I interned at Rubrik Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA for the summers 2016.
What is an internship?
Not sure if you people are familiar with this term (I remember asking a senior after JEE got over). An internship is like a training period during which you work for a company. The internships are paid and company has to take care of you just like any other employee. So, an intern is like an employee, but for a short time. During the internship, the company judges the intern on his/her capabilities of being a part of the company in the long term and if everything turns out to be good, the company extends a full time offer.
What is Rubrik? What do they do?
Rubrik is a cloud storage company. A lot of you must be using Windows as your operating system, right? When Microsoft develops the Windows operating system, they have no idea about the configuration of your Lenovo/Dell/HP/Asus/etc laptop. So, Microsoft has to design Windows frugally because they have to support as many machines as possible. They have to cater to machines with 1 GB RAM and pentium processor. They are also supposed to support high end machines with several processor cores. But the point is that they have to minimize their resource usage. What about Apple? Apple manufactures both hardware and software and so, they are well aware of the configuration of the machine for which they are building the software (the operating system). So, they don't have to be frugal because they don't have to support that low configuration machine.
Rubrik is the Apple of backup and storage. All of the other backup and storage softwares don't manufacture hardware and so, they have to remain frugal like Microsoft. Rubrik wins the game by manufacturing 'briks' which is a backup hardware that runs software designed by Rubrik.
Let's talk about the internship now!
My friend Karan and I booked Emirates flight tickets from Mumbai to San Francisco via Dubai and Seattle. It was a long flight - about 27 hours. All that kept us awake was the smell of the food :P
Karan is my friend from IIT Bombay. He was AIR 12 in JEE 2013 and is presently in 4th year, B.Tech, CSE.
Bay area was an awesome place, full of diverse people. They follow rules and regulations strictly. The shocking thing was that pedestrians have the right of way. If a pedestrian is crossing the road, the car will wait!
We visited Stanford
Computer Science museum at Google HQ
Biked across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco
San Francisco city as seen from a ferry to Alcatraz island
Driving to Grand Canyon from Las Vegas
The city of Las Vegas
Eiffel Tower Casino in Las Vegas :D
New York Casino in Vegas
People are nice and helpful. Food is great. I faced a lot of problem in finding vegetarian food in my Germany intern last year. But, Bay area is full of Indian restaurants that serve both vegetarian and non vegetarian food.
107th floor :D
The Bay area is insanely expensive. A 2 mile travel in the local train is as expensive as $6, which is about Rs. 400. I paid $1,300 per month as rent for my cosy little room in Palo Alto. Mark Zuckerberg stays in Palo Alto. Can you expect the prices to be cheaper than that?
The internship experience:
I worked with the awesome filesystem team to research about our existing file metadata store and I ported our distributed filesystem from database X to database Y (not sure if I'm allowed to disclose the information in a public forum).
At Rubrik, there is special emphasis on code quality. We try our best to ensure that the code that is checked-in is near perfect, both in terms of its performance as well as in terms of its understandability. We use many different programming languages.
I learnt lots of new things about C++ 11 during my internship.
The filesystem team has 4 super smart people. My mentor was from IIT Bombay (+ masters from UC Berkeley). My pseudo mentor was from Stanford. Rubrik team is made up of some real badass programmers.
I really enjoyed working at Rubrik. Many people are crazy about big tech companies. I feel that the bigger your company is, the smaller the fish will you be. At Rubrik, my work mattered. It was new and I didn't feel like I was just an intern. Working at a startup (that pays you more than Google ;) ) is fun!
How did I get selected at Rubrik?
I had to appear for 3 interviews, each lasting for about an hour. The interviews were all focused on my programming and problem solving abilities.
I cannot deny that a key factor in my selection was the fact that I was from IIT Bombay, CSE department. Rubrik team consists of several IITians. About half of the team is comprised of Indians and 90% of the Indians are IITians. So, there is an inherent bias towards IITians. This is not the case with just Rubrik. Any new Indian engineer you will meet in Silicon valley is probably an IITian. I met lots of people from different IITs in the Bay area via mutual connections. If you also want that silicon valley dream job of yours, work hard now. Be assured, it will pay off later.
PS: Return offer from Rubrik, yay!!