’s day. Take a look at their thoughtful gift. CaptionThe lovely directions and photos that are pretty like flowers Mommy’s little coder… For kids who are supposed to be in school, the COVID-19 outbreak forced many of them to study from home instead. With space tight in a lot of people’s homes, that often had the effect of turning kids into something more like colleagues, as lectures and studying had to take place nearby their parents as their parents try to work. Plus, not everyone has enough separate devices for parents and kids all to get their work done.Once again, LINE was ready to help, offering a variety of tablets and laptops people could rent for their kids. It was a small gesture, but LINE was happy to do what it could to help people work better in these tough times. Other responses In addition to those abovementioned steps, LINE had plenty more efforts going on to deal with COVID-19. For those LINERs who had to come to the office, the company thoroughly disinfected the office on a regular basis: When the COVID-19 alert level was "Orange," the office was disinfected once a week, and when the alert level raised to "Red," disinfecting was increased to every day. In addition, acrylic panels were installed in common areas, like the lobby and company café, to minimize physical contact. Areas frequently touched by hands such as elevator buttons and doorknobs to meetings rooms were covered with anti-viral films and are disinfected at least three times a day. (We thank everyone who worked diligently to keep the office so safe and sanitary.) LINE also stalled thermal imaging cameras to check the body temperature of all visitors. Hand sanitizer, contact-free thermometers, and disposable masks are provided in the common areas on each floor (and, in fact, disposable masks have long been available at LINE to protect employees from the fine dust pollution that occasionally arises). All told, COVID-19 has really made it clear to me just how much LINE values the safety of its employees. CaptionIn-house language classes using LINE Group Call (with the LINERs wearing masks in the office) Despite the pandemic, LINE continues to support in-house and external language classes for LINERs. In the past, people would meet in conference rooms at lunchtime, but now they study remotely using LINE Group Call. I am taking a Japanese class, and personally I actually prefer the remote classroom setup because I feel less self-conscious about my pronunciation. If I want to practice speaking on my own, I can just turn off the microphone and practice! (Of course, I always listen to my sensei!) Because I work from home, I feel more pressure to respond to my messages and emails quickly, and that means more time sitting at my desk than before. I could feel myself growing ever more out of shape, so when LINE announced it was starting remote stretching classes, I jumped at the chance. Now I get to enjoy 30 minutes of online stretching and coaching from the comfort of my home. Sending support to the local community On March 6, a patient tested positive for COVID-19 at Bundang Jesaeng Hospital, which is close to LINE's office. As a result, medical staff closed down some wards and had to take other steps to prevent further infections, which forced the hospital cafeteria to temporarily close. When we heard about this, we knew we had to help, so LINE stepped up and started offering warm lunch boxes and rice balls for the hospital medical staff. What’s more, we used our usual food partners who typically supply LINE with food but who have suffered from decreased business now that so many LINERs are working from home. It was a great opportunity to help out two of our neighbors at the same time. LINE sent box lunches and rice balls to a nearby hospital to help them through a COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the pandemic, LINE does not stop COVID-19 continues to challenge all of us, so the company-wide remote work system will stay in place for the time being. In this time of so many changes and difficulties, LINE will continue to support its employees in every way we can, doing our best to make work and life a bit better. It may be frustrating and difficult, but for me, my family, colleagues, and for the many people suffering from COVID-19, let's work a little harder and overcome this difficult time safely together. Hang in there! ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
- LINE’s Responses to COVID-19(1) So far, it’s been 36 days since LINE told everyone to work from home in response to the sudden rise of COVID-19 in Korea, and what’s been most surprising about this “new normal” is how it has not really affected our business operations. When the pandemic struck Korea, LINE’s focus was squarely on how to keep all its employees safe, so we implemented a variety of measures, in particular a work-from-home system. In turn, LINERs rose to the challenge, and have ensured the company is continuing to function and flourish. How did we do it? Let’s take a look at how LINERs have adjusted to the work-from-home lifestyle, continuing to be productive at a high level while preserving work-life balance! “Working From Home” – Not so new for LINERs In fact, work-from-home is not a strange arrangement for LINERs because LINE has had a policy in place for some time allowing for remote work once a month. Because LINE offers a good VPN connection, LINERs have long been able to access the company’s system whenever and wherever they want via mobile or PC. In addition, work meetings are usually held via LINE Group Call, so people are quite used to working and interacting from over the internet. Of course, remote work isn’t the same thing has only working from home all the time, week after week. In order to make the switch to that new reality, we required new guidelines — which is why LINE came out with “Useful Remote Work Tips for LINERs.” Nine issues have been published so far, covering a wide range of WFH-related topics, such as “an emergency kit for the mind,” offering LINERs under lots of stress access to professional help; tips on how to manage new tasks, encourage a cooperative working culture, and concentrate on work; online stretching and home training classes; and collaborative work tools and useful LINE PC tips that can be used in a variety of situations. Our “Useful Remote Work Tips” is published regularly, as we aim to do all we can to help LINERs get used to the WFH system. Changing how we communicate Working with people in other countries is an essential part of being a LINER due to the global nature of our operations. In the past, that meant overseas business trips and conference calls were a regular part of our jobs. Now, as travel is no longer possible most of the time, we simply shifted emphasis to conference calls and video calls. With simultaneous interpretation available for Korean, Japanese and English, it’s usually easy for everyone attending these conference call to talk and exchange their points of view. The main tools we use for collaborating online are LINE Call, Group Call and LINE Meeting. Since we already use LINE as the main communication method internally, everyone has the option of interacting with their colleagues LINE or email, or they can start a LINE Call whenever they need to. In addition, up to 500 people can participate in group calls, with speakers able to share their screen with all the other participants. We currently use this for our weekly meetings and other meetings where visual materials need to be shared. LINE Group Call streamcasting in action LINE Group Call background blurring (for domestic privacy) A look at some of the filters available on LINE Group Call Making video conferences fun! LINE also employs a range of in-house communications channels for delivering news and other engaging content with LINERs. For example, "Friday Noon Live" (FNL) invites famous people from all walks of life to share their stories and insights with the office, while "Unexpected Lunch" brings together LINERs from different departments but with similar interests to share great food and meet new people. Both events have now been converted to all online versions for the COVID-19 era, earning high marks from LINERs. For FNL, people enjoy having the added flexibility of being able to listen from wherever they might be, as well as being able to interact with the other LINERs listening via live chat. For the online Unexpected Lunch, people may be eating at home, but they still enjoy interacting with their colleagues about all sorts of topics, like favorite travel destinations and memorable stories. FNL Episode #55, an online lecture by veterinarian Seol Chae-hyeon There is no stopping LINERs LINE may have been ready for the transition to work-from-home, however, sometimes remote work doesn’t fully compare to in-person communications with your colleagues. In the office, you can just swing your chair around to speak to a colleague, without booking a meeting room. But that informality is lost with remote work. You can’t ask a colleague to walk with you to the store or to grab a drink before going home. It can get a little lonely sometimes. In order to help LINERs feel less lonely, people started to hold a variety of social events online. Developers following the online stretching class to prevent cramping and posture problems Although we aren’t able to meet in person, still we could gather online to greet new hires. One development team actually welcomed newly joined members with such a fervor with a King of Investment concept.(You can become a legend with us! Welcome!) Online greetings organized by a developer team for new hires (Legends of Investment) Another popular choice is holding virtual company dinners for our virtual offices. The most popular menu for virtual company dinners was of course, Korean fried chicken. Of course, timing is always tough, and sometimes on person has to eat alone while waiting for the other person’s delivery to arrive. One chicken per person is the rule for all virtual company dinners! Did you know it is possible to play drinking games and other games during virtual company dinners as well? For instance, take a look at a round of “Mafia” being played during a service planning team’s virtual group dinner. You can feel the fun and excitement, right? People who talk too much are often the ones who are voted out first in the game. Birthdays are another important social area that have gone virtual. Team members used a custom-made image as their video call background to make the event more memorable. Take a look at one lucky birthday person wiping tears of joy from their eyes. Even the messed-up "Happy birthday" banner feels so special! Recruiting goes 100% contact-free After effect of COVID-19 has been how job interviews are conducted. Instead of being held in person, this year they’re been done remotely, too. Again, given the international nature of LINE, people here are already used to conducting interviews online, so making the switch wasn’t that difficult. And for those people who are hired this way, we soon send them everything they need to start working from home. All orientation and education/training courses are also held online. The current operations staff attend the online courses as guest speakers, introducing the company, groups and duties and answering questions. It’s an approach that has earned high marks from all who’ve participated. The first round of this year’s annual recruitment drive for new LINE developers was held in early March. By that time, it was clear that the COVID-19 situation was too dangerous for in-person meetings, so the process was quickly changed to be all online: First the coding test, then the applicants’ documents were screened, and then first and second round interviews were held. Promotional content for the first round of open recruitment for LINE developers in 2020 (Source: LINE Careers YouTube channel) LINE: Always ready for the unexpected The unprecedented pandemic has brought significant changes to our lives. However, LINE was already well-equipped for remote work, so was able to respond to COVID-19 quickly while maintaining workplace productivity. The ability of LINERs to respond quickly and set up a new way of working together virtually is just part of LINE’s collaborative culture and how we’re always ready to respond to the new and unexpected.For my next entry, I will tell you the story of the proactive support, beyond a mere response, that moved a lot of LINERs. See you all again very soon! (Stay tuned!) ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
- 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.
