Cloudflare TV

Meet our Intern-ets! Hosted by Michelle Zatlyn

Presented by Michelle Zatlyn
Originally aired on 

Join Michelle Zatlyn, Cloudflare's Co-Founder, President & COO, as she meets with the intern class of 2023 - our Intern-ets! Find out how they applied and got in to the internship program, what their experience has been like, and what the highlights of the summer have been for them. We love our Interns and recognise the impact they have at Cloudflare - and we want to know what's next for them!

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Transcript (Beta)

Welcome to Cloudflare TV. I'm so excited that I have a great group here this morning who are all happen to be interns at Cloudflare this summer, and so really excited to spend time today hearing more about what they're working on.

and what they're studying, what they're doing at Cloudflare this morning.

So thanks so much for tuning in.

But first, I'm Michelle Zatlyn. I'm one of the founders of Cloudflare and also our president, and just really, really delighted to be here this morning.

You know, making sure that we have the best and the brightest, the next generation of talent connected into Cloudflare is one of my favorite parts of my job, but people on our team love having summer interns.

And it's really great to spend the next hour getting to meet a subset of our interns.

We've had over 40 people intern at Cloudflare this summer, and here we have 16 folks who've joined us to tell us more about their experience.

So it's going to be a really fun, engaging conversation.

And if you have any questions, please, please submit them and we'll go through them.

And so let's dive right in. And Annie, I'm going to start with you.

So I'm a big fan of the cold call. So Annie, we'll start with you. So why don't you share with the audience what name you've given the interns, what the intern class of 2023 have given themselves, and why don't you tell us what the name is and how it came to be?

Yeah, for sure. So I think our name for that we've came up with is intern X.

So it's intern and then dash and ETS. So that's the name we came up with.

So the origin story for this is, so it started out to be like a fun little conversation between some of us interns and our recruiter, Judy.

And I mentioned how cool it would be, how cool that some other companies like Google, Splunk, Twitter have their own names for their interns, such as like Noogler, Splunktern, or Turns, and was wondering like if we can come up with a name for ourselves.

So we as like a collective intern cohort, we came up with several like really fun options.

One of a couple were like Cloudies, Cloudturns, and Flurries.

And then we made a post on the Everyone channel on our Google chat and held like a company wide vote.

And some of the full time Cloud Flurrians were kind of able to pitch in with some of their suggestions and options.

And ultimately, we came up with the name of intern X, which won by like a landslide, which happens to also be the name that our CTO John helped come up with.

That's awesome. So I work at Clubhouse.

I don't even know all of the elements of that story. So thanks so much for sharing that with me and the group and the audience.

And, you know, I love that you had an idea, and now we shipped it.

We're very big into shipping this summer.

And so I think that's great. So thanks for sharing that. Internets, we should definitely keep that one.

That's a good one. So we definitely need a logo, maybe a logo to mascot next.


Okay, good. Well, look, let's, let's dive in. And, you know, there's a big group, so we won't go one by one, but we're gonna have like a subset of each of you kind of answer different questions.

So let's, the first question I'd love, and I'm going to have Harsh go next first and a couple others.

But just how did you discover Cloudflare?

Why did you apply to be an intern at Cloudflare? Harsh, why don't you kick us off?

Sure. So I was, so first of all, I'll put some background. I'm originally from India, and I'm working as a PM intern on the work team based out of London office.

I'm currently pursuing my MBA at Cambridge University. And I was vaguely familiar with Cloudflare as part of my previous work experience, but my deep dive into Cloudflare happened in a case competition or in a class during my MBA.

Then we essentially discussed Cloudflare's growth, its culture, especially during its early days.

And that got me really intrigued about Cloudflare as a company.

And then during the summer, I was looking for a PM position to work in.

I, someone told me about there's an opening at Cloudflare, why don't you give it a shot.

So I basically applied, had some amazing conversations with a lot of people, especially about the work culture, ethics, and the diversity and inclusion of the company.

And it seemed like the perfect fit. So yeah, that just landed me here.

That's great. Thanks so much for sharing that. And how about you, Mia, why don't you go next and then we'll, and then we'll go to Shaheen.

But tell us, Mia, how you, how you discovered Cloudflare and why you applied to do a summer internship with us.

Yeah, so I'm Mia. I'm a product manager intern here for the summer, but I actually found Cloudflare as a technical writer intern last summer.

And I was kind of looking for summer positions and looking at different companies and found Cloudflare.

And I thought the mission of the company really resonated with me. And I had a really positive experience throughout the interview process.

So I thought this seemed like a company that was doing great things that would be a great fit and was really excited to join and had a great experience last summer.

So I came back this, this year as a product manager.

I love that. Second summer internship with us.

That's great. You know what happens after that, Mia? It's like a full-time, it's like, we're going to bring you in full-time, but that's, thanks for sharing that.

And it's great that you've been able to intern in different parts of the organization, which I do think, you know, for those who are tuning in, who are thinking about what's next in their career or what they're going to do for their internship next summer, or maybe you're earlier in career or late in your career, trying the opportunity to try lots of different things is like a real privilege.

So it's so cool that you've been able to do that, Mia.

How about you, Shaheen? Why don't you share your story?

Yeah, so my story is a little bit different. Let me just introduce myself.

My name is Shaheen. I'm currently an internal audit intern this summer working remotely in Houston.

But yeah, my story is a little bit different.

I actually didn't know too much about Cloudflare. And I saw the job listing on one of the job boards on LinkedIn.

I just applied. And then during my first interview, I kind of got to learn more with my hiring manager.

And after talking with her, I kind of did more research in the company and saw how interesting it is and how great the products that we're delivering are.

And then throughout the interviews, I've met with so many amazing people that are super helpful, super interested in me, which I found very different from other companies that I was recruiting with.

And then, yeah, I decided to join. When I joined, I was able to schedule time with other people within the company, learn about different divisions like product management.

