Been a long time since I wrote something not related to coding here, and in between all of this quite a lot has been going on with my work life. So, I thought how about write something that doesn’t involves code but which rather reflects back upon certain decisions I made in last couple of months, how they have turned out to be like and what motivates me to keep making such decisions.
Here we have, a new post talking about my switch to LinkedIn and what I love to do the most.
To start with, let me talk about how I perceive computer science as. I got my first computer when I was in my 6th grade and just like any other normal user, I used to play games, maybe make some funny drawings on Microsoft Paint, and things like that. That was all kind of what someone with a new toy with those capabilities do when they don’t know what the toy is actually capable of doing. Things went fine and occasionally I found myself screwing up things here and there. Sometimes downloading something which might bring along with it some uninvited guests which will screw up my system and in process of fixing them, I will just delete some critical file in the system only to be greeted with a boot issue the next time I restart the system.
When all of these incidences keep on becoming more and more frequent and me trying to poke around different components of the system, all while being connected to a 128 Kbps modem, things would take up funny turns. Sometimes I would be downloading something and the other times I will be searching on the internet about what is an operating system, what role does it play on a computer and can a computer run without an operating system. Sometimes, the details that will come up were much more than I could understand at all, but I always tried to link them from one piece of information to another and tried to make sense of certain behaviors and why they happen. All of this was slowly attracting me more and more towards computer science, where now I found myself reading more about how the computers work internally and how to make them do the work which I want them to do.
Soon, I found myself learning programming because I wanted to write some program which would do some stuff (I really don’t remember what I was trying to build at that time, maybe a keylogger? :P). Over the time, all of this fueled my interest in computer science even more. Now, I was breaking my system even more than I used to do before, but for all the different reasons. Now, I did not accidentally delete a critical system file, but rather, I accidentally wiped the whole system clean multiple times while I tried to install Ubuntu over my system. Sometimes the installation was success, sometimes it wasn’t. But I will keep on trying. I was getting so fond of playing around with the Operating Systems. This eventually led me to read and understand more about how operating systems are built and how they function. Sometime later in the journey, I found myself hooked on to OSDev which provided a lot of context into the internal working of an operating system and how one can build an operating system from scratch. I must confess, I tried building one myself and never was successful beyond the initial steps where I could get a minimal “Hello world!” kernel to boot up inside QEMU. But I wanted to learn more and build one OS myself. I wasn’t planning to give up at all. As the time went on, I explored a number of different things in the field, be it writing System software, working on assuring the quality of a software, writing web applications, helping debug issues and till now I have never been bored.
The field of computer science is very vast and things change at a pace no one can imagine. You know something which is all shiny and glittering at this time and the other day it might just become some old fashioned thing, replaced by something else. But what I have learned till now is that, there is nothing which is impossible to do. You have a problem that haven’t been solved yet, great enough, it can be solved. Maybe, it will require something new to come up altogether, but hey, that’s the fun part, when you build something new. All this has made me do till now is, not to give up on problems, because they always have a solution. Maybe, you will not be able to reach the solution in your first few shots, but you will eventually find it as you try and explore.
This is what I love to do, I love to take upon challenges and find solutions to them, and as a matter of fact, I eventually get bored when something keeps on going flat for a very long time without posing some new kind of challenge. And let me be clear, when I say challenges, I do not mean something problematic, but rather something which provides an opportunity to improve and increase the reach.
When I started my first job with Red Hat, I was all enthusiastic about the challenges which my new job will bring, and indeed it brought a lot of new challenges from where I learned a hell lot of new things, be it in terms of working to find solutions to technical problems but as well as working to find solutions to drive changes wherever they are required. During my work at Red Hat, I have taken a great amount of risks which all challenged me to newer and newer heights, be it presenting in front of an international audience about the work which I have been doing, to authoring a book. Some of the things which I never saw coming or planned, but ended up doing because I always wanted to do them, no matter how hard they could have became.
Eventually, after certain point of time in my career, I wanted to explore a bit more and challenge myself to newer extents. This is when my switch to LinkedIn took place. So, here’s the story of how I switched to LinkedIn and how it has been turning out till now.
Making A Move To LinkedIn
Well, before I start about my story of making a switch to LinkedIn, I will confess, this was not a planned move and it happened just at the moment. Although, there was a little bit of thought in the back in my head about making a switch soon, but I wasn’t actively applying at places(I might have applied at certain places, but nothing like an active search for a new job).
