Dec 01, 2020

New College Grad – Expectations and the Clumio Experience

Sanchit Khanna
New College Grad – Expectations and the Clumio Experience

Sanchit Khanna graduated from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani with a Bachelor of Engineering Hons. Computer Science. Has been working in Clumio since July’2019 and previously interned in Nutanix and Amazon.

I graduated a year and a half ago, but like everyone else, the job hunt started much before that. I was looking for an opportunity where I could take on more work and be responsible for a larger chunk of it, instead of having to merely put together the pieces of an enormous puzzle. While having a few offers in hand from well-established companies, choosing a stealth startup was one of the toughest decisions that I had to take, given that this was going to be my first job. But this was commensurate with my expectations.

At Clumio, every new hire is provided with rigorous training on the entire cloud native architecture and the complete Clumio code base. Everyone is trained to be equipped with cross team tech-stack, irrespective of the team that the individual is about to join. During the initial few weeks, each newcomer creates a micro-service as their mini-project. Providing each person with the knowledge of the entire lifecycle of a product – beginning from the design phase, all the way to how it’s pushed into production within a few weeks of joining, just shows how much Clumio is invested in not only the company’s growth but also that of its individuals. It promotes the ideology of “growth of individuals with the growth of the company”.

The product itself is a true differentiator; Being the first SaaS-based backup vendor, the focus is to always deliver high quality products with the least number of bugs possible. The interest of engineering is vested in the performance-on-scale of the product, such that it fares well in the future for a large customer base that we handle today. Maintaining coding standards, rigorous testing and automation and ensuring high test coverage, are only some of the many factors that make Clumio what it is, and which sometimes tend to take a backseat in other start-ups. Data protection and security are considered to be the most important aspects of the product, and are monitored right from the beginning of the product development. Clumio is well received in the market as well, given that about an year ago it raised $135M in its series C funding round.

When I started my career here at Clumio,I was the DRI (Directly Responsible Individual) of one of the services out of the three data sources that Clumio backed up back then. (Being presented with such an opportunity when I had just joined the company provided me with a sense of importance. There is always something new to learn and people here were invariably ready to help. I contributed not only with regards to the regular tasks that were assigned to get the projects done, but also had chances to present in company-wide demos and direct customer communications, to obtain appropriate feedback and improve. As a new hire, understanding the interviewing process and getting trained to interview other candidates, was another aspect of personal growth that Clumio helped me with. The company has always given me a chance to contribute to my fullest potential and encourage me to take up more ownership.

One particular thing that I kept in mind before joining Clumio were the people, all of them have tonnes of experience and are always ready to help you in all aspects. It’s a blend of people who are experienced in a similar domain and also ones that carry the experience from other domains. I am awestruck to see how a handful of people drive the projects with such great efficiency. At Clumio, equal amount of time spent in discussion and planning things on scale and on implementation. The amount of effort that the managers and mentors spend to actually plan, implement and mentor, while finding time to interview and recruit, and yet meet all the deadlines is unmatched and I really feel proud to be working alongside them. Then the baton is passed to the juniors to carry it forward and do the same for the upcoming new hires.

We are referred to as ‘owners’’ and not ‘employees’ of the company. Each one of us treats the company like our own and that sense of belongingness makes us work more towards the common vision. Every process at Clumio is very transparent, be it the decks that are presented to us at all-hands meetings, which are the same as those presented in the board meetings, all of the wins and the loss in deals are openly presented onto our Slack channel for wider visibility. This not only helps us to know the customers and how big or small the deal was, but also helps in understanding what was missed during the deals which were lost; if it was a feature set or some other detail, or what we implemented better that helped us win the deal. This sets a direct feedback loop. Clumio has always relayed the importance of fostering a healthy work-culture and meaningful relationships within the team

Joining as the 13th member of the Clumio India RnD center, seeing the company come out of stealth, having launched its first datasource within a few weeks the company came out of stealth. Winning the best of show at VMworld, getting the huge Series-C funding, delivering the first datasource completely developed out of the Clumio India RnD division are just a few of the milestones that I have been a part of during my journey in Clumio as an ‘owner’, with many more to come in the future. I really hope to be a part of them all and while playing an important role in all the future achievements. Pulling some late-nights or long meetings will never sound exciting, but Clumio has made it all worth it. All of this is the reason I never look back with regret to the other choices that I had and I am glad to have found the perfect place to be.