Development Division General Manager on the “Offense” and “Defense” of Cocone engineers

Development Division General Manager on the "Offense" and "Defense" of Cocone engineers

Cocone’s development department includes the Development Division, which is responsible for the development and operation of the common billing system and infrastructure infrastructure, QA, and web3-specific development. The Development Division plays an “Offense” and “Defense” role in creating new frameworks for the web3 business while supporting the important foundations of the company’s overall system and each service.
It also serves as a bridge between the technical aspects of the company, its services and group companies.

In this interview, we talked to Mr. Youn Seongwon, General Manager of the Development Division, about the role of the Development Division, cooperation with group companies, and the kind of person we are looking for.

Cocone Engineers’ “Offense” and “Defense”

– First of all, please tell us about the role of the Development Division as a whole and the role of each team.

Youn: The Development Division is mainly a cross-sectional organization of engineers other than server and client engineers on the service side, and is divided into the Infrastructure Office, Web Development Office, Billing Office, QA Office, and Service Infrastructure Development Office.
The Infrastructure Office is mainly responsible for the design, construction, and operation of the overall infrastructure on the service side of the avatar business, which defines its services as CCP(*1), and the web3 business.

In addition, as the Cocone organization has grown, security needs to be managed centrally. In addition, the new web3 business will handle cryptographic assets, making it even more important to strengthen security, so a security team has been established within the Infrastructure Office for the second half of 2022.
The Web Infrastructure Development Team is in charge of web development for all services and develops common infrastructure. There is also the Content Development Team, which develops web content for each service, and the Web3 Team (click here for an interview), which is mainly involved in the web3 business.

Members of the Service Infrastructure Development Office are in charge of the common infrastructure around the development. There is also a Billing Office in charge of the common billing system and a QA Office that manages the quality of services.

*1: CCP: Character Coordinating Play.
A service where “Character” exists, “Coordinating” elements exist, and “Play” is possible.

– New services are being launched one after another in the three web businesses. What are your impressions at this point after having experienced the entire process from development to launch?

Youn: The web3 business differs from the Avatar business to date.
The Avatar business has some framework, so when we develop a new service, we use that as a base on which to make improvements and add new features.
However, the web3 project requires a new structure from the design stage, including the infrastructure. The billing office also entered the project from the initial design stage, communicating with the client as we went along. It felt completely different from the development methods used until now.

– How did you feel personally? Excited or nervous (laughs)?

Youn: Both (laughs).
I am also on edge because I have never experienced what happens after a release.

– What do you think is the significance of working on the web3 business?

Youn: Although the definition of web3 is not yet clear, I think this is an opportunity to effectively utilize the many digital items created by Cocone’s avatar business as more valuable digital assets.
To this end, Cocone is also working on various developments, including the Metaverse, Blockchain and NFT marketplaces.

– The scope of your business has expanded, and the challenge of web3 has begun, but what do you want to strengthen as a development headquarters?

Youn: Cocone’s development department is now an organization of about 100 people, and as the organization grows, the rules need to be revised. In order to manage the various systems we have launched so far across the board, we also need rules for commonality and efficiency. On the other hand, we want to be able to develop while maintaining a certain degree of freedom, so we would like to strengthen these systems while adjusting them.

In addition, as the organization grows even larger, commonality itself may reduce efficiency, so we would also like to be aware of establishing services that can be used anywhere in the development and operation of microservices mechanisms.

– I have a question about the way you work. I know that you sometimes have to work day and night when problems occur. Is there anything you are doing as an organization to maintain a work-life balance?

Youn: When system-related failures occur, in most cases the Infrastructure Office and Billing Office respond to them, but compared to the past, the frequency of failures is much less now. There was a time when we had a hard time because of frequent failures, but it has clearly decreased because we are making various improvements.

Nevertheless, there are of course times when irregular responses occur. In order to deal with such situations smoothly, in addition to coordination among teams, we are conscious of making sure that anyone can respond in the same way no matter what kind of failure may occur. In addition, we believe that it is important to have a system for sharing information that does not belong to a specific person, because it may be difficult to respond in a coordinated manner if information is not first spread horizontally during the initial response.

– I think that the development headquarters is a group of engineers with different roles. What do you keep in mind to increase the sense of unity as a team?

Youn: We hold a monthly information sharing meeting not only for the Development Division, but also for the entire development organization including engineers belonging to each service. We not only share information on each project, but also give presentations on what each team is interested in and has studied.
We also have “Tech Leader Meetings” where service leaders participate, and meetings where leaders and CTO of each job category (server, client, infrastructure, web, billing, QA, etc.) gather. These meetings are held not only at the Tokyo office, but also at group companies.

