We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on Gabriel Lam, a talented engineer on our Rubrik Security Cloud product infrastructure team at Rubrik. This team plays a crucial role in ensuring the health, scalability, and monitoring of Rubrik Security Cloud backend databases, and is responsible for the libraries and interfaces app teams use to interact with databases.
With his commitment to delivering solutions that make a meaningful impact on our customers, Gabriel has become an invaluable member of our organization. He has been at Rubrik for almost two years now and we had the pleasure of getting to hear about his story since joining.
Why did you decide to join Rubrik?
I did not know much about Rubrik before the interview process. I liked the sense of engineering culture from the other engineers that I met during the interview process. They were all friendly, open, and most importantly, passionate about their craft. At the end phase of the interview process, I met a few managers at Rubrik and learned about some of the technical challenges they faced and the tech stack. I wanted to work on distributed systems problems, and I found a good interest fit with one of the teams I could join.
You’ve been at Rubrik for almost 2 years. What excites you about your career potential at Rubrik?
There are many things to do here, and agency is rewarded/encouraged. I have been involved in projects that had an immediate benefit to the product infrastructure, and I see so many more things to be done that can have similar effects. There are unique scalability challenges due to the growth in user base as well as new kinds of metadata to store and process in the backend, as well as projects to improve the security and compliance of our platform. Engineers are encouraged to come up with their best ideas and drive direction–as long as it is in a solution-oriented way–and see them to fruition
You mentioned that Transparency is the RIVET value that resonates with you the most. Why?
Great things are rarely done alone. Working with people requires trust. Trust is expensive, but it is needed where there is something on the line. Transparency is the fast track to creating trust and facilitating a productive working environment.
Within my team, senior engineers set the bar for transparency and I have greatly benefited from our senior engineers sharing being open about their problem solving and processes. This creates a team culture where we show the work–including challenges and pitfalls–not just the results. This allows us to quickly learn from each other, follow the thread on different projects, and trust that things are getting done. The less time/overhead we need to attribute to the trust-building process, the sooner we can focus on the process of doing good work.
Tell me about a time when you had an idea/project you were excited about and you were empowered to see it through to the end.
In the 2022 Hackathon, I was encouraged by some more senior engineers to work on a proof of concept for something that would ensure the quality of code that runs on the backend databases. This was exciting, as it was a possible solution to an issue that plagued my team all year. The idea was a bit ambitious, and I could only get a minimal partial solution during that event.
Those senior engineers enjoyed the proof of concept that I presented at the end of the event, and the same concept eventually turned into a major planned project for my team the next year. The process of turning a small “What if” into a fully fleshed-out idea that can be rolled out to solve a business issue for our customers is extremely empowering, and what makes working here rewarding.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to new grads who are searching for their first full-time job opportunity?
Focus on the fundamentals. It is not expertise that matters in the start, but a strong foundation and a curiosity to continue learning. Go deep in things you are interested in, and be open-minded to opportunity.
Rapid Fire Questions
Q: First job?
A: Teacher’s Assistant for introduction to programming in college. Rubrik is my first full-time role.
Q: Favorite hobby?
A: I enjoy movies and competitive gaming. The latter is something I have done since high school.
Q: Hidden talent?
A: Mixology/bartending. I had a brief phase where I studied up on this stuff, but have never done it professionally.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Tough call, as I have gotten very into movies the last couple of years. I will give it to Parasite though; it is so perfect.
Q: Last vacation?
A: Last winter I took a road trip that started in Seattle and ended in California. I did not go straight south though, but a longer route through Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. I had never been through that part of the country before.
Interested in innovating and advancing the Zero Trust Data Security platform? Take a look at our open positions on our engineering team here.