Starting a Career at Delphix: Serapheim
How did you find out about the opportunity at Delphix?
During college I really enjoyed my systems programming and operating systems classes, and I decided that this area of computer science is what I wanted to work on after school. So, I began following the works of engineers that have made significant contribution to these fields. When it was time for me to apply for full-time positions, I made a list of companies where all those engineers that I admire worked. The list wasn’t that long, and Delphix employs many of those engineers, so I applied.
Why did you decide to join Delphix?
There are three reasons I decided to join Delphix: the people, the product, and the type of work I’d be doing.
The people are basically what makes the company, and every interaction that I had with a person from Delphix during the interview process made me want to work for the company more. From the beginning of my interview experience, Amanda Merriweather (my recruiter) explained the product in great detail and answered almost every question I had, from how the company makes money to the differences between a mid-sized privately-held company like Delphix versus a big publicly-traded company or an early startup. Throughout the technical interviews, I realized that engineers at Delphix are not just smart people with good engineering habits, but they are part of a highly collaborative environment that sets a high bar on product quality. This was the differentiating factor between Delphix and other companies that I interviewed with. It implies the opportunity to not just grow as an engineer and learn from others, but to also work with others to make something that you are proud of.
The product results from the people that work in the company. I quickly realized that Delphix solves a problem that many companies struggle with and that there hadn’t yet been any successful attempts to tackle it. Additionally, Delphix had already established a large and recognizable customer base. This gave me the same sense of security I’d have with a big company, and it made me want to be part of the team that makes this product.
Finally, I found the type of work I did at Delphix very interesting. I knew that I wanted to do systems work, and during my interview process with Delphix, I spoke with Matt Ahrens, one of the engineers that I’d long admired before learning about Delphix, and who is now my mentor. He told me that the position involved working with him and other members of the Platforms team on filesystems and hypervisors. There was no way I was going to say no to an opportunity like this.
What advice do you have to students applying for internships or new grad positions?
I think it is important to think about what you want to do after college, before it is time to apply for jobs. Take a variety of electives. This way, you can get exposed to as many topics as possible and get a feel for all the fields of computer science that you could pursue. If you don’t know what is out there, you won’t feel as confident making a decision later. That said, this doesn’t imply that you must know exactly what career path you want to take after college. The important part is knowing your options.
When applying for specific positions, pay attention to the description and the responsibilities portion of the listing. Many applicants tend to focus only on the requirements portion of job listings. That is not necessarily bad, but the description and the responsibilities are there for a reason. The requirements answer the question of “What do you need to do your work?” or “How do you do your work?”, while the description and responsibilities are answering the question of “What is your job?”. I personally believe that the latter should take priority over the former and that if you like the image of yourself doing that job then you should apply for it.
About the author: Serapheim Dimitropoulos graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with both a BS and an MS in 2016. Serapheim is on the Platforms team at Delphix, working on ZFS. In his free time, he enjoys playing classical guitar and soccer.