The Life of a Delphix Intern: Andrea Chang
The 5 a.m. start-of-summer sun marked the beginning of my internship at Delphix. I hauled my belongings and got ready to jet off to San Francisco, a land very foreign to me at that time. I was terrified of everything.
Two weeks prior, my manager had given me a call to lay out the specifics of my project and to calm my nerves, but it only agitated me even more. I realized that I didn’t grasp what the Delphix product really did or how it worked. I was about to hop on a flight to the other side of the country and spend three months with a product I didn’t understand, with people I’ve never met before. Maybe it was the pre-flight jitters, but my stomach and brain churned knowing (well actually, not knowing) what was ahead.
The first week of work was a whirlwind of experiences. I was seeing and experiencing everything for the first time. My thoughts raced between the new vocabulary, the structure of the tech stack and the names of my new coworkers. If it hadn’t been for my helpful team members, especially my awesome mentor Filip, I know I would struggled to stay afloat during the entire internship because of all the uncertainties I harbored.
I was placed on the AppData team, a moniker for the engineers who build out the support that will eventually allow any database platform to work with Delphix. Each database platform, including SQL Server and Oracle Database, works with Delphix a little differently, and so it’s important that the support is built out for each platform.
But if you’re having to built for the countless data platforms out there, it would take forever. Dozens of engineers would have to be working 24/7 to only begin whittling away at this task. That’s why the AppData is in charge of building support for toolkits, which are plugins that allow a specific platform to work with Delphix. My job was to write the support, so toolkits written in Python would work. The project involved a deep dive into the backend, which I personally preferred over dabbling in a bunch of different areas of the stack.
Through many discussions with Filip, Q&A’s with the AppData team, and Stack Overflow searches, I was able to experience what building a valuable and maintainable project would require. I learned how to review code, troubleshoot errors, report bugs and consider problems of usability and security, among other design considerations I had no exposure to before.
More importantly though, I had built up the confidence to trudge through hard problems in unfamiliar technical territory. I gained a newfound respect for my mentor and other engineers at Delphix, all who became my role models by the end of the summer. I looked up to them for more than just answers to my questions; they encouraged me to be curious and address anything I felt shaky on.
It seems silly to me now that I was ever nervous of what was to come, considering how much I loved the work, the people I met and everything I learned. I can say with conviction that trusting Delphix with 3 months of my life was the best decision I had ever made.