06 Feb 2018

Rubrik, Inc. - My First Month Featured

So, more than a month has passed since I've joined Rubrik on the 2nd of January 2018. Those who know me would know that before moving to Rubrik, I worked for Computercenter for nine years. So what's it like leaving a secure role in a large corporate environment after such a long time, to join a 4-year-old startup?

Well, there are many aspects to consider. Firstly, my last role at Computacenter was all about cloud automation and orchestration. Backup was the last subject I was eager to discuss, so not only did I make a decision to leave a comfortable role to my interests and skillset, but I also made a decision to join what most people believe to be a backup company. Not many people saw that coming. That being said, after month one, I am more than just pleased to have made a move as the company culture is excellent and the technology rock solid and very interesting. Simply put, Rubrik seems to have made the impossible, possible. That is, to make the subject of backup and data protection not suck anymore.

The first thing that an institutionalised corporate junkie like me have to get used to in the startup world is the onboarding process. My laptop (a MacBook Pro), which was ordered with a single email to Rubrik IT requests from my personal email address in which I stated my preference, was delivered within a business day, still sealed in the original Apple packaging with no corporate images, approved software or branding applied. Contrast this with the traditional corporate culture in which I dwelled for my entire professional career, where locked-down corporate Windows builds and prescribed approved software applications are the order of the day.

It did not take long for me to understand why my laptop was so "vanilla". I soon realised that everything, and I really mean everything we use internally is based on SaaS applications. From HR, email, documentation, messaging, conferencing, expenses, everything is SaaS. So there really isn't any need for complicated corporate builds. All you need is a reliable machine (to be determined) and internet connection, and you're good to go.
Rubrik has an extensive set of learning content for the onboarding process. This is followed by a boot camp training week, which in my case was held in only my second week with the company at the Rubrik HQ in Palo Alto.

The second aspect of my move to Rubrik that I'm getting used to now is that it's my first role within a vendor. Previously, I was either employed by non-IT specific businesses or channel/service providers. What that means is that we make things with features and quirks, just like any other vendor. One thing that I quickly realised is the rapid pace of product development, with (if you're not careful and specific with what you want to know) an overwhelming amount of information coming out of the engineering teams about improvements, changes, updates planned within the lower bowls of the product. When I joined, people kept hammering home just how fast Rubrik moves as a business, but you don't realise what that means until you're in the thick of it. I can see how being involved in startups are so addictive and why so many people go from startup to IPO or in many cases, acquisition and then on to the next startup.

The rapid pace isn't just limited to product development but in every other aspect of the business. The sale cycle is short, and the deal sizes are impressive, and towards the end of a quarter, your inbox is on fire with customer win notifications. Just the sheer volume of those emails was something to get used to!

Transparency is one thing that I'm also finding fascinating. All employee calendars are open and shared. If I wanted to know what Bipul (the CEO) was up to, I could find out by looking at his packed calendar.

One month in, I'm learning at a rapid pace to try and get up to speed and also to stay up to speed, not only with the technology but also with how the business operates. I'm doing quite a bit more travelling, but at the moment, I enjoy getting out and about and meeting new people. I've also been to a few data centres to get my hands dirty with installing some Briks. That's been a lot of fun as well. I've been learning the Rubrik API and thinking about all of the use cases and scenarios where we can use the power of Rubrik and the API to make data genuinely cloud-mobile.

There's just too much that I can say about my first month at Rubrik to cover it all in a single post. I hardly have enough time in the day to learn what I need and want to about the company and the technology, so blog posts are not my current priority. I'm confident that this will change as time goes on, and that there will be many posts coming out of this site shortly. But for now, bring on the future because from where I'm sitting, it's looking very bright with Rubrik!

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