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Meet the Infrastructure and Tools team

on September 14, 2020

Lofty aspirations require strong foundations. At Torc, the Infrastructure & Tools team is tasked with creating and maintaining the foundational systems on which the rest of the organization depends. The team is composed of cross-functional, multi-disciplinary software professionals who are dedicated to creating the infrastructure, web applications, and backend tools that enable testing and data analysis for our self-driving vehicles. Each plays a unique role in helping to realize Torc’s mission of making the world safer.

From the Road to the Cloud

You might not notice the Infrastructure & Tools team while making your way through Torc Robotics HQ. That’s because much of their work takes place behind the scenes. They provide the backbone for testing ops, working to solve the problems of scalability and reliability in the self-driving vehicle space. From on-vehicle troubleshooting to large-scale cloud deployments, they construct cutting-edge solutions that empower engineers to build, deploy, test and analyze autonomous software.

On-vehicle Computing

The Infrastructure & Tools team works closely with test engineers to ensure that the on-vehicle computing hardware meets performance requirements. They use industry-standard tools and services to manage our builds and deployments, including Git, Jenkins, Ansible, and Docker. They are actively involved in the design of next-generation hardware systems in the self-driving vehicles. It is up to them to ensure a stable on-vehicle computing platform to reliably support increasing on-road testing requirements.

Cloud Infrastructure

The team is responsible for provisioning, configuring and deploying simulation environments and log analysis pipelines to cloud compute and storage platforms using Kubernetes, terraform and other tools. Log analysis of petabyte-scale real-world vehicle test data and auto-scaling of simulation tasks requires innovative techniques to balance trade offs between cost and performance by creating ephemeral instances when cloud provider demand is low and on-demand instances for time-sensitive tasks.

The I&T Approach

A member of the Infrastructure and Tools team smiles at the camera while working on their computer in the back of a Torc vehicle.
As with the rest of Torc, the Infrastructure & Tools team is committed to safety. They are driven by Torc’s mission to save lives and make the roads safer for everyone. This mission informs every aspect of their job and inspires them to produce the highest-quality software. They are keenly aware that the systems they create will be used by the rest of Torc, so they are continuously testing their systems to ensure there are no flaws or issues.

While the team takes its work seriously, they also like to have fun. Their interactions with one another are full of enthusiasm, friendliness, wit and lots of laughter. Opinions and ideas are encouraged in their discussions with one another. These discussions often lead to new approaches in creating and maintaining the infrastructure needed for self-driving vehicles.

The team also leverages the diverse skillset of its team members to create custom solutions that meet the challenges of developing and testing autonomous software. They apply Agile methodologies and best practices to thrive in a fast-paced and collaborative environment. Whether in-office or working remote, communication drives the team’s innovation. They have some of the best and brightest people working together to help each other succeed.

As software engineer and Infrastructure & Tools team member Zachary Joswick describes it, “The work of the Infrastructure and Tools team varies widely from on-vehicle computing all the way to cloud-based software deployment. As such, our team is comprised of individuals with extremely varied skillets and experience. This is one of the greatest advantages of our team because, no matter what issues we run into, there is usually someone on the team who has experience in that area and will help resolve them. The team is also extremely collaborative. Every day we work with our colleagues over Slack, Zoom meetings or in person to discuss issues, implementations and determine the path ahead. In order to be effective in this environment we take time to get to know our colleagues and often find similar interests and frequently interact outside of work. When you work with colleagues as closely as we do, it’s hard not to make some true friends along the way.”

Join us!

If you enjoyed learning about the Infrastructure & Tools team and would like a rewarding career with opportunities to learn, innovate, and contribute to a world-changing mission, we would love to hear from you. Apply now!

Kevin NeeseMeet the Infrastructure and Tools team

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