[Event Report] Offline "Office Days" for a Fully Remote and Diverse Development Team

    [Event Report] Offline

    [Notice] Effective October 1, 2023, LINE Fukuoka has changed its company name to LY Communications. Articles published on or before September 30, 2023 were written with our former company name.

    Hello, this is Rina Fukuda with the Marketing Communication Department.

    The App Development Department (which is a part of LINE Fukuoka's Development Center) holds offline "Office Days" once monthly with the goal of building team relations.

    We heard that in the most recent Office Day, Mssrs. Kohki Miki and Yuki Aki from LINE's Mobile Experience Development Department were invited to give a lecture, chat, and hold a workshop as a special event, so we joined in as well. Today, we're bringing you a report of the event.

    What's an Office Day

    An event held by the App Development Department

    Office Days are offline events held by the App Development Department, which is made up of around 20 members who generally work remotely. Specifically, the department handles iOS and Android development for the LINE and LINE Sticker Maker apps.

    Engineers from overseas comprise 49% of the Development Center, making it a particularly "global" organization even within LINE Fukuoka. As part of this center, the App Development Department has members that come from various countries, including China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, and Taiwan. With members from so many different countries, you might be wondering how they usually communicate, but by continuing to learn English and Japanese, use translation tools for chats, and receive interpretation support for meetings, they are able to work together.


    officeday_通訳3In-house interpreters provided language support in real-time on Office Day

    Office Day background

    To learn about the background of these events, we sat down with the Head of the App Development Department, Mr. Hidenori Takeshita.

    Takeshita: During the pandemic, we adopted a "work-from-home" policy, and most of our members started to work remotely. Everyone was satisfied with the working arrangements, given that they were able to reduce the amount of time spent commuting and had more time to spend at home.
    As time went on, though, we started to worry that it would be difficult for new members to get familiar with the company and their teams. Even for existing members, sometimes face-to-face discussions were needed, or they would want to have a meal together to become closer.
    That’s why we decided to try creating a day about once each month for everyone to get together offline and communicate more intimately. It was then that we started planning and holding the Office Day events.

    Office Day event

    Members have a variety of both indoor and outdoor hobbies. The event kicked off with self-introductions.

    At the beginning of the event, the team shared information about new projects, and then new members were given the chance to introduce themselves.
    The members have a variety of both indoor and outdoor hobbies, including watching movies, camping, hiking, playing games, snowboarding, drums (double bass), photography, building plastic models, cricket, and more.
    One member said their hobby was making puns, and that they've posted more than 13,000 of them to social media! He was asked to post a pun for today's chat as well, and easily came up with one on the spot.officeday_自己紹介
    Questions, laughter, and a cheerful atmosphere from start to finish.Impromptu puns. Is creating real-time threads something unique to development teams?!
    Questions, laughter, and a cheerful atmosphere from start to finish.
    Impromptu puns. Is creating real-time threads something unique to development teams?!

    Workshop details

    Eliminating boring everyday tasks?! Holding a mini hackathon

    The workshop began in the afternoon. At the beginning, Mr. Miki shared about Swift's new extension, the Swift Package Plugin. After that, participants split up into iOS and Android development teams and got to work.officeday_ハッカソン説明
    The iOS Team held a mini hackathon with the objective of "using plugins (extensions) in Swift to make daily development work more convenient, and knocking out boring everyday tasks!" They worked for just a short five hours on topics they individually decided; in fact, everyone was so focused that they forgot to turn the lights on!
    Incidentally, Japan's domestic iPhone market share is one of the largest in the world, and the iOS community's activity level is comparable to that of Silicon Valley.
    officeday_ハッカソン作業A team member asking Mr. Miki a question
    After a few hours, the teams that were involved in the mini hackathon gave their presentations. Those working in the Android team also came together to listen to the presentations.
    A lot of ideas that seem like they'll make regular development work more convenient were proposed. Some examples of presentation topics were commands to automatically generate template code or commands for validating settings used within the LINE app.
    Since the presenters only had five hours to prep, even those who couldn't finish in time showed the approaches they were considering as well as anything they had completed and got some feedback. It seemed like everyone learned a lot.


    On the second day that only the iOS Development Team participated in, everyone got caught up on what the LINE Mobile Experience Development Department sees as issues and open source software (OSS) being developed. It seems like development work will get even more convenient in the future!


    While the iOS Team was doing its mini hackathon, the Android Team shared strategies for further improving the accuracy of a new feature related to sticker suggestions that was recently released in the LINE app. The team also discussed documentation management, which can be an issue during development.


    Participant feedback

    Let's talk to some of the members that participated! This time, we asked Mr. Miki and LINE Fukuoka's Mr. Shinzan Takata for their comments.


    Shinzan Takata, App Development Department (LINE Fukuoka Corporation):
    We had guests come from Tokyo and did a hackathon, so it was a slightly different Office Day than usual. I only had a vague understanding of the user-oriented application and other development work that Mr. Miki and Mr. Aki do on a regular basis, so I was happy to learn about that here.DSC02793
    Jheyu Shih, App Development Department (LINE Fukuoka Corporation):
    The members from Tokyo conducted an in-person workshop, and I learned quite a lot. Having spoken directly with members from other offices and shared what we're doing as well as our policies, I think it'll be easier for us to develop things together in the future. I also found out who belonged to which Part.


    Kohki Miki, Mobile Experience Development Part (LINE Corporation):
    What's nice about when team members get together in person is that even if we usually just talk to each other online, we can work together on one issue and share feedback with each other. It's hard to ask questions to people that you don't know, but getting together for an event like this helps us realize that it's okay to ask questions, and it's makes it easier to ask them. Our Department's mission is to improve the development process for our developers. In order to do that, we need to get lateral opinions and ask for cooperation, so if there's an environment where it's easy to communicate, then it's useful in our regular work as well. I think it's important to occasionally get together offline.


    Through this special two-day Office Day, we got a sense that the participating engineers were able to do wonderful team-building activities that deepened their relationships.
    You can read more about the LINE and LINE Fukuoka Development Teams below. We hope you'll take a look!
    ▼ List of information related to the LINE Fukuoka Development Department (Only available in Japanese)
    ▼ "LINE Engineering" is a website for sharing the culture of development teams and the achievements of developers in LINE
    ▼LINE Fukuoka engineers also occasionally release podcasts. Be sure to check it out!


    One of the participating members who had visited France passed out sweet souvenirs. As you may have guessed, the packaging was cute and colorful, and the chocolates were delicious!





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