Cloudflare TV

Everyone at the Table

Presented by Hady Mendez, Anthony Pickersgill, Andrew Fitch, Deepak Maram, Jordan Madison, Matt Alonso, Mikayla Moore, Wen Qiu
Originally aired on 

Everyone at the Table is a series that explores everyday topics from the perspective of people... with different perspectives!

Learn more about the team .


Transcript (Beta)

Good morning from New York City and welcome to everyone at the table. I am Hady Mendez, your host and the global lead for Cloudflare's Latinx employee resource group.

Everyone at the table is a series that brings together people from around the company to explore everyday topics from the perspective of people with different perspectives.

To make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak and have their voice heard, I will serve as the moderator.

As a reminder to all of our viewers, we will be taking your questions at live studio at

So again, welcome everyone today on our show I've invited a select group of summer interns to tell us who they are, what they're working on and how their summer experience with Cloudflare has been going so far.

I personally have very fond memories of being a summer intern, not with Cloudflare, with other companies, but I remember dressing up for work, meeting new people, being very intimidated by people who had the word manager in their title and really just doing everything I could to take in the corporate culture of whatever company I was working in.

I feel though that those experiences were incredible ways to see how companies operate, learn what it's like to be part of a team and also just learn what it's like to be a professional.

So I think those were really formative and important experiences to have.

So let's get started. I'm going to turn it over to our panel. I haven't forgotten about you.

So welcome to the show. I am excited to hear about how your experiences with Cloudflare have been so far.

So let's start off with introductions.

I'd like to hear what school you attend. Well, first, your name, what school you attend, what your major is and what is your anticipated graduation date.

So Mikayla, let's start with you. Hi, everyone. So yeah, my name is Mikayla. I attend the University of Texas at Austin.

My anticipated graduation date is this next year.

So May 2021 so I'll be a senior and I'm majoring in computer science and then minoring in information studies.

So I'm kind of focusing and concentrating on UX and UI and performing in those skills.

Nice. Welcome, Mikayla. All right, Matt.

How about you? Let's hear from you. My name is Matt. I'm a junior at the University of Texas at Austin and I'm studying computer science and I'll be graduating in the fall of 2022.

Nice. Welcome to the show, Matt. Wen, you're next.

Hi, everyone. My name is Wen and I'm currently a rising senior studying computer science at the University of Washington and I'm mostly interested in human-computer interaction.

Nice. Great. Welcome to the show, Wen. Jordan, you're next.

What's good, everybody? My name is Jordan Madison. I'm a fourth-year computer science major at Jordan Tech, concentrating in people and intelligence.

So kind of along the lines of HCI with the dabble of machine learning, NLP, and AI.

Right now, anticipated graduation is, I believe, next year, but I'm unsure because my life is very serendipitous.

I've done a lot of things, including my own nonprofit, the past three years.

So never know what life will take me. Okay. Okay, good. Welcome, Jordan.

And Deepak. Hi, everyone. This is Deepak. I'm a third-year PhD student studying at Cornell Tech.

I do applied cryptography. That's my research area.

And I anticipated graduation date. That's not a question you ask a PhD, so. You're not sure yet?

Yeah, kind of. I think it will sort of in the air. Okay, well, welcome, everyone.

And so let's dive in. I'm curious to hear a little bit about what assignments you all are working on.

So, Michaela, let's start with you again. And I'm just curious to hear a little bit about what you're working on this summer.

And yeah, let's start with that.

What are you working on this summer? Tell us about your assignment.

Okay, yeah. So I'm working currently on the Threat Intel team, developing a really exciting tool to kind of just give users insight onto how the Internet is working.

So pulling data from, you know, Cloudflare's DNS services to kind of display interesting data to users.

And so I actually get to work with Jordan on that.

And so we're kind of working together to just develop this product.

And it's been super exciting to just be able to build the UI and figure out how to display information in a way that's digestible to everyday people and that's usable and accessible.