And yeah, it's been great so far.

That's great. And it's interesting. There's probably some folks who are listening and aren't sure what an internal audit team does.

So Shaheen, not to put you on the spot, but why don't you quickly explain to the audience what is internal audit?

Yeah, so essentially what we do is we go through the company's business processes and we kind of ensure that we're mitigating risk and ensuring that there's no fraud happening within the company.

So super in-depth. We also do audits throughout different divisions of the company.

Currently, we're doing a reseller audit, so we'll look at the company's resellers and make sure that the processes and sign-ons are happening in a very, I guess, secure way.

That's good. That was a hard question, and that was a really good answer.

So thanks, Shaheen, for sharing that with the audience.

Great. OK, so we had some folks who got Connects to us through school or had personally been using us, others who had found the opportunity on a career site or LinkedIn, others who had worked here before.

Anybody else who has a different story of how they discovered Cloudflare and applied to be a summer intern here that they want to share with the audience before we move on to some of the summer experiences you've had?

Sure, I can. So I'm on the research team, and so I'm a PhD student, and a lot of, actually, the former research interns are people I work with.

And so they'd all had such a good time, and I was kind of jealous.

So I had to apply and get to work on some of the cool types of things that they had gotten to work on during their internships.

And they were right, I'm having a great time.

That's a good one. It's great. You know, I've been building Cloudflare.

We're coming up on our 14th birthday. Our birthday is coming up at the end of September, and 14 years since we launched the company, Matthew, Lee, and I.

And one of the things, lessons I've learned in my 14-year career at Cloudflare is it's a very connected world.

And so relationships and referrals matter both for career, like they talk about, they refer you, or even for business, where it's building these relationships, people change jobs, and if they like your service in one job and they move to a new job, they often follow you around.

So it's a good reminder that relationships really matter.

So thanks for sharing that story, Kyle.

It made me smile. So it's a good one. All right, well, let's dive in more about some of the really cool things you've been working on this summer.

And maybe we can start by hearing just a little bit about your internship experience and sharing some of that.

And so, Harshini, let's have you go first, and then Emily, you can follow up.

But just tell us a little bit about your intern experience.

Thank you, Michelle.

I'm Harshini. I'm a software engineer intern on the application services team, and that's a part of engineering productivity.

So what my team does is it builds tools to make engineers' lives better here at Cloudflare internally.

And so, funny thing is that when I started my internship here, my team decided not to tell me what I was going to work on for two weeks.

They were like, we don't want to overwhelm you, you need to take it slow.

So they gave me this cute little starter project to get myself familiar with.

So once I came in, I had a smooth transition into understanding everything, learning about what my team does.

And then finally, after two weeks of me pestering everybody to be like, what am I doing, what am I doing, I got to work, get started on my work, and they told me what I'm going to work on, and it's something called Project Gaia, which is a tool for anyone, any internal engineer here.

So, if you want to build a new service, which is something Cloudflare does all the time, people keep coming, making new services to connect from here to there, or pull in audits from here, anything that you want to do, this service, if you want to start a new one, you just have to click, I think the record is within seven minutes, you have everything set up, it's done with the best practices, you have all the connectivity to Kafka, or to the internal CI, CD, continuous integration and continuous development, so everything's done in one flat shot.

So I was excited because this was something that the team has just started working on, and my job is to make it better so that more people want to use it.

And what I think the best part about it is that every time I mentioned this to another engineer here internally, they're like, oh, I've heard about that, and I'm so glad you're working on it so that I can use it too, because right now it's kind of hard to work with, but I'm glad you're working on it.

And I think that's something that stood out to me the most about Cloudflare is that when you talk to other engineers or anyone in the company, they're very excited and the projects that we do here matter a lot.

So I think that's what I've been able to get away and I like that fact that the work I'm doing is going to make some impact in here.

I love that. Thanks so much for sharing that story and it feels good to work on things that you use or that either we use internally or customers use.

That's great to hear. Thank you so much. Emily, why don't you go next and then we'll have Johnny and Maximo go share their stories.

Go ahead, Emily. Thanks.

So hi, I'm Emily. I'm a software engineering intern on the queues team. So we're building a global messaging queuing service that enables guaranteed delivery, message batching, message rechecks.

So it's super useful for ensuring that messages get streamed between our workers platform effectively and between other services.

So I think one aspect of my internship experience that I really love is the autonomy and impact I've been able to have as an intern.

So workers queues is a fairly new product.

We're still in open beta. So I really feel that my team trusts me to work on these like crucial services.

I've been working on building debugging features from the dashboard, for example, and I've been able to have an impact on the roadmap and see my work go out to all of our users.

And that's something that makes me feel really fulfilled in my work.

Another aspect of my experience that I really love is even though I'm a remote intern and I've been working not in the office, I've still been able to connect with lots of other Cloudflareians.

I've been able to schedule coffee chats with people across different roles in the organization.

And throughout the internship program, we've also had opportunities to connect with our senior executive leadership, which has also been really great to learn more about the beginning of Cloudflare and also get some career advice and fun anecdotes about how it all started.

Great. Thanks so much. We'll come back to the remote distributed nature of the internship.

We'll come back to that question.

But thanks so much for bringing that up, Emily, and sharing all that.

Johnny, why don't you go next and then we'll move to Maximo. Hey, everyone. My name is Johnny.

I'm a PhD candidate from Stony Brook University. In the summer, I'm working with the API Shield team as a software engineer intern.

So I think my experience here at the internship, I think, has been very positive.

It's been a very nice break for me from doing research for a while. I'm going to my fourth year.

So, yeah, I think I've learned a lot as an engineer. I'm constantly getting feedback, which is nice, which is very different from research room.

And you normally you work by yourself and you lead the team and there's no one to escalate to.

You are the main point of escalation. I think I've shared this sentiment with Kyle before about how nice it is to be working in a team environment.

