Celebrating the 100th time! What is MTS, an event that lasted 8 years in HENNGE?
In November 2022, the monthly in-house study session of HENNGE’s development team, also known as “Monthly Technical Session” (MTS), successfully celebrated its 100th meeting!
How did MTS begin, and what is the secret behind its long-lasting eight-year history? What are the special thoughts and feelings of MTS’s management team? Participated in the memorable 100th meeting of MTS, Public Relations Staff Yano was determined to find out.
What is “Monthly Technical Session” (MTS)?
MTS is a study session, where various members, mainly engineers from the development team, could gather and present about technical topics of interest to each other.
Presenters would be selected before each meeting. They would exchange information about a wide range of topics, including technical knowledge gained through challenges and failures, topics on the latest technologies, such as Machine Learning or AI, and the outcomes of their personal studies or individuals’ projects.Post-event gatherings are also held as a regular thing after MTS. This is where the sharing of know-how is facilitated through small talks and little chit-chats.
Reports of past sessions could be found here.
In addition to technology topics like front-end, back-end and cloud technology, a variety of topics, such as working during the Corona Pandemic, methods of project management, environment and diversity, are also presented by 5-6 people at each session. It’s almost like TED Talks!
Invitations are sent every month to HENNGE’s #official Slack channel from MTS’s management team. All HENNGE’s members are welcome to join, including non-engineers and interns.
■Road to 100th
In November 2022, MTS#100 was held in a hybrid, office/online, format. More members from various departments than usual were able to attend and celebrate this memorable meeting.
Members gathered to listen to MTS’s management from the development team reflecting on the history of the program.
Apparently, MTS’s history dated all the way back to May 2014, when HENNGE’s name was still HDE. The inspiration sprung when we received an invitation from one of our partner companies: “Would you like to hold a joint technical session?”.
After the successful study session, Ogura-san, CEO and CTO of HENNGE, thought that it would be a good idea to have technical study sessions on a regular basis, “Let’s better the culture at HDE by holding technical sessions like this regularly! It would be a great chance for everyone to share the knowledge that they have gained through trials and failures. (While we’re at it, let’s also leverage it for recruiting!)”, he said. Thus, MTS was born.
（For more details, please visit this blog）
MTS in its earlier year
A management team was then formed among engineers. Different roles, such as selecting the presenters and preparing for the post-event gatherings, were assigned.
MTS continued, even during the in-house English transition period of HENNGE in 2016, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2018.
MTS #50 celebration cake
（Stay tuned for our #100 special cake at the end of this article! ）
In 2019, our company’s name changed from “HDE” to “HENNGE”; even though we went public, we never stopped holding MTS.
In 2020, when the Coronavirus was spreading, we switched to the online format and were finally able to celebrate our 100th event.
MTS’s online gathering in December 2020
At MTS #100, Ogura-san, CEO of HENNGE, the one who has been watching over MTS since day one, also came up on stage to give a heartful announcement, “It is so wonderful that we have been able to hold 100 meetings of MTS. Together we have shared our excitement, our learnings, and our failures. I myself have been able to learn a lot during these sessions. I would like to thank everyone who put effort into participating, managing and maintaining these sessions”.
■The Management Members’ Thoughts on Trials and Errors
MTS has been able to continue regardless of the stages that our company was in.
Currently, various project teams within the development department take turns organizing the event on a monthly basis. The process of selecting the presenters, setting up the stage, or organizing post-event gatherings seems like a lot of work just to think about, so what might be the secret to the consistent continuation of this event?
At MTS #100, we asked Tanabe-san, who has been participating in the event since its establishment in 2014, and Bagus-san, who currently serves as the MTS’s management representative.
From left to right, Tanabe-san wearing MTS #100 original T-shirt and Bagus-san
Congratulations on the 100th event! How are you feeling now?
Thank you so much.
I have been managing MTS since I joined HENNGE in 2015. It has been great to see the number of events grow from double digits to triple digits.
We could not have done it without the support of all HENNGE members.
Tanabe-san, you have been with HENNGE since the first MTS, why do you think MTS was able to last 100 times?
I was in my fourth year with the company when the first MTS was held.
I remember it was very difficult when I used to be in charge of food catering for the post-event gathering (laugh). So I think the fact that we have been able to keep it going this far is largely due to having a system in place. We wrote down all the know-how and procedures for organizing the event so that passionate people could keep it running. We also made sure to divide the work evenly so that no one would be burdened.
Although we did write down the general process, there are still a lot that need to be transcribed. (laugh)
The fact that all the management members are always helping each other, is also why I think we were able to last this long.
MTS’s post-event gathering being filled with participants
I didn’t know there were such trials and errors on the management side. Were there any other crises as well?
In the early days, presenters would have to put themselves forward as candidates, there was a time when no one would volunteer, and it was very difficult. So now we changed the rule to have one person selected from each team to present.
Also, during the Corona Pandemic, since there was no chance to conduct MTS in the physical office, there was a moment of crisis when you would almost lose your onsite management knowledge.
That was really a close call!
What impact do you think MTS has had on HENNGE?
I think it has been very helpful in terms of team building, having everyone working toward a common goal.
Along with that, it was great to learn about holding hybrid events. We could share our experience and support other departments whenever they have events.
It is wonderful that you are spreading the knowledge that you gained through the difficult Corona Pandemic to other departments as well!
Finally, could you also tell us about your future plans?
I hope that we will have even more members from other departments joining!
Our next goal would be MTS#200!
By participating in MTS#100 and interviewing the Management Members, I was able to understand the secret behind the success of this event. The effort of the development team, who is in charge of managing the event, is indispensable.
Along with that, I think that MTS was able to last this long due to HENNGE’s culture of loving the latest technology, our passionate learning spirits and our diverse environment, where members from different nationalities have various topics of interest.
I look forward to seeing MTS reach the #200 and #300 anniversary as we continue to expand and include new members!