Sophia Chen has been an integral part of the Rubrik Engineering community for nearly 4 years on the Forge-Core team (distributed systems/platform software team). She and her teammates are responsible for building out the system that the rest of the product operates on which includes cluster operations, cluster health monitoring, systems, and networking. Sophia is also involved in the Women@Rubrik-Engineering and Recent Grads community groups, helping to create a welcoming environment for fellow Rubrikans. 

We had a chance to sit down with Sophia and learn more about her experience at Rubrik so far and I am happy to share that with you here.

You’ve been at Rubrik for almost 4 years. Why did you initially decide to join and what keeps you here?

I first joined Rubrik because of the people. When I was deciding between various offers, I felt that Rubrik personalized their effort in recruiting me. During pre-pandemic times, I got to eat lunch with the employees, meet managers and directors, and even had a personal chat with Soham, one of the founders. Everyone was very welcoming and open, and I felt that Rubrik had a strong community. I'm glad I chose Rubrik because everyone here is extremely smart and it has been a great learning and development opportunity for my career. I’m constantly being challenged with new projects and developing my technical and leadership skills, while also forming strong relationships within this tight-knit community.

Since joining, you’ve been part of the planning committee for both the Recent Grads and Women@Rubrik-Engineering community groups. Why did you decide to get involved?

When I first joined, I was really nervous about meeting new people. From my past internships, I knew that making friends could make or break how much I enjoyed my day-to-day at work. However, from day one the Recent Grads and Women@Rubrik-Engineering communities helped me acclimate to my first full-time job. There were mentorship programs, lunches, offsites, book clubs, boba/coffee runs, and happy hours that helped me meet other people. I knew that my Rubrik experience would’ve been incomplete without these groups, so I wanted to continue and help run these communities. Hopefully, anyone who joins Rubrik will feel welcomed and have an easier transition to their new job.

What has been the most interesting project or fulfilling thing that you’ve worked on at Rubrik?

We had a series of projects that focused on parallelizing and performing cluster operations in bulk. Back in the day, customers had to replace or add nodes one by one, but the need to parallelize and perform multiple cluster operations at once became apparent once clusters started expanding and initiatives like node refresh started. When you do anything in parallel, there are a lot of dependencies and race conditions that you need to take care of. Parallelizing cluster operations was even more challenging, as each operation fundamentally changes the system and metadata. 

Testing became even more important as we had to make sure we covered every corner case. We also worked with other teams such as the distributed filesystem team, the metadata team, and the platform team to ensure that we could properly parallelize the changes we needed to make. I also led some projects which gave me the chance to improve my leadership skills. Once these features were released, we received great feedback on how much easier these projects made mass cluster operations. I really enjoyed these projects because all these chances to make an impact allowed me to grow my career and increase my visibility. 

Which RIVET Value do you identify with the most?

I identify the most with Excellence because Excellence is how we make our product stand out from others. The best way to avoid bugs is by aiming to not introduce them in the first place. Throughout my time at Rubrik, I have had some excellent mentors who taught me how to maintain this excellence through good design, careful code reviews, and thorough testing, and I strive every day to meet these standards.

Rapid Fire Questions

First job?
Researcher in a biodevices lab back in college. My first full-time job was at Rubrik.

Favorite hobby?
Tennis! I played varsity in high school and college.

Bucket list item?
Skydiving! I love thrilling activities and this has been at the top of my list for a while.

Favorite movie?
Everything Everywhere All At Once - love the Asian representation in Hollywood and during awards season.

Last vacation?
Central Europe - we went through Munich, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest during Thanksgiving. I highly recommend going at this time since it was still warm enough to walk outside and enjoy the beautiful cities while the Christmas markets and Black Friday sales (yes, they have Black Friday in Europe) were in full swing. I definitely had to be creative when coming back to not go over the weight limit!

Interested in innovating and advancing the Zero Trust Data Security platform? Take a look at our open positions on our engineering team here.