Positions available at Instructables (updated Dec 1, 2017)

Engineering Development Manager

The Instructables Engineering Development Manager is technically hands-on person responsible for leading and maintaining the Instructables community platform which supports over 250M curious doers every year.

As the Dev Manager, you are the gatekeeper for all technical work, owner of the stack/architecture, and responsible for the overall health and velocity of our engineering efforts. You are technically curious, a software engineer at heart, but you are 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.

Your days will be a mix of working with the product manager and designers to support 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 a part engineer, architect, scrum master, product manager, and people manager all rolled into one.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Ownership of the technology stack/architecture, site reliability, and devops
  • People-manage cross-functional engineers (3 front end, 2 back end, 1 systems, 1 QA)
  • Hiring, developing, and mentoring software engineers, qa, and sre/devops
  • Participate in, and manage the full development cycle: design, develop, QA, experiment, analyze, and deploy
  • Collaborating closely with PM and Design to architect features
  • 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 are responsible for giving the engineers enough "why" that they can attack the "how" with context to make sensible implementation decisions along the way.
  • Ability to understand the whole infrastructure from JavaScript through caching, load-balancing, backend services, and the database when guiding and troubleshooting the team through architectural decisions, and
  • 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 with direct contact with product teams
  • 3+ years managing, hiring and mentoring engineers
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • 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, AWS, SEO
  • A passion for the Instructables community, and online education

This is a full-time position located in either our waterfront offices at Pier 9 in San Francisco, or in our Portland, OR office that is currently under construction. Please send your resume, cover letter, and, if you have one, your Instructables member name to auctoramentum at instructables dot com. Make the subject of your email robot-related, and, if possible, witty.

Product Manager

As the Product Manager, you will lead our mission to inspire and empower our curious community of doers to share their knowledge in ways that will in turn motivate others to transform their curiosity into action. With over 250 million visitors a year, this is an opportunity to have significant and meaningful impact while working alongside one of the nicest communities on the Internet.

We share a deeply held creed with our community of doers: the best way to learn something is to do it. In the trying and head-scratching and trying again, we see the best of what makes us human. Optimism and resilience are two halves of the same whole. Failure isn’t a stopping point, it’s a learning point. Courage is what dares us to do what we imagine. Collaboration makes us better. Different is good. These are our values in action, and why you would choose to come and join our cause.

This is not your typical product management role, as we believe that our community and product are one. Without our community, our product is only a shell. Along with having the expertise in building delightful intuitive online experiences, you will also be responsible for the overall health and growth of the Instructables community.

This role will oversee the creation and management for all new product features, community engagement programs, and operations. This includes site architecture, UI/UX, community relationship management, customer support, be nice enforcement, and content quality.

You will collaborate with our creative and platform team to define, design, and prioritize product initiatives that ensure the ongoing health of Instructables. This role also coordinates with our marketing, PR, legal, and policy teams for any inbound inquiries as well as proactive outbound communications.


  • Set product strategy for the team to grow and sustain a healthy community
  • Recruit, manage, and grow the community team into highly productive and engaged staff
  • Lead product development of new features for users, admins, and moderators
  • Accountability for advertising and membership revenue
  • Ensure the teams and the Company speaks to the community with one consistent voice
  • Develop analytics reports and dashboards on community growth, quality, and content trends
  • Partner with Legal on how to handle legal impact of community behaviors, content, and third party requests
  • Handle all inbound marketing requests, and be the public face for media inquiries
  • Work with marketing and PR to flag and highlight positive community behavior and content
  • Monitor market growth in online user-generated communities to ensure the Company understands market changes in online community tools, issues, and trends


  • Leader with strong people management and managerial skills
  • 5+ years in online product management role, ideally with a high traffic/impact website
  • 2+ years with direct community management, and/or customer service leadership
  • Strong operational execution skills with a clear focus on impact
  • Experience in managing complex and nuanced situations
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of online community platforms
  • Proven product management track record
  • Ability to effectively communicate information and ideas in written and verbal format to exec level, as well as public speaking engagements
  • Ability to build and maintain strong relationships across the company
  • Strong knowledge of principles of customer service and the ability to clearly understand and respond appropriately
  • Experience with organic SEO, online advertising, and managing budgets

This is a full-time position located in either our waterfront offices at Pier 9 in San Francisco, or in our Portland, OR office that is currently under construction. Please send your resume, cover letter, and, if you have one, your Instructables member name to auctoramentum at instructables dot com. Make the subject of your email robot-related, and, if possible, witty.

Working at Instructables

If you don't see an open position that fits you, please don't hesitate to drop us a line and say hi. We are always actively building our network of curious, creative talent with a passion for making. To introduce yourself, please send your cover letter and resume to auctoramentum at instructables dot com with a fun, robot-related subject line.

Autodesk Pier 9 Residency Program

The Pier 9 Residency Program gives creatives, innovators, and manufacturers a chance to work with us in our advanced digital fabrication workshops at Autodesk. Our residents explore every stage of the process of making things, from digital model to real-world physical objects. Together, we’re discovering ways to advance 3D design and fabrication technologies, to change design, engineering, and manufacturing as we know it. See the Autodesk Pier 9 Residency website for more information and instructions on how to apply.

About Instructables

Started in August 2005, Instructables provides a peer to peer learning platform to enable curious, passionate, and creative people to share and collaborate their most innovative projects, ideas, and hacks. The site is currently home to over 200,000 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.


Picture of Positions available at Instructables (updated Dec 1, 2017)
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xe1ybc093 years ago

Hi everybody

nathim1003 years ago


hunter9993 years ago

Sounds good!

JM19993 years ago


morgantor Benzyl3 years ago

Not really, there's ways to emulate IE on a mac wo/ even downloading software!

supercolor3 years ago

I´m just a man with something great ideas..

gmoon4 years ago

Just an FYI: while Instructables isn't mentioned by name, the latest PopSci mag (Feb 2014) has a profile of Carl Bass (Autodesk CEO) and the Pier 9 workshop is mentioned in the article...

In the printed article, there should be a little tiny mention that is off to the side in a text box.

aHa! You're right--Instructables is mentioned in the sidebar. Cool.

Chikpeas Brother4 years ago
The Instructables workshop sounds like heaven on earth.
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