Meet the Global LINERS

Engineering

Kiyong Shin / Server-side Engineering / Korea

Kiyong joined LINE through the 2019 open recruitment drive for new employees, and since then has worked as a server-side engineer for LINE Pay. In thinking about all the projects and activities he has been involved in at LINE, Kiyong said his entire time at the company has been very memorable and he’s proud of learning so much. Let's talk a bit with Kiyong about his experiences at LINE.

A quick three-line summary

  • Kiyong works as a server-side engineer for the LINE Pay service.
  • The scale of the overseas training for new employees is something LINE should take pride in.
  • Kiyong’s favorite LINE STYLE category is “Enjoy the challenges!”

About work

Q Please briefly describe the work you do for LINE Pay.

LINE Pay is divided into four main teams: The Accounts team, Payments team, a team that leads the development of settlement-related services, and a team that’s in charge of user benefits, like coupons. For me, my job is to develop the payment system linked to external card companies and banks. I add certain payment modes to the service and link LINE to other services such as external companies (like credit card companies and banks) — for example, the development of the card verification process when making payments for products with a certain card, such as a VISA card, and a feature that allows you to use membership points as a means of payment. I even participated in developing LINE Pay’s taxi service in Taiwan, where I was in charge of building a process for enabling point usage for card payments.

Q Is there anything you consider as particularly important about being a server-side engineer on the LINE Pay service?

I believe security is particularly important when it comes to LINE Pay, which is why it is crucial to make sure our servers are configured for maximum security and all personal data is encrypted. Another important thing is reliability — if the payment service doesn't work at the moment of payment, that’s very inconvenient for a user and could cause them to stop using our service, so we tend to pay more attention to tiny details throughout development. Due to the nature of the payments, we pour over every line of code looking for the smallest chance of errors happening.

Q What is the most important part of collaborating with other departments?

In working together, it’s vital to make sure we share the same view on the same task. Especially when I use specialized engineering jargon, I often wonder if the people in the other groups understood it correctly or if my idea was communicated properly. Since we do so much work in collaborations, and understanding can vary so much from person to person, the most important thing is to make sure everyone is on the same page. When I try to speed up my working process, often my fingers type faster than my thoughts can process (laughs), so while communicating through messenger, I try to check with the others and make sure that we’re all in sync.

Q What was an accomplishment you’re most proud of?

We had a situation where we needed to add the conditions for card authentication when a user subscribes to the Pay service. When I work on a scenario that adds something to a functioning, successful service, there are many things that I need to consider about both the development environment and the actual payment environment. In a way, it was just adding a simple feature — “add card authentication conditions” — but when I’m actually writing the code, there always are moments when I encounter something unexpected or something that needs to be debugged so it works right in the real world. It really makes me feel good when all that work results in better code getting distributed. I have had a lot of experiences like that, but that card authentication was the most recent one, so it’s the one that came to mind.

What do you need for success?

Q What do people need to succeed at your work?

I believe “persistence” is the most important thing. In engineering, when a problem occurs, it is important to stick with it, dig deep, and try to figure out what the real, underlying issue was. Don’t just patch it and forget about it. By digging deeper and with perseverance, you eventually get to learn new things that you never would have known otherwise. In fact, so much of the development process in real life is so different from what you learn in school. Since joining LINE, I have encountered many difficult problems during the development process and, to be honest, I have often felt like giving up. LINE is full of many brilliant engineers, so it would be easier for me just to ask the people around me to solve my problems for me, but instead I try to tackle my issues on my own. But while others might help solve a problem faster, I know that being persistent and solving them myself helps me grow and improves my capabilities.

Special experiences at LINE

Q Can you tell us about anything about LINE you’ve found particularly impressive?

Overall, the people here are definitely the best — the working environment is top class, the equipment is excellent, and really everything is just perfect. In terms of culture, I think it is great that we provide feedback in English when we exchange code reviews among engineers. The code review must be completed in order to be merged so the reviews done in English to help make the process more neutral and precise.

Q Please tell us about your most memorable experience at LINE.

The training period for new employees was the most memorable time for me. I flew to Japan with my co-workers for a training program for new employees, where we had missions and team-building exercises. It really made me feel like I truly was a LINER. It really helped me become friends with my colleagues, too.

Wrap-up

Q Do you have any goals you want to achieve at LINE?

I like to write blog posts, so my short-term goal is to write some posts for the LINE Engineering blog. But the blog has quite high standards and I don’t feel like I'm good enough yet. But eventually, if I keep learning and improving, I’d like to write for the blog.

Q Can you leave a few final words for those who may be interested in your position?

I hope anyone interested in LINE won’t hesitate to join us, even if they have no experience in fintech. My favorite LINE STYLE category is, “Enjoy the challenges,” and indeed, since LINE’s culture encourages everyone to take on new challenges, I believe it is important to choose tasks based on what you want to learn, rather than your previous experience. But just like I started my professional career at LINE, I’m confident that many of you will also do well here!