Meet Hain-Lee, Software Engineer & Founding Team Member at Goalbook

Based in San Mateo, California

Innovating Instruction
3 min readMay 10, 2017


What is engineering up to?

What gravitated you towards Goalbook’s mission?

I was previously a software engineer at a large enterprise software company and didn’t feel a strong motivation on the projects I was working on. I wanted to have more social impact in my work. While figuring out my interests I ended up applying and enrolling in the Learning, Design, and Technology program at Stanford, and that is what led me to desire to apply my technical skills to education. I have a sibling who was in special education throughout his schooling, and many of my projects that I did at Stanford were related to learners with autism. Goalbook’s mission and story has its roots in benefiting special education teachers and students and so I felt it was a good fit for where I wanted to have an impact.

What are the favorite parts of your role?

I’m a software engineer with an eye for design. I like being able to design solutions that can improve the livelihood and experience of teachers, and then getting to build the solutions using code. Outside of the role, I really enjoy the culture and atmosphere that other members of the team bring. It’s very much a supportive culture as opposed to a demanding one.

How do you collaborate with your team?

Each week the engineering team has a meeting to go over priorities and focuses for that week. It’s a good opportunity to pick each others’ brains to arrive at better outcomes. Daniel [the founder] and I also meet to brainstorm and evaluate designs, technical approaches, and product ideas.

“Outside of the role, I really enjoy the culture and atmosphere that other members of the team bring. It’s very much a supportive culture as opposed to a demanding one.”

What have you learned so far, and where would like to continue growing professionally?

Through my experience I’ve continuously learned better engineering and programming practices, particularly the different mindsets when creating side/hobby projects versus products that are put in production with real users. I’ve also been able to keep up with new tools and frameworks in web development and apply them at Goalbook. I’d like to continue developing expertise in software engineering, specifically in performance and in best practices for writing simple and maintainable code. I also want to grow as a designer and hone a critical and more rigorous eye for UI/UX.

What personal goals have you set outside of work?

I want to make sure I stay active and healthy (running, hiking, tennis), and dedicate myself to serving in my church. I’m fortunate that most of my family is in CA so spending time with them is also a priority.

What are some of your favorite spots in San Mateo?

Eggettes and Cha Express for bubble tea and snacks. There are tons of good restaurants. I go to Crystal Springs Lake for running.



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