Part four: Sravan Semasekharan – Cloud Engineer level 1
Sravan Somasekharan joined Vanenburg in September 2021, directly after completing his study at the College of Engineering in Chengannur, which is in Kerala, the southwestern coastal state of India, where he also lives.
He joined Vanenburg as an Associate Cloud Engineer, working together with his new colleagues in the CloudOps team. During his study, Sravan loved to work with computers and used to work with coding languages. He developed a natural interest in cloud technologies. Although he is looking forward to coming to the office, he loves to work from home “because, due to the beautiful state of Kerala, working from home means working close to nature!”
Sravan carries the following skills in his ‘suitcase’: infrastructure provisioning and management with Terraform, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), shell scripting and Jenkins.
Profile Sravan Semasekharan:
Bachelor’s degree in Technology in Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Chengannur, Kerala, India
Previous working experience:
After graduation, Sravan joined the Vanenburg CloudOps team as an associate Cloud Engineer.
Associate Cloud Engineer (Google Cloud)
What do you do on a daily basis at Vanenburg?
I am part of the CloudOps team dedicated to one of Vanenburg’s customers: Solvay, a global leader in advanced materials and specialty chemicals. As a CloudOps team, we need to provide the infrastructure for the Vanenburg application team, so they can work on the development part. Together with 8 CloudOps colleagues, we are working on Solvay as a dedicated team.
Many projects for Solvay are being taken up by Vanenburg. We handle them in an efficient manner. We have configured a cloud landing zone in GCP for migrating their applications to the cloud. These landing zones provide a pre-configured environment – provisioned through code – to host workloads in private, hybrid, or public clouds. Projects could be migrated one by one to the landing zone, which makes them safer in terms of security aspects.
I mainly perform infrastructure provisioning, using Terraform for various GCP projects. Next to that, I support the application development teams in various activities such as solving issues they might be facing in GCP environments, deployments, migration of existing projects to the Solvay landing zone, and also security issue remediation activities.
Can you tell us more about your work experience in general?
After graduation, I joined Vanenburg, where I have been working for 1 year and 4 months. It is really a very good experience to be part of the CloudOps team, where I am able to learn and sharpen my skills in GCP and Terraform.
I’m more than happy to have had experienced people guiding me through the process of becoming a Cloud Engineer, like Agalya Kitherian (Cloud Operations & ML/AI Team Lead) as my mentor during my start at Vanenburg, and Thiyagarajan Karuppaiah (Cloud Architect) as a team leader guiding me through complex processes.
Why did you choose to work at Vanenburg and what do you enjoy most?
I wanted to begin my career at a place that values best practices and provides a professional atmosphere to mold and sharpen my technical skills. And I would say Vanenburg was the best option for that.
The company shows great effort and enthusiasm to develop its employees. Vanenburg encourages all its employees to come up with ideas and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them. By providing learning resources, it has fostered a creative, productive environment for professionals. Vanenburg has a large pool of employees with years of experience in the field. They provide support to the graduates when needed, where the combination of experienced and creative graduates is a true asset for the company for the continuous growth and development of its employees.
Although I recently joined the company with little work experience, I honestly feel that the Vanenburg team gives me the freedom to express myself and give my opinion, where they truly listen to what I have to say.
What kind of skills do you require in your day-to-day work?
When you are handling GCP environment issues, you definitely need to have problem-solving skills. This is because the root cause of these issues needs to be discovered to provide a long-term solution approach. Also, Linux and scripting knowledge (shell script, terraform scripts, ansible scripts) are required as it is all about automation.
To name more specific knowledge that is required: the Associate Cloud Engineer course of Google Cloud is an important starting point to get to know the whole stack of GCP products.
Also, a thorough understanding of cloud security is a must, as every activity needs to be done following the best security practices.
What distinguishes Vanenburg’s culture from other IT companies?
At Vanenburg, I have found mentors and leaders rather than managers and team leads. We have a team that supports and guides us whenever required. On top of that, every employee has the chance to express their ideas and suggestions.
Customer satisfaction is given top priority. As a team, we brainstorm thoroughly about this matter in order to provide the best service to our customers.
Sometimes it can be challenging to meet certain demands. How do you make sure that the customer is satisfied?
We cannot hope to serve and satisfy our customers if we fail to understand their demands/expectations. As you said before, sometimes these demands can be challenging, but that’s what makes our job interesting.
Looking at the feedback that we receive from our customers, up to this moment we have been able to exceed their expectations in terms of both security, as well as automation. This is always great to hear and very promising!
More explorations/research is usually done in such situations to find a better approach to meet their demands. Also, our seniors are available for sharing their knowledge and provide support whenever needed.
The experience of our seniors and the talent of our young cloud engineers have always helped in meeting the customers’ expectations. I am sure that we will continue to do so in the years to come.
Can you tell us a bit about Vanenburg’s growth strategy for the coming years?
With our in-house talented and experienced CloudOps team, we have the opportunity to grow and provide the best cloud hosting and management services to many enterprises. Also, we consider automation and security as the key aspects which enable us to provide efficient and effective cloud solutions.
The fact that we are getting more and more projects for Solvay is a great indication of large-sized companies showing their gratitude to us and giving us their trust to utilize and manage their business-critical cloud applications for them.
What can people expect from working at Vanenburg?
From my own experience, Vanenburg is a place where we can learn and grow. We get hands-on experience with the latest technologies, tools, and best security practices while implementing cloud solutions.
We focus on “smart work” rather than “hard work” by implementing automation wherever possible. Also, we clearly understand the customer requirements and make sure to meet their expectations.
Working at Vanenburg means that you can become a cloud expert within a short span of time and support organizations in their cloud journey. Especially during the beginning of your career with Vanenburg, the extensive training program helps you to get up to speed in no time. Even without knowledge beforehand, you learn to get used to the latest technologies and think from a customer perspective. Training and presentations from senior team members really help you up to speed.
What are your plans for the near future? Are you planning to get certain certifications and/or technical skills to enhance your capabilities?
I am currently preparing for the “Professional Cloud Security Engineer (Google Cloud)” certification. The course is really useful for every individual who is aiming to become a security expert in GCP.
I also want to take another certification in Linux after that. I am hoping to get certified soon.