Creative + Innovative
We’re building the first-ever developer-led platform for collaborating on and seamlessly validating hardware designs.
The world around us is enabled by novel circuit designs. Consider the seemingly trivial act of hailing a taxi from the comfort of your home. This simple process (for you) relies on a 3 million light-emitting diode display with a user interface that is logically routed to a capacitive sensor capable of tracking your finger at sub-millimeter resolution, an antenna capable of transmitting to a radio tower kilometers away at a rate of 20 Gb/s, repeated 35,000km to a satellite, which is able to use its own integrated sensors and drivers to maintain geosynchronous orbit over decades, without human interference.
The infrastructure we've taken for granted wasn't designed overnight and isn't staying put. However, the hardware industry is stuck relying on PDFs, email, and in-person meetings at each design review in order to get things done. Our co-founders, Kyle and Valentina, experienced these pain points firsthand and got to talking about them while doing a joint engineering master’s and MBA at Harvard. We believe the next progression of human innovation, like putting the first human colonies on Mars, requires a step-change in how hardware designs are managed. Enter AllSpice! Our platform is compatible with tools like GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, and allows hardware teams to control revisions, reviews, and releases all from one place – enabling a truly agile workflow.
Thinking about how to take the best practices that have evolved in software development and apply them to hardware engineering is complex and rarely straightforward. It requires a collaborative approach and thinking outside of the box. Our diff tool is a great example since we have to think about how to communicate schematics information in a visual way. Similarly, there are other differences in the hardware space that require a more technical approach, whether it’s digging into file formats or figuring out how to merge binary design data.
These are many exciting challenges to work on and since we’re the first to delve into this space, many of our customers look to us for guidance. For instance, they’ll ask us, “What should we be doing for releases?” and we get to brainstorm, ideate, and iterate on the best solutions. From larger issues such as helping customers manage the chip shortage to more nitty-gritty decisions like deciding where to place a certain button, we keep feedback loops tight (often hopping on customer calls) and are always looking for creative ways to improve our users’ experience. Check out this blog post to learn more about how our customers love using our product.
Committed to Personal Growth
We want you to grow with us.
As a small, but quickly growing team, we place an emphasis on learning as we build. For instance, we have several sets of eyes on pull requests and go through multiple design reviews. Part of this mission is to ensure we’re writing high-quality code, but it’s also so that we can learn along the way. Mentorship is baked into our culture; Kyle (co-founder and CTO) and Jon (principal software architect) are always available to answer questions or support junior devs. We never put a pin in something we don't understand, be it the function of a piece of code or the behavior of a customer interaction. Instead, we care about leaving space for folks on the team to explore and truly understand the changes they’re making. Doing so helps us expand our technical competence and build the best product possible.
As a new engineer on the team, you’ll be exposed to multiple parts of the business. Whether it’s learning more about marketing or sitting in on customer calls and directly participating in customer feedback, there’s ample opportunity to ask questions and flex different skills. To that end, we also emphasize exploring new technologies, architecture, and UIs. We’re not afraid to hit pause when needed to ensure we’re building the right product for the medium- and long-term.
We raised a $3.2M seed round in January 2022 and are looking for folks who are passionate about making an outsized impact in transforming software for hardware developers. If you’re interested in growing your career as an IC, or moving into people management roles, we support both tracks and encourage you to check out our open roles!
Actively Practices Inclusion
We value everyone’s input.
It’s important to us that every team member feels comfortable speaking up and expressing both their ideas and concerns. At our weekly all-hands meeting, everyone shares what they worked on the previous week, any highlights, and what they’ll be working on that week. We make sure to rotate the order so that we never start with the same person and always give everyone equal floor space. There’s also a fun grab bag question too, which can range from sharing the last book you read or your spirit animal to slightly deeper topics such as a favorite childhood memory.
It’s safe to say that we avoid silos, and our weekly all-hands is also a great place for engineers to learn more about other parts of the business and explain what they’re working on to folks who are less familiar. We’re happy to explain more technical terms to our marketing peers and vice-versa. In order to learn from each other, having diverse experiences and expertises is paramount. Maybe you’re self-taught or have a CS degree, a parent or an empty nester, just starting out in your career or further along – we welcome folks from all backgrounds.
Flexible Work Arrangements
We’re remote-first and trust you to manage your schedule.
