A smart-oven-paired subscription meal service.

Lead Iot Engineer at Tovala

Chicago, IL / Remote
Job Type
3+ years
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About the role

Description About us.

We're Tovala, a food-tech company completely reinventing home cooking to save consumers time. Through an innovative combination of hardware, software, and food, we give our customers a way to enjoy really good, good-for-you meals without sacrificing time to do whatever matters to them. We've amassed a loyal, rapidly growing following in just three years, radically changing the day-to-day lives of people across the country and successfully creating a new model for the food industry. We're looking for great people to join our team of hard-working, food-loving nerds.

Job Description

As a Lead IoT Engineer at Tovala, you would improve the quality of our connected oven fleet through feature additions, bug fixes, testing and QA improvements, and launching entirely new products. You would implement codes and process changes that help us keep up our exciting growth rate.


We have some flexibility on location. Ideally, you would join the hardware team in their R&D and prototyping dream shop, located at The Product Manufactory in Urbana, IL ( You could also work out of our HQ in Chicago, IL or, if you have your own electronics equipment, you could work primarily remotely.

Some examples of how you’ll spend your time at Tovala:

Adam, the original developer, needs you to make the firmware more efficient so we have some head room to de-risk future updates. It’s a big change, so you’ll also need to design and execute a test plan in the lab, then on a subset of the fleet. Nikhil, our thermal engineer, is sure he can improve the cooking uniformity with a new control algorithm for the convection fan. He gives you a photograph of a flow chart on a whiteboard and asks for your help quickly setting up 10 R&D ovens with test firmware. Armela, our quality engineer, thinks the recent uptick in in wifi-related customer complaints correlates with a firmware upgrade or an OS change. You’re sure it correlates with a manufacturing defect. Y’all bet a Chicago style pizza on it, and collaborate closely until you find out who wins the bet. Tovala decides to add another connected cooking product. You need to scope, plan, design, test, and execute the new firmware launch, working closely with hardware and backend engineers. Requirements About You

You have worked with internet connected devices and firmware. You are comfortable with managing a fleet of more than 50,000 connected devices You are comfortable with C/C++ and willing to learn the Squirrel real time programming language You have degree(s) in computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, or commensurate experience. You’re comfortable working in a self-directed way, and clearly communicating tradeoffs to peers and managers. You can clearly and concisely document and communicate your work; you’re able to take others’ work product and incorporate it into your own, and vice versa You are empathetic and you work effectively with teammates by taking the time to really understand what they need from you. As the company continues growing, the IoT/firmware team is expected to grow, so this position is the first member of a team, and you must be comfortable with working closely with, or even managing, other team members. You want to work in an environment that takes a people-first approach; values humility, integrity, and ambition; and is focused on creating a culture that keeps people happy and challenged You have a favorite microprocessor brand, and maybe even a favorite oscilloscope brand Bonus Points

Direct experience with Electric Imp OS and Squirrel programming Experience with network protocols and I2C, SPI, UART You’re primarily a firmware engineer, but your experience includes electronics design or troubleshooting, including PCB schematic/layout, prototyping, and bench testing. You can comfortably design or at least modify digital and analog electronics. For simple switch mode power supplies, you are at least familiar enough with the basic physics to, e.g., approve an alternate capacitor proposed by the vendor Familiarity with circuit simulation and Altium eCAD Speaks Mandarin Tovala Perks

A stocked kitchen with free breakfast, lunch, and snacks daily when in the office A free Tovala Smart Oven and discounted Tovala Meals R&D and prototyping dream shop Flexible time off - you are highly encouraged to take a minimum of 15 days off per year Paid parental leave Medical, Dental and Vision benefits and more!

Why you should join Tovala

Tovala makes home-cooked meals effortless.We are a Chicago-based food-tech company that sells a smart, countertop steam oven that is paired with a weekly meal delivery service. We manufacture our hardware in south-east Asia and sell direct to consumer. Our food is produced in our own facility here in Chicago under the careful guidance of our Chefs. Meals are shipped to customers everywhere in the lower 48 states every week.

We pride ourselves on being a great place to work that makes hugely positive impact in our customers lives through the food they eat.