Pilot Program

We are looking for people across the world to join us for a unique experience in the pilot phase of the ZenIT project!

Our main focus will be for each person to find their own answer to “What is Zen(IT)?”, in other words a Zen-like way of doing software development leading to inner peace and happiness, as well as high productivity.

In the process, we will be pair programming to write open source software and will also be going to Eiheiji Temple for authentic Zen practice and meditation. What we’re actually going to build will be decided by everyone once we gather!

A sample week may look like the below. Note that this schedule is very flexible and we can decide it together as a team.
  • 3-4 days: writing code in ZenIT style (6 hours per day)
  • 1-2 days: visiting/staying at Zen temples to experience Zen lifestyle and meditation with monks
  • Weekends / evenings (flexible, free time to do anything you want)
    • Enjoying cultural immersion with local Japanese people (festivals, hiking, skiing, hot springs, dinner parties, sightseeing, etc.)
    • Teaching programming to Japanese kids (9/23 event) and young adults (10/6)


This is very flexible. Ideally, we would like to have people who can commit to 1-3 months, but shorter commitments are also possible (1-4 weeks). The time range for the pilot program is December 3rd, 2018 ~ March 31st, 2019.


We will work primarily out of Eiheiji town. The Fukui region is ranked number for happiness in Japan and Eiheiji town is one of the happiest towns in the region! Not to mention that it's engulfed in nature (forests, rivers, mountains, rice fields), very very safe, clean, has delicious food, and has preserved many treasures of the Japanese culture.

The town also houses Eiheiji Temple, a 750-year-old landmark and the worldwide headquarters for the Soto Zen lineage of over 15,000 sub-temples.

What you’ll learn

  1. Authentic Zen principles and meditation - the focus is on sitting in meditation and learning about yourself
  2. Cutting-edge Extreme Programming techniques from Silicon Valley, such as pair programming, test-driven development, retrospective meeting, continuous feedback, no deadlines, etc. + how fun coding is!
  3. Traditional Japanese culture (tatami room, happy town lifestyle, food, etc.) and language
  4. How to survive in the snow... brrrr!
  5. Anything else you want to know!


For this pilot program, the ZenIT team and sponsors are providing everything for free of charge!
  1. Free shared lodging in Eiheiji town in a huge traditional Japanese house
  2. Support from Eiheiji town citizens for most concerns (sightseeing, food, transportation, etc.)
  3. International connections to ZenIT team (see below) and Eiheiji Town people
  4. Very flexible, with everyone’s learning, health, and happiness being the top priority!
  5. Potential scholarship for travel expenses covered from your home to Eiheiji town (airfare, train, hotel)

Requirements to participate

  1. Interest in mindfulness, meditation, and Zen
  2. English fluency (written and verbal)
  3. Software development experience of at least 2 years (ideally 5+ years)

Bonus points

  1. Japanese language ability / cultural interest
  2. Interest in immersive meditation training at Zen temples in the cold winter
  3. Interest in learning Martial Arts, Yoga, and/or Tai Chi
  4. Interest to research and write papers / blog posts on ZenIT
If you don't meet all the requirements, still feel free to contact us! We will do our best to include you.


Please contact Pilot@ZenIT.jp for any questions!
*Please avoid sending attachments/images in your initial email.

In-person Interview

It's better to meet once in person for an interview before participation, if possible. Amil, ZenIT founder, will be in the Silicon Valley for some time in November 2018 and in Japan afterwards.

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