Rie Ota (left), Takehiko Kodama (middle), and Ray Wong (right) as part of HENNGE One Access Control Team.

Access All Areas: Get to Know the People and Innovation Behind HENNGE One Access Control

Jazman Barizi

The tech recruitment landscape can be a competitive beast. Aspiring midcareer applicants often find themselves navigating a fog of uncertainty when it comes to understanding the details of a company’s product offerings and dynamics of its teams.

If you’re eyeing senior engineering positions at HENNGE, a leading cloud security provider company in Japan, then this episode of HENNGE Casual Talk is for you.

Jazman Barizi (Jazz) and Sonam Choden of the engineering talent acquisition team sit down with Takehiko Kodama, Rie Ota, and Ray Wong from the HENNGE One Access Control team to uncover the essence of this innovative product, including the collaborative spirit driving its success that you could become a part of.

Meet the Faces Behind the Innovation

First, let’s get to know the people working together daily on HENNGE Access Control.

Takehiko Kodama, a seasoned member of the team, hailing from Japan, serves as the guiding force behind the production and compatibility aspects of HENNGE One Access Control-related products, including user provision tools and web and mobile applications.

Rie Ota, another Japanese team member, didn’t start out with developer experience but with HENNGE’s support now spearheads manual testing and recently automation efforts for HENNGE One Access Control

Ray Wong is from Hong Kong and interned at HENNGE while he was in university. He had such a good experience that he joined as a frontend engineer upon graduating. Today, he focuses on developing the user interface of HENNGE One Access Control products with a keen eye for innovation.

What is HENNGE Access Control?

Hi team! Takehiko, as Product Lead, could you first tell readers who don’t know about HENNGE One Access Control what it entails?
Hello everyone. OK, so HENNGE One Access Control serves as the bedrock of security and convenience for users in the B2B cloud services space. At its core, our product streamlines access management by providing users with a single sign-on solution, eliminating the hassle of juggling multiple passwords.

This isn’t just convenient for users, it also brings robust access control mechanisms, empowering administrators to block suspicious activities easily. In essence, HENNGE One Access Control ensures seamless user experiences while fortifying cyber defenses.
As well as single sign-on, admin can specify which users can access different services, help them set it up and just remove access when it’s no longer needed.
Actually, this can sometimes be a burden for administrators since they have to manage many user accounts and configurations. Our vision with Access Control is to keep enhancing the interface for greater simplicity and effectiveness.
Wow. Imagine an IT manager of a company with 500 people using 20 kinds of services. If someone leaves, they’d need to manually revoke access one by one. In that scenario a product like HENNGE One Access Control makes a big difference!

Inside the Toolbox

So to dig deeper, what are the tools and technologies that the HENNGE One Access Control team are expected to use on a day-to-day basis?
GitHub is the cornerstone of our development process since we manage code, tickets and Kanban board in it for seamless code management, issue tracking, and project collaboration. It also works on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform as part of our commitment to scalability and reliability, while the integration of Terraform automates deployment. The backend team mainly uses Python, building a development environment on a local machine, coding in GitHub and deploying where they want. Our tech stack is about versatility, empowering our engineers to innovate without constraints.
For frontend, the framework is React. And then we also use TypeScript to check the code for errors. It’s also an easy way to communicate with other engineers when the code is being written before managing it using Redux. And of course we’re always trying out new technologies too, whether it’s React’s latest features or something completely new that may help us enhance productivity.
And Rie, what tools are you using for manual testing?
We test a lot on mobile and for manual test cases we are using Azure DevOps. We usually use Groovy to develop our autotest, but Katalon Studio is a useful tool to create automated tests. Importantly, for our development team, we also write our own tests. Front-end uses React testing library, and backend uses PyTex.