And so that's what I'm working on this summer. And then I'm out of like a remote office, I guess, but most of my team is in Austin.

Okay, cool.

Thanks, Michaela. Matt, tell us about what you're working on. I heard it's top secret.

Yeah, I'm on the workers distributed data team contributing to the workers runtime.

I'm working on something. It's very, very cool that I can't talk about too much.

I'm working with out of the Austin office, but right now I'm in Florida.

Okay, cool. Nice. How's the weather in Florida today? Hot. Yeah, hot. I bet.

That's a good Okay, cool.

Wen, tell us about your assignment. Yeah, sure. So I'm working with the Cloudflare RUM team and my project is actually partnering with another PM intern on my team, working on a client-side security project.

And the idea is to do some research and develop a solution that allows Cloudflare customers to have more insights on the third party scripts running on their website to detect attacks like Magecart, which is just a type of attack that people inject malicious code into third party scripts and steal sensitive information from the users of our customer site.

And I'm currently working in Vancouver, Washington, which is a town right north of Portland, and my team is in San Francisco.

Nice. That sounds amazing, what you're working on, Wen.

Was that what you, I guess I'm just kind of curious, was that like what you wanted to do or like how, is it related to like what you were hoping for?

I guess it's actually a really interesting learning experience for me because, like I said before, I'm mostly interested in HCI and this is all my background coming in, but it's really fascinating how much I learned through this like first five weeks of my internship.

Yeah, that's awesome. Good for you.

All right, let's see what you're doing, Jordan. So we know you're working with Mikayla, you guys are the double threat, but let's hear a little bit more about what your assignment is.

Yeah, so PM intern on Cloudflare for Teams and product strategy, but I'm also right now on the Threat Intel slash DELWP team with Mikayla.

And so pretty much I'm the PM intern for the Cloudflare like radar pretty much assignment.

Right at a high level is basically kind of sharing and kind of giving users, you know, our window into the Internet.

Because we have a lot of interesting data and a lot of kind of, you know, high level overview.

And so figuring out a way to actually leverage that in order to help consumers, regular everyday people to gain more insight and transparency into the Internet is kind of the main core focus of this project.

That sounds awesome. Good for you. Deepak, tell us what you're working on.

So my summer project is exploring alternatives to capture.

I'm sure everyone knows captures are a pain. Everyone who's using Internet can get to that.

So we're coming up with easy to use privacy friendly alternatives to capture.

And that's been my project. My project also explores decentralized identity.

I'm not sure if people have heard of that term, but that's sort of a new research friend exploring ways of giving users control of their data.

So that's sort of the direction you're exploring.

Cool. Um, how many people. I'm just kind of curious.

It's like a very informal survey. How many people are doing something more cool than they expected in terms of their summer assignment.

Okay, cool.

Yeah, I mean, you know that. Thank you for being for your candor. But I think that's good.

It's the way you guys are pressing me so much with with what you're doing and how much you know And yeah, I'm just super impressed.

I would, I would give you all jobs tomorrow, but I'm not in.

I'm not a hiring manager. So it's all good.

All right, uh, let's see. So let's talk about, um, working remotely because you're probably the first intern class has had to do this completely From a remote perspective.

I don't know that we've ever had anyone work 100% remotely before.

So I'm kind of curious to hear like what's been hard What's kind of been the upside water like what's your pro tip like for people doing this.

It's like, oh, this is how you do you roll out of bed and you just like snap you're there in front of your computer takes like one minute.

I don't know. Like, I'm kind of curious. I still get up early myself.

I go for a walk in the morning. I have breakfast. I need like me time before I start work.

So nothing really has changed. I still get up really early.

So I'm kind of curious to hear like how you guys are dealing with it.

And also, if there's been any unexpected cool things that have come out of the experience.

So I know that was a lot of questions. So just, you know, feel free to answer whatever question you want or as many of those questions as you want.

Um, so this time I start with you, Matt.

