Getting to know Chiranjeevi Devi
October 24, 2019
LinkedIn wouldn't be the company it is today without the engineers who built it. We have no shortage of talented individuals in technical roles across the company. They are the ones who create, build, and maintain our platform, tools, and features—as well as write posts for this blog. In this series, we feature some of the people and personalities that make LinkedIn great.
Chiranjeevi Devi is a senior software engineer at LinkedIn, where he works on some of the toughest challenges around big data. His team works on making sure data is used well, including maintaining compliance with members’ privacy and network settings.
Chiranjeevi started his career at Motorola, where he worked on developing user-facing applications and software. After developing an interest in the burgeoning big data field, he moved to Yahoo!, where he spent more than six years learning and mastering the nuances of a big data ecosystem.
What are some of the coolest projects that you and your team have been working on?
My team and I are responsible for driving policies and frameworks that help protect members’ PII (Personal Identifiable Information) and help secure highly confidential data. Our mission is to know the ins and outs of the data that flows across LinkedIn’s data ecosystem, be it online or offline. We are building and maintaining a best-in-class monitoring system for the metadata of LinkedIn’s data ecosystem to make sure we avoid, detect, and fix any compliance violations.
What made you first want to be a software engineer?
I tried a few things like painting and drawing when I was much younger and was never able to express what I wanted to express through either of those mediums. When I was in college, it was a time when the world had just started to realize the potential possibilities of the internet and software. That made me think and want to be part of the journey of the technology revolution. I wanted to have a medium to do something that has a meaningful impact on the people around me, and I thought software engineering was the best way to achieve that.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is to deal with disparities between different data platforms and the metadata of the data on those platforms. It is interesting to work on solutions to make these heterogeneous platforms adhere to common guidelines and policies that are driven by our team. Similar to our work with members’ PII, we have no room for complacency in detecting any security holes. The system we’ve built and maintain has to be very cognizant of all possibilities, while leveraging AI to constantly monitor any changes in the underlying nature of the data.
What do you love most about software engineering?
Every day, I get to exercise my mind and my creativity. I'm not an artist, but with software engineering, I get to take an abstract concept and express it in a way that people on the other side can see and feel. I am privileged enough to do something that has a measurable and real impact on the world around me. It is solving difficult problems, building the perfect elegant solution, and getting to work with other smart people to do something that has never been done.
Compared to other places you've worked, how do you like working at LinkedIn?
I think it is the culture at the company that sets it apart from other places that I have worked. LinkedIn invests in people and makes a huge effort to be a place where employees love coming to work. We have a culture of people who are inspired by their work and their colleagues, who work hard, and who celebrate progress and success. Our CEO hosts an all-hands meeting, where he shares what’s happening with the company, and his transparency helps employees feel connected to the organization. We also have a monthly InDay when employees are encouraged to clear their day to invest in themselves and their teams.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not at the office?
Outside of work, I enjoy going to places with my wife and kids and watching Netflix series like “Stranger Things” and “Brain Games” with my 9-year-old son. I am also a foodie and love to try different cuisines here in the Bay Area with my wife. My hobbies include reading books, watching documentaries, and riding bikes with the family.