Positions available at Instructables (updated May 2, 2017)

DevOps / Site Reliability Engineer

You will manage infrastructure and scaling for Instructables, making sure that users see reliable and snappy service through all of our application layers. You will own our caching, load balancing, and server clusters, and work alongside the rest of the engineering team to address performance issues before they affect users. You will understand our network diagram thoroughly, and become the go-to person for troubleshooting issues relating to the flow of requests through our network. When spammers launch attacks, you will design and implement strategies that protect the network infrastructure while delivering seamless high-quality experiences for members.

Your role will be at the intersection between our programming team and the systems administrators who work directly with the hardware, so strong communications skills are a must. You’ll need to be able to communicate hardware needs and software needs smoothly between both groups. You’ll be keeping tabs on new hardware needs as they develop, so you’ll need to feel comfortable speaking up when new needs arise.

On typical days, you’ll monitor site performance on a variety of server status and timing charts, keep our staging environment humming, verify database backups and backup strategies, identify and solve problems in how requests are routed, and help us work towards simpler, more efficient infrastructure that we can grow into. You’ll plan how parts of the application interact, keep caching and scaling working smoothly, and coordinate how abuse is handled.

Some areas you’ll be working in regularly:

- IP Networking
- Deployment automation/management (Chef)
- Mysql / Database management
- Unix server management (software side)
- Resin & Apache, Django
- Solr
- Caching configuration (Varnish)
- Load Balancer configuration (HAProxy)

Job Requirements:

- 3-5 Years experience with several technologies mentioned above
- Basic familiarity with all of the above
- Experience performing server maintenance while the servers are under load
- Excellent communication skills
- Familiarity in either Python, or Ruby

We want to find someone who’s excited by making (maybe you have a CNC in your garage already!) and will thrive in a culture of DIY and makers. If you have broad-based experience keeping large computer systems running smoothly, and you’re excited to share in a culture of making, give us a shout!

This is a full-time position that can either be located in our awesome waterfront offices of Pier 9 in San Francisco, or potentially anywhere in the world. Send your resume and cover letter to auctoramentum at instructables dot com. Make the subject of your email robot-related, and, if possible, witty.

Engineering Development Manager

Instructables is looking for an awesome person to manage our Dev Team! Our ideal candidate is a technically hands-on person responsible for maintaining a balance between engineering resources, product development and business imperatives.

As the Engineering Development Manager, you are the gatekeeper for technical work on the Instructables platform. You are technically curious, a software engineer at heart, but also a strong written communicator who can keep the big picture ever-present, the one member of the team who must understand the whole system. You'll be comfortable pulling the plug on work that shouldn't be done, and comfortable selecting the "quick" solution when it is, for business purposes, better than the "complete" solution. On the other hand, you should also be comfortable building support for the complete solution to business stakeholders when the quick solution implies unreasonable technical debt. You'll need to always have a sense of what makes is best to maintain this balancing act.

Your days will be a mix of working with the product manager and designers to plot the product roadmap, and prioritizing execution on the engineering side. User stories will come in defined from a product point of view. It is your responsibility to discuss the implementation strategy with engineers as appropriate, add technical detail, break up those stories into actionable work, assign them, and keep tabs on the parts of work (correcting course where necessary) as they re-assemble on the other side, complete. Once complete, you will close the loop to let relevant stakeholders know the status of new features. You'll need to be able to switch contexts quickly between an in-depth technical discussion on the finer details of one piece of work, and a broader discussion about future product changes.

You are part engineer, architect, scrum master, product manager, and people manager all rolled into one.

Daily Responsibilities:
  • People-manage cross-functional engineers (3 front end, 2 back end, 1 systems, 1 QA)
  • Strong written communication skills. Your writing should be concise and clear in its specifications, but it will also need to "zoom out" and tell the product perspective on the engineering work being specified. You're responsible for giving the engineers enough "why" that they can attack the "how" with context to make sensible implementation decisions along the way.
  • Keep the whole infrastructure in mind when guiding the team through architectural decisions (from JavaScript widgets through caching, load-balancing, backend services, and the database).
  • Keep the whole product in mind as well. Delay projects with high cost in engineering resources, or low business value. "Refactor" projects such that 80% of the business value is realized with only 1/2 of the engineering cost. Simplify specifications to always build the minimum viable product as round 1.
  • Have a "spidey sense" for when features are being over-engineered, or when there "just must a simpler way".
  • Put on your data hat, and pull analytics and statistics from the MySQL database as necessary. Over time, you'll come to know the "shape" of the database schema better than anyone on the team.
  • Closely manage the engineering processes and workflows, from feature conception through meetings and QA.
  • Love "hacking" for the good of the product. If there's something you can do easily yourself without building a whole feature (and involving the whole team in a simple thing) -- do it!
  • Occasionally roll up your sleeves and write some code! This is perhaps only 10% of your time, but it can be useful when the project fills a key void in the calendar, or when you need to serve as a consultant for the team by understanding its workflows in depth.

