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Anthony: Technical Support Technician


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A couple of months ago we highlighted Nathan who had just joined our support team. Nathan mentioned he knew Anthony, who was quiet, smart, technically savvy and looking for work. We added Anthony to the list of candidates vying for an open technical support position. Interviews ensued and after multiple rounds, Anthony had elevated himself above the competition to the top of the list. He accepted our offer and joins Backblaze as a member of the Backblaze support team.

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Maryland but moved to the California when I was very young. I lived in Los Angeles for a few years and then moved to the Mountain View where I currently live. I’ve been here for almost 12 years now.

Why did you move here?
My mom was a Civil Engineer in the Air Force for about 20 years. We had to move around a little bit because of that.

Where else have you worked?
I’ve worked at a food startup in San Francisco, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the Merced County Fairgrounds.

Where did you go to school?
I went to school at UC Merced and studied Cultural Anthropology. I really enjoyed my time there because since the university is so new, I had a great opportunity to be a trailblazer and help solidify a foundation for newer generation of UC Merced students and community.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I know I have to travel someday because I’ve never left the country (I know, I should!). Seattle was really nice. I really like the feel of the place, the people are nice, and I LOVE the weather.

Welcome to Backblaze Anthony.

 



Welcome Aaron: Systems Administrator


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Maybe we should say “Welcome Back Aaron”. You see, Aaron is a native Californian, from Sacramento, who moved to Austin Texas a few years ago. As much as Aaron liked living in “The Live Music Capital of the World” or “Silicon Hills”, he is really excited to be back home where he’ll be working in our Sacramento Data Center.

Where else have you worked?
In Austin I was at Spiceworks, but prior to that I’ve also worked in a start-up and a few other tech companies. I eat, breathe and sleep IT, so both my personal and professional lives tend to have a heavy technology aspect.

How did you get into IT?
I’ve been interested in computers ever since I was “old enough” to play DOS games on our 286 and was furiously typing BASIC games copied from pages in magazines. Later, I disassembled the family computer to learn how it worked and it didn’t quite go back together… At that point I wasn’t allowed on the new family computer, but did have the previous one for tinkering.

Favorite hobby – that’s not IT?
It’s hard to name a single hobby, I enjoy cycling (both road and mountain), radio control trucks and video games. Most weekends I can be found doing one of those activities, ideally a couple of them.

Where do you go to think?
Into the land of music. A pair of headphones, playing nearly any genre of music at a low volume, and I’m in my own world. Friends have joked that they’ll tap me on the shoulder if we are evacuating because I am able to become so focused with music in the background.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I first heard about Backblaze when the pod 1.0 design was released in the blog. I thought it was amazing that a company would share their hardware design so openly and I’ve visited the blog since. I really enjoyed the posts about drive farming and the drive reliability statistics.

Why did you move back to California?
I moved back to California to be closer to family and of course to join Backblaze! The actual move to NorCal involved a 26’ rental truck towing my car on a trailer with a cat riding shotgun. Fantastic experience and I gained perspective on the challenges faced by professional truck drivers, but for me it’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime solo moving adventure.

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(Editor: Wouldn’t it be wicked funny if we opened our next data center in Austin?)

 



Looking for an excellent Java engineer



Want to work at a company that helps customers in over 150 countries around the world protect the memories they hold dear? A company that stores over 100 petabytes (1/4th as much as Facebook) of customers’ photos, music, documents and work files in a purpose-built cloud storage system?

Well here’s your chance. Backblaze is looking for another fantastic Java engineer.

You will work on the server side APIs that authenticate users when they log in, accept the backups, manage the data, and prepare restored data for customers. You will work with artists and designers to create new HTML web pages that customers use every day. And you will help build new features as well as support tools to help chase down and diagnose customer issues.