Since we are a cross-functional organization, information comes in from various sources, but sometimes we cannot move together unless we expand horizontally, rather than having information in our own department alone. We place particular importance on information sharing.
We have been working for some time to create a system to improve the openness of the organization, and I believe that communication has become more active, regardless of job type, newcomers, leaders, etc.

– What do you keep in mind as a manager?

Youn: Rather than leading the development organization by stepping forward, I would like to play the role of coordinating between organizations so that development members can move smoothly, sharing information while fulfilling their respective roles within the cross-organization.

– Especially for those who have just joined the company, it must be difficult to make horizontal connections.

Youn: Yes, that’s right. I think there are times when information about teams other than the one I belong to does not come in immediately, so I think my role is to make that connection.

– Is it part of your role to convey management’s ideas to the members?

Youn: We have a slack channel that management participates in, and I always try to pick up information from there and focus on keeping my mind in sync with management’s thoughts.
As CEO Takaya often says, it is important for the leaders to understand the will of the management team with their own minds and convey it to the members in their own words, and I myself always try to act with this in mind.

– Are there any challenges that you feel as the Development Division?

Youn: The company Cocone continues to grow and expand its business, and various group companies have been established. As a cross-sectional organization, our role is to collect and share information, but we would like to be more flexible.
The other thing, in terms of the development organization, is also recruitment. We would like to put more effort into securing human resources.

– About half a year has passed since the “2.5-day workweek system (*2)” was first introduced. from your point of view, do you feel that it is working well?

Youn: I come to work every day to see how things are going, and at first I wondered if it would really work. But when we started, everyone started leaving after 1:30 p.m., and by 2:00 or 3:00 p.m., almost no one was left in the company, so I think the system is being utilized properly.
On the other hand, the fact that we decided to expand the “2.5-day workweek system” means that there was not much negative impact on results and sales after the system was introduced, so we feel that the system is functioning properly.
And then there’s the impact in terms of recruitment.

*2: 2.5-day workweek system = A system in which every Wednesday afternoon is considered as having been worked and may be used as a day off.
The system will be replaced by an expanded and redesigned “cocone my time / my day” from January 2023. This system considers Wednesdays (9:30 to 18:30) of the week without national holidays as having been worked, and can be used freely in addition to working.
There will be no change in salary, scheduled working hours, or deemed overtime as a result of this system, and approximately 40 days per year will be at your disposal.

▼ About “cocone my time / my day”

– What kind of people are you looking for in Cocone’s development organization?

Youn: The first is someone who can move actively. A person who can act on their own initiative rather than being instructed. The second is someone who can make suggestions and proposals. We also place importance on communication skills. Cocone’s services are not on a scale where one person can develop them on their own, so we need to be in tune with the members we are working with and communicate smoothly with them as we move forward.
When it comes to the middle and high layers, you are the one who can hold a higher perspective than the members. We look at not only themselves and their surroundings, but also the organization and other departments connected to them, with an emphasis on whether or not they can work together.

– I often hear people say, “Engineers at Cocone communicate a lot with other positions”.

Youn: Yes, that’s right. Generally speaking, I think that many engineers listen to the specifications from the planners and develop the product accordingly. That in itself is of course commendable, but I wonder if they often do not go as far as to consider whether the functionality that is created according to the specifications is truly pleasing to the customer.
The ultimate goal of a developer is to create a service or system that will please the customer. I believe it is important to communicate with planners and designers who came up with the specifications, and to develop a service that will ultimately please the customer, rather than proceeding with development based solely on the specifications received.
That is why we also emphasize communication skills in our hiring process.

– Thank you very much. Finally, is there anything you would like to tell the readers of this article?

Youn: I think that the development members of Cocone are people have no thorns and are easy to talk to. While working diligently, there is active communication everywhere. The atmosphere of Cocone itself is friendly, and there is no tense feeling within the development organization.
I really feel the company’s idea of “for employees”. There are various programs for employees, such as welfare benefits, and I think this is also something to be proud of.

The Development Division strives to create a new framework for the challenge of the web3 business while supporting the core of the company’s systems and all services.
Even as the company grows in size and breadth of services, we value information sharing and work with the idea of whether or not our customers are happy.

Starting work in a new place can be a time of anxiety, but there is an environment that can help you overcome this and various systems are in place. Please take a look at this article.

◆Board Member Interviews

TECH BLOG “cocone engineering

◆Engineering Article Summary

◆Benefits and internal events


*Cocone is working on various systems through trial and error, based on our founding desire to return time, rewards, satisfaction, and health to our employees. We are currently considering the introduction of a different system to the one described in this article.

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