April Fallon joined Rubrik in 2019 and is currently the Vice President of Engineering Operations. Her journey includes roles at several start-ups and weathering the internet dot com bust, running a Sales program management team at Yahoo!, and being Chief of Staff to the SVP of Product at LinkedIn. At Rubrik she not only oversees the technical program management team, but also manages the engineering team’s financials, staffing, and other Eng-specific programs–she does it all! Her leadership, ability to get things done, and willingness to go above and beyond for her team continue to be an inspiration for many of the women at Rubrik. In her over two years at Rubrik, April has made a tremendous impact and leads in a way that empowers her team to do the same.
Q: Why did you join Rubrik?
A: When the recruiter first reached out to me on LinkedIn about the Rubrik opportunity, I have to admit that I had never heard of Rubrik. I had been working in the consumer internet space for many years so was not as familiar with companies in the data security space. After a few discussions about the role at Rubrik and the size of the engineering team, market cap, and overall potential, I became very interested in the opportunity. During the interview process, I was also impressed with the Engineering leadership and felt my previous experience could lend itself well to a growing Engineering organization.
Q: Which RIVET Value do you identify with the most?
A: I think “Relentless” is a value I most identify with while striving for excellence! One of my favorite quotes by Thomas Buxton is “With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable”. Over a month or a quarter, we are presented with numerous problems to solve before we can successfully achieve our goals and objectives. You have to have extraordinary perseverance and be relentless to solve the industry-leading challenges we face to obtain a successful outcome. But there is nothing better than having your voice heard as part of the problem-solving process and making a true impact on the product.
Q: What has been the most fulfilling thing you've done at Rubrik?
A: Building a team of strong technical program managers that help keep the proverbial “trains on time”. I'm very proud of our team and the contribution they make to delivering our software releases. It’s not an easy or glamorous job but without this team, our delivery would be severely impaired.
Q: You’ve worked at a couple of other big companies like LinkedIn and Yahoo. How is working at Rubrik different?
A: Coming to Rubrik brought me back to my original roots in software engineering when I first worked at a startup during the dot com boom and bust. I love helping an organization grow. Pretty much everything you do is valued and important and contributes to the bottom line. One thing that is different when you are at a smaller company like Rubrik is you can get involved in many aspects of the business that might not happen in a larger company. I found that as LinkedIn grew, people’s roles became more narrow with fewer opportunities to be involved in aspects of the business that might interest you.
Q: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges women face in a male-dominated industry? How can they overcome them? How is Rubrik helping to overcome them?
A: This is an interesting question for me as I studied Civil Engineering in college and it was male-dominated (only 20% of Engineering was female then and it hasn’t changed much). Then my early jobs out of college were also male-dominated. The mix got slightly better as I joined the software industry and was involved with teams outside of engineering like Product Management & Sales.
I think the challenge is to not feel “different” or that your opinion isn’t valued. I think it's important when you first take on a new role or job to develop trust with your stakeholders. I think about that as consistency over time, doing what you say you're going to do, delivering what you say you’re going to deliver. This is important whether you are male or female but there is a perception (which may be reality) that if you are female, you will get scrutinized more.
Since I joined Rubrik over two years ago we have made a strong push to create a diverse and inclusive environment in Engineering and across the company. We have enabled our teams with Diversity training and we have focused heavily on our recruiting process such that our diversity inflow of new hires is now just slightly greater than 20% of all new onboards which I think is a fabulous accomplishment!
Q: What advice would you give women to progress in their careers?
A: Two pieces of advice, find a “sponsor” not just a mentor, see this TEDTalk about this topic, it’s great.
Q: First job?
A: Serving ice cream at a Gelato Classico
Q: Favorite hobby?
Q: Hidden talent?
A: Pretty decent at Ice skating, learned to skate when I was about 8
Q: Favorite movie?
A: The Martian
Q: Favorite Slack channel?
Q: Last vacation?
A: Costa Rica!
If you’d like to work with engaging leaders like April, visit our careers site to see what positions are currently available!