Cultivating a Collaborative Team Culture

The other key ingredient is people. Tell us more about the team’s structure and factors that create its culture?
The Access Control team consists of 17 people, including front-end, back-end, mobile developers, and QA engineers. Interestingly, we are a very international team including members from Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Switzerland, South Africa, the US and Japan. We also have the Infra team who are working on AWS-related things. As for the structure, I lead the team and manage the members but we have key people across different areas to keep it quite flat.
It’s very welcoming and it’s cool that we can use both Japanese and English. So I’d say the culture is characterized by its inclusivity and encouragement of continuous learning. I was a beginner at first but found myself immersed in an environment where curiosity was celebrated. The team’s diversity, coupled with this supportive environment creates a collaborative culture where each team member is valued and empowered to reach their full potential.
I’d add that we have a culture of always challenging ourselves and trying our best. Culture-wise, this also means supporting each other and sharing knowledge. For example, if I have a mainstream task, then 80% of the time will be spent focusing on that, but I’ll also leave 20% for researching new technologies, brainstorming and helping out colleagues with challenges they’re working on too. All opinions are welcome, so if someone spots an issue with my code, we can talk openly about it to learn from each other and ultimately deliver a better product for users.
And Takehiko, speaking of collaboration, how about working with other teams in HENNGE?
Cross-team working is always encouraged and I think this is particularly true for tech. We regularly have cross-team info sharing sessions and team members sometimes also take on part-time work for other teams to encourage this sharing on a practical level too. All engineers are also encouraged to try out different things in other teams if they want to.
And have there ever been times when members wanted to bring in new technologies?
Yes, I do that often actually, but I try to first estimate how long it would take to implement and what the return on investment would be. That means we have a benchmark to take to the team before deciding whether it’s worth testing.
And have there ever been times when members wanted to bring in new technologies?
Our core culture of trying new things remains unchanged but the work style has evolved a little since COVID-19. We have more flexibility in our preferred working style including remote work, which is really helpful for working mothers like me.
Yes, we have a lot of flexibility. The key thing is that communication stays strong as we have reliable online tools to keep the information sharing going. Since the pandemic, more people are coming into the office now because they enjoy face-to-face communication.
Can you tell us more about what this communication looks like?
It’s a mix of ongoing communication via online tools like Slack and Zoom meetings, as well as dedicated meetups. For example we have a monthly office day when everyone gathers in the same place to meet in person. We have weekly meetings to check in, but with 17 members we also encourage everyone to speak in smaller groups as required so that we’re not overloaded with meetings.
Yes, if there are urgent questions or concerns, I can put it in Slack and get a reply instantly. I think it’s a good balance of staying connected and being able to focus.

Finding Your Place

So for someone reading this thinking of applying, what do you think are the essential qualities they need to thrive within the Access Control team?
Passion, self-motivation, and a proactive approach to communication are the cornerstones of success within our team. We value individuals who not only possess technical expertise but also demonstrate a willingness to learn, collaborate, and share their knowledge with others. In an environment where innovation thrives on collaboration and initiative, individuals who embody these qualities can make meaningful contributions and shape the future of our product.
We hear a lot about being a team player but for us it simply means supporting each other. I’ve learned a huge amount from other team members. Not only technical things, but culture and language. I think this is something often overlooked in tech companies, but it’s really important. It’s like being surrounded by a lot of open books that you can have a two-way conversation with!
Yes, as a Japanese member, English language is always something I want to improve. I’ve learned that it’s not just the language, but the communication style. For example, working in an international environment we have to get good at explaining the big picture context as well as the detail.
We’re supporting each other to discover our strengths and passions. For example, say I love writing code but want to improve management tasks, my team understands this and will find tools and ways to support it. We can share these freely knowing we have each other’s back, which is a really cool feeling.

So in essence, HENNGE One Access Control is more than just a product - it embodies HENNGE’s wider culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Aspiring engineers looking to be part of a dynamic team driven by a shared vision of excellence are invited to join this journey and together, you can become a part of redefining what’s possible in the world of cloud security.

Are you ready to take the first step towards an exciting career at HENNGE?

Search our current opportunities a https://recruit.hennge.com/en/mid-career/ today and begin your own adventure with HENNGE today!

Jazman Barizi