Kai Gao has been an integral part of the Microsoft 365 team for the last 3 (almost 4!) years, working on SaaS Data Protection. They’re currently focusing on the M365 Suite including Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams backup and restore. His dedication and expertise help keep our technical bar high to ensure that we deliver a high-quality product to our customers. It also allowed him to work on projects that allowed him to grow and develop beyond his role at the time. Learn more about Kai, the projects that he’s worked on, and what he loves about being a part of the Rubrik engineering team in this Q&A below.
You were an intern before you joined Rubrik as a recent grad. Why did you decide to come back?
I liked the people I worked with during my internship here at Rubrik in the summer of 2018, they were smart, kind, and supportive. I had the opportunity to learn cool technologies from the team I was interning with and got the feeling of being a backend software engineer. Also, other engineering interns at Rubrik were energetic and smart, and we had a lot of fun during that summer. Some of them became friends of mine after we joined Rubrik as full-time teammates.
You’ve mentioned that your manager really cares about your career development, and you’re now a tech lead. How do you think their support helped you grow at Rubrik?
My manager, Ramya, supported me by providing thoughtful feedback and giving me trust to let me work on projects that were beyond my current levels. Following the feedback from my manager, I was able to grow from an engineer who was only able to do simple, transactional tasks that people assigned me, to an engineer that can lead a project from scratch and help other folks in the team to achieve their goals. I had the opportunity to lead an impactful and complex project that would make a huge impact on our customers. During the project, I worked closely with the Product team to make sure we have the right customer-facing features and collaborated with the engineering team to deliver the project with the highest quality.
What do you want to accomplish in the next year and beyond?
I want to continue working on the SaaS protection team and am excited about the upcoming work that our team is going to do in the next year. I am excited to continue contributing to our industry-leading M365 protection and innovate our best-in-class solutions for our customers.
What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on at Rubrik?
The most interesting project for me at Rubrik is M365 SharePoint protection which is also what I’m currently working on. M365 SharePoint is a powerful and complex product offered by our partner Microsoft, and doing predictions for this product is challenging, but also interesting. We designed and implemented a new data orchestration method to accommodate the unique hierarchy of the M365 SharePoint workflow. I also worked with the team on implementing a new workflow that allowed us to ingest data from Microsoft in a much faster concurrent way.
Which RIVET Value resonates with you the most?
Excellence resonates with me the most. The high quality of the design, implementation, and testing from my team impressed me when I joined the team 3 years ago, and now it has become part of my daily routine to follow these good engineering practices.
Rapid Fire Questions
Q: First job?
A: Software developer at Rubrik
Q: Favorite hobby?
A: Hiking with my dog
Q: Favorite movie?
A: The Lord of the Rings
Q: Last vacation?
A: This September in Lake Tahoe
Interested in joining a team of pioneers innovating and advancing the Zero Trust Data Security platform? Take a look at our open opportunities on our engineering team here.