Meet the Team! (Part 4)

Posted by Jon Ying on July 20, 2010

Hi everyone! This edition of ‘Meet the Team’ introduces you to Rajiv Eranki. Rajiv grew up in Buffalo and, no surprise here– graduated from MIT before moving out to San Francisco. Rajiv currently devotes his time to making sure Dropbox’s servers run as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Tell us about your programming background– how’d you get into it?

I loved computer games as a kid, so I learned programming as a way to try to build them. I used to build a lot of stupid little games in Apple’s HyperCard, like “Slay the Peasant,” which involved killing the same little sprite over and over with an arsenal of weapons by clicking on the screen.

In high school I learned Perl and C so I could explore other things, like building websites and 3D programming. The nice thing about programming as a hobby is that it doesn’t cost anything to explore new things.

How’d you join dropbox and why’d you choose it over finishing your masters?

I really wasn’t enjoying doing a Masters, and I’m amazed that it took me so long to figure it out. I guess I just figured that misery was part of the austere life an academic is supposed to lead.

I knew Aston and Arash from school, and they had showed me this cool project called Dropbox that they were working on when visiting Boston. A few months later when I finally realized that the academic life just wasn’t for me, I sent an IM to Aston asking if they were hiring, and they flew me out. It took me a couple agonizing weeks to decide that I actually wanted to drop everything I had in Boston to do this, but I haven’t looked back since.

Which OS do you prefer?

Mac OS X. I’ve always been a huge Mac fanboy. I tried to switch to Linux in high school for street cred, but it was too much of a pain.

What’s the nastiest problem you’ve run into while here?

It’s hard to describe specifics, but the nastiest problems always involve bugs that pop up very infrequently, and for a very small percentage of users, but are still important to solve. In these cases you have to make educated guesses about what might be wrong and then come up with ways of testing the idea.

In a few sentences, what does your job at dropbox entail?

My job here is mostly to make sure that Dropbox continues to run smoothly as we’ve gone from thousands to millions of users and beyond. This basically involves figuring out how we can efficiently use hundreds of computers to spread out the work.

Most people at dropbox have their single ‘claim to fame’. What’s yours?

Before I started working on the server more full-time, I was helping with the code injection/reverse engineering stuff that we do on the Mac to be well-integrated with the Finder. Since then I guess it’s mostly been helping to scale the site.

What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite artists?

I mostly listen to classic rock, Motown, and pop, with occasional detours into classical and jazz, and my favorite artist of all time is Jimi Hendrix (he’s the most frequent on my “Top 25 Most Played” list, anyway). The one song I have on repeat right now is “Africa” by Toto.

Favorite sports teams?

Go Sharks!! They did great last season. It’ll be interesting to see what their roster looks like next.

What do you do in your freetime?

Hang out with friends, play guitar, ride my motorcycle, play golf (horribly), ski, and generally get involved in new things. My current project is learning to play ice hockey.

What are you working on right now?/What cool things does the server team have planned?

“Cool” for the server team is mostly “it still works?!” :) In some sense the server team is at it’s best when nobody notices it.

38 Comments to Meet the Team! (Part 4)

July 20, 2010


очень интересный материал вот тута, смотрите, не пожалеете…

July 20, 2010

Brilliant to get to know you guys a bit more! what servers do you run? Linux based???
have you tried playing round with Linux since?

July 20, 2010

“I tried to switch to Linux in high school for street cred, but it was too much of a pain.” Haha, nice quote man. I did the same thing in college, but always came back to my Mac. :)

July 20, 2010

Hi Rajiv, you doing a great job. It's so usefull, it's so easy, it's so good.

July 20, 2010

hi and greetings from Greece. Great job guys

July 20, 2010

No more counterstrike in your spare time?!?! tisk tisk

Glad to hear all is well Rajiv. Keep up the good work.

July 20, 2010

Great going Dropbox team!! Thanks to you, I don't have a bunch of USB drives in my pocket anymore! :-)

July 20, 2010


программирование на PHP на профессиональном уровне…

July 20, 2010

And so nice to have good lucking guys “behind the scenes” at Dropbox!

Dropboxer Mom
July 20, 2010

Hi Rajiv, enjoyed reading about you, except for the part of the “m” thing(any mother reading this will know what I am talking about). So proud of you, and your team. You took a huge risk by ditching your masters from MIT (just a couple of months before finishing); glad to see the huge success of Dropbox. You guys are amazing, and especially starting during the worst economy! Since you were little, I always knew you were going to always do whatever you were interested in. Always had faith in you and whatever you put your mind into. Love you, Dropboxer Mom

July 21, 2010

Go DropBoxers!!

