Young-il Park has almost 10 years of experience in back-end engineering and has worked in various startups prior to joining Swingvy in 2020. He thinks he is the funniest guy at least in our engineering team. We recently sat down with Young-il who is based in Seoul, South Korea to chat about what's it like to be part of Swingvy and personal growth.
I actually didn’t have much expectation about Swingvy until I started the recruiting process. I have quite a lot of interview experiences but I was very much satisfied with the whole process at Swingvy.
The first round of interviews was with the lead engineers and the People Team Lead and it didn’t feel like an interview but just a casual conversation about my life and career getting to know one another. For the project, I was invited to a private Slack channel which allowed me to ask as many questions as possible just if I was already a team member at Swingvy.
Not only that, throughout the whole recruiting process I was able to ask all sorts of questions (I like to triple check things before I make decisions) and get an honest answer from everyone. These human touchpoints at Swingvy made me want to join.
So once you joined, what would you say are your highlights?
My toughest time at Swingvy actually became my highlight. Just after a month I joined, COVID-19 happened and we started to work-from-home (WFH). Now I love WFH, but the sudden transition made my whole onboarding even harder despite the extensive training by the engineering team. I was still trying to get used to Swingvy’s tech stacks and was unable to ask questions whenever I had them, which led to delays in my production schedule. I absolutely detest saying “I’m sorry, it’s going to be delayed again” but it happened over and over. I was so stressed to the point where I didn’t finish my ramyun (I always finish my ramyun).
These delays were unacceptable to me and it was also affecting the whole team. So I started to actively figure things out on my own, finding solutions to the problems, and learning about the technology which really trained me to learn how to work through obstacles - Welcome to Startup life. When I look back, this experience really pushed me to grow as an engineer.
Another highlight at Swingvy was my first main project where we built the Time module from scratch. Swingvy is a startup but in a way, it’s not; the way Product Division works is quite systematic from planning to release including the strict QA process. This whole A-to-Z experience was amazing because you are really part of the whole process, not just the coding portion as an engineer.
How would you describe Swingvy culture? What about the engineering culture?
Swingvy really values the team member’s voice. You may say that all startups are like that but I think it’s easier said than done. We have monthly town hall meetings, consistent 1:1s and you can see our opinions and feedback is implemented. Even our onboarding process has changed based on the feedback from new joiners.
“Swingvy constantly evolves so that we can focus on launching a rocket.”
In terms of the engineering culture, it’s not perfect - we still have legacies to take care of and things to fix. We do need to focus a lot on releasing new features to compete in the market but we always make time to talk about unresolved legacies. Of course, we never have enough time to work on it but the important part is that the company is willing and open to improve processes.
Another recent experience I had was when our engineering team was debating on implementing GraphQL. We had been contemplating about it for a while but once we had made the decision, the implementation process was simple: “Who knows GraphQL? Explain it a little bit. Let’s do some case studies on it. This is great, let’s give it a try!”
As a Swingvy Back-end Engineer, what do you like best about your role?
I can literally witness improvements in our product through my growth as an engineer. This to me is the most important part of one’s career. At times it is difficult to have personal growth as you fully focus only on the product but I am constantly learning based on the feedback we give each other. Our weekly meetings are not just about sharing the progress but finding ways to do it better.
How do you like your team members?
Everybody is very professional in their own areas. I learn so much from them. For instance, I think one of the most important characteristics a Product Manager(PM) should have is being considerate to his or her team (“squad”) members - our PMs have 100% of that. Also, our Product Designer enlightens me in certain ways that I started to consider UI/UX designs even as a Back-end Engineer. She really makes me think outside of the box. The best part of our team is that they even like my jokes.
What excites you most about Swingvy’s future?
The day we become the #1 HR software in South East Asia. For our engineering team, I hope our methodologies get deeply rooted.
What would you tell anyone looking to join Swingvy?
It’s not an “easy-peasy” place. You definitely have to fight to achieve. However, the growing pains are worth it.
To find out more about working at Swingvy or see the current vacancies we’re hiring for, check out our careers page.