And overall, I think kind of alluding to what Harshini mentioned about scoping and learning about what your project has been about.

I think when I joined, we didn't actually have a clear goal of what to focus on.

So I was able to scope out a project about what customers really wanted.

I think the API Shield team is very new and they're an enterprise only subscription under the bots plan.

I think I'm not sure about that, but it's been a lot about figuring out what customers would want the most and how we can bring that most value to them while making it simplified and not too complicated in terms of integration and whatnot.

So overall, very positive. That's great. You know, it's interesting. Interesting data point, because what Cloudflare does, we see a lot of Internet traffic and trends.

And one of the absolutely rising trends is the rise of APIs on the Internet.

It's more services are talking through APIs. And you just see that in the raw sheer number of requests on the Internet, on the Web, where a few years ago was less than 20 percent.

And now it's over 55 percent of requests are through an API, which is a big shift in a fairly short period of time.

And so because it's this way that services are talking to each other and companies are talking to each other, all of a sudden becomes this new attack vector.

It's hard to know where your APIs are.

It's hard to know. So, of course, they're used for good for interacting between services, but there can also be used for malicious.

And so this idea of API shield, it's a new area.

And it's really great that you've been able to contribute there, Johnny.

So thanks for sharing all of that. But it's kind of where the I'm Canadian.

I like hockey. I always say I have the Wayne Gretzky quote of like skate to where the puck is going.

And like the API traffic is definitely where the puck is going.

And making sure that we help our customers and businesses know where their APIs are and be secured.

It's it's important work. So thanks so much for being part of that.

All right, Maxwell, your turn. We want to hear about you.

Tell us a little bit more about your summer and your summer internship in your project.

Yeah, so I'm Maxima. I'm a software engineer intern on the pages team, and I'm actually also a returning intern.

So something that I think Cloudflare does really well, and I think we talk about this a lot, is that they give us like interesting projects to work on.

So I had the opportunity last year when I interned here to work on webhook notifications for the pages team, which allows you to be configured on like events that happen to your pages projects, like whether your pages project succeeded or the build failed.

So you can get notified on this.

And a lot of like what Emily said with autonomy is definitely 100 percent true.

Like I was very involved in writing the specification on how to implement this feature based off like product requirements given to me by my product manager.

And I had to like collaborate with the design team throughout the implementation.

So it's really cool just to see how involved I was in like shaping this product from like architecting it to actually implementing the feature myself.

Especially as I can now look at the Cloudflare dashboard and see this very thing I worked on last summer and like use it for myself.

And I'm like, wow, that's so cool, especially when I came back.

One of the things I immediately did was I looked at our Grafana dashboard and I saw there's like over 100,000 notifications being sent every day from the thing I worked on last summer.

So it's really cool just to see kind of like the impact that the change I did last summer had this year.

But like this summer, I would say I was a lot more focused on like day to day activities on my team, which is also a cool experience because it made me feel like I was a part of the team, like a lot more like a full timer.

So that was a, that's also a really cool experience as well.

I love that. I love that. It's, you've had different experiences.

You know, Mia had different teams and yours kind of different type, same team, but different type of role.

So just a good example of life is a collection of experiences, collect a lot of experiences and having both shipping a product and seeing people use it and then helping the day to day operations and getting really embedded into the operating cadence is really cool experience.

So good for you, Maximo. That's great. Okay, before we move on to the next question, I loved all these stories.

Does anybody else have a story they want to share that might be slightly different or build off what was said?

I just want to give others an opportunity and then if not, I'm going to move on to the next question.

All right, we'll go to the next question and Olivia, I'm going to start with you.

So, you know, tell us what you're working on this summer, but then what's something that's surprised you so far?

Love to start with you, Olivia. Sure. I'm Olivia and I'm a project manager intern at CSUMB.

I'm also a graduate student at New York University.

So my summer experience has been really amazing. My first manager, it was kind of overwhelming, but it has transitioned and I think I've improved a lot.

And as Johnny mentioned, like I also constantly get feedback, which is amazing from not only the manager, but like a lot of team members, which really helps me grow.

And it's amazing to hear positive feedback eventually, like when you actually get better.

So I've been working on two very interesting projects. One is like the DSAT outreach where we want to personally reach out to our premium A&B customers who leave a bad CSAT.

So I've been leading that project entirely from start to end and also the JIRA automation project with another intern this summer.

So the most surprising thing for me is that they actually believe in me, like for me to come straight out of college and lead two projects right from start till the end, like that's something that's so surprising.

Like I kind of thought that I would, okay, I'd be like shadowing someone or something like that, but like I was actually made to like lead, to write the PRD, to conduct the kickoff, everything right from start till now.

And that's been amazing. It gives me like a clear picture of how exactly a project manager works and I'm really loving it.

I only have positive things to say, so it's been a great experience so far.

That's good. I love that.

I love that you were like put in a position to do something, not just shadow somebody and it feels really, it's nerve wracking to have to take that responsibility, but it's also really empowering.

So good for you and thanks so much for sharing that.

Tala, I'd love to go to you next and then Yunfan, and I'd love to hear about maybe again what you're working on this summer and then one of the things that's been most surprising to you.

Yeah. So hi everyone. My name is Tala. I am a design operations intern on the product experience team for the summer.

And I've kind of just been working on revamping all of the research tools that we're using or all the designers are using.

So when I joined the team, we didn't actually have like a research or like a, yeah, just like a researcher.

And so all the designers have kind of been going through and doing the like UX research on their own and the product design research.

So my job this summer has kind of been to go in and kind of do a deep dive into the existing tools that we're using, but also kind of finding what other tools might be a better fit for our designers.

It's been really great because I, one, have been able to collaborate with all the different designers on the team, you know, meeting with them, seeing what would work best for them and things like that.

But then also I have a lot of research experience in the past.

