Today we will meet with our software engineer, Soh Kitahara. Before working at Nature Inc., he worked as an applications and services developer at Kayak, a large travel company since he was a student. We asked him why he decided to work at Nature Inc. and what is his role at the company.
Mr. Soh, what is your main focus at Nature Inc. right now?
I am currently doing a little mix of everything, from managing servers using AWS for the infrastructure to developing applications with React Native. If I were to put it simply, software development is my main task.
What made you start programming in the first place?
When I was a high school student, I used to use my father’s Mac to play around with HTML, CSS, and other languages. At that time, ADSL was on the rise, and it was around the time when the Internet started gaining more traction. The internet caught my interest because it was one of the most popular topics of that era.
What do you think is the most interesting thing about programming?
I really enjoy that I can make a noticeable change with my own code. As mentioned earlier, when I was in high school, it was very memorable to play with CSS and change the appearance of a website. At university, it was a lot of fun to get something like projection mapping to work by writing a program. Since then, it has still piqued my interest.
Have you always been interested in design, HTML, and CSS for projection mapping?
I didn’t have always have that kind of awareness, but after some experiences, I realized that I wasn’t the best when it comes to the aesthetics of the design. So from the time I was a college student, I wanted to continue to approve my design skills while programming.
What did you do in your previous role?
I started at Kayak when I was a student and I had the opportunity to do a lot of great things there. I was the front and back end developer. I got the opportunity to work with services such as Lobi and various programming languages.
Why did you decide to change your job and work at Nature Inc.?
One of my hobbies is to make things I use more convenient. Before I entered Nature, I used IRKit, an older smart remote, and I found it very useful. So, when I heard that Mr. Murase (former CTO of Nature) who I previously had experience working with will join Nature, I decided to switch jobs because I wanted to make the IR kit I am using now more convenient for myself and others.
Do you find programming fun because you get to see the changes you make directly on the Nature devices you use on a daily basis?
I 100% agree, It’s really exciting and interesting to see things that I use on a daily basis that were directly improved with my own code. Working with Nature Remo has been different from my other software development experiences because of its’s unique hardware. When you’re developing an application or providing a service, most hardware you use is connected to IOS or Android. But when you get the opportunity to work with your own hardware, the unique challenges you face will be dramatically different and fun.
The hard part about working at Nature is that we have to manage both the hardware and software, but in the long run, this has proven to be very rewarding.
What other kinds of advancements do you want to make in the software when Nature grows?
It is a bit disappointing that we can’t keep up with all the customer’s feedback, considering we are really familiar with them. There are many features that Nature Remo hasn’t fully developed yet, so I’d like to improve it as we increase in size.
Please tell us if you have a product or service that you want to develop yourself.
Our vision at Nature is to co-exist with nature through technology. With this in mind, I would like to create a large-scale product that directly connects to our why. It is an added plus that the product will make your life more convenient.
Finally, please let us know what kind of software engineers you would like to have join the team at Nature.
It is a great experience to develop something that you use yourself. You are able to think from your own and other’s point of view. As mentioned above, it’s a great opportunity to work on something where you can see the changes every day.
Mr. Soh, thank you very much for your time!
Mr. Soh was interviewed by Tenshi Kitamura, who is also an intern at Nature.