VP Engineering

Palo Alto, CA
Engineering
Full Time
What we’re looking for
Instrumental is seeking a seasoned get-things-done engineering leader to scale out our technical team and stack. We are a small team of senior engineers that is scaling up. Over the next two years, we will expand from a lean team of about 10 to a globally distributed team of 30-50, 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. 

The Instrumental team requires an engineering leader who can attract and retain high calibre talent, inspire peak performance, and leverage every member of the team. To earn the team’s respect, this leader is an engineer who solves problems that matter and sees around corners. 

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 wasted in mistakes, experiments, downtime, yield loss, scrap, and returns. Our customers are top electronics brands, including Motorola and other well-known brands.

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 clever user interface solutions that bring the power of AI to Instrumental’s users. 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 more 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 of 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, fully controlled data centers. Our use case requires both strong security and high reliability. 

The Instrumental platform requires an engineering leader who can value-add 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, ML/AI
* Continue to de-risk our engineering team and processes (bus factor, security, QA)
* Establish and build out an engineering presence in Shenzhen to support (and stay ahead of) a growing grid of factory appliances and system integrations
* Refine and optimize our ability to work seamlessly as a distributed team
* 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
* Earn the respect and appreciation of our engineering team and company

We’d love to chat if you have

* BSCS/EE or MSCS/EE with 15+ years’ engineering experience
* Prior VP of Engineering experience at a successful startup during rapid growth
* Scaled software teams from 10 to 50 before, smartly balancing growth with culture
* Experience with Agile software development (e.g. scrum, Kanban, continuous delivery)
* Experience scaling highly available, low latency distributed systems that span environments
* Operational experience with web-scale infrastructure on public clouds
* Manufacturing experience is not expected