It’s summer time and that means our latest crop of interns are coming! Our first intern started a week ago and has been hard at work in our data center, helping our Operations department keep our Storage Pods spinning. Let’s take a moment and learn more about Alex, shall we?
What is your Backblaze title?
Data Center Intern.
Where are you originally from?
I’m a native of the Napa Valley, some three or four generations of my family have lived there. I was born at St. Helena Hospital, grew up in Calistoga, and now live in Napa (the city); all in the Napa Valley. Fun fact: The default Windows XP background (“Bliss”) was photographed on Highway 121 just southwest of Napa!
What attracted you to Backblaze?
My brother Zack has worked for Backblaze for at least several years now, and I have always been interested in tech. When I heard that Backblaze might be interested in hiring me as a summer intern between semesters, it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. So, here I am!
What do you expect to learn while being at Backblaze?
I’m really interested in learning more about the operations of the data center and all the little details that make everything work in harmony (or what passes for that, at least). I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot about UNIX shell commands, about the failure rate of various types of hard drives, and probably whether anyone is brave enough to eat the last ghost pepper in the break room (not me, seriously).
Where else have you worked?
Technically, the only other employer I’ve had has been a temp agency in Napa, but I’ve gotten various kinds of work from them. Bottling, packaging, and palletizing wine at various wineries mostly; however, I’ve done a few other things like grape sorting during harvest, moving around the contents of various pallets in warehouses, and aerosol can assembly and packaging. Some wine bottles I’ve seen hold six or more liters—at that point, it’s so heavy you need something with wheels to move a single bottle.
Where did do you go to school?
After high school, I originally went to the local community college in Napa, Napa Valley College. There, I did my general education classes and got an associate’s degree in natural science & mathematics. I currently go to school at California State University, Sacramento (Sac State), majoring in computer science. I’m happy to have a job, if even temporarily, where I can learn about something at least tangentially related to the field in which I want to work—experience is everything these days!
What’s your dream job?
A job where I can continually learn, and apply that knowledge in a useful manner.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
To be honest, I haven’t really traveled much. Of the few places I have been, however, I like Crater Lake in Oregon. It’s a great place if you can manage to be there when the lake is clearly visible, though it is pretty cold sometimes at that altitude.
Gaming, for sure, followed closely by reading and exploring the strange depths of the internet. Currently working my way through “Dark Souls III,” although I’ve had to basically relearn how to play as I’m on a different computer with a different controller.
“Star Trek” or “Star Wars”?
“Star Wars,” if only because I’m more familiar with the universe. Not intimately familiar, but I haven’t watched much of “Star Trek” at all. “Star Wars” also gave rise to “Spaceballs,” which is a great movie in my opinion. I do have to give some respect to “Star Trek,” though, for using the show as an analogue for social issues.
Coke or Pepsi?
Water. I will judge you on your water quality, though; I like cold, clean water and I will go out of my way to find it.
Oh man, I like a lot of food. I think narrowing it down to one might be sacrilege.
Why do you like certain things?
Because? I’m not sure I can answer that question effectively, my tastes are too eclectic to generalize about all of them.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I know random trivia about obscure things. No real reason for it, but if you bring up a topic I might just know something interesting about it. Disclaimer: Your definition of interesting may not be the same as mine.
Welcome aboard Alex. We’ll keep the fresh, cold, crisp water stocked for you!