So I was here last summer. So I have a good comparison from what it was like to work in the office versus now and I've really liked working remotely.

It's the the 10 second commute of rolling out of bed and opening my laptop is wonderful, but It's a bit harder to know like if you're interrupting your team and to get like those kind of random conversations that you have that can be really informative in the office.

And there's a lot of ways to work around that.

But you have to actively think about them. And that's, I think, is the biggest challenge.

So tell us one of your strategies. Just give us one pro tip.

Oh, our team. We have like daily lunches that we do that are scheduled every day during lunch hour that everyone can just pop in.

It's not mandatory and we can chat about whatever we're working on and we have any problems that we're stuck at And it's really helpful if you have like small questions or anything like that.

Oh, that's awesome. Do you go every day or do you go most days.

If I if I'm if I'm really wired into something I'll skip it, but usually most days.

That's awesome. That's great. Thanks. Thanks for that. Okay, let's see when let's hear from you.

Yeah, so I guess for me remote internship is challenging, but I can definitely echo what Matt said like communication with the team is definitely the key to being successful.

And I actually lost my initial internship at another company before because of the pandemic and I feel really grateful to have this like second chance of internship at Coupler.

And like I said before, I didn't have a lot of background in security and the key to catch up and also start making progress is definitely asking for help when I'm stuck and just be open to try a lot of new things.

I did a lot of experiments at the very beginning of my internship and it really helps me to see they're always different solutions to the same problem, just with different trade offs and my mentors have been really supportive throughout the process.

Oh, cool. You mentioned mentor. Can you can you give us like 15 seconds 20 seconds about what the mentor does for you.

Um, so my mentor is young park on the wrong team.

And usually I just reach out to him on Google Chat.

And then whenever I guess Doug and he usually sends me with a lot of resources and I just learned to like read through documentation.

And if I need actual like it help.

I can also send me a really quick Google Chat. And then we just like Like Google meeting Google Hangout meeting so we can like actually see what he's doing on screen and walk me through the process.

That's awesome. Good. Thank you for sharing that.

That sounds great. You have a good mentor. Let's see. How about you, Jordan.

How has the summer been going for you. Yeah, I think it actually been really dope me.

I don't really actually have any hardships actually for the internship and mainly because Being remote is actually forced me to be at home with family and it's been really interesting because I haven't really seen and interact with my family in a very like long time in a sense of, you know, I've been interning for the past three summers, you know, I've also been in school and traveling and so I've never really been at home for this extended period of time since high school, which is about four years ago.

And so It's really cool to kind of wake up, go eat breakfast.

See my mom. See my little sister to see my family and just interact with them like a regular person.

It feels really weird, but It's all.

I'm also very thankful because I'm able to kind of help them out as well. I'm from a work standpoint.

I also appreciate it because I'm actually able to focus, you know, I tend to be very like social person that loves talking to people.

And so In the office, it was always very hard to just sit down, isolate and focus on myself and focus on work.

And so, you know, I think, you know, Working remote has basically afforded me the opportunity to be more direct with conversations, you know, be active and say, hey, I want to talk to you, but also at the same time, I need this stretch of time just to knock out some work and so I think as long as you establish a system for success, you know, in terms of syncing with your mentor daily talk with your manager, etc.

It actually can be a quite nice experience, but I also am blessed, you know, kind of being at home.

And, you know, I also want to like five kids.

And so it's always a party. So definitely Cooking breakfast for you.

You're rolling out of bed and then you get like, you know, your quiet time and you can focus.

So it's good. It's been good living for you. I actually agree with you, though.

Wholeheartedly that I like working from home for the same reason. I feel much more productive because I can have like that time by myself and I can like people can't stop by.

It's like, you can't do that. Like, I'll block you. Sorry.

Oh, that's awesome. What'd you have for breakfast today. What did mommy I actually I actually cook.

So yeah, so pretty much it is made my scrambled eggs was like my garlic and some like to go to guy on top of it.