Right now I'm a data science master's student at USC, but in the past I worked a lot in like user interface design and research in undergrad.

But this experience has been really cool because when you're doing research in academia, a lot of the times you don't have the choice of like which tools you're going to use and things like that.

You're kind of just told. So it's been really cool to be able to kind of deep dive into all of the different options and kind of weigh the pros and cons about that and have kind of autonomy and some responsibility about that.

Kind of like everyone else has been saying, I feel like I've been actually making an impact and actually care about the project I'm working on.

And I feel like so does everybody else because it's impacting them on the day to day.

So yeah, I think this is kind of the most surprising thing has been how much impact and autonomy I have, but also have great support from my manager and the whole team.

Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing that, Tala. That's really, really great.

How about you, Yanfan? Why don't you go next? And then Annie, I'm going to come to you.

I'd love for you to share what's been most surprising to you.

Go ahead, Yanfan. Yeah, sure. So the most surprising thing to me in my internship was actually like my first meeting with my manager.

So I was kind of asking, okay, we know like I'm on the research team, so we are going to work on some research project.

But is there a particular question or topic you want me or Klausler wants me to focus on?

And her answer is like really surprising. Her answer was, anything that makes the Internet better is in store for your internship.

So I felt that was like really cool. And I was like doing research in grad school and also in undergrad.

Like, I could not recall a moment where my mentor basically told me like, you can work on anything that you want, as long as like it makes this whole field better.

So that is like very surprising to me and I feel like extremely supported.

So like in the end, my research project is about using language models to detect bots, because one is like fighting bots is one of the major services that Klausler provides.

And also second, language models, as we have seen, they're very expressive and they're very powerful.

They can capture like complex relationship within the data.

So we felt like this might be a good use for adopting language model in our services.

That's great. Well, I love that you'll find that you're able to help make the Internet better because bots are a big problem for businesses and customers.

And I think that there's still work to be done on the models and the solutions to make it something we read about in a history book.

So thank you so much.

That's a really great one. How about you, Annie? Tell us about the Internet, but tell us more about what's been most surprising to you this summer.

For sure. So this summer, I'm a product manager intern on the Pages team. So same team as Maximo.

And so I was very fortunate to get to join a couple of customer calls.

And every time it just surprised me so much how much our customers love our product.

Like they're genuinely so enthusiastic about like all the coffee products about Pages.

And they would tell us like, oh, it has transformed our workflow in this XYZ ways and how happy and grateful we are of that.

And they always have like new ideas to bring to us on like how we can improve how we can further enhance their like daily workflow.

I love that. Okay, so here's a little quick poll.

Then we're gonna go to the next question. So raise your hand. Who here sat in on a customer call this summer?

That's great.

Cool. Awesome. Mia, Annie shared kind of her experience talking to a customer.

What was your experience when you spoke to the customer? And Harshini, I want to hear your experience too.

Yeah, I actually was really lucky in that I was able to lead I think 17 customer calls over the course of the summer.

So I kind of got a good depth of customer experiences.

And that was similarly something I was surprised about that I think I got here.

And in the second week of my internship, I was trusted to just start taking customer calls that were just kind of me and the customer.

And I felt like my manager prepared me really well for that.

So it was, I think, a really smooth transition and was just really eye opening and how much information and how important it is to talk to customers and the product that I was working on is a new product.

So I think in particular, getting all of that feedback and insight and these use cases that as much as we can think internally, you ultimately have to go to a customer and here to cover kind of the edge cases and what they're looking for.

So I really enjoyed it. I think it was really interesting and really motivating in terms of making the product that I felt like even more so than I already did.

I really wanted to make the product to the best that we possibly could so that these customers that I was speaking with would be satisfied with it and excited about it and would be able to start using it as soon as we could get it into their hands.

So, yeah, pretty much seconding what Annie said.

It was really cool to hear their enthusiasm about it. Great. And then someone else rose their hand.

Was it you, Harshnini? Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. Okay, so I think this is kind of cheating, but I think Michelle, when she spoke to us, told us that we should sit in on customer chats and I'm like, I'm an internal team and my customers are engineers.

So I told my manager, because he does this thing where he goes out, reaches to other engineering managers and he talks to them and I was like, I'm going to be there.

I want to be there to just eavesdrop. So that's what I did earlier this week and I was just there and it was interesting to see something that I was doing, and something that the team has planned is going to help this particular team push out services quicker and it was amazing to hear about their pain points and understand how my team comes up with the different things that we do and how my PRD came to be, like the product description of what I was going to do.

So, it is cheating, but I did sit in on a customer chat because my customers are all engineers.

I don't think that's cheating. I think that's taking you, I love it.

That's great, Harshnini. I love it. No, you should just, that's wonderful that you did that and for the rest of you whose internships, you're still still at Cloudflare so we can still get you on a customer call.

So, I think it's so, it's so, just for the audience, it's, you know, at the end of the day, you're building things for the Internet, you're building, we show up every day to help make the Internet better for the Internet, but also for our customers and so spending time with our customers, it just, it's so clarifying whether we're working on the right things, puts the pain points in so crystal clear and it's, it's, I've never, it's just always a great use of time.

And so, just, we really encourage everyone on the, across the company to spend as much time with customers as possible.

So, thanks so much, including our interns.

All right. So, switching gears, what's something that's been, we've talked a lot of the very positive, which is wonderful, but what's something that's been maybe challenging as a summer intern?

I'd love to hear some of those stories.

And so, Diwen, why don't we start with you and then we'll go to Yu Kui.

So, go ahead, Diwen. Yeah, so for me, oh sorry, first some introduction.

My name is Diwen from University of Michigan. I'm a PhD student working on Internet measurement and security.

So I guess like for me, this is my very first industry internship position and the most challenging thing is to, is this like transition from academia to, to like working in a company.

Like to meet with a manager to talk to people from the different team, but it's both like challenging but also very enjoyable for me.

