ANNAI magazine
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Introduction of yourself

My name is Kentaro Inoue, Nagaoka Branch Manager at ANNAI. I work from Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture. My role is very diverse. For my first six months at ANNAI I was in charge of writing a book we have recently published called “Drupal 8 Start book”. I am also involved in Drupal development, corporate site operation amongst many others.




My first contact with Drupal was 5-6 years ago. Our project team was using Drupal as a framework in one web development project, and that’s when I started to learn web design as well as CSS.


At the time my knowledge of Drupal was completely self taught. One day I found that there was a growing Drupal community in Japan. Turns out the Community leaders were actually our (ANNAI’s) management team and we’ve been in touch since then.


About productivity in work (Working in the office vs working remotely)

Before joining ANNAI, I was a technical professional at an energy company. I worked at various places such as offices and on the field. A lot of field work involved, and the hardest part was when it’s snowing.


Niigata becomes full of snow in winter and that makes you feel so exhausted especially when you drive. You need to plow snow wherever you go no matter what you’re doing. When parking the car, when you leave the parking lot, for those who haven’t had any experience living in a heavily snowy area it is probably hard to imagine but I’ve included a photo of the area where I live below.



Compared to having to commute to work working at home remotely is fantastic! I am more productive than ever. Being able to fully utilize your time doing what you need to get done is such an awesome thing.


About flexibility in your personal life

Working remotely is very flexible in my personal life as well. First of all, working from home is very relaxing. I’m not saying I work lazy, everything is new challenge for me and I’m enjoying every single moment of it.



Working from my home city also makes me feel great. I’ve been doing Karate so long and I host Karate club sometimes. Working out with my old friend is so refreshing and very precious thing.


About collaborating with team members who live in other regions

This is my very first experience working for an IT company so I don’t know about how other companies work, but I feel that working remotely for ANNAI feels very natural to me.


But there are several key points to keeping great performance at work. This is also related to how well you collaborate with others. Here are my thoughts; 


Be good at using collaboration tools



We use various tools to get things done effectively. For example,

ZOOM (For video chat)
Slack (Team based instant messaging)
Redmine(For task management)
Google docs (For sharing work and other general documents)
Gyazo (Screenshot sharing)

We use other tools depending on what you do, but first, being good at using these amazing tools makes you feel your colleague is working right next to you. So being good at these tools is one thing.


Visualize things properly




When you work in the office, it’s easy to share ideas and knowledge by having a meeting with a white board or something, but you can’t do the same when working remotely.


To substitute for the lack of direct contact “Visualization” is very important. For example, the spreadsheet above is to show you the details of system specification that was discussed with the client. But the key is to make them as informative as possible. With the combination of this spreadsheet and video chat, you can achieve the same results as if you were working in the same room.


Any suggestion for our team?

Drupal is global open source ecosystem, so the field is already across the border. We are planning to collaborate with developers from around the world and I can’t wait to do that!


So it’ll be great if I can start working somewhere outside Japan. I’ll try my best to achieve that goal, maybe brushing up on my English and so on.



Kentaro focuses on visualizing things to deliver his messages correctly to teammates. Also he suggests that being good at using collaboration tools can make all the difference. We hope you enjoyed the article!

Kentaro Inoueの写真

この記事を書いた人 : Kentaro Inoue

Author : Kentaro Inoue

ANNAI Inc Nagaoka branch Manager who is in charge of site building. My favorite module is Rules and Flags!