  • Demonstrated ability to balance product, engineering, and business objectives
  • 5+ years writing code, preferably on the front end with direct contact with product teams
  • 2+ years managing engineers, or enough people skills to convince us you can manage
  • Excellent communication skills, especially in writing
  • Experience leading Agile-ish team meetings
  • Comfortable managing some remote workers and flexible schedules
  • Experience with the following is a plus: JavaScript, Varnish, HAProxy, MySQL, MongoDB, Java, Hibernate, Solr / Lucene, Python / Django, CentOS, SEO
  • A passion for the Instructables community, and online education

Do you think you’d be a good fit with our team? We’d love to chat with you! Send your cover letter, code samples, and resume to auctoramentum at instructables dot com.  If you're already a member of our community be sure to mention your username when you apply. Make the subject of your email robot-related, and if possible, fun!


We don't have internships available now, but we love meeting people who love making. Be bold! Propose a project, and we'll get back to you.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what happens behind the scenes here at HQ, here’s your chance! We want passionate people who can use our amazing workspace to help them realize their maker dreams, and help us manage the best community on the Internet. These paid positions are located at the Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco.

The strongest applicants will have an Instructables account with a history of well documented projects which show off your amazing skills. Send an email to auctoramentum at instructables dot com with a fun, robot-related subject line. What are you waiting for? Blow us away with your creative portfolio and tell us what projects you want to make when you’re here!

Artists in Residence

The Pier 9 Artists in Residence (AIR) program gives artists, makers, and fabricators a chance to work with us in our digital fabrication workshops at Autodesk. Our artists explore, create, and document cutting-edge projects, and share them with the DIY community. See the Autodesk AIR website for more information and instructions to apply.

Volunteer Intern/Apprentices - orphans preferred

The illustrious Tim Anderson, one of Instructables most prolific authors, is also seeking interns, orphans preferred. See his posting here.

About Instructables

Instructables is the most popular Do It Yourself community on the Internet. With currently over 29 million monthly active users, you will join a team that is having a meaningful impact on the world. Started in August 2005, Instructables provides accessible tools and publishing instructions to enable passionate, creative people to share their most innovative projects, recipes, ideas, and hacks. The site is currently home to over 100,000 projects covering such diverse areas as crafts, art, kids, electronics, pets, bikes, cars, robotics, green projects, and cooking.  In 2011, we were acquired by Autodesk.  Our benefits are now super-charged!  

We're located at Pier 9 in San Francisco in the world's most advanced workshop directly on the bay with gorgeous natural light and unobstructed views of the Bay Bridge. In our shop, we have CNC everything, a 5-axis waterjet, an 11-axis mill, the largest collection of high-end 3D printers, a woodshop, a metal shop, an enormous test kitchen, industrial sewing machines, and a fully stocked electronics lab. See this Machine Catalog Instructable for a peek. 

If you want to work remotely
Click here for more information about helping out around the Instructables website.

This is the most recent and up to date job listing for Instructables despite the posting date.

Picture of Positions available at Instructables (updated May 2, 2017)
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Kiteman8 months ago

You're not going to get the job if you can't work out how to apply.

Read the post carefully, all the way through.

MarilynF24 Kiteman5 months ago


Kiteman MarilynF245 months ago

That was a reply to Arsenal671.

Two months ago...

Brooklyntonia9 months ago

The email address to send in your CV is in the job listing. What position are you interested in?

seamster1 year ago

Send it in soon ;)

I'll try to get it in tonight. Thanks seamster. You were my first comment on Instructables, and therefore I will remember you forever ;)

egdahl2 years ago

Where is instuctables.com headquartered? As in where are the jobs?

Brooklyntonia egdahl2 years ago

San Francisco, CA

WineSoaked2 years ago

Hey wow! I'm smart, easy to work with, and do Java backend development (Spring, iBATIS/Hibernate, build automation, XML). And I have my own maker blog to boot: http://randybuildsthings.wordpress.com

How shall I reach you to toss my hat in the ring?


pseaton WineSoaked2 years ago

Send us an email! It's in there somewhere....

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