I cook every day. So that's what I love doing.

I like that. That's pretty good. I'm coming over next time when I'm in the neighborhood.

Where are you again. You're in Austin. Not so I'm working out of the Austin office, but I'm actually in Atlanta, Georgia right now.

You're kind of far but cool. All right. Well, let's see. Deepak we haven't heard from you about how summer has been treating you and work remote.

How has it been going Yeah, I think, I think it's probably mixed work wise.

I probably agree with Jordan.

I think I've been productive more productive. So, but I think the missing part is probably the social experiences.

I've been trying to be more proactive and sort of reaching out to people that kind of thing.

I think the mentor slash buddy experiences have helped a bit there, but still, it's not equal to the physical sort of experience you would otherwise have.

Right, so Yeah, yeah, that's, that's a really, really good point.

And that's kind of an important part of internships is to meet people and You know, like almost have like the informal conversations that sometimes, you know, it's like very organically nice you get along with people and so I'm interested in you and tell you, you know what they're working on and stuff like that.

So you missed that. Yeah. Um, did Michaela.

I think we haven't heard from you yet. Yes. Yeah. So I think everyone just like stole the words right out my mouth like it's definitely like all of those things that you guys mentioned like are things that I'm experiencing to and so You know, working from home.

Like, I do think it is more productive, but I would say like the productivity spans like More than eight hours because it'll be like, you know, I'll do something and then like, oh, I'll like, go do this, you know, and then like, you know, I'll come back to work.

And so I think You know, at first, kind of getting that work life balance of, you know, like, you know, not like, you know, getting out of bed like at like 10pm and be like, oh, I know how to fix this code now and then like going and like running to my laptop, you know, and so Just making sure that like I keep that work life balance that I would have in the office.

And so I think that from like a work perspective, but then also socially to I think it's been interesting to find new ways to meet people, you know, just like being comfortable enough to like meet people virtually especially meeting people for the first time virtually I was like joking with my intern buddy.

I was like, you know, I know you're like a real person, but like something in my head is like I just only see you like on a screen like you're just like a virtual You know, so like, you know, kind of just getting, you know, use like this new way of meeting people, but it's been an experience.

And I think definitely there are some pros and cons, but it just makes the experience more, you know, valuable.

Yeah, for sure. Um, anybody participating in ERGs this summer by a show of hands?

Employee Resource Groups, anyone?

Deepak, I know you had asked and I introduced you to somebody.

You're not really doing anything with them yet? Yeah, I did have a chat. And I mean, I'm in a bunch of ERGs.

I've just never done Well, okay, I'm gonna just so everyone knows there is an Employee Resource Group calendar.

If you don't have it, just ping me and I'll send it to you.

But that's a good way to know every week what ERGs are doing that week.

And there's like a huge variety of different things. And I know like Latin Flare this Friday is playing back another Cloudflare TV segment that featured two Latino co-founders from a particular company.

And we're going to watch it together.

So if anybody's interested in coming to that, but I know there's a lot of stuff going on.

So that's a great way for you guys to, you know, like, kind of make some extra friends, if you will, or just like meet extra people.

Yeah, we're friendly.

We're friendly bunch. All right. Well, um, it doesn't look like we have any questions from our audience at this time.

But if anyone does have a question, please feel free to send it our way.

We're going to move on then to The next question that I have for the panel.

And that question is, I'm curious to know, you know, you talked a little bit about like What you're studying in school.

You talked a little bit about what you've been doing at Cloudflare and how you've been surviving this work from home summer.

I'm curious to know, like, what other interests you might have.

What something else that gives you life. Do you like protesting?

Do you like skateboarding? Are you like a scooter person and you like jumping off a cliff or like writing.

I don't know, like climbing mountains. I mean, for me personally, I love like diversity, equity and inclusion.

It's like my drug.

I love it. And it's just feeds me And I'm always reading articles learning like like listening to podcasts.

