In this week’s “Smart People on Ice” video, host Alex Benik sits down with Raj Patel, the head of cloud engineering at Pinterest to discuss his career in tech. Spanning companies such as Pacific Bell, Exodus, Yahoo! and Cisco, Raj’s work has intersected with some of the most notable technologies and trends of our time.
Beginning his career managing California’s 911 network for Pacific Bell, Raj shares how he learned discipline and the importance of network reliability–a critical factor for a statewide emergency system. Later, transitioning from telecom to working for tech companies experiencing hyper-growth, Raj also discusses how to balance discipline with the need for agility, and provides advice for scaling people, processes and products.
Smart People on Ice” is a line from the 1985 movie Real Genius, the classic comedy which chronicled the exploits and hijinks of a group of precocious youths at fictional California university, modeled on CalTech. Our Smart People series features conversations with leading technologists from across the technology stack discussing how they first fell in love with technology, their early days with computers, and their evolution as technologists and entrepreneurs.
Smart People’s host is Alex Benik. Real Genius was one of the sparks that catalyzed Alex’s fascination with technology as a boy and has influenced him to this day. Alex has been with Battery since 2001 and invests in infrastructure technologies. He currently works with Catchpoint, Chef, Cumulus Networks, Diablo Technologies, GuardiCore and Stratoscale.