[Buzzvil People] Alan Kim, Senior Software Engineer
[Buzzvil News] BuzzScreen, the Optimum Platform for Branding – Brand Awareness Survey Result Announcement
April 30, 2018

[Buzzvil People] Alan Kim, Senior Software Engineer

Buzzvil People took the opportunity to introduce each Buzzvillians with a variety of backgrounds, personality, and thoughts. If you are wondering how best colleagues in Buzzvil are gathering to create the best team, if you are curious about each of the colorful Buzzvillians, please pay attention to Buzzvil People.

1. Please give us a quick introduction of yourself.

Hello, My name is  Kim Jineon. My English name is Alan Kim, and currently serve as a client team leader at Buzzvil. I started my career in the IT industry in 2002 for military service. I worked as a software developer for devices used in laboratory. Afterwards, I have assumed many duties and responsibilities for 14 years as a developer for game porting, game server and such. I would not call myself a top developer as there are  a number of talented professionals in this field, but I do think I have my own forte because I have worked in diverse fields such as system development or game, navigation system, not just in application development.

I have put emphasis on getting diverse experiences as a developer. Against this backdrop, my experiences span embedded system, game, game server, PC tools and smartphone-related development, Yet, these days, I try to put more weight on setting standards that I can follow than gaining experiences. Therefore, I have been thinking a lot about the way the code was made than the code itself. Nowadays, Clean code has caught my attention. These days, Computing resource or compiler optimization have noticeably advanced. In that sense, I came to realize that developing code with well-organize readability is more important than focusing on efficient code. That leads me to contemplate the way of module and design pattern for clean code. I run my team based on this belief.

Apart from experience, I do not talk much in front of people. That’s because I am a bit shy and don’t know how to express myself sometimes. So I hope people don’t misunderstand me.

2. What brings you to Buzzvil?

To explain it, I must say Jay and Slidejoy, a business based in the US. Jay is a colleague of mine from Infobank. He offered me a job after one year he started his own starup. That is how I join Slidejoy.

Back then, I was developing game server for a company called Infraware. Jay got in touch with me when the project I had been in charge of was done. and I was thinking about my future as a developer. I was thinking hard if the company was providing things that I want to develop, learn, and I wanted something challenging. When I choose a job I always give a lot of thought if it is something that I really want, and that company has a structure that allows teammates to share the outcome. After my marriage I was looking for a decent job that supports my family. Infraware was good enough for that. However, after working there for almost a year, I felt that my ideas were not appreciated, and communication during the development process was not their priority, which made me frustrated.

I thought the timing was right, and I accepted the job offer without much hesitation. My family members were worried about joining a startup whose future is unpredictable. But I made up my mind because of the great members and chemistry. Since then, after going through peaks and valleys, Slidejoy achieved remarkable growth. After that, Buzzvil and Slidejoy had merged and I became the leader of the client development team.

3. What is your role at Buzzvil?

Even though I am a client team leader, I do some server work as well because I used to be in full charge of backend at Slidejoy. I am gradually giving backend work including app server to server developers so that I can fully committed to client team leader.

What Buzzvil’s client team’s work differentiates from typical client development is that it focuses on developing a stable SDK, not a single app. It should be operated in various development environments across Buzzscreen partners in any circumstances, so deep understanding of general system is required. Against this backdrop, we need someone who has deep insight and develops meticulously. Fortunately, we have that kind of people here.

Since I became team leader, I have tried to focus on how to make my teammates encouraged than development itself. My job is the so-called DevOps related work such as CI or development process. In addition, I am in charge of final decision-making process of the way it performs, the process of assigning development tasks, or communicating with the outside team about the finished project .

4. How does it feel to work at a startup? or advertising industry?

One of the advantages of working at a startup is that the every employee can vocalize their opinions. While working for companies such as game server development with thousands of employees, a task force team with hundreds of employees, two startups, and another game company with around 60 employees, I was able to gain hands-on experience and differences between them. To me, a startup is a place where each can make a direct contribution to the growth of the company.

Most of firms are bound to introduce various systems resulting in rigid corporate culture. Each employee is hard to engage in the decision-making process. So most of the time they follow the decisions from higher ups regardless of their opinions. Therefore, employees work as a one part of a system called company. leading to  minimized individuality. As a result, meaningless work is going on, making you bored without any motivation. Take you develop a specific Feature. If you are given the task without any explanation of why that Feature is needed and in what context the Feature is important, it is highly likely you lose interest in it. Working at a startup tends to facilitate communication with other teams which helps you see the big picture and take into account the meaning and the effect of the work.

5. Is there something that you can say “this is the best part being Buzzvillians”?

I believe many people would agree with me on this. Working in the office is a group activity. So your colleagues are bound to impact your work performance.  Working together with unenthusiastic colleagues who only work for salary has a negative impact on other teammates. After a couple of bad experiences, I pay close attention to people who I work with. I have been working for one and a half years at Buzzvil, but I am still feeling that there are a lot of talented people here. It is so impressive to see many talented colleagues around me. I might not able to find that many at average companies. Aside from their qualifications, only fresh from college, they make me impressed when they show a no-nonsense approach toward work, professionalism. They are good enough to be admired. Working with them makes me motivated as well.

In addition, I feel that the culture in Buzzvil is in stark contrast to other companies that I have worked for. Many companies promote their equality, but Buzzvil is the first company that I feel has the most equal culture. When making decisions, everyone respects one another. So I am learning valuable lessons. Even though I am team leader, my team members sometimes give me insights.

Working with talented people who give each other synergies is a huge draw that is difficult to find at other companies. Since I joined here through mergers, I have had high expectations of this firm, and I believe Buzzvil has satisfied them so far. It means a lot to focus on my work with the help of the colleagues. So I am quite content with the work environment here.

6. Do you have a personal goal or dream? If so, how does your experience at Buzzvil help you?

My goal is to live my senior life without financial concern. but I don’t keep that goal in mind all the time. I tend to focus on the present rather than the future, and tried to live in the moment. From the top of my head, traveling alone would be great. In the past, whenever I was in slump and felt depressed, I would travel alone and take some time off. Buzzvil is a multi-national company where I can learn each employees’ upbringing and their culture, which encourages me to go on a trip. With my family, it is difficult to go on a trip by myself. And I feel more sorry to my family after the Bali trip I went on last March for corporate workshop. Still, I want to go on a backpack trip to Mongolia someday.

On top of that, there is this plan that have long been on my mind but could not be put into action: preparing for immigration to English speaking countries. I feel that English speaking countries have more carefree lifestyle than Korea. Koreans are still too busy and I want to live a more relaxing life. To that end, speaking English is of utmost importance. Working at Buzzvil is a great opportunity to practice and learn English, but I haven’t been making use of that chance yet. I will take advantage of it soon.