So I, one thing I quite enjoy was the random engineering chat.

I've been joining each week and I get to talk to different people from different team.

So, yeah, I guess that's, yeah, how things work here is quite different from back in school, but challenging but also enjoyable.


I'm sure it's a lot to navigate. So good for you. And thanks for sharing that.

Really appreciate it. Yu Kui, why don't you go next? Hi, my name is Beatel and I am a software engineer intern on the bot management team.

Yeah, I'm currently a master's student at Stanford and speaking of challenging things, I always like to tell my story about how I switched my laptop.

So before I joined the team, I have selected a Windows laptop.

But later on, I discovered that nothing just works out because I am a software engineer and I need to develop, like locally, but on the Windows laptop or WSL, I couldn't connect to Word, I couldn't connect to Bitbucket.

So basically I could get nothing done, like in the first two weeks.

And then I asked the team members and everyone says nobody is using Windows. So I basically have to switch to Mac.

And that sort of makes me feel that it's slowing down my process a bit.

But I really enjoy when everyone is like sort of trying to help me to debug all the setups, because I always thought the setups are more difficult than the project per se.

But fortunately, I got my laptop, a new Mac laptop, at the third week.

And then I could start some development. And later I was able to catch up because of all the amazing team members who are helping me in this process.

So yeah, I wouldn't say it's like a super huge challenge, but I really learned something from it.

Yeah, no, it's a good one. Oh, that's great. Thanks for sharing.

I didn't know where the story was going. So it made me smile. So thanks so much for sharing that.

Pradyumna, why don't you go next? And then Harsh, we'll go to you.

I would love to hear something that's been a challenge this summer for your internship.

Yeah. So I'm Pradyumna. I'm working as a data engineer intern in the business intelligence team.

So one challenge that I found was not a technical challenge per se, but it was a psychological challenge.

So the project that I'm working on is on the data science of things.

So I've been reluctant to go dive into data science and machine learning in my past because of the vast field of machine learning.

You have to learn a lot of things and every day there are new things coming up.

But I've been able to get a lot of help from my mentors and my manager, and I've realized that communication is key.

So understanding a different field requires you to get help from a lot of people.

And when you communicate your problems, when you get feedback from your mentors or your manager, it helps you grow much faster.

So that was the challenge that I think was very interesting, but it was fun as well.

What you said really resonates with me, this constant rate of learning.

I still feel like that. And I started the company, I still feel like every day there's so much to learn.

And as soon as you feel like you know everything, we launch some new product or there's some new market influence, like the rise of AI where every seven hours there's something new in that field.

And so this curiosity and rate at which you learn and how you embrace that, I think is a great career lesson that we don't quite talk enough about.

So thanks for sharing that point.

I think it's really important. How about you, Harsh? What's one of the things that you found challenging this summer?

So as you said, the rate of learning.

So this is just my fourth week here. And for the first couple of weeks, I was just trying to understand what the team is working on, because there's so many products, the different teams in Cloudflare work on, and all of them are so interconnected.

So just trying to get an understanding of the project I was going to work on and how that is going to impact the other teams.

And it was kind of difficult to wrap my head around it initially.

But the one thing which I found really helpful was I just started reaching out to people in different teams, the PMs and engineers in different teams and started blocking their time.

And people were incredibly generous with their knowledge and their time.

And they basically sat down with me, explained how things work, what I needed to know.

And that really helped me a lot.

But yeah, and I'm still learning. I know there's like a steep learning curve ahead of me as well, but I'm a lot more comfortable with it now than I was before.

That's pretty, four weeks, pretty fast, fast time. So good for you.

That's a lot to take in a pretty short period of time. That's great. Does anyone else have a challenge they want to share with the group that is maybe different?

Or they think that the audience would get a lot out of it? Want to open it up to anyone and any of our wonderful interns on the call?

I can go. So as a project manager, it's one of the key roles is to, you know, lead meetings and stuff like that.

So when I initially joined, and I was leading meetings, I used to always have some sort of self-doubt because I knew that the people in the meeting definitely know more than me.

And I've been here for a much longer time. But eventually, like my mentor told me, like, you know, Olivia, something that can help you is confidence.

Just be confident and lead the meeting. And that is something that really, really helped me and, you know, changed everything.

So as soon as I was like, you know, it doesn't matter, like, I know what I'm doing, and I'm confident to lead this meeting.

So that's what really, really helped me. That's awesome.

That's a good one. Thank you for sharing that. That's a good one. Anyone else have a challenge they want to bring up?

And just kind of what you learned from it that you want to share with the audience?

Yeah, I can add on to kind of what Olivia said.

In internal audits, it's kind of similar in the way that you're talking to a lot of executives and people in high positions.

And I think that at most companies, that's something that you don't really get to do as an intern.

And something that's very, like, I guess, intimidating, because people, you know, they have so much experience, and you're just kind of like, still kind of a kid, I guess, to some people, you know, still just an intern.

But everyone that I communicated with is super nice.

I mean, I'll ping them, I'll email them. And they're always willing to talk, always willing to chat, always willing to help you with your project, because it's really hard as an internal auditor to kind of understand different processes and business processes within company to company and within Cloudflare.

Everyone's just been super great, super open to kind of helping me understand and open to understanding that I don't know as much, but I'm willing to learn.

That's great. Thanks so much for sharing that. All right, any more before I move on to the next question, we're going to talk about remote, going into an office, kind of the future of Worknext.

So just before we go to that, anyone else have a challenge they want to share with the group?

These are, there's so many good ones.

Yeah, I have a challenge that I want to share. So basically like it's on the technical side.

So, we hear about like, like in school we basically learn like how to process like a huge amount of data like computational complexity like all this abstract concept about complexity.

But I think like before I go into Cloudflare, I don't really have a correct understanding of scale, because Cloudflare is like effectively handling like 10 to 20% of the Internet's traffic.