Must be proficient in:
- Java
- JSP/HTML
- XML
- Apache Tomcat
- Struts
- UTF-8, Java Properties, and Localized HTML (Backblaze runs in 11 languages)
- Large scale systems supporting thousands of servers and millions of customers
- And some ‘C’ and Javascript is helpful
- Cross platform (Linux/Macintosh/Windows) – don’t need to be an expert on all three, but cannot be afraid of any

Looking for an attitude of:
- Passionate about building friendly, easy to use Interfaces and APIs.
- No platform bigotry – Linux good, Windows good, Macintosh good!
- Has to believe NoSQL is an Ok philosophy to build enormously scalable systems.
- Likes to work closely with other engineers, support, and sales to help customers.
- Believes the whole world needs backup, not just English speakers in the USA.
- Customer Focused (!!) – always focus on the customer’s point of view and how to solve their problem!

If this sounds like you – contact us on our jobs form.



Work for Backblaze at Macworld


blog-macworld-2014-comebyYou love Backblaze. You’ve woken up in the middle of the night asking yourself, “Self, why is it that I’m not working at Backblaze, I love those guys!” Well, here’s your chance!

Backblaze has a big presence at Macworld (March 27-29th) this year and we want someone to come spend a day with us at the Backblaze booth, front and center. Have a devotion to Backblaze? Want to help spread the word about online backup? Want to rub shoulders with Gleb, Yev, Andy, and some other Backblazers? Well listen up, here’s your chance!

How to Enter the Contest

  1. Create a video, 1 minute or less that tells us one or more of the following;
    • Why you want to work the booth
    • Why you love Backblaze
    • Have a good backup story? Let’s hear it!
    • Give us your best “Backblaze Pitch”
    • Personality is key!
  2. Send a link to the video to macbooth@backblaze.com by Midnight March 17, 2014. PLEASE, include your full name and send it from a good email address so we can contact you.

What We’ll Do

We’ll choose up to 5 finalists from the list of entries and then post them on our blog along with a poll, so that you fine folks can help us choose the winner. Once we have it on the blog, we’ll open up voting for a few days (this is when you work your social media magic and spread the word) and at the end of that time, we’ll see who has the most votes, and we’ll crown a winner!

What Do You Get

The winner will receive:

  1. A Macworld pass for you and your 4 closest friends!
  2. Lunch for you on the day that you’ll be joining us at Macworld!
  3. A Backblaze t-shirt!
  4. $250 for helping work the booth on the show floor!
  5. The ability to post or tweet yourself in action working the booth – selfies are encouraged…

What Will Your Duties Be

If chosen you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Choose when you want to work at the Backblaze Booth:
    – Thursday, 10:30am – 5:00pm, or
    – Friday, 10:30am – 5:00pm, or
    – Saturday, 9:30am – 4:00pm
  2. Show up at your scheduled date and time with your “A Game” – you’ll be chatting with the public and potential Backblaze customers.
  3. Be cheery and respectful – otherwise, we might ask you to leave…and that would be a bummer.

Rules of the Contest

  1. While anyone can enter, you are solely responsible for any expenses getting to and from the Moscone Center. We will not pay to fly anyone to California for the event or put them up at a hotel or pay your Muni fair or anything like that.
  2. Backblaze reserves the exclusive right to select the winner and our judgment is final.
  3. As a winner, you will receive a check for $250 from Backblaze. You will be required to complete a W-9 and you are responsible for all federal, state and local taxes.

 



Welcome Matt: Sacramento Here I Come…


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We’d like to welcome Matt to our Operations team as a Data Center Technician. He’s our first employee to work day-in/day-out in our “new” Sacramento data center. Of course other Backblaze folks will visit and help him out on a regular basis so he won’t get too lonely. After all we don’t want him roaming the aisles talking to Storage Pods, do we? Besides only our resident “Pod Whisperer” Sean is allowed to talk to the Pods… Welcome Matt.

Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Northern California, Davis to be exact. I lived in Michigan for two years as a child and was super happy to be back in California. I love living in the Sacramento-area since it’s about 2-hours from pretty much any climate you want: the coast, the wine country, Tahoe, etc.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I really liked the idea of working for a company with an open and supportive environment – somewhere I can learn and grow.

