How My Yugabyte Internship Changed Me For the Better

Harshitha Vontela

Hello! My name is Harshitha, and I’ve been interning at Yugabyte as a software developer since July 2021. The last four months have transformed me from a confused and cynical college student to a curious and optimistic technology enthusiast and developer. It has been a continuous and exponential metamorphosis driven by the people and carefully curated—although seemingly effortless—culture at Yugabyte. In this post, I’d like to talk about my experience working here and the positive influence this company has had on my future.

A bit of background

I’m a fifth-year student at BITS Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus, a private university located in Goa, India. I’m pursuing a double major consisting of a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and a Master’s in Biological Sciences. In my first year of college, I was undecided about the bachelor’s degree I’d be working towards. And when the time came to declare my second major I was just another sheep in the herd.

I spent the next three years disillusioned and fearful that the path I’d carved out for my future was one that I wouldn’t find fulfilling. It was made worse by hearing about job prospects and experiences from my seniors; studying the haphazardly-taught, age-old curriculum only to be tested the next morning in outlandish ways; and being surrounded by thousands of my peers who were trying to get a foot into the IT industry only because it had the most appealing cost-benefit ratio. This dread only amplified in the lockdown year to the point where I was considering everything from UPSC to a PhD in Biology because everyone I talked to had only stories of dissatisfaction.

My experience at Yugabyte

Getting the opportunity to work at Yugabyte was undeniably a coincidence. When I joined, my only goal was to embrace the process and see if it clicks. To my surprise and to Yugabyte’s credit, the process was feather-smooth and incredibly rewarding. This is my first tech internship and I can confidently say that it was vastly different from everything I had been told to expect. Here’s why.

Believing in the product

I found immense satisfaction working on such a forward-looking product as Yugabyte’s Database-as-a-Service. Witnessing and participating in the rapid but careful design of the product, I learned a great deal about the iterative process of development, the importance of being detail oriented, and the need to be flexible and welcoming of changing requirements.

A consistent database is the heart of any software system. It can never catch a break and it can never afford to fail. However, in today’s data explosion era we run a high risk of stroke. Yugabyte has been successful in creating a distributed, massively scalable, fail proof, cloud native, superfast database solution. This means that the system is always accessible with no downtime and no loss of data. The product does not try to create a brand new environment that developers have to learn or that clients have to spend months migrating to, but rather builds on top of PostgreSQL. In fact, their core DB is open source and largely developed according to the needs of the community of users and contributors. The non monolithic architecture combined with the PostgreSQL compatibility means that Yugabyte have brought databases into the 21st century.

A month and a half ago, Yugabyte announced the general availability of their cloud service—YugabyteDB Manage—which is an out-of-the-box distributed database system. I had the opportunity to work on this from a user management and security perspective and felt firsthand the rewards of contributing to—and being part of—a team.  No one would guess that such a feature-rich and elegant product was put together in a matter of months. This brings me to the strength of the team at Yugabyte, which is what made the internship for me.

People and culture

In a few short weeks, my mentor (and BITS Pilani alumnus) Karthik Chandrasekaran became a foremost role model to me. He is a true leader whose mentorship has been incomparable. His personal attention and continuous feedback in the projects I have worked on have been the key to success. He has been immensely supportive in the face of constant change.

At Yugabyte, there is a feeling of community wherein we are always aware of the who, what, when, and why of the direction in which the organization is heading. The open and transparent nature of discussions here gave me the chance to learn from highly experienced individuals and helped me understand the importance of ownership.

Yugabyte does the remote, geo-distributed workplace right by creating an atmosphere where everyone feels personally involved in the development of the organization. All it takes is one message on Slack to get all your questions answered.

There’s always a pool of intriguing features in development that we have the freedom to choose to work on. Usually it only involves a small team or even just one individual to take a feature from proof of concept (POC) to production-ready, and that is a special rush on its own. There’s never a day when you don’t learn something new.

Yugabyte’s impact

To sum it all up, the energy and passion at Yugabyte is contagious. Everyone here leads by example and it is such a pleasure working in this kind of an environment that you aim to do the same. In the last few months I rediscovered my curiosity and creativity. I now want to challenge myself and rise up to it, not just for myself but the entire team. This is what I’ve been most thankful for during my time as a Yugabyte intern.

Want to join a dynamic company in growth mode? We are currently hiring for a number of open positions across Yugabyte. Discover your next opportunity today!

Harshitha Vontela

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