I'm Amandeep Khurana, co-author of HBase In Action and currently a Principal Solutions Architect @ Cloudera.
I moved to the USA to pursue graduate school in Computer Science in 2008. I didn't know what specialization I wanted to get into and didn't have any information based on which I could make a choice. At UC Santa Cruz, I started to take classes that fellow students said were good, alongside looking for a way to pay my way through school. I managed to get an opportunity with Cisco Systems to do part time work. It so happened that my projects at school as well at Cisco gave me the chance to work on the Hadoop ecosystem. At that time, Big Data wasn't the hot buzzword that it is today. It was interesting and fun though.
I decided to graduate with an MS and not pursue my PhD. And so, I started looking for a job. My dream company to work for was Amazon. Extreme customer focus was the value that attracted me there. With luck and hard work, I got a job there. However, quickly into my job there I realized that I wanted to do more than software engineering and enjoyed working with customers. A good friend of mine was a Solutions Architect at Cloudera at the time and the company was looking for more people. After him pestering for 6 months, I interviewed and got hired @ Cloudera. I've been at Cloudera for 4 years and have worked with several customers, co-authored the HBase In Action book, and learned a ton (by making mistakes and from others) about how to add value to customers and build a company in the process.
This is not how I had anticipated things would turn out for me. I attribute it to luck, hard work and all the supportive people around me.
Ask me anything.
Cloudera and Amazon are 2 fundamentally different companies.