Intern Week @ Delphix
Written by Peter Washington (Rice University BS '15, MS Stanford '17)
I am the only intern at the Boston office this summer. After learning that it was a possibility to intern in the Boston office at Delphix, I deliberately made the decision to take the opportunity here. I knew that, as a future graduate student at Stanford and as a software engineer in general, I will be spending a lot of time in the Bay Area. The northeast, by contrast, is a region that I was unfamiliar with, and I didn't see any reason why I would otherwise get to experience the area.
As someone who loves to explore new areas, I naturally seized the opportunity to intern in Boston. Before accepting the offer to intern at Delphix, Amanda (our University Relations Manager) informed me about a special week she was planning called "Intern Week". The point of Intern Week is to help get all of the interns to get to know each other and to officially kick off the internship program.
Naturally, I was ecstatic about the opportunity to meet the other engineers and interns on the west coast. There were many great events that took place during Intern Week. We had the opportunity to spend a day at headquarters, which was new for all us since the majority of the interns work out of the San Francisco office.
This was the official start of Intern Week. The highlights of the day included an official product demo, an Engineering team social, and the opportunity to hear very inspirational words from Jed, Delphix CEO. The product demo was a great opportunity to see how our intern projects fit into the bigger picture of the Delphix product. I was very happy to find out that my intern project, as well as my fellow intern's projects, are not just throwaway "baby" projects.
In fact, all of the projects that were described to me by my fellow interns were visibly important to the product through this demo. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I also greatly enjoyed Jed's talk. It was interesting to hear the ideas of the CEO of a growing and already hugely successful company: Since its last round of funding, Delphix has supported company operations and the day-to-day business with Sales revenue rather than VC funding.
This is validation that with a great product and the right marketing strategies, little VC funding is necessary. Jed is confident about Delphix's lead in the market. While there are potential rising competitors, there is no reason to worry about them capturing our place in the market. To build a successful technology startup, you need to ensure that you have the best engineers. Jed's story about his startup that failed due to a lack of high-quality engineers was a great lesson. If/when I start my own company, I know that I would have had the tendency to hire my technically inclined friends.
But just because they're my friends doesn't mean they will be the best person for the job. While I'm a big fan of learning from my own mistakes, it can also be invaluable to learn from other people's mistakes. Aside from the business-related activities, Intern Week included a number of social activities to allow the interns to get to know each other and the interns to bond with their mentors.
We went to a Giants game at AT&T park - a park with a beautiful view of McCovey Cove and a plethora of tasty food and beer. Many of the interns also went to Dogpatch Boulders - the largest bouldering gym in the United States, with 17-foot high bouldering walls, 14,000 feet of climbing terrain, and over 300 bouldering paths. These social events were great, and I got to know many of the interns and employees.
As the only intern who has worked in all three major Delphix offices, I immediately noticed the unique experience of each office. The Menlo Park office is the largest and most-established office by far, with a mix of developers, product managers, sales reps, marketing, and other staff. The Boston and San Francisco offices, on the other hand, consist primarily of developers, and are each unique - the SF office has a very startup-like vibe with lots of engineers right out of college, while the Boston office has a stronger presence of established and experienced engineers.
Having visited all three offices, the biggest constant is the people. The full-time employees in all three-offices are very friendly and were clearly excited to meet all of the interns. The engineers are all so smart and working on really impactful projects, but always take the time to answer any questions and help in any way possible. The friendly and collaborative culture at Delphix is something that really stands out about the organization and, based on my previous internships, is not a given at a tech company.
Overall, Intern Week was a huge success, and I hope that future cohorts of interns get to have a similar experience. My visit to California truly provided a 360-degree perspective on Delphix as a team, as a product, and as a business.