Meet the Global LINERS
Andreas Magnedal Holmgren / Server-side Engineering / LINE Biz Plus
Andreas Holmgren joined LINE BIZ PLUS as a backend developer after seeing a news report about LINE’s remote recruitment system, applying through the 2020 open recruitment process. Living in Sweden, which is eight hours behind Korea, he got to enjoy a unique version of the recruiting program, with his coding test starting at 3 a.m. Let’s learn more about Andreas’s story and how he’s enjoying his time at LINE.
A quick three-line summary
- Andreas went through the entire open recruitment process in Sweden before relocating to Korea.
- Andreas’s favorite LINE STYLE is “Enjoy the Challenges!”
- His favorite part of LINE's corporate culture is that it offers more freedom and opportunities to grow.
Q What does your job entail and what do you find most enjoyable?
Because I'm pretty new to the company, I'm not especially responsible for any particular feature for the time being. I am in the general process of understanding and learning my line of work! Most of the work I've been doing until now feels interesting to me—what especially excites me more are new tasks or tasks that are difficult at the first try but present chances for me to grow in the process. And LINE actually provides many opportunities for me to experience such growth so I have been enjoying working here.
Q Please tell us about your daily work schedule.
My work hours are actually very flexible so I can work according to my routine. These days, I start work quite early at 8 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., I divide my tasks into what I performed yesterday and the ones I will handle today. I also deliver things to share with the team and spend some time with my coworkers exchanging feedback on whether there have been any roadblocks while performing our work. I utilize the afternoon hours differently every day depending on the progress of the assignments or tasks I am in charge of. I mostly perform development work, draft documents for the development work, and have meetings with team members in case we need one. Every day, I am able to spend most of the hours either actually developing or thinking about development.
Q Please tell us about your most memorable moment at work.
Recently, I was working on a delivery of user alerts, but unexpected errors continued to occur. Despite repeated changes, something did not work properly and I was not able to figure out the error well, which presented me with an immense difficulty. My job is to produce results, but because I was not able to do so, most people would consider such a situation as a failure. But, if I spend maximum effort and find something that I can learn in the process, I believe it is a successful job, even if it takes longer than usual. So, I kept trying to fix the errors and, when the issue was finally resolved, the sense of achievement I felt was remarkable.
Q Considering the nature of LINE's global user base, please briefly explain about your own method to understand the circumstances and characteristics of each country.
I believe what is needed is an attitude of looking at cultural differences with no stereotypes, rather than having any fear about them based on the idea that “one will be shocked by cultural discrepancies.” For instance, whereas most Koreans have three-character names combining the first and last names, mine is very long so I would think that many people who encounter me for the first time on the in-house system or services probably have felt some sort of “otherness” or even “strangeness.” In a global environment, I believe we need to develop in consideration of even those situations that are logically difficult for you to understand instead of regarding the cultural differences to be something odd. To understand different situations and characteristics of various countries, it would be good to study those countries, but what is more important is to look at them without any bias.
Q What competencies and skills do you need for your work?
I think it's curiosity. When learning something new, I believe it is critical to ask, “Why does it work this way?” and “What are its strengths and weaknesses?” instead of merely accepting “Oh, this is how it works.” This applies to everything in life, I guess. There are multiple ways to perform a task but what we need is the ability to determine the most suitable method for a given situation. Simply focusing on solving a particular task can get you through a situation temporarily, but I do not believe that’s enough to be the foundation for a better environment or a scenario where you can grow. That is why we need to continue to take on challenges, be curious and think long and hard about things.
Q Which LINE STYLE item do you think you are following best?
It's “Enjoy the Challenges.” In fact, coming to Korea was a huge challenge for me so I want to keep my initial mindset and continue to take on more challenges. The reason that challenges can be joyful is because they provide learning and growth. A mindset that loves challenges allows me to develop happily without getting tired of my work!
Special experiences at LINE
Q Please explain about the strengths and weaknesses of LINE that you have experienced as a rookie developer.
So much freedom, a lot of opportunities to grow, and fun! I think these are three strengths. As a server developer, one of the greatest strengths that cannot be easily encountered anywhere else is making and experiencing a large-scale service. If I compare to the company I used to work for in Sweden, processes like code reviews are much more detailed at LINE, which offer a developer more chances for growth and excitement. As for weaknesses... There were many types of knowledge that I learned in college on my way to become a developer, but it takes a lot of work to apply them to the tools used only at LINE and to adapt to the development process here. I don't know if I can call this a weakness. Of course, the company provides a lot of education and training for us developers to be able to adapt better to LINE's development environment.
Q Do you have any goals you personally want to achieve at LINE?
I would like to gain a wide range of experiences to grow further and try leading a new project. By leading and experiencing various projects of different scales, I want to continue to grow as a server developer and to successfully carry out my own projects at LINE.
Q Do you have anything to say to those who may be interested in your profession?
It is great to have a curious mind. Let’s say you have used a certain technology before, and if you think about how the technology works, why it is used or why it is advantageous or disadvantageous, I think it will enable you to coherently explain about the projects you have participated in, especially when you are in an interview. I believe it also helps you a lot to be curious and think deeply about what you have experienced. Great results will be there at the end for those you can answer the question of “Why?”