This position is closed and is no longer accepting applications.

Senior Software Engineer, Backend

SmartNews Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • 💴 No salary range given
  • 🏡 Fully remote
  • 🧪 Minimum years of experience unspecified
  • 💬 No Japanese required
  • 🌏 Apply from abroad
  • 🧳 Relocate to Japan

About SmartNews

SmartNews Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

SmartNews is a news app with 20 million monthly active users in the U.S. and Japan. We are a machine-learning company deeply committed to helping users find quality news beyond the filter bubble.

Key benefits

  • Not too big, not too small
  • Highly collaborative environment
  • International team

About the position


  • Drive engineering development of robust and scalable backend systems to enable state-of-the-art news delivery to millions of users
  • Oversee the maintenance and the stability of our world-class core news delivery system components
  • Lead, mentor, coach junior software engineers and/or projects
  • Collaborate closely with global cross-functional teams (Product Managers, Editors, Machine Learning engineers) to develop backend systems for new news-related product features
  • Work closely with software engineers to optimize backend systems for news articles, pages, channels, search, and other news-related features to provide a high-quality user experience and increase user engagement
  • Work closely with News Ranking and AI Foundation teams to develop systems that deliver personalized news
  • Proactive, innovative, and creative problem solving for system improvements which will result in user impact


As an engineer, you’ll be joining one of these teams:

  • Infrastructure. Build and operate highly scalable infrastructure services.
  • News Delivery. Build news delivery systems that delivers millions of news contents to users through personalization.


  • 3+ years of experience in building distributed, highly-scalable systems supporting millions of users, including design, coding, and evaluation/testing
  • Experience leading, mentoring, coaching software engineers and/or projects
  • Strong educational background in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related technical fields
  • Passion and interest towards solving world problems such as the digital divide, filter bubbles, echo chambers, group polarization, etc.

Nice to haves

These aren’t required, but be sure to mention them in your application if you have them.

  • Java, Kotlin, Scala, Spring, Python, Golang, or C++ experience
  • Experience developing ranking/recommendation/search related systems
  • Failure analysis and performance tuning in JVM operation
  • Experience in backend platform development for high traffic scalable systems
  • Familiar with AWS Services (EKS, DynamoDB, Elasticache), Big Data (Spark, Flink, Kafka), and Storage (Redis, Clickhouse)

Meet SmartNews's Developers

When Robert joined SmartNews as a software engineer, most of his colleagues were Japanese. Since then, it’s grown into an international organization where English is predominantly used.

Read his story...

YuCheng is a senior software engineer at SmartNews. He explains the freedom he enjoys at SmartNews: not only from a technical perspective, but also the influence he can have over the direction of the product.

Read his story...

Cortland recently joined SmartNews as an engineering manager, where he leads a six person team. He talks about what drew him to the company, his role as a manager, and how they use matrix management to maximize their engineers’ success.

Read his story...

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