So like, basically for my work, I'm trying to get some statistics from this amount of traffic.

We are only like sampling 1% of the traffic and a lot of some metric for data analysis but that 1% still resulted in a lot.

So, it's basically maybe like two orders of magnitude of data that we have compared to what I previously expected and basically dealing with this amount of data requires like a lot of learning.

So, yeah. I know you're having fun, that's such a good one. It's, I say, I actually say it often but you don't really know until you're here.

It's, we, when we're interviewing folks at Cloudflare I'm always like hey we work at huge scale and they're like yeah yeah yeah sure I'm like no no we really do work at large scale they're like I got it no problem and they get here often and they're like, whoa you weren't kidding we really like I didn't really realize what it meant it's hard to almost quantify or envision and you know there's two sides of that when you work at huge scale it does make some things harder it's hard like it's just a lot of data to analyze to synthesize things like storage moving it's just like all those things become really really hard or building products and all the edge cases you run into like it's really, those are some of the things that make it hard but then on the positive side it's, it attracts amazing engineers who want to work at Cloudflare because they get to work at this huge scale and then when you solve it, the impact it has we've talked a lot about impact today is really wide and even Maximo said you know the product people built last summer and 100 ,000 you know notifications today that's so that's that's just the numbers.

It's kind of like momentum begets momentum and so I think that scale is a super interesting point and there's definitely some hard things about it but there's also some good things about it too so thank you so much for sharing that one.

Okay, we can always come back to that but what I'd love to talk about is, is just a little bit, and again we're not going to solve this today but one of the things that's really top of mind is kind of the future of work and the role of offices being distributed the online and so maybe just show of hands how many of you came into one of the Cloudflare offices this summer at least once.

So, about just over half but there's some who didn't and so just, let's talk a little bit about just observations around being distributed.

Going in, like in person distributed any sort of predictions as the next generation of talent going into the, into the workplace and what you think the future of work is I'd love to hear if anyone has any points of view around this I'd love for you to share with the audience.

I can start, I, so, as I mentioned, last summer, I was a technical writer intern but I was remote and this summer, I am in San Francisco so was able to come into the office a couple days a week, and I think from my perspective that hybrid is is kind of the ideal model and I really liked having the option to go into work.

It was great to see the other interns and kind of feel more connected and have like those random office run ins to meet people across the company.

But that being said, my manager is in Lisbon, and so we, I definitely had a strong hybrid virtual elements to the summer as well and it was honestly totally fine I you might think with with the time change from San Francisco to Lisbon that it would be kind of an inconvenience or anything like that but I think everyone is just really mindful about what time zones other people are in and there's enough overlap pretty much anywhere in the world that you can have a couple reasonably timed meetings a week and make it work so it was definitely not a hindrance at all.

And I think it makes a lot of sense to continue to have that distributed model so that people can live where they want to live and and do what they want to do, but I certainly appreciated having the option to go into the office and I think that's a sentiment.

A lot of people that I've spoken with my age and and in my year at school, share, because we haven't quite had the office experience and in a way that existed before the pandemic so I think it's exciting to try it and and get what we can out of it, even if you know everybody on the team is not necessarily in one place anymore.

Great, thanks so much for sharing that Mia. Does anybody want to go next or add or build off what Mia said?

Sure, yeah, I really liked Mia's point about kind of the hallway run ins.

I'm, I'm remote in Boston, and the research team is generally quite remote.

But we actually all kind of a lot of people got to go to IETF.

And so attending that like I mean IETF was great and I learned a ton, but I also had conversations with the people on the research team who attended people in the San Francisco office, because it was in San Francisco this year.

And then also people from other teams who I don't know that I would have really like naturally run into in the like remote context.

So like manufacturing these these hallway encounters I think was was really useful.

That's great. Thanks for sharing that Kyle.

Anybody else want to add on this I just I'd love to hear actually I'm really curious to hear and hear some of the points of view because it is a, it's a question I get asked all the time and it's, you know, we don't quite have crystal balls of how it's going to play out but you're all helping shape the future so it's important to get your input.

I can go next. So, I really like Mia's point of you know the hybrid one and you can always have the option to go into the office.

I also feel like more than, you know, hallway runways for me what works is I set up meets online and connect with people like that because, I mean, I do.

I mean it's okay to talk to people in the hallway but I don't really know if they're like in a rush or something so I prefer booking that time and networking like virtually, that works much better for me.

So I would definitely prefer like a hybrid option, the option to go into the office but also have the flexibility to you know work anyway that's what I prefer.

Definitely. Maximo did you want to say something.

Oh yeah I was just gonna say so I'm kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum, I've come into the office, every day.

I'm like in the office right now you know.

Yeah, but like I've come in the office every day even last summer as well. When we were in the other building, and in Austin.

And the main reason I was doing it is because you know like, I mean, international, you know, intern I'm from Canada.

So it's kind of like really important I think at least when you're early on in your career, especially if you're coming from like a different country where you don't know anyone in this new place you're going to, to build those office connections or build relationships at the office, because I mean you're going to be spending like the rest of your time here like a few months of your internship.

So I think it's really important to like network and get to know people.

So you can also do things outside of the office. And yeah. Great, thanks for sharing that are awesome office is very nice for any of those anybody tuning in that's looking for a role and wants to work in our office Austin office with a brand new office there it's a great space and we're doing a lot with community meetups locally and getting folks together because it's both.

I think, you know, getting to know your colleagues as as Kyle and Maximo and many of you pointed out but it's also, can you, how can you connect with the community because we're you know sure we're a company we're a group of people but we fit into an ecosystem and so how can you work with other technology companies other developers host customer meetups developer meetups community meetups and collaborate with other companies just to learn peer groups and so having space fields do that I think is a real privilege so are.

I'm really excited about our new office in Austin, and we have a great new office that we're building in Lisbon we've got a really great space in San Francisco, London, England is a wonderful space too so I love that when you do go in there's great space to go into but I also like that we don't force people to go in every day so it's it's there if you want it but it's not something that you have to do so.

