Meet the Global LINERS
Webber Su / Pay Development / LINE Pay Taiwan
Webber joined LINE Pay as a technical consultant in 2017, becoming lead of Pay Development team in 2018. Since then, he has been in charge of all technical aspects of the LINE Pay system, both internal and external, supervising all processes throughout the development cycle. He says that, when it comes to being a developer, he enjoys taking on challenges and aiming to provide the best solutions for LINE’s users, whatever their needs. Let’s find out more about his experiences and achievements at LINE Pay!
A quick three-line summary
- Webber is in charge all technical aspects of LINE Pay, both internal and external.
- Key LINE STYLE values are “Keep in Sync”, “Perfect Details”, “Stay a Step Ahead” and “Always Data-driven”.
- Welcome to the world-class development team and the global financial system.
Q Please give us a brief introduction about your role as an engineer.
The LINE Pay development team supports three major areas. First, there is the internal service for employees, such as settlement management and marketing management. The second one is external service for third parties, like banks. And finally, there is the public service for external users and merchants, like providing membership services. LINE Pay Taiwan did not have a local development team at the beginning. When LINE Pay Taiwan started establishing the local development team here, my job was to migrate the existing system related to the local services and to start building up the new systems to support local businesses. I was involved in several projects over the past few years. From the system perspective, the major two systems were the core and extra systems. My job was building up the extra services to support local businesses, such as making an order system, a content management system (CMS), loan service, merchants’ referral program, and many more. As a software engineer, I built up the project from the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) stage to final release deployment. Throughout the development cycle, to make these projects a success, I needed to take care of the system analysis, architecture and database design, front-end and server-side development. I enjoyed jumping into each development stage and, thanks to my colleagues’ great support, we were able to get the job done.
Q You have had lots of projects that required cooperation with other teams and even other entities. What was your way of coordinating everything for the project?
First of all, I’m a big believer that what goes around, comes around. Which is why my team and I always try our best to support other teams, and in turn they give us their full support when needed. I believe that communication is the most important skill for cooperating with others. I always think how to keep all the project members on the same page. It’s important not to assume that everyone already understands what’s needed. You need to verify again and again. Summarizing the concept is one of the best approaches for verification and there are a variety of other approaches and tools for improving communications, such as using videos, diagrams, and scenario stories. Luckily, most engineers have similar fundamentals, which means that we have the same language for communicating, meaning programming languages. Preparing the prototypes, drawing the UML diagram, and sharing the pseudo code really help us move forward. There are no perfect solutions. Several ideas and suggestions proposed during the discussions will eventually lead to better solutions. So, proposing ideas freely and having an open mind are important for good communications. Then we assimilate our domain knowledge into the possible proposals. Finally, the intersection of proposals will become the acceptable solution for the problem. Furthermore, when we discuss a new system, we refer the architecture of the existing system to make the concept consistent. By working in this way, our cross-border colleagues and external partners will stay together with us, based on the existing concept, and get down to business smoothly.
Challenges and failures
Q Please tell us about any challenge you have encountered and overcome.
LINE Pay is a 24/7 service, so providing a zero-downtime system is always a challenge. As we know, error codes can be returned on the LINE Pay API, but only one return code can make a transaction successful. There are several entities involved in payment flow, such as the merchant, the payment gateway, the acquiring bank, the issuing bank, the internet service provider, and more. If any of those entities has an outage, the transaction will be a failure. Consequently, establishing a keeping-alive hotline between each partner is very important. No matter when an outage happens, we need to trace the log, identify the issue promptly and keep communications open with all the partners to solve the problem as fast as possible.
Thoughts on competencies
Q What kinds of competencies do you believe you need to perform your work well?
I think that LINE Pay has two major types of development: legacy and innovation. When it comes to the legacy type, we try to adopt new technologies to the existing system structure. We enhance the complex system without any downtime. All the team members need to Keep in Sync, examining all the impacts in as much detail as possible. We improve the system in Perfect Details. As for the innovation type, we gain experience from real projects. If we want to lead the market, it’s very hard to learn by experience from similar projects. All the technology we are using should be the newest, things not yet open to the market. We would like to provide users with a stable fintech service. So, we Stay a Step Ahead to apply the new technology to other projects, and design a compatible architecture for the final goal of the service, then we can collect the actual data from the real projects. Before we adopt the new technology to the final goal, we can analyze and fine-tune the system based on the data, rather than previous experiences. All of this makes us Always Data-driven.
Special experiences at LINE
Q Is there anything unique about the culture of LINE Pay that you’d like people to know?
We want to make LINE Pay a reliable service. Reliable is a big word — I’m not even sure if “reliable” is a suitable word to answer a question about culture. However, a service can be considered reliable when several parts and teams work hard together. Users need to trust LINE Pay because the engineers provide them a stable and secure payment system. Users also need to trust that LINE Pay employees will never abuse their private information. And, without a doubt, all the team members need to work closely and aim for the same goal. From the perspective of an engineer, providing a stable system is a basic requirement. This rule might be quite simple: no downtime allowed. Maybe this isn’t a unique culture, however, LINE Pay engineers always have this rule in our mind. Payments are considered a traditional industry, so the LINE Pay team has tried to add financial technology into this industry in a serious manner. Along the way, we have faced many challenges, and tried to solve them and improve the payment experience step-by-step. Sometimes, we make a plan in as much detail as possible to make sure we do not miss anything. And we implement the prototyping for Proof-of-Concept within one or two sprint cycles. No matter what kind of development flow we select, waterfall or agile, we do both rigorously and step-by-step. I think that operating that step-by-step working culture to provide a reliable service is LINE Pay’s great culture.
Q Do you have anything to say to those who may be interested in your profession?
We believe that everything is possible and we Enjoy the Challenges. We are brave but not reckless, and are proud of being the market leader, providing the No. 1 fintech service. If you are eager to join LINE’s world-class development team and work with the global financial system, we look forward to hearing from you.