Love Japan! A Filipino Engineer talks about living in Japan and working at Joyz
Joyz's people are our greatest asset, and we would like to introduce them to you. This time, we feature Michael, one of our engineers who takes charge of both server-side and iOS development. He is from the Philippines and tells us his experience working at Joyz and in Japan.
Fascinated by Japanese culture
--Why did you decide to move and work to Japan?
I always liked Japanese anime when I was a kid, and dreamed of living in Japan. Hunter & Hunter, Kamen Rider, and Voltes V were my favorite anime/series. I’m also a fan of Nintendo games, especially Super Mario; I enjoyed playing it at my friend’s house and we were always very eager to beat the game.
I studied Computer engineering at university and worked as a software engineer after graduating. I was able to join a lot of different companies in the Philippines. I gained a lot of experience developing game engines for an e-learning startup, coding news and weather apps for a broadcasting company, and being part of a diverse team that developed a social media app.
Then in 2015, I received a job offer from a MedTech company in Japan. I accepted the offer and moved to Japan in the same year. After working for 3 years for that company, I decided to take on a new challenge and started a new career with Joyz. Here at Joyz, I was able to utilize all of my previous work experience as an iOS and server engineer.
It All Comes Down to the Product
-- You seem to have experienced a lot in your career. What are things that you consider when looking for a new job?
I have always considered two things when making a career decision: the work has to be rewarding and the product/project must have a clear vision and mission.
I believe that your work has to give you something of emotional value, and not just a paycheck. And a good product/project must have a clear vision and mission, It needs to have a purpose and significance. A clear understanding of these factors will give you eagerness to accomplish each task or goal in order for it to succeed.
Joyz’s product, TerraTalk, appealed to me because it helps people learn English in a fun and intuitive way. Due to the incorporation of speech recognition technology, it is very different from the traditional way of learning a new language. It can also be used not only by Japanese people but people around the world.
Joyz's small world
--What's your impression of working at Joyz?
People are very kind and accommodating. Even though I am working in Japan, the workplace is very diverse. I am able to meet people from different countries, namely from France, China, Taiwan, Singapore, the Netherlands, the U.S., and the U.K.! It’s like being on tour around the globe. I learn a lot from them and their different cultures.
Employees here are close-knit, aside from team lunches we also go out on camping trips or organize home parties. I am able to bring my wife to some of these occasions as well. As a foreigner working in Japan, these events are a great opportunity to meet new people and start new connections.
Joyz’s Appeal – flexibility in work!
--You said that you’ve always wanted to live/work in Japan. How do you find it so far?
It is no secret that Japan has a very hard-working culture, and it’s not easy for most people. However, Joyz adapts new ways or system to make work less stressful and more desirable to us employees, including working from home and flex-work arrangements. This new approach gives some freedom to us employees to manage our own schedules. I myself usually work from home once a week and it’s great that I get to avoid the hassle of commuting during rush hours.
Since Joyz is still a fairly new and growing company, the management and system is very open for change and there is definitely room for improvement. The fact that Joyz listens to its employees' concerns, suggestions, and needs is, in my opinion, an important factor that will contribute greatly to its improvement and success.
Michael tells us that he enjoys traveling, hiking, watching movies, and playing at game centers during the weekends. He enjoys immersing himself in the rich Japanese culture. Although he may go back home or move to a different country in the future, he said that he would like to keep visiting Japan, even after that.
Joyz commits to supporting diverse employees like Michael in enriching their career and life.
(By: Rina Uehara)