Meet our Engineering Expert Interviewing Our Engineering Expert

by Shopify API

Meet our Engineering Expert Interviewing Our Engineering Expert
〜The true face of a foreign engineer working at the Japanese branch of GO RIDE〜

Meet our GO RIDE Engineer, Pedro!

Let’s start by telling me a brief introduction about yourself.

My name is Pedro Buigas. I am the backend engineer manager at GO RIDE. I am from Miami Florida. After traveling to Tokyo a few years back, I fell in love with the city and decided that I wanted to be part of it, so I pursued a career here in Japan. I have been pretty lucky and have been here for 2 years.

Can you tell me about your background before joining GO RIDE?

I graduated with an IT degree and after college I started technical support for a help desk. From there I moved on to more hardware and maintaining servers. During my time in college I have taken an intro to C++ class and that was my favorite thing. After realizing this I decided to go back to school to pursue coding. Since then I haven’t looked back and I love my Job.

Reason for Joining GO RIDE

Why did you join GO RIDE?

t the time of interview, I could see that Go RIDE was an up-and-coming company. It was still small but starting to grow. It seems exciting to me and I wanted to be part of that. I wanted to help build it up and be there for the good times.

Since joining GO RIDE what is your position what do you in your current position?

Mainly I believe my job should be to put my teammates in their best position to succeed. If we can accomplish that we can grow and learn. I believe if people succeed in a mindfulness environment then our company will succeed as well.

GO RIDE Work Culture

Can you explain about the structure of the engineer team in GO RIDE?

We have two main teams: front end and back end. We collaborate with each other often. Some of the technology we use is node.js, React, and Ruby on Rails.

Diverse Culture in GO RIDE

Could you explain to me how diverse the engineering team is?

We actually have a pretty diverse team. We have Japanese team members, but we have team members from Thailand, Australia and the US. I appreciate that kind of diverse culture. Programmers have to solve problems all the time, having different perspectives are very helpful for the team.

Is it difficult to work at GO RIDE due to language barrier?

I don’t think it is difficult. Everybody here is very nice and awesome. English is used in the office amongst all the teams. So that’s not a total problem. I would like to learn more and get to know the rest of my teammates better, but that’s not an issue when it comes to data tasks.

In-house app development, Go SubscRide

I heard that the engineering team is working on a project that is quite big, called GO SubscRide. Can you explain to me what that is?

Go SubscRide is a shopify app that allows customers to subscribe to a product that will then get shipped to them every month or week depending on the setting that they set. That’s our passion project here at GO RIDE, something that we are proud of. Subscription apps or subscriptions in general are a very big thing in ecommerce in Japan. We are trying to fill that void Shopify has with subscriptions. We are really proud of our app and we are working on that daily to add any features for our clients and we have some best engineering working on that now.

Go SubscRide, it seems the app has quite a few tass for Japanese companies? Does it mean that Go SubscRide has a Japanese Interface as well?

Yes it does, we have English and Japanese.

Besides Go SubscRide, do you work on another application as well?

We do have other client work that we do. We make custom apps for different clients. There’s a lot of special and unique problems people face with ecommerce. Our job is to solve those problems. We do have many other projects but Go SubscRide is our passion product.

Mindful Approach in the Engineering Team

I heard that GO RIDE has an engineer member in the United States. As an engineer leader how do you manage to communicate with the team members? Any tools you use to communicate with them.

It can be challenging especially with the overseas time zone differences. We trust our engineers to be productive when our hours insync with each other. We are available to communicate with Slack as our communication tool and weekly meetings to check in to make sure everybody is on the same page. Especially with engineers overseas, I personally like to talk to them a little bit everyday to make sure everything is working smoothly and if there are any issues or if they need any support for their position.

Comfortable working environment for engineers

In the engineering team like you said there is a front end and back end, how do they work on a regular day? Do they work remotely or do they have to come to the office everyday?

Our two priorities are we want people to work as productive as possible and we want people to be safe. If that means working remotely or coming to the office, that’s ok with us. As long as they are productive and feel safe that’s our main policy. GO RIDE is based in WeWork, a flexible office space in both Japan and the U.S. Working here at WeWork is pretty nice. We get complimentary drinks and desks are comfortable. We have a nice working environment to be productive here. Some people work better at the office, like myself I love coming to work. It’s a good environment for me. I can be very productive here. I really enjoy it here.



We have a company lunch every other friday. Many people do join us for that. Pretty fun times and good food.

That sounds fun! Such a unique company that hosts lunches with company members!

What to Expect as an Engineer at GO RIDE

As a lead engineer what kind of characteristics or skill set are you looking for people who are planning to join GO RIDE?

The most important is a general interest in coding. If you don’t like what you’re doing it will show on your work. Somebody that is eager to look up solutions and someone that could be counted on and dependable to solve unique problems that they have. Even with years of experience it’s still the same. I have run into walls as well. You just need to persevere over it and you become a better dev after it. Someone who is willing to try and fail and succeed over time is important.

So you mentioned before that we have tech styles for example, Node, React, and Ruby on Rails. Can you be more specific what kind of tech staff we are looking for front end and back end positions?

フFor front end positions we are looking for react, is very helpful and we use it a lot and just general html, CSS, and JavaScript. Have a good understanding of Vanilla JavaScript and maybe jQuery as well. For backends, we are mainly doing apps in JavaScript and we do have a couple that are Ruby on Rails. So any experience in either of those will be helpful and particularly Express and Koa for node frameworks. We do use a lot of GraphQL so that’s also helpful. We are also open to experience in other programming languages like Python or have made an app in Django. We don’t have any strict technology requirements. If you’re willing to learn something new and you have experience using building apps, we definitely consider people like that!

Future Goal as an Engineer

Last question! As an engineer leader can you tell me your future goal for GO RIDE?

For GO RIDE short term goal, we want to make GO SubscRide the number 1 subscription app in Japan. We are doing our best to achieve that. For the ideal long term goal I would love for GO RIDE to be a place where people want to stay and people want to continue growing and collaborating. That to me would be the best situation.

Summary

In this article, we did an interview with Pedro, GO RIDE’s Engineering Manager!

We will be posting a video of this interview on GO RIDE’s official YouTube, so stay tuned!

If you’d like to work with us or are interested in an engineering position, you can always contact GO RIDE!

Detailed application requirements can be found HERE!


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