September 05, 2013

The Road to LinkedIn

Kyle Reid

Kyle Reid, Computer Networking ’13, was a systems administrator at nSphere, a position he obtained through Wentworth’s co-op program, when he first encountered Apache Hadoop. At the time, the open-source software was in its infancy, and as Reid describes it, “highly experimental.”

“One day they told me they needed to crunch through 20 terabytes of web log data, and the server doing it was getting overloaded,” said Reid. “I looked up alternatives, and found Hadoop, the wonderful little yellow elephant.” Hadoop, designed to allow for the distributed processing of large data sets over multiple computers using simple programming models, features a yellow elephant as its logo.  

After two more co-ops, at Endurance International Group and TowardEx, and with graduation approaching, Reid decided he wanted to move to the West Coast. He posted on his LinkedIn profile that he was looking for positions in California, but got no responses for about a month.

One day after leaving history class, Reid got a call from a LinkedIn recruiter in California. After a conversation where they talked about Reid’s past experience, the recruiter told him the company would have to put him on a waiting list, since the only available positions were managerial, and he was fresh out of college.

However, the recruiter then listed some software that he described as “uncommon,” and mentioned that if Reid was familiar with some of them, he could be a job shadow on one of the teams.

“The very first one he listed was Hadoop,” said Reid. “And I replied, ‘oh the little yellow elephant, right?’” Reid then explained how at his first co-op he had built an entire Apache web log processing cluster on it. Reid was on a flight to California the next day.

Once there, he interviewed with the entire Grid Systems Engineering team, toured the campus, and was immediately sold.

“The interview went amazingly,” said Reid. “The company definitely feels like a startup; there’s no cubicles, no walls, it’s just all open floor. Very nice environment, everyone’s kind.” A week later, when he received a job offer, he didn’t hesitate to accept.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Reid said. “I landed my dream job.”  As a grid systems engineer, he will be working primarily with Hadoop, and getting to know his old friend the little yellow elephant even better.

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