One day out of a sudden, I got a call from LinkedIn, that they had my profile in their system and they have a role which might match my profile. I was interested in knowing more about the role and as the conversation progressed, I became quite interested in the opportunity that was available to me. This role was a software development engineer role where I would become a part of the performance applications team inside LinkedIn working to develop tools that will help other developers understand better about the performance for their products. The key factors which really got me interested into the role were that one, it was a role which involved writing code, the second one was about the fact that this was a completely new team starting off in the LinkedIn Bangalore office, and third was the fact that the HR who contacted me actually understood what kind of profile I might be interested in and explained the role all the very well on the first call itself. This was the time, when I went ahead to go for the interview.
The interview process was something, which was soo smooth except for the certain caveats that happened on my side due to certain unavoidable circumstances, but the HR coordinating my recruitment process made the process a very smooth experience. All of this, from scheduling the interviews to conveying the feedback on time so that there is nothing that is happening at the last moment. This whole process proved to be a huge positive outlook of the company I was interviewing for.
Once, the recruitment process was completed, I was all set to join LinkedIn on 7th of January. Oh man, I was excited 😀
From what I experienced on my first day, it was no short of exceptional. An induction program that helps to make you understand better about the company and its values, not by making you go through presentations, but actually making you do fun activities, with the other folks in the room, who have joined LinkedIn along with you, is no short of great and helps a lot breaks the barriers to the first interactions. This was fun. The office in itself is quite amazing too. Here are some pics, but you can possibly find more if you search them 😉
From the time onwards, when I finally started looking at the work I am supposed to do, there hasn’t been a time when things haven’t posed quiet some interesting challenges. From learning about all the in-house tools which are present, to trying to understand the requirements of what the different teams wants, the journey till now has been all exciting.
But, what does my work look like at LinkedIn?
For what I work here at LinkedIn, my job involves working on something at a layer in between the applications and the operating systems, which demands me to not only look at things at the application level when we are building the tools, but also to look at the system level of things like, how applications execute, how the operating systems manage the execution of codes and how to find out what is executing on the processor at a given point of time. This brings up a whole lot of different challenges. But, who said I don’t love them 😀 And what I even love more than these challenges is that the opportunity they provide me to think differently and bring up newer solutions. On top of that, I work in a team which has just recently been started here the Bangalore office, which makes our work quite a bit interesting, because not only are we working to create newer solutions, but we also have a task to make our independent standing in the office, such that other teams can feel confident to rely on us when it comes to solving issues with performance of their applications.
One thing to love while working on something here at LinkedIn is that you take up the ownership of the work you are doing, and that in itself brings a lot of responsibility and compels you to understand what is that the other teams might want and how you can add value to the work they do. These are the kind of challenges that I love.
But, as I have been working at LinkedIn, there is some other part which I have started to like more than just working on technical challenges that are involved. And what I am talking about here is the growth of one self, beyond tech. From what I have experienced here after joining is that, if you really want to grow, you will find people here who are willing to help you reach the place where you want to be. Be it in terms of supporting your ideas, to helping you navigate the organization to find just the right people or helping to mentor you to achieve your goals. Working with different teams where everyone comes up with some unique ideas always adds value to your own thought process also, and I would be quite selfish if I don’t mention how amazing it feels to work with a team that helps you to not just move you forward when you are stuck in doing something, but also when people in that team helps you come up with new ideas by helping you to think from newer perspectives.
But, is LinkedIn just about work? and the answer to this is a BIG BIG Nooooo!!!
As much as I love to take on newer work related challenges here, it’s not everything work here. The focus on employee’s is great here and couldn’t be left without a mention. One day in a month when we have a lot of fun activities based around a certain theme set for that month, where employees can relax and take part in something they love outside the work. This could involve social welfare, playing games, or maybe just reading a book. Yups, that’s one day every month, InDay. And this is not all, from what I have seen till now, excitement related to festivals here is just amazing. Be it in terms of food fests(some hell of a great food, all prepared in house) to organizing some fun activities, I must admit, the balance between work and life is amazing, only restriction is, you have to show up 😉
I will be completing my 6 months here at LinkedIn end of June, and till now not a single day has passed which I could term as boring, so, sometimes, certain decisions although not planned turn out to be good. 😀