VP Engineering

Palo Alto, CA /
Engineering /
Full Time
Instrumental is seeking a seasoned get-things-done VP of Engineering to scale our technical team and stack. Over the next two years, we will expand from a lean team of 20 to a global team of 50-75, across a diverse set of engineering disciplines, from ML/AI, to distributed systems in the cloud, device software, application, SRE, and business instrumentation. Our technical team is global, with offices in the US and China, and access to a broad talent pool. 

A great candidate will be able to attract and retain high-caliber talent, inspire sustainable peak performance, and fully leverage every member of the team. We are looking for a leader who understands the critical role that our people and culture play in achieving effective execution at scale.

About Instrumental:
Founded by a team of ex-Apple engineers, Instrumental provides a collection of software technologies that enable brands and manufacturers to optimize their manufacturing process to cut waste by orders of magnitude compared to conventional solutions. This waste is non-trivial: 20 cents on every dollar spent in manufacturing is lost to mistakes, experiments, downtime, yield loss, scrap, and returns. Our customers are top electronics companies, including Motorola, Lenovo, Meraki, Bose, and others.

The Instrumental platform collects, intelligently transforms, and contextually presents manufacturing data to technical end-users, enabling them to close loops in their manufacturing process in real-time. Our core technology is proprietary ML algorithms. We leverage these through a clever user interface that enables Instrumental’s users to rapidly deploy AI with no code and minimal training. Over the next few years, we will refine and amplify this value, while also moving into new market segments requiring even more investment in core tech.

The Instrumental product requires an engineering leader who prioritizes customer success through the performance and availability of the platform, great application usability, and the continuous delivery of features that unlock customer value.

About The Stack:
The Instrumental platform includes a high-scalability data/ML backend, a proprietary cloud of data collection devices distributed globally in factories with varying degrees of network stability, integration into a host of enterprise manufacturing systems, and multiple end-user applications that serve engineers, factory workers, project managers, and executives. We use the best technologies for each segment of our stack, leading to a diverse development environment and an equally diverse team. And our distribution requires sophistication, extending to remote environments and fully controlled data centers. Our use case requires both strong security and high reliability. 

The Instrumental platform requires an engineering leader who can add value in technical problem solving, scale a high-availability low-latency platform, and intelligently balance product timeliness with scalability projects.

Success In The First Year:

    • Recruit 10-15 engineers across a variety of disciplines, including software, SRE, and ML/AI.
    • Continue to de-risk our engineering team and processes (bus factor, security, QA).
    • Provide mentorship and coaching to early-career managers & high-growth individual contributors.
    • Refine and optimize our ability to work seamlessly as a team that spans time zones.
    • Scale our platform to keep up with expected demand, maturing our metrics to do so.
    • Streamline project flow from product definition through engineering to fast follows.
    • Establish a formal UX design loop within the engineering workflow.

We'd Love to Chat if You Have:

    • BSCS/EE or MSCS/EE with 15+ years’ relevant software experience.
    • Prior VP of Engineering experience at a successful startup during a period of rapid growth.
    • Prior experience scaling software teams from 20 to 75, balancing growth with culture.
    • Experience with Agile software development (e.g. scrum, Kanban, continuous delivery).
    • Experience scaling highly available, distributed systems with global span.
    • Operational experience with web-scale infrastructure on public clouds.
    • Manufacturing experience is not expected, though empathy for hardware challenges is definitely a plus.