Over the past three months, I have been a summer student at ThinkOn. While waiting in the boardroom before my interview I was going over the usual things in my head. Am I a good cultural fit? Do I have the necessary qualifications? Then, this is my first adult job in a field that I’m interested in. The weight of that thought didn’t really sink in until the end of my first day.
Working at ThinkOn is like biting off a little more than you can chew hoping you’ll quickly learn how to chew it. ThinkOn is a small business: everyone is very nimble and has the ability to pivot when necessary. In a weekly marketing meeting, CEO Craig McLellan went from the decision maker to the “product guy” in an instant. His ability to switch fluidly through these roles makes it seem like the easiest thing in the world.
I, on the other hand, felt like I was thrown into the deep end. I was given assignments that fulfilled current gaps in marketing strategies. Not just busy work, but projects that would have outcomes that I was accountable for. There was no hand-holding here, just the expectation to perform. One of the very first issues I learned about at ThinkOn and cloud, in general, is that there are a lot of acronyms. From an outside perspective its almost like learning a new language. Keeping all of their meanings and relationships to one another was a big challenge.
The Cloud industry changes at an alarming rate. One of the biggest trends right now being Big Data. The sheer amount of data is mind-numbing, so let’s break it down:
The average laptop has around 500GB of hard drive storage, and an average consumer external drive is 1-2 TB. Now ThinkOn ObjectStore (think of a giant reserve of storage) has customers who request 50TB of additional storage on a regular basis. One of the main contributors to this expansion is the IOT (Internet of Things), which connects many devices which all generate data. Data growth is only accelerating, and we can expect it to the rate to increase exponentially.
With all of that incoming data there must be products that protect against systems failure, right? Well, there are, and the most common way to implement them is called DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service). Physical hardware damage, software problems, or incorrect configurations can cause customers to lose their valuable data. DRaaS allows customers to store replications of their data on ThinkOn’s infrastructure and change over to these replications in the case of failure (known as failover). Some of the products that ThinkOn offers have failover times of a few milliseconds, faster than you can blink. With acceptable RTO’s (Recovery Time Objectives), customers using these solutions would hardly notice a change. In sectors such as banking and healthcare, the services that ThinkOn provides must be constantly and consistently available so valuable data is always available.
I have learned a lot during my three month time at ThinkOn due to the constantly evolving cloud environment, and also the people who I worked with. This opportunity has given me the knowledge needed to progress in the technology industry and insight into working in a field that is at the forefront of growth.
I would personally like to thank everyone at ThinkOn for creating an environment where a young professional can learn and thrive.