And like connecting with new people on LinkedIn that have anything to do with diversity, equity and inclusion just finding ways personally for me to learn more and just be like more like Up to date.

So like, that's my thing.

I'm curious to know what your thing is. So Deepak, I'm going to start with you this time.

What's your thing. What gives you life. Yeah, I guess I'm a very curious person.

That's sort of what led me towards my PhD. So as far as my PhD goes, there's always more papers more stuff going on there more stuff to learn There's always a new thing there.

But in general, I think I love to solve puzzles, that kind of thing.

So I love playing chess. For example, I played chess seriously when I was a kid, but It's more recreational.

I also like to cook, take walks around, things like that.

Right. Yeah. Has your cooking gotten better since this whole quarantining stuff?

Since my PhD. Awesome.

All right. Let's see. Michaela, tell us a little bit about what gives you life.

Um, yeah.

So I think definitely it's kind of like a few things, but just like a main concept like I love doing like yoga and I recently started dancing.

I always wanted to dance when I was a kid, but I'd always quit because I thought I was bad at it.

But I say, if I don't do it now, then I won't do it ever.

And so when I was out in the Bay Area interning, I actually got a chance to go to some dances and there's some amazing dancers out there.

So I got a chance to You know, learn from them. And so that's always super fun to me.

And then I think like also like a quite literal answer to the question.

I like learning about like nutrition as well. And so, you know, that like actually, you know, viewing like food and like, you know, ways to like, you know, improve your body and your health through like food and other activities such as like exercise, yoga and stuff.

That's something that I really enjoy.

And so that like, like I said, quite literally like gives me life. Yeah. And so, you know, being able to like cook and stuff.

That's always something that's exciting to me because I, I view it as a way of like, you know, helping my body and helping myself.

Amen. I love that. Thank you, Michaela. Matt, how about you? What's giving you life these days?

I really like working with my hands. I did a robotics in high school.

So I spent a lot of time building the robot and all that. And over quarantine, I put together a 3D printer and I've been working on this project car that I got last summer.

Hopefully I'll get to drive it sometime in the next year. Wow, you're putting us all to shame.

Okay, well, good for you, Matt. That sounds good.

That sounds good. I have a colleague who who learned like picked up a language or two during this time.

So I guess every just something for everybody. You know, I love that.

Thanks, Matt. When, how about you? What's giving you life? Yeah, for me, I think what I'm passionate about outside coding is actually teaching like I am a CS teaching assistant at my school through my junior year and I absolutely enjoyed this whole process of guiding my students through the process of discovering what they can do with the power of computer science.

And I actually moved to the US five years ago with my parents.

And before that I have zero coding experience, just because I didn't have like coding like coding classes back then.

So this is the part of the reason why I'm super passionate about making CS more accessible for other people, especially young girls, because I know it could make a huge difference in their lives as well.

I love that one. That's awesome. Good for you. That's, that's wonderful.

That's so good to hear. All right. Well, who can top that I guess Jordan, you're gonna have to try I say let's say less.

So I guess since everybody has multiple questions, I'll go ahead and get multiple.

So first one is cooking.

I'm actually I ended up buying actually more than like 30 ounces of salt, like the other day because Because I'm very passionate about like cooking.

I'm all down salt for those that know smoked and regular and everything.

But yeah, I just love cooking.

You know, it's really dope. You know, lived like live by myself last year, my internship.

And so I kind of had my own kitchen and so I was throwing down I was out of Seattle.

So I bought all the seafood and everything. And I was just live my best life and I'm on cast iron whole time nine yards have like 60 different seasonings.

And so, yeah, I love it. I love it all. I love it all. Second one is meeting new people.

Actually, I love interacting and meeting people from your other backgrounds, you know, I'm very passionate about putting myself in a position to meet people.

You know, irregardless of your title. I don't care if you see you.

