My time as an intern (thus far)


It has been over three months since I started as a marketing intern at Cloudflare. Even before joining the Cloudflare team, I enjoyed reading the technical blog posts about Cloudflare’s use cases and solutions, as well as the inclusive and creative culture. Educating the world about the threats we face on the Internet is something that I found truly valuable. I figured that I would give my own spin on what it’s like to join and work at Cloudflare by writing a blog post too.

Chapter 1: The Path towards the Orange Cloud

Photo by alexander milo / Unsplash

Before starting as a freshman in university, I created an online portfolio for my photography. It has been a passion of mine for about 9 years. I tried a multitude of platforms but none afforded me the aesthetic control that I wanted. The only solution was to build and host my own site. I started learning HTML/CSS, a bit of JavaScript and jQuery and so on.

This led to me using the Koken CMS, and hosting it on DigitalOcean in a Docker container. What was left was SSL/TLS encryption and a CDN (my friends in Europe find the loading times unbearable). I tried ISRG’s Let’s Encrypt (SSL makes for a better Google rank, and ensures the connection is secure) but did not quite manage to get it to work (entirely my fault). I scrolled through Reddit, talked to my Microsoft Student Partners buddies, and found out about Cloudflare.

I was seeing orange.

Cloudflare has the security and performance features that I needed for SSL/TLS encryption and the CDN features for my website, and that is just scratching the surface. From then on, I learned about how Cloudflare came to be, their mission and emphasis on privacy and security. All of which became reasons why I applied for Cloudflare as a marketing intern. Being a part of a tech company whose mission and products I believe in is a pretty big deal for me.

Why is it a big deal?

I strongly believe in advocating for the right to speak freely – being able to hear all opinions of a topic whether I agree with them or not. Privacy ensures that people still have the power to speak about personal issues or speaking out against oppressive regimes without having their voices suppressed. Security relates to trust and credibility for end users and ensures that businesses do not resort to nefarious methods to compete such as acquiring DDoS services to shut down their competitors.

Cloudflare enables. And that is just a small part of the bigger picture that is to help create a better Internet for everyone.

Chapter 2: Riding the Cloud

A big part of working at Cloudflare is working with diverse cross-functional teams. I am a part of the APAC team based in Singapore, being the bridge to the marketing team in San Francisco alongside a fellow intern. Suffice to say, I have learned a lot about the business having worked with the amazing people who have been responsible for the region’s accelerating growth.

Two weeks into the internship, I was supporting an event in Malaysia meeting potential prospects and managing the event. This proved to be very valuable in understanding how we connect to our audience and the characteristics of the market that the event represents. It was definitely a learning experience to familiarise myself with the process in order to enable the sales team and being part of Cloudflare’s growth (more than 12 million protected domains). Through the trust and ownership that was given to me, I set about understanding the target audience and learning new tools as fast as possible.

Chapter 3: It is a starship

Starship

Image source: Vollhov @ https://www.deviantart.com/vollhov

Being at Cloudflare feels like you are in a state-of-the-art starship. Simplicity with underlying innovation, sophistication and complexity. Cloudflare makes it super intuitive for users with their one-click features through its dashboard, but underneath those features lies a complex system of code that is also lightweight and efficient.

I suppose what really puts Cloudflare on the map for me is the 1.1.1.1 release. I was especially excited because finally I had an alternative DNS to use, all the more because I have always been an advocate of privacy and security. Believing in the mission and products that the company provides played an important role for me in applying to Cloudflare.

Being part of this ever evolving starship has certainly been an exhilarating ride. In my opinion, it will only keep accelerating towards the fringes of the galaxy, and beyond.

Chapter 4: What’s next?

With about two months left at Cloudflare, and the events and campaigns coming up in rapid-fire fashion, I will certainly be ending my internship with a bang. Having to dig deep into learning one concept made me realise that it takes a long time to master, be it the intricacies of marketing or technicalities of a product. It is definitely a stimulating assault on the brain but in a good way.

I have learned a lot about working in a very diverse team; multicultural and cross-functional. Cloudflarians wear many hats – the myriad of backgrounds across teams means that there is never a shortage of differing opinions and ideas to share with others. This all the more helps create a refined approach towards building this mission of ours: to help build a better internet for everyone.

Here’s a snippet of the diversity that lives and breathes in Cloudflare

Advice for future interns

I have always had this philosophy in mind, from my favourite series of books: Dune.

Thinking you knew something was a sure way to blind yourself. It was not growing up that slowly applied brakes to learning (Mentats were taught) but an accumulation of “things I know.” ― Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

Always be curious, and absorb like Scrub Daddy sponge can.

Scrub Daddy

Image source: Scrubdaddy.com



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