Interesting. Good. Anything else on this point before we move on to some of the things that you're that that maybe one of the something interesting you've learned this summer and then I want to hear about what you're excited about going back to school with but anything else on on the future of work before we move topics.


Well, I do think the future is is flexible, where it's both a mixture of being distributed and asynchronous and kind of letting people work where they want to work for whatever reason, but also having some element of togetherness, because at the end of the day companies or groups of people were in the same direction and people, you have to see each other at some point.

And so I think that there's some, some mix of that which is wonderful whether it's people on your team or just other folks who are at the same company I think it's both are important and so it'll be interesting to see how that all evolves so thank you for everyone's insight.

Okay, so let's, I'd love to do kind of a rapid round. We'll go one by one quickly kind of what some of you found interesting this summer and then I want to hear about some things that you're excited about going back to school with and so why don't we start with Emily I'd love to hear and then we'll go to do on.

And this is how you show up on my screen it might be different on your screen but just Emily why don't you start with something that you found really interesting this summer and we'll go through a rapid round through everybody.

So something I found really interesting this summer was just learning more about the back end of the cloud for workers ecosystem.

That's something that I've used as a computer science student a lot in my past, and I found it really interesting to learn more about the storage systems that compute and all like the pipelines that go through that process.

Amazing. I love that. All right, do you want your next and then you thought.

Yeah, the most interesting part I found from my internship is, it's like the company's massive internal knowledge base or like, I think like documenting stuff is a big thing here, and it's quite different from like what I used to do in the lab, like people just literally document everything there, and I just, I love like, like, like, yeah, I enjoy exploring it all.

And, yeah, and I came up with like some potential project ideas that could be related to my dissertation and I'm looking forward to, you know, in the future, maybe there's a collaboration with awesome folks at the research team.

That's a good one I that warms my heart do on that our documentation is what is a what is was most interesting that makes me so happy wasn't always the case so just a reminder that when something isn't a strength if you focus on it you can make it a strength so it's such a such a great one thank you so much for sharing that you thought how about you and then we'll go to Kyle and harsh harsh Nini.

Yeah, sure. So I want to settle what you said I also enjoyed reading the internal knowledge base and learn a lot from our internal knowledge base.

And another thing is like, I'm kind of surprised about like the importance of scaling up, like some of the current technologies that we have.

So for example machine learning. If you have like tens of thousands of samples, it probably doesn't work.

But if you have like millions of samples, it can work really well.

So, basically, this notion of like the style of data really helps really changed, like how I look into my research, and I will probably be like pivoting my research around that once I go back to grad school.


Thanks so much for sharing that. Kyle, you're next. Yeah, so I think the thing that was the coolest for me is I work on privacy in my research and it's a very like human topic it's not real until people are actually using it.

And so I really enjoyed getting to be part of like seeing the research team, take things from you know like theoretical research like through the standardization process and actually like deploy them to where they're helping people and like making the Internet better.

I thought that was just really really exciting. That's great. I love that.

Thanks so much for sharing that and privacy is such an important topic and so real for people so thank you for the work you do.

Harshini you're next and then we'll go to Johnny and then Mia.

I think I would like to like echo what you found and do and said documentation here is amazing, but also as a student I think I'm very used to like diving into projects headfirst without not thinking or documenting anything, but I really loved how Cloudflare challenges you to like think about what you're doing think about what problems could come up.

So I think that was really interesting how every, every single feature that is built here has been thought out, laid out all the possibilities have been thought out.

And it was really nice reading about that and also applying that myself here, when I started doing my work.

Good one. It's great. Johnny. I think I'm kind of alluding to what some of us have said already but my research is about like web integrity so I do a lot of like web stuff and kind of tangential to that or orthogonal to that is some of the projects I have to like, you know, do some naive I would say, like filtering of bot traffic to identify our real samples there.

So I think it's really interesting that I got to look at how we do bot management here at Cloudflare and how we take these things that I you know you read about in papers you see them in news articles but then you really understand how they work and how they make them work so well and so fast, which I think is really cool.

I mentioned this a couple times already I think but I think the idea of industrializing like a research approach a theoretical approach.

Many times often overlooked from an academic standpoint and and they I think in recent years they've tried to do that better with more thorough evaluations and placing some more emphasis on design and scalability in there, but I think just like the summary that they have in papers and articles and whatnot doesn't do justice, the amount of effort that goes into this work.

That's a good one. There might be something there. It's like the practicality, the application, the real life application of this research paper is there's there's probably something there and you know it's interesting just a lot of your answers are reminding me when I was when I was a student at college and I really of course you love learning, you love about the theories and whatnot but like what I got really excited about was the application of what I was learning.

It's like how is this used, what's the impact and so it's really great to hear that coming through many of your answers.

So thank you so much. All right, Mia, you're next and then we'll go to Shaheen after.

What's something that coolest, most interesting that you that you've taken away from the summer?

Yeah, I think it was really interesting to see from an internal perspective how much a lot of the Cloudflare products interact and I think it's tempting before you're kind of in the thick of it to view a lot of the products as very distinct entities but it's really interesting to see how integrations can help make make both products better or you know one product is kind of elevated by another one or things like that and just the level of integration that we use that every product is kind of not only existing as a product to help customers, but also making other products more helpful was really cool to see from from kind of behind the scenes.

That's great. That's great.

Yeah, that's that is really cool. Thank you. All right, Shaheen, your turn and then we're going to go to Tala then Annie.

Yeah, one thing I found really interesting was I got to get look into the financial reporting process.

So I think one thing that we do really well as being very transparent with our shareholders, employees and just the public in general.