- Take a break, recharge, and gain new insights with FNL! One of LINE’s most popular programs is Friday Noon Live (FNL), a regularly held lecture series featuring celebrity speakers and a wide range of fascinating topics. Since launching in July 2015, FNL has been held 57 times, bringing fresh ideas and great insights to LINE during the Friday lunchtime. Even COVID-19 hasn’t stopped FNL from challenging and engaging LINERs, it just moved the event online. Time to recharge your life Topics such as psychology, philosophy, health, and healing have become essential for many people’s busy lives, helping them to recharge and keep a positive outlook. Many of the speakers who have visited LINE have talked on health-related subjects, and we would like to introduce two of them.In March 2019, Professor Chungwoon Kim, a cultural psychologist famous in Korea for his fun stories of human psychology and “happiness,” came to the LINE offices to speak on “The Power to Move People’s Hearts.” Professor Chungwoon Kim giving his lecture “The Power to Move People's Hearts” during FNL (March 2019) Kim emphasized how people need to study what they like and earn a sense of accomplishment to feel happiness. He especially impressed the audience with his assertion that your level of satisfaction in life is based on how many times you end up in awe each day. And while the theme of the lecture was profound, Kim’s talk was also filled with funny jokes to keep the mood light.In addition to discussions about the power of mind and happiness, FNL also addressed topics related to the problems facing society. In the second half of 2019, we were joined by Professor Soojung Lee, the first criminal psychologist in Korea and a consultant on “Unanswered Questions,” a famous current affairs and culture program on SBS. Professor Soojung Lee giving her lecture “Personality Disorders and Crimes” during FNL (November 2019) Lee’s talk explored the dark side of our society, looking at why awful crimes occur, along with vivid description of the results of the latest psychological research. In particular, Lee expressed concern over the use of social media in crime, and asked all of us to think about the social responsibility we have as people who work with the LINE Messenger. Learning about culture to nourish the soul Psychology, health and healing is important, but sometimes people need deeper, more nourishing content for the soul. That’s why FNL often offers cultural topics, like art, film, music, and literature, and we like to invite speakers who can inspire and enrich LINERs with their work.Artist Won-Jae Cho — who also hosts the popular podcast Art Museum in the Corner of a Room— gave a presentation called “Crossing the Threshold of Art,” giving LINERs an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of art. Artist Won-Jae Cho giving his FNL lecture “Crossing the Threshold of Art” (October 2019) A lot of us have bad memories of being art history and music history classes, full of names and definitions. But these FNL lectures are a good way to bring these topics to life, making them more accessible through fun stories and clear explanations.In a totally different cultural vein, one of Korea’s biggest cultural ambassadors participated in FNL in 2020 — the bizarre character Pengsoo the penguin. Well, in fact the FNL guest was Jaeyeong Park, Pengsoo’s former manager and current program director, who gave a talk titled “Surviving as a PD for Giant Peng-TV.” PD Jaeyeong Park giving his lecture “Surviving as a PD for Giant Peng TV” during online FNL (May 2020) Pengsoo has become a major phenomenon in Korea, and Park had a lot of fun insights about what it’s like to create such a popular character, going viral and developing creative ideas, and how to create a health team culture. FNL as a source of learning In addition to those subjects, FNL presents a lot of talks about interesting, informative subject, like history, futurology, the economy, architecture, and science, in an easy-to-understand and engaging talks to help LINERs develop their knowledge. For LINERs who are curious about how our lives and cities will change after COVID-19, we invited Hyunjoon Yoo, professor at Hongik University and