Join our team Join our team

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e are a small team behind some of the most popular language learning apps in Japan. We originally built iKnow!, a vocabulary learning tool which sees millions of study sessions a month. Now we are rebuilding the software behind DMM Eikaiwa, Japan's largest online English school. Our goal is to create a comprehensive language-learning platform, with adaptive vocabulary and grammar learning, live video lessons with teachers, guided skills practice and progress visualizations. It's a big task, and we are looking for people to help!


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Work Style

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ur team is managed by engineers, who value avoiding meetings and any other unnecessary distractions. This includes making sure everyone has the best tools available, and also means making sure that people have the flexibility to work in the way that suits them best, so they can focus on building.

We are a small team (currently about twenty people), with members from all over the world. Communication within the team is primarily in English, although there are plenty of chances to speak Japanese as well! We believe in equality of opportunity, and value the diversity of our team in all its forms. There is always someone with a different perspective, which makes for an interesting place to work.

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he team includes dedicated customer support, manual testing, and sysops specialists, so engineers and designers can focus on their primary jobs. As a small team, we all have a say in the products we make, and love discussing how to improve them together—everyone can feel the impact they have personally had on our products.

If you have heard the horror stories of working for big Japanese companies, don't worry, they don't apply to us. Instead, we offer a great work environment in the heart of Tokyo and the opportunity to build services that make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of language learners.


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Benefits

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e are a fully independent team working inside a large Japanese company. It’s an unusual arrangement, but it lets us offer many of the benefits of working at a startup, but with the stability and resources of being part of a larger organization. Some nice things include:

For those moving to Japan to join us, we offer help relocating:

  • Full visa sponsorship and application assistance
  • Moving expenses and airfares
  • First two months accommodation, and help finding a place to live
  • Company provided guarantor for first rental contract
  • Assistance from a bilingual team member when registering at the city office, creating bank accounts, etc

Additionally as a full-time employee you are entitled to:

  • Commuting allowance
  • Company pension contributions
  • Company health insurance contributions

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How to Apply

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ur policy is to hire the best engineers, researchers, and other specialists we can find, regardless of their backgrounds. We aren't looking for candidates with X years of experience in particular technologies; we know good engineers/researchers can learn new skills and we hire with that in mind. On the team we do have people who work well in particular roles or with certain technology, but there is also a lot of fluidity and people always have the opportunity to work on something new.

Tech Positions

We'll be gradually expanding the team over the next year and are particularly interested in hiring a few more engineers. We know good engineers can come from many different backgrounds, so we don't require candidates to have expertise in any particular languages or technologies; just a deep understanding of computer science and software engineering principles. That said, experience in any of the following technologies would certainly be a plus:

  • WebRTC
  • React/Redux
  • Devops
  • Mobile development
  • Software testing
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning

Technology

We're building out a full language teaching platform based on modern technologies and engineering best practices. Our goal isn't to get something out the door ASAP, but to build a highly scalable, stable system which we can keep building on for years to come. Our current projects include:

  • A responsive single-page study app. It's written in ES6 with React and Redux, has good test coverage, and a feature set surpassing most native apps.
  • A pure JSON Rails/Ruby/Postgres API, with a focus on efficiency, data integrity, and testability.
  • A WebRTC video calling platform providing extremely high capacity and availability.
  • A suite of adaptive algorithms for optimizing user study efficiency.
  • A collaborative realtime web-based content editor to support our team of editors in producing the best learning resources possible.
  • Tools for supporting development, testing, and fast deploys. We have a high velocity, and much of it is thanks to our constant investment in better developer tools.
  • An autoscaling, self-healing, fully-automated AWS environment.

We believe in open source and have made public many of the modules underpinning our technology stack. You can view our open source code on GitHub.

Interview Process

Please send your resume to jobs@iknow.jp Include any relevant experience and any questions you have about the job or the team. We will review and respond to all applications. If we feel you might be a good fit for our team, you'll start our interview process:

  1. Initial Interview

    A 30 minute interview with one or two of our engineers. We'll talk about your experiences, our team and projects, and answer any questions you might have.

    We'd also like to talk tech with you; a great topic can be an interesting technical challenge or achievement you've had. Programming paradigms, frameworks, code design, and testing are great topics too.

    At the end, we'll ask you to do a quick programming challenge via a collaborative coding tool CoderPad.

  2. Coding Interview

    Using Coderpad, we'll go through a series of programming questions together, ranging from algorithms to code design. This interview usually takes about 60-90 minutes.

  3. Project

    We'll ask you to complete a short project (less than a day's work) based on the work you'd be doing on our team. You may use whichever language and framework you like.

    We'd like to see code that's suitable for a production system: written in a clean and consistent style, and well factored for adding new features. You'll commit to a private repository on our GitHub, our engineers will review it via pull request and leave feedback.

After the project we will quickly make a decision on whether to extend an offer or not.

In all positions, Japanese language proficiency is not a requirement, but a strong interest in language learning is highly desirable. Note, although we allow remote work, all open positions are based out of our Tokyo office, so we would expect people to be willing to relocate if they don't already live nearby.

Non-Tech Positions

We're looking for professionals with expertise in these areas:

  • UX design
  • Social media management

In all positions, Japanese language proficiency is not a requirement, but a strong interest in language learning is highly desirable. Note, although we allow remote work, all open positions are based out of our Tokyo office, so we would expect people to be willing to relocate if they don't already live nearby.

Interview Process

Please send your resume to jobs@iknow.jp Include any relevant experience and any questions you have about the job or the team. We will review and respond to all applications. If we feel you might be a good fit for our team, you'll start our interview process:

  1. Initial Interview

    A 30-minute interview with members of the team, where we'll talk more about your experience, the job, and answer any questions you might have. You'll get to meet members of the team and we will talk shop a bit. The contents will vary depending on the position, but the goal is to get a feel for your way of doing things, and the sort of tasks you have confidence in.

  2. Project Introduction

    We'll ask you to complete a short project (less than a day's work) based on the work you'd be doing on our team. We want to see your best work, showcasing your creativity, attention to detail, and talent.

  3. Project Review

    Once you've finished the project and sent us the files, we'll take a look and discuss it with the team. Then we'll ask you to walk us through the project, explain your process, and respond to some feedback from the team.

After these three interviews, we'll decide if we'd like to extend you an offer to join our team.