SmartNews Software Engineer Internship Experience

Boom Chawit
SmartNews, Inc
Published in
5 min readDec 9, 2022

November 17, 2022

Been a month, but it feels like the first week at SmartNews. Everyone and everything is the best at SmartNews. I want to share all my experiences since the first day I entered the door.

I had the most impressive onboarding!

It’s 10am on the 2nd floor in the WEST Office. Other newcomers and I were attending the same onboarding session. During the introduction, I was amazed by the others’ levels of experience in their fields of expertise.

The most surprising moment for me was the simultaneous interpreters that could listen and translate Japanese and English in real-time! Thanks to the Interpreter Team, the onboarding was quick — everything finished within a few hours. All accounts, emails, and facial recognition IDs had already been set up, and there were clear lists of tasks for me to complete in the following weeks.

After the orientation, I received a warm welcome from my team — Health and Safety Team. On the 2nd floor, each room has its theme of famous writers. We were in the Manga room because our Engineering Manager Kevin liked reading Manga 😆

It was a good meal and warm kick-off for me on the first day 😊

I love SmartKitchen and Chikyu Coffee.

SmartNews provides free lunch at the SmartKitchen — a healthy and delicious meal from sustainably-cycled production. The food and place are amazing, and I love how the space creates a community where people from different teams meet, exchange ideas, and become united and close at work.

Chikyu Coffee collaborated with one of the most famous Roasteries in Japan. All beverages are top-notch from qualified baristas. And guess what? It’s all complimentary at SmartNews. On the menu, there’s a wide variety of beverages we can choose from. There are also seasonal specials so that you will not get bored! I really think SmartNews understands what a working life needs.

The food is great. The office is excellent. And Coffee is super. Why Don’t I Come Every Week? Even though I live in Kyoto, I cannot wait to be here 😍

Then, what is my task?

Talking about all the marvelous things, I should also start talking about my working experience. I am a Software Engineer Intern or WebTech Intern at SmartNews, working on the front end of a landing page for US Marketing Squad. The work was challenging but not to the point where it became intimidating. Maybe because I have Michelle mentoring me all the time. Whenever I got stuck, I ask her and set up a Google Meet any time.

I learned new tools for Frontend tech: Svelte Kit, Tailwind, and environment setup. I learnt how to use Figma effectively to transform a design of a static web page to an actual page. The other new thing is the JIRA ticket for agile project management. The task setup and dividing are essential for collaboration among brilliant people.

After a week, I had my first Pull Request (PR) at SmartNews. I was both excited and nervous to create the first request. Then I got to review others’ codes and give some suggestions. Although I mainly work with Michelle, Bohdan is another frontend lead and very kind to me, helping and reviewing my codes.

Additionally, I took part in the demo day, where engineers at SmartNews share the product their team made or wants to make. We might call it tech presentation day. I was a co-host, along with Michelle in the event. I also presented my idea of having an all-events-in-Japan feature in the SmartNews app. It was my first time using Figma to create a prototype and present it in a more professional setting.

Apparently, the SmartNews office is my dream office and working lifestyle.

SmartNews offices are divided in zones, and we can work in any of them. I often sit in a phone box during meetings, work at the monitor zone when I want to focus, and chill near Chikyu cafe during coffee breaks. I mean, I will never get bored in the office. Even if I get bored, I can still grab a pocket WiFi and work from anywhere.

The first time I met with my mentor Michelle — everyone may think it was at the office — but No! It is in Kyoto near my house. It was another welcome lunch with Michelle, and then we went to work at a different cafe together. That was how I started my first task for the first PR I mentioned 😆

And yep, we agree to work from the mountain in the winter on some ski trips.

My Favorite Activity at SmartNews

It is chatting. I learned much from experienced people during small coffee talk, lunch breaks, and 1-on-1 sessions. Most people at SmartNews have more than four years of experience at startups or big tech companies. I had a chance to talk to people of different positions, even only in the first month.

I spoke to the vice president of the engineering department, engineering managers, product managers, frontend leads, senior backend engineers, ML engineers, designers, translators, interpreters, HR offices, and sales engineers. I look forward to talking to more people. Everyone is very inspirational and supportive! 🥰🥰

In some Free Time, I love to “Make Latte.”

There are interactive activities in the office every week. But I enjoy making Latte. I am so bad at cooking and inventing, but everyone is too kind to me. And finally, I made it!

Thanks for reading here. It’s been a great first month at SmartNews, and more is yet to come. I will stay here for another two months and will be delighted to share more experiences with you.

This internship is one of the best times in Japan. I can see why SmartNews became among the most successful unicorn startups. With so many talented and collaborative people, I believe SmartNews will continue to grow. If possible, one day in the future, I would like to become a full-time employee here, working with the SmartNews people again!

Thank you very much, SmartNews ❤️

More about me

I am Chawit Kaewnuratchadasorn from Thailand. My nickname is Boom, and currently, I am studying civil engineering at Kyoto University. But I am interested in software engineering fields and have been working on some of them in previous years. I will be at SmartNews as a WebTech intern until the middle of January. And I hope to be an excellent addition to SmartNews during my stay!