This position is closed and is no longer accepting applications.

Technical Program Manager

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

Technical Program Managers lead technically complex programs at SmartNews. As part of the Engineering team, they have an understanding of the systems underlying our app, which allows them to discuss technical issues with engineering managers.


  • Lead technically complex programs to success
  • Define success metrics and roadmaps from high-level business goals and strategies
  • Identify areas of influence, and drive technical decision-making and alignment of cross-functional teams
  • Carry out all required communication to make programs successful
  • Manage execution of development including development, testing, etc
  • Perform data-driven analysis and investigate existing system behavior
  • Document and report on programs and project statuses, roadmap plans and progress, new program and project proposals, follow up on project and program plans
  • Prepare, execute and analyze results of A/B tests
  • Prepare and maintain technical-level KPIs, OKRs, and SLIs/SLOs/SLAs


  • SQL, Spark, Hive, or similar data querying skills
  • B.S. degree in Computer Science or experience in software application development
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Track record of understanding product requirements and translating those requirements into actual technical specifications
  • Track record of program or project management that involves multiple engineering and product teams
  • Track record of technical program management or project delivery experience as an engineer
  • Ability to understand technical architecture design for basic systems
  • Business-level English

Preferred Experiences

  • Track record of experience in engineering in large-scale machine learning, data engineering, distributed systems, or similar areas
  • Business-level Japanese
  • Experiences defining technical specifications for micro-services

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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