This position is closed and is no longer accepting applications.

Tech Lead, Applied Machine Learning

SmartNews Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
    💴 No salary range given
    🏡 Fully remote
    🧪 Minimum years of experience unspecified
    💬 Fluent Japanese
    🌏 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


Machine Learning Tech Leads are responsible to lead teams to tackle complex problems related to recommendation and optimization (search ranking, collaborative filtering, personalized recommendation, diversification, and more) and make a company-wide impact

  • Play a critical role in setting the direction and goals for a global machine learning team, in terms of project impact, core-ranking system design, and machine learning excellence.
  • Plan and execute engineering development of state-of-the-art core-ranking system to provide Personalized Discovery experience to millions of users around the world.
  • Collaborate closely with Engineering and Product Leadership and global cross-functional teams to develop global product.
  • Be a go-to person for software engineers to enhance systems related to news features (articles, pages, channels, search, etc) by developing complex algorithm and model architecture which will deepen the understanding of article contents as well as user behaviors to deliver high quality user experience and increase user engagement.
  • Initiate and lead mid to large size projects.
  • Mentor and coach other ML engineers in Japan and other regional offices.


  • Rich experience in hands-on developing the prediction, optimization, or other relevant systems for the online web service and products (e.g content recommendation, online advertisement, search optimization, etc).
  • Experience in making company-wide business impact through machine learning, deep learning, or mathematical optimization (e.g achieving increase user’s time-spent in the service, etc).
  • Familiar with architecture and implementation mechanism of at least one mainstream machine learning programming framework (TensorFlow/Pytorch/MXNet/etc).
  • Initiate and lead mid to large size projects.
  • Experience of leading and mentoring engineers.
  • BS degree or above in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Science (physics or mathematics) or other relevant majors

Nice to haves

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

  • Familiarity with several of the following ML libraries: Tensorflow, xgboost, Keras, PyTorch, scikit-learn, pandas, numpy, etc.
  • Knowledge of developing and debugging in Java and Spring-boot
  • Experience with Hadoop/Hive/Spark/Flink/AWS

Hiring Process

  1. 1

    Application review

    When you submit your application to SmartNews, it will be reviewed by our recruitment team, to make sure it is relevant to the position.

  2. 2

    Online coding test

    When you pass this initial screening, you’ll then be sent out an online coding test. The results of this test and your resume will then be reviewed in more detail by one of our engineers.

  3. 3


    After you pass this secondary screening, you’ll be invited in for a round of interviews, covering both behavioral and technical topics.

  4. 4


    Once you’ve passed these interviews, we’ll make you an offer.

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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