Human Standards

Being a developer at Instrument is more than just about programming skills or knowing how to solve complex problems. The whole human is something we take seriously, including an entire Human Development group within our walls that has grown around the idea that there is more to a person than just the craft.

Instrument has standards for and curriculum for many aspects of the human experience at work, like Influence, Perspective, and Energy. Because these are quantified standards and we are able to work towards them for the betterment of the relationships we have and the quality of code we write.

This is summary of some of the things we believe in from a human perpective.


A key to success on a human level at Instrument is open communication, with fellow developers and other disciplines. We are a large company with lots of personality and working types.

Be vocal about your progress

In order for projects to run smoothly, everyone needs to be on the same page. This prevents technical pains (like re-work, conflicting code) and confusion about what we’re building together.

  • Write updates in your issues/tickets as you develop insights or gather new information
  • Be descriptive in the daily standups for your projects
  • Make sure the non-technical people on your projects understand what you’re working on

Outloud words

Sometimes a long Slack exchange or a back and forth on a Github issue isn’t the best way to get to a resolution on something. We believe that often a 30 second spoken conversation can cut through the ambiguity of text, saving time and making the work better.


Honesty is important, both with yourself and those around you.

With others

Every group runs into challenges from team dynamics to disagreements over build systems. Meeting those challenges head on with open honesty will prevent misunderstandings from building. We are not afraid of radical candor and saying the hard things to each other.

With yourself

No developer is an island at Instrument, and knowing when to ask for help if you are stuck is important. Reaching out to the development team at large or individual contributors to help you is respected here. Saying you don’t understand how a part of the stack works is encouraged. If you are honest about your knowledge and are willing to express where you’re at in your understanding, everyone else on the team will help get you to where you need to be.

Cultural Add over Cultural Fit

We welcome developers from a whole range of personalities, backgrounds, and world views. We don’t compromise on our values like “Do great work, be great to work with”, but we know that culture is an every changing concept. Just as we learn new tools and adopt new best practices in our craft, embracing new people with many varied experiences shapes us into a better company with every new human that walks through the doors.

Because of this focus that we aren’t all cut from the same cloth, our other tenants of honest, attitude, and communication become even more important.