Mercari India

SWE Intern to an Android Engineer: Unveiling the chapters of my experience at Mercari India

Jan 22, 2024


Hello, I’m Mrudul Tora, and I’m thrilled to share the comprehensive journey of becoming one of the Software Engineer Interns at Mercari India, spanning from the initial interview process to securing a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) and converting to a full time Android Engineer.

A closer look at Mercari

Mercari Inc., founded in 2013, is a prominent Japanese e-commerce company. The Mercari marketplace app, introduced in Japan in July 2013, has evolved into the country’s largest community-powered marketplace, facilitating over 23 Million active users each month.

Application Process

Motivated by a previous setback in the application process, I approached this opportunity with renewed determination. I meticulously updated my resume, ensuring it highlighted all relevant projects and internships. Applying through a referral in December 2022, I eagerly awaited the next steps. To my delight, within a few days, I received a link for an online test, marking the beginning of an exciting chapter in my journey with Mercari.

First Round: Online Assessment

The initial phase involved an online assessment conducted on the HackerRank platform. The assessment comprised three coding-based questions, all centered around data structures and algorithms. Notably, the difficulty level for all the questions was medium. The assessment was to be taken in two weeks, and a duration of one hour was allocated for the test once it was initiated.

Taking advantage of the given time span, I dedicated a portion to revisiting and reinforcing my understanding of data structures and algorithms before attempting the test. Following the completion of the assessment, a member from the Talent Acquisition (TA) team reached out to me. This interaction included discussions about my preferred duration and location for pursuing the internship, allowing for a personalized touch to the process, with options between India and Japan.

Post-assessment, there was a waiting period of approximately two weeks for any further updates. This delay was attributed to the New Year holiday season in Japan. However, in the third week of January, I received an invitation to schedule my first technical interview, marking a significant progression in the application process.

Second Round: Technical Interview

In my application for an internship with the mobile engineering team, the technical interview centered around my prior experience with Android, Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts, and proficiency in data structures and algorithms (DSA). The interview, conducted by the interviewer Anthony Allan Conda, a senior mobile architect at Mercari JP, had a duration of 1.25 hours. The interviewer, known for his amicable and supportive demeanor, displayed friendliness right from the start of the interview. He expressed satisfaction with my contributions to the open-source community, particularly highlighting my work on AnkiDroid, an app he personally used daily for learning Japanese using flashcards.

The interview covered various Android concepts, including Services, Broadcast receivers, MVVM, ROOM, LiveData, Coroutines and delved into a bit of Jetpack Compose. Additionally, the interviewer posed challenging questions related to OOP concepts such as compositions and aggregation, emphasizing a deeper understanding of the subject matter. He focused not only on the correctness of my answers but also on the thought process and approach I employed in addressing the questions.

During our conversation, the interviewer shared that Mercari had fully embraced Jetpack Compose in their production app, adding a fascinating dimension to the discussion. This level of engagement and consideration instilled confidence in me, indicating that I had effectively demonstrated my skills and knowledge throughout the interview.

Third Round: Technical + Managerial Interview

Approximately two weeks after the initial interview, I received an invitation for another round with Racing Wang, an Engineering Manager at Mercari JP. At the start of the interview, there was a slight communication issue as I initially struggled to understand the accent. However, I quickly adapted, ensuring my active participation in the conversation. The interviewer was highly impressed by my prior work in Android and even used one of the Android apps I had created in the middle of the interview.

We engaged in a detailed discussion about my approach to developing the app, covering aspects such as its deployment on the Play Store and optimizing it for over 100,000 users, including devices with lower-end specifications and minimal RAM. He also posed numerous questions related to threading, inquiring about my real-life approach without requesting any coding exercises on the topic.

During the course of the interview, Racing expressed his desire to have me join his team, indicating his satisfaction with my performance. As the interview concluded, a sense of joy overwhelmed me. While the process was not yet complete, I felt content with the progress I had made thus far.

Fourth Round: HR Interview

I did not initially consider this as a distinct round, given that at the time, Mercari India did not have a dedicated HR team. Instead, Jatin Kumar from Mercari JP conducted my HR interview. During this phase, he inquired about basic details, such as my preferred start date for the internship. Additionally, Jatin provided a concise overview of Mercari India and outlined the company’s future perspectives for its operations in India.

Offer Extended

Several days later, I was thrilled to receive an email confirming my selection for the Software Engineer Intern (Mobile) position at Mercari India 🎉. The comprehensive interview process spanned a duration of two months, commencing from the end of December and concluding at the end of February. Following my successful selection, my internship was scheduled for approximately three months, from May to July 2023.

During this period, the newly established HR team at Mercari India reached out to me, initiating contact for further onboarding procedures. Subsequently, they organized a one-on-one meeting with my designated People Manager from the Mercari India team. This step highlighted the company’s commitment to ensuring a smooth transition and effective integration into the team structure.

Internship Experience

My internship journey at Mercari was an enriching blend of learning and enjoyment. I was in the NSM-Matching camp, collaborating closely with my mentor, Vaibhav Jain and senior Android Engineer, Xiaofan san. Despite having interned at various companies, Mercari’s tech-stack stood out as one of the best. Only a handful of companies globally have successfully transitioned their codebase entirely to Jetpack Compose. Upon joining, the onboarding process unfolded seamlessly, allowing me to acclimate within a week and delve into significant coding tasks.

The tech stack predominantly utilized Kotlin + Jetpack Compose, offering a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of the Home and Search screens for the Mercari Marketplace app. Throughout my internship, I received exceptional support from both my mentor and manager. Rather than simply providing solutions, they guided me through challenges, creating an environment of accessibility and openness. This approach turned difficulties into valuable learning experiences, making each day at Mercari immensely fulfilling.

Even amidst the focused work environment, Mercari maintained a vibrant spirit for celebration. Whether welcoming new team members, organizing team outings, or celebrating personal milestones, the company consistently embraced the joy of collective achievement, striking a harmonious balance between work and cheerfulness.

We commemorated Mercari India’s One Year Anniversary with an off-site event filled with cricket, boating, and interactions with Wakasa san, the Group CTO of Mercari.

As my internship concluded, I underwent another round of interviews with Vish, the Site Lead of India. Successfully navigating the round and answering all questions confidently, my instincts hinted at a positive outcome. True to my intuition, I received a Pre-Placement Offer (PPO) for the role of Android Engineer on the very same day. It’s worth noting the often overlooked support from the HR team. Despite facing personal challenges during the internship, the HR team provided unwavering support at every step.

FTE Experience

As of writing this article, I have seamlessly transitioned into my full-time role as an Android Engineer at Mercari India. Although now a part of a different team, I am fortunate to be working once again on the Home and Search Screen. During the initial quarter, I navigated transitions between various teams, diligently upholding Mercari’s core values.

Beyond the realms of work, our workplace celebrated numerous festivals, including Diwali and Christmas. The HR team orchestrated a variety of engaging games and events, adding a lively touch to our work culture. A recent highlight was Mercari India’s inaugural hackfest, where I participated alongside engineers from different teams under the banner of “Team Hariyali.”

Our focus centered on developing features related to the carbon footprint saved by using the Mercari app. It was a gratifying experience to collaborate late into the office hours with fellow engineers, culminating in the successful completion of this feature. To top it off, our team emerged victorious in the inaugural hackfest.

Looking ahead, my anticipation for each workday at Mercari is filled with enthusiasm. Collaborating with engineers from diverse nationalities, I actively contribute to knowledge sharing while continually gaining new insights and skills.

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