And that process is a very complex process but I think what I also got to learn is how organized it is, how hard like hard working everyone is in that process and how I guess how many like pieces it takes to get that out to the public in order for them to see how we're doing as a business and what we're doing financially as well as as well as technologically how like advanced where what we're pushing our product wise.

So yeah, it was super cool. Good one.

Thank you. All right, Tala, Annie, you're next. Yeah, so I think one thing that I found really interesting this summer and kind of cool and different than academia was that.

So when I was making these recommendations for the different research tools and processes to the team, I really enjoyed how I would actually have time to like meet with the designers and get their feedback and how open they were to kind of giving feedback and collaborating with me.

Because I feel like a lot of time in academia like you don't really have that opportunity as a student, you kind of just go with the flow but it's cool to kind of get their feedback and also integrate that into like the decision making process.

So yeah. Thank you. That's good to hear.

Annie and then we're going to go to Pradayuma. Go ahead, Annie. Yeah. So this summer I found it really interesting how how big of an emphasis we put on dog fooding.

So we often hear people say like we use Cloudflare to build Cloudflare and we put a really big like emphasis on that.

And it even drives a lot of like our product decisions and, you know, how we how we build products.

So that's been really cool to see.

Good. Thank you. Yeah, it's great. I love that we use that we use our own products to just secure ourselves and make all of our lives better, enable us to do our best work that we also offer to our customers.

I think that's really important.

So thanks for calling that out. All right, Pradayuma, you're next and then you, Chou.

Yeah. So one thing that I found cool and very interesting was that I did not know that companies gave a lot of importance to explainability and interpretability of machine learning models.

So we would expect machine learning models, there are a lot of deep learning models that are performing really well.

But how do you explain these models to your stakeholders? That's something that I learned that stakeholders need to know this information and before taking any decisions, they need to know how this model worked, what were the attributes behind the decision, behind the predictions of these models.

So that was really cool.

I love that. Good one. Yuchun, your turn. So what I found most interesting is how we use simple but effective solutions to solve some super complicated problems.

So before I joined the bots management team, I was thinking bot detection is a super difficult problem and we must be using some really complicated deep learning models for it.

But after I joined, I found out that's not the case.

We're actually using Catboos, which is simple, which is fast, and also echoes Pradayuma's point.

It has great explainability and I was really surprised by this.

And another example is the turnstile widget that we use. So this is also how I got to know Cloudflare.

So I saw this amazing widget and I thought it's so smooth and fast and I don't have to solve the captures anymore and still get rejected.

But I think it would be a very complicated progress, but I chatted with someone on the CAT team and figured out it's actually much more simpler than I expected.

So I was pretty amazed by the process. And I think after I got back to school and also probably also facing other challenging questions in my life, I could start to look at the simpler solutions instead of thinking of like very complicated, from a very complicated perspective.

Wow, that's such a good point.

I'm going to bring it up because I've been running Cloudflare for 14 years. Olivier, we're coming to you next, then Maximo, and then we're going to end on Harsh.

But just this point around, you know, you can do really complex things, but how do you simplify?

How do you make it easy to explain? How do you make it something that people can comprehend is really powerful.

And I think it's important for if you're an entrepreneur, it's important for your career.

Just things can be complicated, but how do you explain in a way that people can understand and don't overcomplicate things?

It's just something that I see over and over again.

So that's really, I'm so impressed that you brought that, that you caught up, that you came up with these insights from your summer internship.

I think that's really impressive.

So thanks for sharing that. All right, Olivia, what about you?

What's something that you found most interesting? And then Maximo, and then we'll end on Harsh.

So for me, something that's been super interesting and cool is the involvement of the executives with the interns.

Because initially I just thought that, okay, we have these executive chats just as part of our onboarding, but it has been throughout the internship.

Either every week or every other week, we always have some sort of executive chat, which is so insightful and super fun.

Like that is something super interesting and really, really cool. I love that.

That's great. Well, I know I love that I get to spend time with all of you and the rest of the executive team too.

So appreciate everyone showing up and asking good questions.

And it's great. It's great to spend time together. All right, Maximo, your turn.

Yeah, I was just going to say, it's interesting to me just how open everyone is, how you can message anyone and they'll be super eager to help you.

They'll hop on a call and try to troubleshoot whatever problem you're having, no matter who the person is.

I remember I had an open pull request. I got a comment on by like a principal engineer and I was like a bit nervous.

I messaged him on Google Chat.

And instead of even replying to message, he just sent me like Google Chat, like Google Meet link, where we just both hopped on the call immediately and started debugging whatever feedback he gave me.

So that was like, I think a really important takeaway is to have eagerness and to learn and be open to other people.

I think one of the executives told us that if you're bored at your job, it's time to leave.

So I think it's really important to just be eager and happy, do whatever and be open to people.

That's great. Well, and good for you for reaching out to the engineer and to debug.

Like, I mean, you should take some credit on that too, Maximo, that you took the initiative.

So it takes two to tango is a saying for a reason.

That's great. I love that you took advantage of that because I agree we're a really open environment.

All right, Harsh, how about you? What's something that's super interesting for you?

Round us out. So I know, like, as you mentioned, we build things at scale.

So apart from the technology required to build things at scale, something that amazed me was the complexities of the law required to make the Internet work at scale.

This was something that came up in one of the executive chats.

And, you know, that that is something that is required, but not something you probably think about a lot.

But we discussed that at length in one of the calls and that simply like blew my mind that, OK, this is something to think about as well.

Awesome. Great. Well, look, that was an hour. We're out of time. I can just tell you I'm leaving so energized.

The future is bright. You are all so articulate, passionate, smart, talented.

It was an honor to spend the last hour with you.

It's an honor to work with you this summer. You're all destined for great things.

And just on behalf of Cloudflare, thank you for being interns here and showing up every day.

And thank you so much for agreeing to do this and for all the audience for tuning in.

Thank you. If you're interested, come to backslash careers.

And we'd love to talk to you about a role in our team.

So thanks, everyone.