Team Spotlights: Blog Series

Our people are our most valuable product at Instrumental. We believe in hiring the best teammates who are ready to work with joy, be helpful, and play to win! Get to know some of our awesome teammates through this blog series.

Meet Jonathan Yee!


Today we'll meet Jonathan, one of our Software Engineers. Learn more about where his love of space got started, what it was like to work remotely, and if he's a dog or cat person.


What does your typical day look like at Instrumental?

A typical day for me begins with checking my email/Slack for any messages, incidents, or web-app related items that came in that could be relevant for me to know about or help out with as needed. From there I typically spend a little bit of time skimming through or reading interesting articles that are included in a number of software development related email digests that I subscribe to. If I have any requested reviews for open pull requests (PRs), I usually start my engineering day by reviewing these requests. Once I’m done reviewing open PRs, I typically pick up where I left off the previous day — diving back into coding for an open task (or new one), addressing feedback I received, or planning and scoping out upcoming initiatives.

We also have engineering scrum meetings a few days during the week. The topics can range from mini-topic sessions from individual engineering teams/individuals, a general demo session across the teams, or a Q&A session with engineers or other team members at Instrumental. We also have regular sprint planning meetings.

Why did you choose Instrumental?

When I first began my last job search that eventually finished with me joining Instrumental, I spent most of my time looking for two things. The first was an opportunity to contribute directly to a product that is valuable to industry customers (both internal and external users) and second to be able to work with and learn from a smart hard working engineering team.

Once I had the chance to meet and speak with my interviewers about our product, I really started to see the power and simplicity of our product. I also had the opportunity to meet and interact with a number of Instrumental’s engineers. I quickly saw that I was going to be pushed to be a better software engineer by everyone here and that collaboration was a big part of Instrumental’s process. When the offer from Instrumental arrived, it was a no brainer for me as both items I was looking for were at Instrumental.

Tell us one thing that people may not know about you.

I have an enormous interest in all things outer space related. This love for space began around the age of 8 or 9 when my dad was working on launching satellite communication constellations, and I got the opportunity to watch one of the satellites launch from their headquarters. From that moment on, I spent most of my personal, academic, and professional life working towards becoming a NASA astronaut, though I did end up switching my career path after graduate school. While I have spent the past few years suppressing my addiction, I am always interested in having a conversation about anything space related, particularly the physics or engineering behind it all!

Since joining Instrumental, what has been your favorite memory working here?

In my time at Instrumental, there have been a number of fun team building activities that I could point to that could be my favorite memory, including bow shooting to celebrate our Series B, boba drink making, and the holiday parties. But I think my fondest memory of my time while working at Instrumental would be in regards to our response to the first months of COVID lockdown in 2020. For context, I arrived at Instrumental in January of 2020 from a company that had been completely remote for several years. I was looking forward to being in an office and working with other engineers in person again, only to have COVID move me back to fully remote work within the first few months of my tenure. However, instead of simply dropping a number of meetings typically meant for just in-person team building, we moved these to virtual meetings and even organized additional virtual social hours to socialize and play virtual games just to break up the monotony of working from home. I think this is my favorite memory, because it made me feel much more connected to Instrumental in a time that was quite difficult worldwide.

What is your favorite Instrumental Slack Channel and why?

I actually have 3 favorite Slack channels. I love #we-love-pets, #we-did-stuff-this-weekend, and #we-yum. #we-love-pets because I am a big dog person (and sometimes cat person) that loves seeing the happy go lucky nature of our pets. #we-did-stuff-this-weekend because it is so awesome to see some of the landscapes other Instrumentalists end up at and the pictures they take. And finally, #we-yum, because I am a huge foodie and always looking for my next craving.

What do you like most about your job?

As is the case with all these questions, I could never just pick one, but I have narrowed it down to two aspects about my job that I like the most.

The first is that I get the opportunity to work with smart, helpful, and hard-working individuals across Instrumental. Regardless if I consistently work closely with members of a different team or not, everyone is always ready to lend a helping hand or weigh in on a good strategy to solve challenges I am facing in my work.

The second is that I get a chance to work on initiatives and features that turn customer (and Instrumentalists) wants and wishes into reality. I very much enjoy taking on and solving the challenges of trying to implement software that is both powerful and intuitive for our users.

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