How RESTAR's engineers grow together
Two years after graduating from university, Luis joined RESTAR as a full stack developer. He shares his experience working there, and talks about the company's culture of growing together as a team.
Luis first came to Japan as an exchange student in university. After spending a year in Nagasaki, he returned to the United States to complete his degree, and then found a job there as a full stack developer. But after two years, he was ready to live in Japan again, and started looking for jobs.
While he got interviews at several companies, RESTAR stood out from the rest. Initially, their product, a real-estate intelligence platform, caught his attention. He said, “I really like investing type stuff, and real estate is related to this, so it piqued my interest. I also like accumulating data and presenting it in a nice UI. So their product seemed really interesting, and something I could get behind.”
I’m attracted to a company when the CEO believes in it, and our CEO definitely does.
What’s more, Luis liked how much the CEO believed in the product. He said, “Previously the CEO worked at an investment company, and worked on a lot of the stuff that RESTAR solves or at least speeds up. He got fed up with working really long hours on tedious work, and so he built this platform so that others don’t. I’m attracted to a company when the CEO believes in it, and our CEO definitely does.”
Luis joined RESTAR as a full stack web developer, where he uses Vue.js and Elixir. Before joining, he didn’t have experience with either technology, but that wasn’t an issue, as the company believes anyone can learn their tech stack if they’re willing to put in the effort.
I use Japanese almost every day. Willingly though, I know you can get by without speaking Japanese.
Luis has conversational Japanese abilities, which have been growing ever since he joined. He said, “I use Japanese almost every day. Willingly though, I know you can get by without speaking Japanese. In meetings, I’ll use Japanese, but if it’s a really complicated topic, I’ll switch over to English.”
While RESTAR works primarily remotely, Luis goes into the office once per week. This gives him even more opportunities to practice Japanese. For example, he regularly has lunch with the sales team. He said, “The sales team is all Japanese people, and so we have the chance to speak about more casual day-to-day topics in Japanese. This lets you improve that skill.”
In contrast to the sales team, the engineering team is quite international. Luis said, “The team has two Americans, including me, and even with that, there’s some diversity because I’m of Hispanic origin. And we have a Filipino member, two French members, a British member, and a Japanese member. We have a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds, which is a plus because it lets you see other cultures, and how other people think.”
My coworkers are great. They’re very supportive and patient too. We all want to grow together.
Since joining, Luis has been able to quickly grow into his role because of how willing the other members are to mentor him. He said, “I’m always free to ask for help. When I do, we’ll have a chat and work things out. My coworkers are great. They’re very supportive and patient too. Sometimes I get stuck with stuff that is obvious to them, but they support me. We all want to grow together.”
Luis recalled an early example of this patience. He said, “I got stuck on a very easy thing, and so I asked one of my coworkers for help, and he solved it in twenty minutes. I was expecting him to get mad or something like that. Like it was so obvious and so easy. ‘Read the docs’ or whatever. But he was very supportive, and showed me something that explained in more detail what he did to solve the problem. He knew that I didn’t understand it, so he helped me understand it better not just by solving the problem for me, but giving me extra knowledge to understand the problem further. So that if it happened again, I could solve it on my own. And that’s exactly what happened. Something similar happened again where I was able to apply that exact same concept in a different area. So it definitely worked.”