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Summer 2018

Summer Diaries: Nutanix

July 24, 2018
- Ajay Rahul

Making it there

Nutanix comes early during the internship season, usually the first day or second. The selection process involved 3 stages: 1. Technical round : Nutanix conducted an online coding test. We were given two questions and about an hour to solve them. The advice here is pretty much the usual - Geeksforgeeks, InterviewBit, Hackerrank etc, and your fundamentals. 2. Debugging round : Students who got through the technical round, are called for the 2nd round. In this round, you will be handed a piece of paper with a snippet of code, mostly in either C or C++, and you will have to find all kinds of errors and correct them. Your fundamentals and ability to analyse information quickly are going to help you get through this round. 3. Interview : This round can’t be generalized, depends from person to person, and their interests. Of course, they will ask you a few questions related to data structures and algorithms. Nutanix doesn’t conduct a separate HR round. The general advice is to be curious, have a decent interaction with the panel, and make a good impression. 4. If you make it past this round, hurray! You are officially a Nutant !


Work and Culture

The primary motto of Nutanix is “Hungry. Humble. Honest”, a motto that is reflected in the kind of output generated by the firm. Nutanix ,I believe is somewhere between a startup and a corporate, i.e although it is a corporate in formal terms, but the work-environment is undoubtedly more like a startup. During my internship period, I for once did not feel the corporate vibe at Nutanix. pic3

The interns are randomly placed in different teams, (Yes, I know it’s a tiny drawback, but the point is that the interns might not be mature enough at such an early stage to choose their own team.) I was placed in Nutanix Calm. Calm stands for Cloud Application Lifecycle Management, and was a startup acquired by Nutanix two years ago. My work was to develop a task for a cloud microservice running on Calm. I spent my first two weeks setting up my Dev VMs, working environment, and understanding how the product functions. I primarily worked on Go and Python, but at a later stage I had to work on the UI as well using ReactJS. So basically I had a full stack experience. The work assigned will not be some sort of training for interns, i.e the interns directly contribute to the ongoing projects of the team. I should mention that there were certain R&D projects based on Blockchain and Machine Learning as well in other teams. Interns have a boot camp during the first or second week, where all Nutanix products are explained, and I bet you’ll doze off just like you do in our campus lectures :P (just kidding, try not to: some of them are really interesting)
Since my team was earlier a startup, our work environment was really relaxed, and I believe that other teams at Nutanix also resonate the same work culture vibe. I did not have any fixed work hours. I used to arrive at 10 am, and leave by sometime around 12 a.m in the night. No, no, I did not work for the entire duration. We spent the evening playing TT, foosball, pool, FIFA 18 (PS4 basically), hit the gym, watched IPL and FIFA etc. Nutanix provided us with all three meals and a pantry in the office with “infinite” stock of beverages, snacks, juice and chocolates. The best part of the internship was working on a Macbook Pro. I still miss it, and it has made typing on my own laptop very tedious. At Nutanix we have a “Interns day out” with outdoor and fun activities at a place called Area83 in Bangalore. Other than that there are frequent team outings, be it a movie or a restaurant or (most often) a pub.


Although I was assigned a mentor, he was not the only one who solved my problems. When you face a bug, try to debug it yourself for sometime, and then go bug other people to help you debug. Since most of the members were in the age group of 23-40, the nineties’ kids aura was maintained throughout the office. The work environment was non-stressful even though the coding standards were high.
Other than that you will have a jolly good time in Bangalore. It is a wonderful city, (obviously barring the traffic), with good weather, and a lot of tourist spots nearby. I personally love Church Street (M.G road) in Bangalore : It has got a bunch of good restaurants, shopping complexes, two bookstores and an entertainment/comic store. (What a nerd, eh!). We were lucky to have the FIFA world cup this year, we spent the weekends watching matches in restaurants in Koramangala.
Given all these perks, it definitely doesn’t mean “life chill hai”. Work with fervour, be curious, show a lot of enthusiasm and finish your tasks time to time for a (any) successful internship.

Summing it up

A significant portion of our IITR junta is involved in ML,DL,Data science these days, if you too are a person who is really into Machine Learning or Data Science and wants to pursue it in the future, Nutanix might not be your best option. Although there are a few projects related to forecasting and machine learning, they are not the conventional stuff that one expects. Whereas, if you are interested in Cloud computing, OS, Networks and related areas, you should definitely give Nutanix a shot. I had a steep learning curve at Nutanix and fruitful work experience. Working in a city like Bangalore was a huge add-on. If you really like the company’s profile, and given that you have a strong resume, you can try for an off-campus internship as well (via Linkedin or any other connections). I believe more people will be familiar with the name Nutanix in the coming years. If you need more details, please feel free to ping me.