This page was created as a way to convey common questions to recruiters.
Please see my current resume at

Tell us about yourself
I came to Japan originally as an English instructor, later getting into IT-related work. The majority of the time has been spent as a full-stack dev on many technologies, but more recently I have shifted into management.
I’ve worked at bad companies, average companies, and great companies. I say this because I’ve seen what makes a bad company bad (yelling, high-stress environment, silo’ed environment) and I don’t want others to experience what I had to experience. I want to take my great experiences from the great companies and apply them to everywhere I work. These great companies have traits such as trust in coworkers, transparency, encouragement, and compassion. These traits create great working environments which allow developers to flourish and stay motivated, and that motivation creates a positive feedback loop where employees are both happier and more productive.

What’s important for you in a new company?

I would like to find a company which is strong in the following 3 areas:

  • Good coworkers – talented people who are enjoyable to work with
  • Good product – ideally a product which is profitable. Bonus points for a product I would use personally
  • Good technology – newer, established tech stack or plans to migrate to newer tech stack. Bonus points if Vue.js is used

Ideally, this company would meet or exceed the current perks:

  • Work from home – I tend to go to the office once a week, but I would prefer to not have any obligations in regards to time spent in the office
  • Flextime – My working hours always average out to 8 hours per day, but having the freedom to start between 8am and 10am is ideal.

Internally, I really enjoy the following:

  • Love for code review – Code reviews are wonderful. Although possibly outdated, here’s a blog post that I wrote 5 years ago
  • Documentation – I have worked in a few environments where I have been the primary contributor to documentation and/or creating a culture of documentation and information-sharing. If this culture already exists, that is great
  • Flat structure – Everyone brings their own unique set of skills and experiences to the company and fills different roles. Having worked in a rigid heirarchical structure at Rakuten, I see a greater strength in environments where skills and experiences are celebrated and collaboration is more possible. When I work in team lead or engineering manager roles, I operate as a person who is simply filling a role, not operating as other employees’ superior.
  • English usage

How much of your day is spent coding?

It’s about 50/50 in regards to time spent coding versus time performing EM tasks such as code reviews, following up on tasks, preparing for and facilitating meetings

What is your approach to 1on1s?


Are you more front-end or back-end focused?

What is your management experience?

  • 1on1s – <wip>
  • evaluations – <wip>
  • hiring – <wip>
  • creating processes – <wip>
  • cross-team collaboration – <wip>
  • information organization and presentation – <wip>
  • KPI creation – good at it thanks to time spent at Rakuten, but I do not believe that it is a reasonable way to evaluate developers. This will need to be a blog post at some point in time, but in short, KPIs can be manipulated by developers to make their contribution appear more significant than it actually is. KPIs also don’t take into account the developers who work hard on small tasks in order to allow other developers time to focus on “bigger” tasks.

Why do you want to leave your company?
I don’t want to leave, but if I find a company which offers a better situation than I currently enjoy, I will entertain offers of 14m or more.

What are your strengths

  • 1on1s – <wip>
  • facilitating retrospectives – <wip>
  • migrations – <wip>
  • component organization – <wip>
  • information sharing – <wip>
  • UI/UX – although I have never worked in a solely-UI/UX role, one of my focuses in university was UI/UX, and one of my roles was heavily-focused on cross-browser support and following a good set of brand guidelines provided by a client. I have a strong eye for CSS-based details.

How long have you been in Japan?
I’ve been here for about 16 years now and have a PR. I was originally interested in the culture and thought that I would return to America after a few years. Many years have passed since.

How’s your Japanese?
It’s okay. I can survive as a developer in 100% Japanese environments, but I do not have confidence in my Japanese ability to allow me to work as an engineering manager. I prefer to work in English.

Do you have any personal projects?
I have a few in my GitHub account.
I’m proud of my IoT projects in there.

If you could make anything, what would you make?
Something like an online diary to track events in the life of your baby, and has the capability to compare it against other parents.

Why should we hire you?
I’m not really great at self-promotion. I know this is what you are supposed to do in interviews, but I think interviews should be both sides giving an honest representation of themselves to see if it is a good match.
With that being said, I think I’m a pretty safe bet. If hired, I tend to sort of find things that need to be done, make a list, communicate what the pros and cons of them are, and then get opinions on where I can focus my efforts before helping out everyone I can. This has been wondeful for my happiness and the happiness of my coworkers at my previous ( company as well as my current (MakeLeaps) company. I attribute this approach to my promotions. When people ask what I do, I jokingly say “I do whatever I want to” which is a very short way of saying I do my best to help everyone.
I’ve worked in great and terrible companies, as well as companies ranging from start-ups to a company with 15,000 employees worldwide. I’ve been able to see firsthand what works and what doesn’t, and I use that knowledge to contribute in the most efficient ways I can find.

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