Growing up in India, Yash Mayya dreamed of being an airline pilot. That was until he wrote his first computer program in the fourth grade, when he was just nine years old. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
After graduating from university with a degree in Computer Science, Yash has seen his career take off at Confluent, where he’s a software engineer on the Kafka Connect team.
We sat down with Yash to talk about why he joined Confluent, his role within the team and what drives his passion for the job.
Tell us about yourself and your role at Confluent.
I'm a software engineer on the Kafka Connect team and I joined Confluent right out of university after doing my bachelor's degree in Computer Science. That was three years ago and I’ve been here ever since.
The Kafka Connect team works on a distributed system and framework, which acts as a data integration layer for when customers want to move data between other data systems and Kafka. Right now, we are focusing on building out the capabilities of Kafka Connect on Confluent Cloud, our fully managed SaaS offering.
I dedicate a chunk of my time contributing to Apache Kafka, the upstream open source project capable of handling trillions of events per day, in real-time. The rest of the time I spend working with my immediate team, which works on solving networking problems for Kafka Connect on Confluent Cloud.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I spend a lot of my time collaborating with other people. At the moment, I'm working closely with some folks outside Confluent from the open source community.
On the cloud networking side of things, I connect regularly with the Kafka Connect networking team based in India. And then there's a larger centralized networking team at Confluent, which is mainly based out of the U.S. So we do have weekly sync-ups between the team in India and the team in the U.S.
Since Confluent is a remote-first company and also globally distributed, collaborating between different time zones can get tricky — especially on long-running projects or if you’re dealing with multiple geographies. But I think people are fairly sensitive to time zone differences and are quite considerate when it comes to the frequency and scheduling of meetings.
As someone who works remotely, how do you stay engaged with your teams? How important are company values to you?
I work from home most of the time and go into the office occasionally. There are some challenges with being a remote-first company. But there are also numerous benefits. We have a bunch of team outings and team get-togethers. And we have designated days—maybe once a month, or a few days a quarter—where everyone gets together in person to meet, which cements relationships and helps with team bonding.
Over the last couple of years, I've seen an evolution in the company culture that builds on things such as valuing flexibility and allowing employees the freedom to do their best work. One of our company values is that people should be smart, humble, and empathetic. And I truly believe that everyone I interact with on a day-to-day basis follows that value.
What made you interested in working at Confluent?
I first heard about the company through a university friend who interned at Confluent. And all I heard were good things…the people are great…the work is super interesting…it's really challenging…you're working on complex distributed systems…and it's a great opportunity as a new engineer fresh out of university to work with people who are experts in this field.
I also liked the fact that the core model of the business is around the open source domain and open source community, which again appealed to me as an engineer. I'd seen how things work in the open source world and felt that this was an exciting opportunity for me.
In terms of your career, can you see yourself staying at Confluent for a long time? Can you see your career progressing here?
Absolutely! Some of Confluent’s best engineers have been here since the very beginning. As long as you're passionate about it, willing to put in the work and not take things for granted, then you can do anything! There's no ceiling. There's always room to grow—especially with the help of great mentors. I see myself being able to stay at Confluent and look forward to developing in my role even further.