I don't care if you're just the person sitting at the desk right at the end of the day, you're a person you define that role and I want to hear your story and so Very passionate about hearing people's stories getting wisdom from your others as well.

Thirdly, is rocket league actually like so I interned in the gaming industry to pass the years on team Xbox and I wasn't really gaming gaming gaming at all.

Like I didn't actually like the game. But since I have an Xbox not only play one game which is rocket league all the time.

And so spent a lot of time kind of playing that.

And so yeah, so those are three high level things that kind of You guys are super interesting people.

I love it. The variety of answers and everything really good.

I'm Jordan, you, you really make me want to come to your house to eat so that that was scrambled eggs.

I was like, okay, scrambled eggs garlic sounds good.

But now, would you say 16 seasonings like now, now you got me I'm gonna have to rent a car and go down to Atlanta.

All right. All right, guys, we're, we're down to our last question.

And this last question is a really important one. It might Decide your fate with Cloudflare it might decide your faith for life like staying in the computer industry, certainly was staying within security and performance industry.

So I want to know in 30 seconds or less. What is more important security or performance Michaela, we're going to start with you.

Okay, so I thought about this and this might be a cop out answer, but I don't think that the two are mutually exclusive because To me, you can't have good performance without having security.

And so I like to watch track. And so I think of it like a track race if somebody gets first place, but they took a shortcut and they cheated, then You know, the race is invalid.

And so you could have like something that's high performing fast and functioning.

But if you don't have good security, then it's just, you know, I feel like not too much.

Good answer. Matt, what do you say I wouldn't, I would say security is definitely more important.

I think it's a lot harder to fix like deep running security issues and it is to fix performance issues.

Okay, thank you for weighing in.

When, how about you. What do you think I agree with Michaela both are super important.

But if I have to vote for one of our security because that gives you your customer trust and performing something that you can optimize down the road.

Got it. Jordan. How about you. What do you think I'm gonna go to flip side and just say perf.

Because I think a really fast and efficient UI or whatever really user experience is really key and definitely obviously obviously have kind of security in mind, kind of, you know, down the line as well.

But I also think a really dope user experience really builds a lot of trust as well.

Right. I'm with you, Jordan.

Deepak, what do you say you're going to help us close it out here. Yeah, I was gonna see what Jordan says and flip dance.

So, I mean, as a computer security researcher, I think I'd say security.

Security is the thing that Everyone's going to come to in the end performance is just like short like it's like eating a cake, like you eat a cake and then It's a valid short term thing, I think.

Yeah, this is the, this is the argument that will never end.

But guys, thank you for weighing in. I really appreciate it. I loved having you on the show today.

I love meeting you. I love learning more about you.

I wish you the best of luck for those of you that are seniors and finishing off school this year.

Best of luck to you. Hope you come back to class. I hope to see your calculator next year.

And, you know, good luck getting ready for the new school year.

I know it's going to be challenging. It's going to pose its own challenges because we're still not out of the woods here with COVID so best of luck to everybody.

To our viewers. I want to tell you, next week we are going to be talking to employees about COVID-19.

In particular, we're going to be talking to parents, as well as people of color, two groups of people that have been especially affected by the pandemic.

Albeit in different ways. We're going to be back here next Tuesday.

Same time. And speaking of COVID-19 I do have a little bit of good news for the week.

This is very good, especially for anybody from New York. I think that's Deepak, just Deepak and myself for now, but They were the epicenters of disease in America and Europe.

So we're talking about New York City and Italy and both have reached single digit daily numbers for fatalities attributed to COVID-19.

And y'all know how bad New York was. And Italy too. Those people singing from their, you know, patios and all that.

So as someone who lives in New York City, I have two words.

E fantastico. That's Italian for that is awesome.

So up next, please join us for more CalClear TV. And once again, a big thank you to all of you for joining us today at Everyone at the Table where your point of view is valued, appreciated and heard.

See you next week, everybody. See you next week, everybody.

See you next week, everybody.

See you next week, everybody.