Sean Lobo joined Rubrik’s Archival/Thor team (working on data archival) 3 years ago as a fresh graduate from UC Berkeley. Still enjoying the work on the same team, Sean has had the opportunity to successfully lead his own projects and drive the trajectory of his career at Rubrik. He sets a great example for other recent grads as he embodies the RIVET values through his work!
As a recent grad, you received offers from both Rubrik and Google. What made you ultimately decide to choose Rubrik?
While there were many factors I considered, two ultimately stood out to me the most: the kind of people I’d get to work with, and the scope of impact I would be able to have. From the beginning, one thing I noticed about Rubrik was how welcoming everyone I had a chance to talk to was - from recent graduates, to managers, to co-founders. I noticed that the culture was very open and transparent, where everyone was happy to talk about what they were working on and company direction at all levels. Most importantly to me, while it was evident that everyone I talked to was incredibly smart, the atmosphere was still very casual and down to earth.
In terms of scope of impact, I saw the opportunity for me to contribute to real problems and really own features. Unlike large companies, where work assignments seemed largely one-directional, I got the impression that at Rubrik, feedback was always welcome, and that I would be able to drive changes I believed in. When choosing my first job, I wanted to be sure I would get to do more than just write code that I was expected to write - which is something I can thankfully confirm is true at Rubrik after 3 years here.
What was the most interesting project or fulfilling thing that you’ve worked on at Rubrik?
The most fulfilling project I’ve gotten to work on–and one I got to lead–was the Parallelized Upload project. The initiative was essentially a full rewrite of one of our team’s core features, snapshot uploads to the cloud, with the main goal being maximizing performance. From a technical standpoint, the work involved solving interesting problems, such as leveraging the internal Map Reduce job framework to shard work across multiple hardware nodes, and a lot of cross-team collaboration with our database, job framework, and distributed filesystem teams.
It was also very rewarding to see my work have a real impact on our customers. As the project began rolling out, it was great to get feedback from all layers: engineering management, customer support, and even direct customer feedback. Getting to own a large project from start to finish and really witness its impact firsthand has been one of my favorite things about working at Rubrik.
You mentioned that your manager has been supportive of you leading your own career growth. Can you tell us more about that?
Coming in as a new grad, I really didn’t have any idea what my technical or long-term career interests would be. But as time went on, and I got opportunities to experience different aspects of the job, I began to get an idea of where my interests lay, both technical and non-technical.
Throughout my time at Rubrik, my manager has been very supportive of my growth and career interests. As early as 6 months in, I was given the opportunity to voice my preferences for technologies I’d like to work on or projects I’d be interested in. This allowed me to really drive my own career by explicitly cultivating opportunities for me to grow. For example, after getting familiar with the job I realized I enjoy thinking about customer supportability, and product usability. After voicing these interests I was later included in meetings with our Product Manager and tech lead to define the direction for a new feature I was going to work on, a process I normally wouldn’t have had a chance to be involved in.
Overall, I’ve found that I always have a line of communication available to voice my thoughts on the work I’d like to do and the skills I’d like to develop, and that has helped my career immensely over the last few years.
Which RIVET Value do you identify with the most?
I appreciate the Excellence of RIVET the most. To me, excellence means focusing on quality, and it manifests in many ways. It can mean fully owning changes when they come in, even if there are cross-team interactions. Or having a high bar for quality when implementing features by including appropriate testing and documentation, in addition to the functionality changes. Or even operationally, by asking questions and calling out potential pain points when processes or systems don’t make sense.
Rapid Fire Questions
An internship at a genomics company in my junior year of high school, where I got an introduction to computational biology while also helping create educational content intended to instruct other high schoolers. It’s actually how I got into computer science! Prior to the job, I was most interested in a career in biology, but after a few weeks of writing code I decided to make the switch.
Bartending! I started getting interested around the end of college but really got into it during the pandemic. My current favorite drink is the Blackbird, a riff on the popular tiki cocktail Jungle Bird, with the added element of coffee liqueur.
I’ve never really enjoyed roller coasters, so when some friends and I went to the Santa Cruz boardwalk a few years ago, to my surprise, I learned I was pretty good at Skee-ball. We won a lot of stuffed koalas that day…
Swiss Army Man. It’s a beautiful and surrealist movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
A weekend trip to a small town called Dillon Beach (near Bodega Bay), where we did absolutely nothing other than play pool, enjoy the beach & hot tub, and have wine and charcuterie nights.
Interested in innovating and advancing Rubrik’s Zero Trust Data Security platform, Rubrik Security Cloud? Take a look at our open positions on our engineering team here.