An Interview with Software Engineer Jonathan Cheng Ph.D. | Meeting Molecula

Our blog series, Meeting Molecula, highlights the incredible engineers who build our innovative products here at Molecula. Want to join the team? Check out our open positions here!

Meeting Molecula graphic featuring software engineer Jonathan Chang, Ph.D.

Meeting Molecula: So Jonathan, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jonathan and I’m a software engineer on the Cloud team at Molecula! I was born and mostly raised in Hong Kong, spent a few years of my childhood in Canada, and spent a year in Switzerland as an exchange student after high school. I completed my Chemical engineering Bachelors and Bioengineering Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

 

What did you do before Molecula? What were you looking for in your next role?

In my previous job, I was a medical device engineer at a small startup in Seattle. I had to build a piece of software that analyzed complex data for root cause analysis of a drug manufacturing issue. I was able to complete my task successfully and the company was able to resolve a critical manufacturing issue. Ever since then I wanted to become a software engineer working for a company that is passionate about empowering businesses to analyze data. I think Molecula is a good fit for me given that my desire aligns with the company’s mission to make data accessible to everyone including machines.

What are the best parts of your job? 

Being a cloud engineer is super awesome because I get to learn the latest and the greatest cloud technologies and design solutions that have significant business impact. I also really like the culture on the Cloud team. Everyone is friendly and easy to approach. The team has a very supportive culture and encourages teammates to grow and learn from mistakes. I am very impressed by how engineers can feel safe sharing their failures and learnings without worries.

What does your team do at Molecula? What makes your team cool?

Jonathan Chang Ph.D. software engineer at Molecula snow shoeing in the mountains

Snow shoeing at Wolf Creek Trail in Port Angeles, WA

I build the backend of the cloud product at Molecula. I mostly write Golang code for our Lambda functions and use Cloudformation and Terraform to provision cloud resources. I sometimes code in Typescript for implementing integration and canary tests. I also set up Gitlab CI pipelines and write some bash scripts to automate deployment. When I am not coding, I write documentation for the design and architecture of new cloud features. Every once in a while, I find myself login into EC2 instances and debugging issues in the cloud. I think the coolest thing about the Cloud team is that we exist to make our FeatureBase service scalable to the whole world!

What do you think is the most interesting thing about FeatureBase technology? 

I think the most interesting thing about FeatureBase technology is that the ingest and query capabilities are so fast that it supports real-time data analytics.

What’s your favorite software package or tool that you’ve ever used, and why? 

VS Code is probably the most useful tool for me. I install a bunch of extensions and they help me format the code, check any syntactic errors, refactor stuff, etc…

What’s a fun fact about you? What’s something about you I can’t Google?

I am a Go (ancient Chinese board game) player (7Dan on Tygem) and I used to teach at the Seattle Go Center until the pandemic occurred. I also love playing Dance Dance Revolution as part of my workout routine. My favorite food is takoyaki!

Go Board

Go or Weiqi is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent.

What would you like people outside of your team to know? Why would someone want to work at Molecula? 

You should really join our Cloud team if you:

  1. Are excited about cloud technologies
  2. Are a self-starter and motivated to figure things out independently
  3. If you are already skilled, you are patient and are willing to share your knowledge and mentor others
  4. If you are new to the cloud, you are willing to be humble yet courageous in asking questions
  5. Are curious and creative in coming up with solutions to solve complex problems

 

Join the team!