Where else have you worked?
Most recently I was doing IT work for California State University, Sacramento

Tell us how you currently backup your photos, music, data, etc. on your home computer?
I’m embarrassed to say I don’t regularly do backups; I do occasional manual backups of our laptops to my desktop which has multiple hard drives and is kind of an all-purpose project box for myself. Obviously I’m going to change this bad habit.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I love the laid-back tropical atmosphere of Hawaii. My wife and I honeymooned on Kauai and Kona (“the big island”) and really want to go to Maui for our 5th anniversary.

[Editors note: Matt is working diligently on his admitted "bad habit" of not doing regular backups. He's installed Backblaze on his work system and plans to install Backblaze at home soon - baby steps, Matt, baby steps.]

 



Meet Nathan: Technical Support Tech


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While many of the folks at Backblaze came from somewhere else, Nathan was born and raised in Silicon Valley. We’re glad he stayed as he fits very nicely into our customer support group. Welcome Nathan.

Where are you originally from?
I grew up in the south bay and went to high school in Mountain View, so the Silicon Valley has always been a big part of my life.

Where did you go to school?
I graduated last year from UC San Diego with a degree in Economics.

What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?
I spent a semester in Prague, Czech Republic which is my favorite urban area. It’s a beautiful city with lots of history and excellent beer! However the Austrian alps, had by the far the most awe-inspiring hikes I have ever been on.

Why did come back to Silicon Valley?
I moved back to the bay area after college to purse a career in tech. I’ve lived in San Diego, Washington DC, and the Czech Republic, but my professional aspirations were always in the Silicon Valley.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I started using Backblaze when I was in college almost three years before I began working here. I wanted to be part of a team that really could make a difference in peoples lives, protecting your priceless data is a rewarding experience! Also you can’t beat the Backblaze team, they’re always having a blast and willing to teach you!

Where else have you worked?
I have worked/interned for a number of different organizations including an environmental think tank, a taxpayers’ association, and an economic consulting firm.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
I would spend all the winnings learning to fly a wing-suit.

As a Technical Support Tech, Nathan will have to earn his “wing-suit” money by answering customer questions and building out our Knowledge Base. Unless, of course, he does win the lottery…



Wanted: Builders for our Operations Team


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Backblaze continues to build an awesome Operations Team. If you want to be one of the builders in our team, we currently have three positions open. If either of the positions below fits your skills then follow the instructions at the end to be considered.

All positions require:

  • Good attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done
  • Strong desire to work for a small fast paced company
  • Desire to learn and adapt to rapidly changing technologies and work environment
  • Rigorous adherence to best practices
  • Relentless attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and good oral/written communication
  • Excellent troubleshooting and problem solving skills

Senior Systems Administrator

    Responsibilities

    • Maintain multi-petabyte storage farm including low level RAID rebuilds, file system recovery and hardware repairs
    • Deploy, configure and maintain 100s of Linux systems and services using Ansible
    • Supervise routine drive replacements
    • Research new applications as needed and recommend specific packages and configurations
    • Help setup, maintain and scale Backblaze’s web services including the static/dynamic web servers and monitoring systems
    • Help create, maintain and improve operational bash shell scripts and manual procedures
    • Help hire and train IT staff as needed, including those in remote (global) locations
    • Participate in the pager rotation, respond to alerts as needed, review system logs and monitor security forums
    Requirements

    • Expert knowledge of Linux system administration, Debian experience preferred
    • 8+ years of experience
    • Experience supporting Apache, Tomcat, and Java services
    • Bash scripting skills desired
    • Ability to lift/move 50-75 lbs and work down near the floor as needed
    • Position based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California requiring 2+ days/week in San Mateo