If you live in Boston or San Francisco, we have flex office space for folks to collaborate in-person however often they’d like. That said, we fully embrace remote work. Our product encourages users to leverage technology to break distance barriers and get work done at record speeds, and the same goes for us. Amazing progress can happen from anywhere and being remote-first also opens the door to even more talent. In addition to a home office stipend, we give everyone who joins the team a budget to choose the specs for their Macs, from the desired size and memory storage down to their color preference.
While we aim to overlap from 9am-1pm PST, we’re flexible and we have a good mix of early birds and night owls on the team. For example, Valentina, finds she’s in her prime creative time when working in the evenings after dinner and makes sure to schedule emails so she’s mindful of teammates’ time zones. Kyle has been known to take advantage of skiing on a weekday morning when the lift lines are small and working a half-day on the weekend when, you guessed it, the slopes are crowded. Valentina also worked from a different city each week for a month and took some Fridays off to hit the summer wedding circuit. In other words, if you want to take time to run an errand, enjoy a hobby, pick up the kids from school, or whatever the case may be, we fully support that! We recently had our first formal offsite and hope to gather at least once a year to have time to connect in-person as a company.
Impressive Team Members
Everyone shares a passion and commitment to solve complex technical problems.
We feel humbled and fortunate to work with folks who have deep technical experience and are eager to share their knowledge. Having worked as an electrical engineer for many years, Kyle (co-founder and CTO) brings that unique understanding to the table. Valentina (co-founder and CEO) has a mechanical engineering background and also worked as a product manager at Amazon. Jon, who has been our principal software engineer since the beginning, has decades of experience doing full-stack web development. He’s seen the rise and fall of different languages and tech stacks and is invaluable as a mentor to others.
We’re a multidisciplinary team that isn’t afraid to take risks. It’s only by being courageous that we’ll make breakthrough discoveries or find paths that don’t work – either way, we’ll learn from the experience. At the end of the day, we trust each other’s expertise both on the engineering side and company-wide.
Open Source Contributor
Giving back to the open source community is crucial.
Traditionally, hardware has been stuck with closed source, closed binary formats, closed tooling, and no APIs. We’re completely changing this by focusing on opening standardized file formats and creating open APIs. Our goal is to unlock the data for our users that has previously been inaccessible. That’s why open source is core to what we’re building. In fact, a big component of our application is forked from Gitea. Kyle is a maintainer on the project and we make sure to contribute to open source projects financially and via upstream code commits. Similarly, we’re building continuous integration into our app and it’s built on another open source project called Drone.
Anytime we work on something that can be broadly applicable to the community, we try to contribute it upstream. Even if we’re not directly contributing to an open source project, we find other ways to be supportive. For instance, Valentina judged a Hackaday competition and donated her fee to Gitea.
We’re intentional about meeting time.
Outside of customer calls, there are only three main meetings engineers can expect to attend. The first is our weekly all-hands meeting every Monday, where we get the entire company together to discuss any high-level items. It’s also a great time to ask questions or share highlights so we have visibility into what everyone is working on. We also have a weekly dev meeting to talk about any roadblocks folks are facing or do a deeper dive into a certain topic. Lastly, you’ll have a weekly 1:1 with your manager to discuss anything on your mind, whether it’s a workflow issue or you just need a sounding board. If there’s not much to be addressed during a 1:1, we’re not afraid to cancel it – we never feel the need to meet just for the sake of meeting. Beyond that, we keep our days open so there’s plenty of maker time and people can take advantage of the flexible hours. More informally, we’re active on Slack and Gather, but we understand that people need time to digest and respond to information. Keeping meeting time intentional and setting priorities more often than processes is important to us as we continue to grow.
Supports Physical Wellness
We prioritize both physical and mental health.
You should never have to sacrifice your well-being to join an early-stage startup. That’s why we offer comprehensive, top tier health care benefits including medical, dental, and vision. We cover healthcare premiums for employees at 100% and 80% for spouses, domestic partners, and dependents. If you opt for a high-deductible plan, we’ll also contribute $140 per month into an HSA savings account.
While we have ambitious goals, we strive to keep the pace sustainable and avoid burnout. We know how important it is to take quality time off. Leadership sets a good example by actually taking vacation and encouraging others to do the same. We’re all responsible individuals, so if you want to take a long weekend or a two-week trip, we’re not keeping close tabs on PTO. If this resonates with you and you’re excited about building truly agile workflows to revolutionize how hardware is built, get in touch!