Why Work @ Splunk As An Engineer

Splunk_Billboard_social
6th Floor of Splunk’s 270 Brannan Street Building in San Francisco, a place to eat lunch

I joined Splunk as a software engineer helping internal engineers be more productive, build tools, processes, documentation to make their lives easier.  I have only been at Splunk since April 2016 so I have focused on observing how software development works here and trying to absorb and learn from the smart people here.

Recently I have been focusing my time on hiring engineers into my team as software automation engineers and when I talk with them, it started to crystallize in my mind why I love working at Splunk.

Join me at Splunk

You can browse for engineering careers here http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAGMJ and get in touch with me at tonytam.engineer@yahoo.com for a quick referral.

Mission

I like the simple and clear mission:

We make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone

The product is loved by our users

People who use Splunk love our product.  This is important to me personally and hopefully also important to engineers who work on the product.  It started out as a product to let system administrators and developers analyze their logs and quickly grew into a product that is used up and down across an organization to get insights into all the data spurring out of all of our ‘machines’ (web servers, point of sales systems, key entries, thermometers, mobiles devices).  It lets you make decisions based on real time data your current machines already emit without being overwhelmed.

Hard core engineering

The core product from Splunk is our forwarder and indexing software with a REST API.   This core software has been hardened over 10+ years and its cross platform (Linux on various CPU platforms, Mac, Windows, Solaris).  We work in C++, Python and JavaScript.   The software is shipped to customers on premise, so they have to be rock solid and well tested.  The C++ programmers here are hard core.

I came from Yahoo, where scale matters.  Splunk is also building scalable software because the demand of our customer requires us to scale to huge amount of data with real time requirements.  Think of how much data is generated by a customer with a simple N tier architecture.  Now Splunk has to index and search across all that data, in real or near real time.

People

Splunk has been in business for a long time, since 2004.  So far, I have noticed a few common traits. We are

  • customer focused
  • metrics driven
  • value action above talking

We have a strong culture from our founders and now our employees have carry this culture forward.   Everyone I have met at Splunk really enjoy being here, we pride ourselves in helping each other as well as challenging each other to innovate and disrupt.

Metrics driven

We Splunk ourselves.  We use the Splunk product internally to measure ourselves.  It took me a few weeks to get use to this new way of thinking.  “If it is not worth measuring, it is not worth doing”.     While we are not perfect here, it’s ingrain in our culture.

Not selling ads

Instead of selling advertising or user data like many consumer internet companies, we sell a product that people use and are willing to pay money for because there is a value proposition.   This is personally important to me after working at Yahoo for over 16 years where the core business was about harvesting user behavior and targeting ads to users.  I have finally installed ad blockers to say goodbye to online ads.

Join me at Splunk

You can browse for engineering careers here http://www.splunk.com/view/SP-CAAAGMJ and get in touch with me at tonytam.engineer@yahoo.com for a quick referral.