Junior Systems Administrator

    Responsibilities

    • Help deploy, configure and maintain systems, networks and services including storage pods and static/dynamic web servers and monitoring systems
    • Available to work 1-2 days a week in a remote datacenter in the Sacramento area
    • Handle daily operational tasks including racking new servers, replacing drives, reviewing logs, etc.
    • Perform basic system setups and configurations
    • Troubleshoot and resolve operational problems with active supervision
    • Follow and improve datacenter best practices documentation
    • Rebuild failed RAID arrays with supervision
    • Install new software patches, releases and system upgrades
    • Help maintain monitoring systems to measure system availability and detect issues
    • Assist in effort to automate provisioning and other tasks that need to be run across hundreds of servers
    • Implement security measures required by corporate security policies
    • Receive and install IT Hardware
    • Receive and maintain Datacenter Inventory
    • Help train Operations staff as needed
    • Have 24×7 on-call responsibilities that will include occasional trips to datacenter to resolve issues that can’t be handled remotely
    Requirements

    • Working understanding of Linux system administration, Debian experience preferred
    • Experience supporting Apache, Tomcat, and Java services
    • Ability to lift/move 50-75 lbs and work down near the floor on a weekly basis
    • Working knowledge in shell & system scripting including Bash & Perl
    • Familiarity of system config management tools: Chef, Puppet, Ansible desirable

Datacenter Technician for Rancho Cordova Data Center

    Responsibilities

    • Perform as Backblaze’s physical presence in the SunGard Rancho Cordova facility
    • Assist in managing SunGard’s 24×7 onsite team to install new equipment, replace drives and other routine tasks, with minimal supervision
    • Manage onsite inventory of hard drives, cables, rails and other spare parts
    • Manage the RMA process for defective components
    • Repair defective equipment with minimal supervision
    • Setup, test and activate new equipment
    • Help train new Data Center Technicians as needed
    • Help maintain infrastructure including racking equipment, replacing hard drives and other system components as needed
    • Help with projects to install new systems and services as time allows
    • Follow and improve data center best practices documentation
    • On-call responsibilities include occasional 24×7 trips to data center to resolve issues that can’t be handled remotely
    Requirements

    • Working knowledge of Linux and/or ability to learn quickly
    • Approximately 1-2 years of experience
    • Excellent time management skills
    • Ability to lift/move 50-75 lbs and work down near the floor on a daily basis
    • Position based in Rancho Cordova, California and may require periodic visits to the Corporate office in San Mateo
Interested? Check out this video on our Data Center Operations team.

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Want to join our team? Follow these three steps:

  1. Send an Email to jobscontact@backblaze.com with one of the positions listed above in the subject line
  2. Include your resume
  3. Include your answers to 2 of the following 3 questions
    • What about working at Backblaze excites you the most?
    • Provide 3 adjectives that best describe your personal workspace.
    • How would you manage boot images and system configurations on 1,000+ servers (i.e. Backblaze Storage Pods)?

We’ll be interviewing candidates over the next couple of weeks. Join us and help us continue to build a great online backup company.

Backblaze is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 



Meet Brian Beach: TiVo VP of R&D Joins as Backblaze Distinguished Engineer


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I’m very excited to announce that Brian Beach has joined Backblaze to continue innovating on our cloud storage.

Brian was a 15-year veteran of TiVo, having joined the company when there were just a handful of people and no commercial product. He helped architect and develop both the TiVo box that millions of customers have in their homes and the cloud system that enabled cost-efficient and reliable streaming of shows. Brian Beach was TiVo’s VP of R&D and Principal Engineer, pushing forward large architectural projects and leading teams of engineers.

Brian Beach joins Backblaze as a Distinguished Engineer.

To enable a completely unlimited online backup service for just $5/month, Backblaze had to build an entire cloud storage system, including server hardware (Storage Pods) and highly automated and scalable cloud storage software. Brian Beach will work to further build out this system as we scale to hundreds of petabytes and exabytes.

Read the full press release here: 15-Year TiVo Veteran Joins Backblaze

Get to know Brian Beach a bit better:

Do your kids get TiVo’s for each of their birthdays?
Continue reading…