Hey there, my name is Pearl d’Silva, and I have recently joined ShapeBlue as a Software Engineer. I’d like to share my ‘two-cents’ and tell you about my experience at ShapeBlue so far…

Having graduated with a degree in Electronics and Communication, I developed a professional inclination towards communication and networking on distributed systems, and I was quite fortunate to work in these fields as a campus recruit. I then worked in various areas that spanned across cloud computing, software defined networking, Network Management and Cloud automation and orchestration, before taking up a role as an Automation Engineer in my next company. However, after 3 years in the industry, I realised that there was something missing, and eventually began looking for an opportunity that was challenging and provided larger scope to learn. That’s when I came across ShapeBlue! At first, I was apprehensive about working in a ‘distributed office’ environment, but the job turned out to be a perfect match. As unfamiliar as this concept (distributed office) seemed to me, the hiring process was also unique, and as I was introduced to the various stages of the hiring process I realized that this place was different – in a GOOD way! The year 2019 ended on a high note when I was offered a job at the company.

ShapeBlue spend all their time working on an opensource project: Apache Cloudstack. Delving into the CloudStack world was pretty smooth – the initial weeks of training with my ShapeBlue mentor easing me into the whole process. These first few weeks were also all about getting my hands dirty and understanding how to develop features in CloudStack, whilst gaining an understanding of how it works as both a user and a developer. This process of getting the feel of CloudStack and understanding the various concepts is nicely put together in “The Hackerbook” – a structured training guide specifically for developers new to CloudStack, and tailored for ShapeBlue. I also sat in on a CloudStack Bootcamp training course to understand the various use-cases of CloudStack, and one couldn’t ask for any better way to get introduced to a project that so vast and elaborate! All aspects of the technology are covered, but it’s definitely an ongoing learning experience – making it all the more fun. Apart from being introduced to the technical aspects, this training period gave me a chance to understand the various company processes in place. It’s amazing to see the team collaborate and help each other out, and it doesn’t for a minute feel like we are dispersed across the globe.

Having worked here for a few months and interacted with the team every day, I am truly astounded not only by their level of knowledge but also by their level of patience with ‘newbies’! Being new to this technology, everything seems to be a mammoth task, but they just make it seem so simple, and are never too busy to answer questions and provide guidance. Every day brings a new opportunity to learn.

Having completed the training, I have officially started working on CloudStack with customer and in-house projects, and every task unveils a new dimension of CloudStack. So much learnt, so much more to learn… ShapeBlue is truly a place for an individual who yearns to learn and get out of their comfort zone. It’s rare to have the opportunity to work in areas that interest you when part of a large organization, but here at Shapeblue we get to work on every aspect of the lifecycle of a product. I’ve only been here a short time, but it has given me a lot of perspective and insight into being a better engineer.

And to top it all, there’s no dearth of fun; Slack is our medium to connect for day to day chat and stay in touch, and apart from the usual “intellectual” talk, there’s a lot of other fun stuff that happens here. People pulling each other’s legs, sharing stuff they’ve been up to, talking about their pets… and our weekly ‘all staff’ video call to get a little bit of face time. You don’t feel like you are in a different city, let alone country, or even better, continent!

All in all, it has been a challenging (but what’s fun without a wee bit of challenge every day) and fun experience, and I hope to continue to learn more every day, and continue to contribute to the team and the community.