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Meet Selvam Vasu, the man behind the stage ensuring a smooth run for our servers and infrastructure. Being the devops-guru, he makes sure nothing ever breaks, and in case something does, Selvam is always ready to work his magic and fix it within no time. He believes that a web server is similar to the human body and should be treated with the same care to keep it healthy. When he’s not busy with the tricky task of server management or finding new security holes to be fixed, he is probably absorbed in a good book. We decided to find out more about Selvam, and here is how the chat went.
Q. Tell us something about yourself
Ah, this question has been chasing me from my college campus interview 😛 . I am still forming my life and career so as to give a better answer to this question. Basically, I am a bookworm, I like to read books, a lot of them to be precise. Other interests include swimming and participating in marathons. I also write poems when I have ideas that are better expressed in that form.
Q. How do you spend time away from work?
I’d be mostly reading good books or something worth reading that I can get my hands on. I am passionate about Tamil historical novels, epic books and poems. Apart from reading, I also try to experiment with new technologies in my laptop or write some program that can make my work easier. On weekends, I would be hanging out with my friends.
Q. We hear that you are an aspiring poet, tell us more about that.
When I was a kid, I once read an interesting book to prepare for a speech competition. This sparked an interest to read more novels, poems, magazines and articles. The passion for reading also motivated me to write one or two poems during my college days. Nowadays, I am enthusiastic about reading Tamil Sangam literature. I like to pen down my thoughts and ideas as a poem, story or article when I read something great or have experienced a remarkable event in everyday life.
Q. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
I prefer earning things through hard work to winning fortunes. It gives me immense happiness when I can cover my needs with my own hard-earned money. Generally, I don’t believe in the lottery system 😛 . If something like that happens, I don’t want to spend that money for my own personal needs (you should believe this statement, you don’t have other options 🙂 ). By the way, I wouldn’t mind owning an island in antarctica. 😛
Q. Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
Like most people think, I am not a closed-off person. Only my close friends know this fact about me. I like to wear my feelings on my sleeve, for everyone to see.
Q. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
According to me, the ‘production environment’ and human life are very similar in nature. The servers are like human bodies. You can never predict when problems might appear. :P. Although we try to prevent all possible issues, we should have ready made solutions or alternate ways to overcome the issues in case they pop up. When unpredictable issues appear, we need to figure out the cause and handle them with patience. It’s literally impossible to run a production environment without any issues whatsoever, but finding and fixing them with the best possible solution is what keeps me excited.
Q. Any advice for aspiring programmers?
As a devops engineer, I constantly have to deal with connection close issue and system resource utilization problems. Web programmers should focus more on debugging their code in-depth. Before writing web applications, one should know about how a web server runs and how an application would utilize the memory and connections. This will help in creating better applications that are stable even on higher loads. It’s important for a programmer to be aware of the minimum system requirements of his/her application.