Q&A: Intern Alumni: Mithun Vijayasekar

Where did you go to school?

University of California, Davis

What was your favorite class there?

Intro to Animal Science–where we learned how to milk goats and cows, and flip sheep, which is an effective practice to keep sheep calm for shearing. This was definitely the best part of going to one of the best veterinary and agricultural schools in the country.

What was your favorite late-night food?

Thai Canteen where you could find the best Pad Thai and Thai Iced Tea.

Why did you apply for the internship at Ripple?

I wanted to join an innovative company where I could surround myself with a great team and engineering culture. Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and allows immigrants like myself to send cross-border payments back home efficiently. I knew putting myself behind such an impactful mission would make the work I do feel rewarding.

Were you involved with crypto or blockchain at your school?

Yes, I helped lead the Blockchain @ Davis club.

What was your biggest surprise as an intern?

Rather than working on low priority intern projects, I was allowed to work on one of the critical problems that our team was facing. From day one of my internship, I had the privilege of kick-starting the Monitoring Framework project, allowing RippleNet applications to have real-time visibility. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of autonomy I was given to approach the problem as an intern. I was given the freedom to gather the requirements, understand the “problem,” design a solution, and then implement, test and launch the feature. I had great peers to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of, and the experience of working through the complete lifecycle of an impactful project was invaluable.

What was the hardest problem you solved as an intern?

Similar to most interns, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to face challenges and learn from them. I believe one of the challenges that helped me grow as an engineer and co-worker was handling cross-team communication. As part of the RippleNet Platform Services team, our mission is to build and maintain a suite of tools and services that can be leveraged by all RippleNet applications. My intern project contributed to that mission and required collaborating with numerous stakeholders. While gathering data and getting feedback on my design documentation, I realized the importance of clear and efficient communication. Once I adapted effective methods of communication, I was able to share information more efficiently hence improving collaboration and productivity.

How long have you been a permanent Ripple employee?

I recently celebrated my 1 year Rippleversary as an FTE.

What's the biggest difference between being an intern and a permanent employee?

Honestly, not much which is the best part about it. As an intern, I never felt unimportant or like the work I was doing didn’t matter. Once I converted, some of my co-workers were surprised to find out that I was an intern before. One of the advantages of being a full-time engineer is being able to invest and contribute to long-term projects and take responsibility for all the projects my team was working on by being on-call.

What problems are you solving now?

After my internship, I had the privilege of continuing to build the Monitoring Framework Project that I helped kick-start as an intern. Now, that project has scaled to become a much larger project that spans across the organization and took on the code-name “Project Claritin” (to bring clarity into our applications). Currently, I work on building the Monitoring Framework and infrastructure that will leverage Prometheus, DataDog, AWS Kinesis and GCP (Cloud Composer, Dataflow and Big Query). This project will allow Ripple to have real-time visibility into our applications and services while making it easier to monitor and analyze the data flow.  

If you’re interested in solving these problems and more, join Ripple’s engineering team!