July 21, 2010

even im a mac Lover :)

July 21, 2010

Great job on the Finder integration!

July 21, 2010

I love mac, but I cant afford it… i have to use stolen windows :(

Pesic Marko
July 21, 2010

hey can you help me to open one folder they have invite me but i have opened invite once and i cant open it again and to look that folder

Dropboxer Dad
July 24, 2010

Hi Rajiv,
Very proud of you and your colleagues at Dropbox.
Glad we let you have unlimited use of the home computer and the Internet as a kid. They say good musicians make good software designers, so we should have known when you excelled at piano before you were a teen and at guitar in high school.
Big risks (dropping out of school and not taking a conventional corporate start in a tough economy) deserve big rewards, so we wish that works out for all of you.
Dropboxer Dad

July 25, 2010

'Africa' ??!! … Toto ??!! …. you can't possibly be serious. You're joking, right ?

I'm probably almost twice your age and that's one of the lamest music choices for someone your age I've ever heard. Hendrix fine ? Something current ? Yes.. but to paraphrase Jerry Garcia (I believe), I don't think Jimi would have got up out of his own vomit to listen to Toto.

Linda K Jones
July 26, 2010

Love reading why you do what you do, thanks!

Hire Developers
August 2, 2010

I like your blog and such a useful information sharing. I appreciate your blog and thanks for that.

August 3, 2010

Love dropbox! Just downloaded the droid app!

Keep doing the great job, guys!!

Www Dinleyiver Net
August 9, 2010

“I tried to switch to Linux in high school for street cred, but it was too much of a pain.” Haha, nice quote man. I did the same thing in college, but always came back to my Mac. :)

Fuck Off
August 25, 2010

This is the most worthless application i've had to download.
I'm getting the files my customer put on your worthless site ,the i'm thrasing this useless junk.

took me 15 minutes to set up just to get 2 files.

Dropbox team, GO TO HELL

Garrett Wilson
August 27, 2010

Dropbox on OSX is flawless, keep up the excellent work!

Breno da Mata
September 22, 2010

You have got to be kidding me! Africa by Toto is a great song! One of my personal favorites!!

October 12, 2010

which part of india you belong Rajiv?

Dropboxer Mom
October 13, 2010

Hi Tom, Rajiv was born, and raised in Buffalo, NY( as I was as well). However I was born near New Delhi. His dad was born and raised in Madras(attended the prestigious I.I.T ). Because we came from different parts of India (as some would call it a “mixed marriage”, I used to lovingly refer to Rajiv as a “mutt”. It was always an inside joke. Hope you enjoyed a little more background. From, Rajiv's Mom

carton sealer
November 10, 2010

thank you for sharing

December 9, 2010

I do not understand your service Rajiv. I have a client who has placed a video file in Dropbox for me to retreive. How do I do that? Since you don't have a customer service phone number on your website anywhere, guess I'll blog ya.


December 11, 2010

It will be better to go to the dropbox forums; you will have questions answered more quickly. The forum is a great support as you will see. Many of the users love to help.

December 11, 2010

Hey Greg, It will be quicker to go to the dropbox forums to have your questions answered. It is a very supportive community. Many of the users are there offering help ( out of the goodness of their heart).

December 11, 2010

Hey Greg, you may want to try the dropbox forums for a quicker response. The many users of dropbox are there answering questions. They are extremely helpful, and love helping other users out( just out of the goodness of their heart). It is a great support system.

December 11, 2010

Hey Greg, you may want to go to the dropbox forums to have your questions answered. It is an awesome place that has all these users helping out ( just out of the goodness of their heart). It is a great support system!

Chris Faron
December 29, 2010

I find the Dropbox software for Linux Ubuntu works great unlike some other ones that didn't..

March 14, 2011

thanks for sharing I look fwd to some good things from Dropbox

July 15, 2011

Dropbox has been recomended to me to make some important information available to a select group of people.  Would it be possible for someone to explain it to me?  Thanks, Buzz  Also I would like this info to not be easily shared.  Thanks

Odin Android
March 13, 2012

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Muhammad Tsani A. Hakim
March 25, 2012

( just out of the goodness of their heart). It is a great support system. video youtube