Why Work @ Splunk As An Engineer? Year 2

Splunk’s Company Mission

I like the simple and clear mission:

We make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone

Update: Oct 24, 2018

2 years at Splunk so far


  • I’ve started a large community of badminton players and even setup a badminton net in our court yard
  • I’ve grown a community of engineering helping each other virtually on Slack
  • I’ve learned a lot about Splunk’s product and use it everyday to measure and improve our engineering processes.
  • I’ve created dimsum-tuesday, bootclubs, coffee-geeks communities. 
  • I‘ve launched a company wide mentorship program partnering across the company



  • I’ve written a lot of documentation and bootstrapped Friday tips to help engineers find and connect with each other
  • I’ve bootstrapped company wide weekly tech talks along with 4 other people
  • I am running the monthly engineering bootcamp for our new hires and iterating on improving it every month
  • I’m part of the leadership team to help Splunk move towards continuous delivery
  • I’ve done some hands on work to help get Docker adopted more widely at Splunk
  • My direct manager, Kurt Chase is an awesome human being who cares a lot about the people who work for him
  • And most of all, I love working with my kanban team and their passion and open windiness during our usual lunch time and early morning debates on life, technical discussions, security and  how to make things better

My original post

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.


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.


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 install ad blockers to say goodbye to online ads.

Engineering Productivity Focus

Engineering Productivity.jpg

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.