Hello all, I’m Harikrishna, and I’m based in Hyderabad, India. I joined ShapeBlue few months ago and I’m very happy to be part of this amazing team.

I started my career with CloudStack as a fresher when it was just incubating to Apache from version 3.x to 4.0, and it was very exciting to be part of a project which had only just been open-sourced. I initially worked on features like VM access reset, dynamic scaling resources of a running VM, and Citrix XenDesktop integration with CloudStack, and it has now been over 7 years since I started working on Apache CloudStack. I was made a committer in March 2015 which made me responsible for my technical contributions and helping users and developers on the CloudStack mailing lists.

On the personal side I love the most to go hiking and camping which I’m missing pretty badly due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. I also love to do some basic cooking and gardening, at least which makes my life lovable.

Joining ShapeBlue and coming back to the community

I’ve worked with CloudStack since the start of my career, and I have always loved working in an open source project, being an active member of the community, helping users, and being part of discussions. I enjoy the release process and contributing features and fixes to the project.

This process and culture got diluted a bit for me after moving between companies and working on private versions of CloudStack, but after joining ShapeBlue I was happy to return to the community. I must say I’m excited and impressed with my colleagues vast knowledge, and also the processes and procedures in ShapeBlue which are very well structured. The best part of the company is the open-source, community driven process of development and the complete team here works towards that.

In the early days I worked on existing issues and PRs (pull requests) and later jumped into a large and very interesting project developing VMware vSphere advanced features for CloudStack. With this I’ve got an opportunity to touch every workflow involved with VMware vSphere in CloudStack, and I was delighted to be given this opportunity as it gave me more scope to learn and exciting challenges to enjoy my work here even more. Also, it is always fun to learn new technologies with respect to different storage types and new features in vSphere. Needless to say I do get all the helping hands whenever I’m blocked or need some guidance.

After a while I joined the support team, providing 24/7 support for our customers on their issues or questions which is another interesting task. I started getting to know real production issues, and solving them gives me immense pleasure. This makes me more conscious when working on features or bug fixes which is a good in terms of producing quality work.

The challenge here is remote working, and I wondered how a whole, distributed team could work remotely and deliver such a quality work in the community and to our customers. To be frank, that was a concern to me, but I quickly realized this works very well and can be more productive, and I started enjoying working this way. We use various different tools to stay in touch, and the Slack channel is always busy with people discussing various aspects of their work and personal lives. I feel like people are always around! The team is spread across the world in different time zones, and this makes the Slack channel active all the time. People here are very open and helpful, and one can ping anyone directly or in the general channel, at any time and on any topic. Our bespoke lab infrastructure is a great resource with respect to building new environments, packaging, etc., and helps me to focus on actual work instead of worrying about process.

It has been fantastic time so far with ShapeBlue and I’m enjoying the job, be it technical or social with my amazing colleagues. Working with a flatly structured team and an open-source project gives special advantages like getting genuine feedback from real users and developers, which helps in viewing the code from everyone’s angle making it a lot better, and getting the necessary help required. Overall, it is a new way to work for me, and I am looking forward to my next challenge.