Travis is the reason why I killed the coding test for my new software engineering hires.

No, that doesn’t mean we hire anybody. That means we have elevated the bar on our screenings. We are hiring builders who craft great code. Not just coders trained to ace scripted problems like coding a binary search tree traversal or solving the Twitter feed problem or designing the FB social network graph or designing the URL shortening service, Bitly.

In the process, we have also made our hiring practices more inclusive by opening doors to all kinds of talent to foster creativity and…

Can you tell apart a good CEO? It’s not as easy during the journey!

I had the pleasure and displeasure of working at five unicorns, and seven Fortune 500 companies over my career span.

Recently interviewing for executive leadership roles at 50 plus unicorns, 50 plus Fortune 500, and a hundred plus startups in the last four years.

I’d call these interviews one thousand leadership discovery sessions.

From these interactions, I got to learn how to tell apart a good CEO.

How to tell the overall health of a company?

Get a sense of the actual culture of the company.

How to tell high-growth start-ups apart from static or declining ones?

Some start-ups are…

Splunk was in use at Groupon since its early startup days. It had grown to a daily ingestion volume of 100TB, with logging volume growing at 20% YoY. At this scale, Splunk was financially unviable. It already cost us millions of dollars in Splunk licensing, data center infrastructure, and operations.

There was a deadlock in renewal pricing negotiations. Splunk felt they had a vendor lock-in. So, we decided to replace it with an open-source logging platform.

Here I talk about the challenges I faced as head of the real-time platform organization and what it took to get it done in…

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

On a bright sunny day in the summer of 2017, I was on a long winding uphill bike ride to the Mount Diablo summit. I was reflecting on my experiences and wondering what will come next! The ride was an exhilarating four-hour experience. I did it almost every day for the rest of that year.

As I started reflecting on every ride, I realized that many good thoughts crossed my mind that I was draining because I would forget about these later. At that moment, I realized that I must start capturing, curating, and connecting my thoughts. …

Asks Linda in a taunting tone. To diminish a candidate who came in to interview for a Senior Vice President of Engineering role to lead a team of 400 engineers and people leaders.

Sanjiv: I was the architect you are talking about twenty years ago. Today, I am an architect of many kinds of architects.

I am a vision architect.

I am an organization architect.

I am a disruption architect.

I am a team architect.

I am a distributed leadership architect.

I am a motivation architect.

I am a story architect.

I am a transformation architect.

I am an innovation…

San Joaquin Valley’s Carrizo Plain National Monument sits in the heart of California. Photo: © Ethan Inlander |TNC

It was Thursday, June 24, 2021 —

A beautiful summer night. With a calm breeze flowing through the valleys of San Joaquin, where life came to life for me.

Looking out the window at the full moon and the dark shining Mount Diablo, a mountain of motivation hovering in the backdrop. Lit up with starry lights, hanging on the windmills on the hilltops in the foreground.

With the dancing branches of my little trees. With apples hanging on the trees and red flame grapes hanging on the vines. I could feel the energy. I could feel the impact of my…

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

I was seven, in third grade, when I declared this to my friend and my classmate, Satnam.

I have taken off my sweater and put down my glasses. Let’s go!

That’s a ritual that I had to perform only twice till I got to high school.

Before I explain what the ritual entails, let me tell you why I needed to do it.

I am a calm and composed person who comes across as harmless to anyone. I usually don’t bother people. Looking at my composure, some people get the wrong impression that they can put me down.

But little…

I had an amazing experience with Equinox people. Watching exciting events unfolding during our engagement was quite refreshing. Human connections and leadership were par excellence!

Equinox market positioning is omnichannel fitness — however, whenever, and wherever you want it.

This story gets interesting as you progress.

First, a little bit about Equinox — who are they?

If you belong to a high-class society, trendy lifestyles, Equinox fitness clubs serve your kind of audience. You’ll find them in urban cities populated with high-income households. They also own famous brands like Soul Cycle.

The fitness industry is getting disrupted by Peloton. Equinox…

That’s how I define my experience after I was done talking to Airbnb for an engineering leadership role.

It’s more than a year since I spoke with an executive from Airbnb regarding an engineering leadership role. I take a long time to write about my experiences. I let those thoughts and feelings simmer in me for some time to connect these and reflect upon them until clear thoughts emerge. Enjoy!

Dear Airbnb,

Congratulations! You have opened the gates to toxic leadership in your organization. It’s normal, don’t feel bad about it. It happens to every successful business.

Now, the question…

Identity is a cornerstone of any Marketplace, Social, or SaaS platform. It impacts the business KPIs of the platform that transcend security, privacy, and compliance concerns.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

How we ensure observability for securing 400 million consumers and 30 million merchants

PayPal processes a trillion dollars in payment volume annually. Identity and access management is mission-critical for PayPal. PayPal wallet, Venmo app users, every payment transaction, our merchants, and our partners depend on Identity. Ten minutes of outage means tens of millions of dollars in lost payment volume.

We built a solid foundation for monitoring, anomaly detection, problem detection, and auto-remediation. That means monitoring performance at seven layers of our identity platform and the broader…

Sanjiv Khosla

I’m a technologist with a flair for entrepreneurship and leadership at scale. Ex-Microsoft, PayPal, Intuit, eBay, Groupon. FinTech, Marketplaces & Platforms.

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