lead architect at Hyunjoon Yoo Architects, to talk about “Post-COVID-19 Space.” CaptionProfessor Hyunjoon Yoo giving his lecture “Post-COVID-19 Space” during an online FNL (September 2020) Yoo’s lecture focused on how home and work have been two of the biggest places affected by the pandemic, as people’s behaviors and perceptions have been changed by the disease. For some people, that’s meant leaving the crowded cities and spending more time in the countryside. For others, it’s means replacing sofas and relaxation spaces at home with tables and work spaces. One LINER who attended this lecture left a comment saying, “I’ve been so complacent about living in the present world that I failed to think about how our society will look in the future, but I'm grateful that this lecture gave me an opportunity to anticipate and prepare for the next change in my life.” FNL lectures delivered in 2019-2020 - Feb. 2019 Writer Seunghyeon Cho: "Reading Trends in East Asia, North America and Europe" - Mar. 2019 Director Jeongun Kim: "The Power of Moving Hearts" - Apr. 2019 Writer Sini's webtoon series “About Death,” and the “Story of Life and Death” - Jun. 2019 Professor Sanguk Kim: “The Universe, the World, and Us as Seen by Physics” - Jul. 2019 Animator Sangjin Kim: “How to Develop Characters” - Aug. 2019 Broadcaster Tyler Rasch: “You're the Pilot of Your Life” - Oct. 2019 Writer Wonjae Cho: “Crossing the Threshold of Art! Art Gallery in Your Room” - Nov. 2019 Professor Sujeong Lee: “Personality Disorders and Crimes” - Jan. 2020 Writer Munjeong Jeong: “How to Maintain Myself and Communicate in this Impolite World” - Apr. 2020 Assistant Director Seontae Kim: “The Story of the Birth of Social Content in Chungju” - May 2020 Program Director Jaeyeong Park: “Surviving as a PD for Giant Peng-TV” - Jul. 2020 Veterinarian Chaehyeon Seol: “How the Unskilled You Should Love Your Dog” - Sep. 2020 Professor Hyunjoon Yoo: “Post-COVID-19 Space” - Oct. 2020 Writers Hana Kim and Seonu Hwang: “The Birth of a Prefabricated Family: Two Women Live Together and Work.” ※ FNL has featured 57 lectures as of October 2020. Pandemic? No problem as FNL goes all-online ⚡️ With the rise of COVID-19, FNL was one more aspect of our lives that had to go all-online. But for FNL, the switch was easy and many LINERs say they really like the new format. By moving FNL to livestreaming, now LINERs are able to chat and leave comments beside the video in real time, turning lectures into more interactive and witty events. Sometimes the speakers even have to pause their lectures, they’re laughing so hard. ▶ Writers Hana Kim and Seonu Hwang giving their lecture“The Birth of a Prefabricated Family” during an online FNL (October 2020) While one of the big draws of the original FNL was the chance to meet these celebrities and celebrated thinkers in person, the “new normal” FNL is about interacting, plus LINERs can now watch the recorded version anytime and anywhere.FNL is a program that symbolizes the relationship between LINE and LINERs, as the company is always looking for ways to enrich the lives of its employees and make working here to be more than just a job. What kind of topics will be next for FNL? The only way to find out is to join in. We hope to see here there! ※ Please note that the details described in this article may not apply to all offices.
With the LINE messaging app as the cornerstone, LINE's businesses encompass the development and operation of all sorts of mobile-first services—including communications, content, entertainment, and advertising—as well as new businesses like fintech, AI, and other areas. Under its corporate mission of "Closing the Distance," LINE strives to bring people around the world closer to each other, information, and services. LINE also aims to be the "life infrastructure" for more than 180 million monthly active users around the world based on the vision "Life on LINE." Working on a global basis with colleagues from many countries and markets, we are continuing to grow, helping society and blurring the line between online and offline. In March 2021, LINE completed its business integration with the Z Holdings Group, one of Japan's largest internet-related companies.