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Introducing Arthy, the Lead Software Quality Engineer for the OpenShift AI division

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When I ventured into the realm of AI, it was a natural progression rather than a premeditated choice. My professional journey began as a project engineer in quality assurance (QA) and later transitioned into a security-centric role at a prominent antivirus company. Serendipitously, Red Hat approached me at a time when I sought a fresh challenge. In 2015, I joined the developing QA team for Red Hat Storage Server, marking the inception of my stint with the company.

Following a hiatus of two years to attend to personal commitments, I rejoined Red Hat in 2017, this time as a member of the OpenShift AI team. This shift opened the gateway to the realm of AI for me.

For approximately three years now, I have been an essential component of the OpenShift AI team. Operating remotely from Tamil Nadu, located in the southern precinct of India, I occasionally visit the Bangalore office. Away from work, you may find me immersed in Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form native to southern India, exploring the intricacies of Veena, globe-trotting, or experimenting with culinary delights.

The World of AI Unveiled

Within the OpenShift AI domain, I helm a dedicated DevOps team comprising ten adept individuals, spearheading the continuous integration (CI) pipeline procedure. This role offers me insights into the manifold components of OpenShift AI, affording a holistic understanding of the product and its trajectory.

The core function of the OpenShift AI team is to furnish a hybrid application platform and a self-managed solution, facilitating customers in constructing and refining models across the AI life cycle. Essentially, we serve as the linchpin between MLOps and application development.

Our team’s daily routine encompasses a blend of solitary endeavors and collaborative ventures with other units, notably the development, quality engineering (QE), and documentation teams. We perpetually augment our knowledge base and skills through regular interactions. Since our product interfaces with OpenShift, although we operate as distinct entities, we harmonize with the OpenShift team’s release schedules.

Pioneering the CI Framework

Since my entry into Red Hat, I have curated experience in constructing the CI mechanism from its embryonic stage, streamlining the repetitive testing process for our latest software iterations and amalgamating code crafted by diverse developers.

At the outset of OpenShift AI, we embarked on developing, executing, and automating the test automation procedure and continuous integration from scratch to expedite product deliveries without compromising quality. This undertaking likely stands as the most formidable challenge I have encountered in my professional trajectory.

Managing dependencies and ensuring their uniformity across testing and production landscapes was notably intricate. Fortunately, I gravitate towards formidable tasks, and this specific initiative aligned with my specialization.

Initially the sole contributor to the CI endeavor, we subsequently onboarded additional Red Hat professionals to contribute to this mechanism. With the team’s expansion, I transitioned into a leadership role, a rewarding learning curve. By harnessing the zeal of fledgling team members, we nurtured an inspired, engaged, and inventive team ambiance. We strive to ensure that new team members feel esteemed and intrinsic to the team’s accomplishments, propelling our collective triumph.

From Protégé to Guide (and Conference Presenter)

My journey at Red Hat has been immensely enriched by several individuals and programs. Each of my managers has played a pivotal role in my professional advancement, offering mentorship and guidance to accomplish my aspirations, fostering a supportive and affirmative work milieu where I feel esteemed, esteemed, and driven to deliver my best. A healthy work-life equilibrium significantly contributes to this equation.

As a member of Red Hat’s Women’s Leadership Community (WLC) in India, I engage in networking endeavors with leaders and associates not solely within India but across the global spectrum.

The mentoring facet of the WLC has been particularly invaluable. After deliberation, I assumed roles as both a mentor and a mentee within the WLC. Collaborating with numerous esteemed leaders inspired me to reciprocate these practices. It was the guidance garnered from the WLC that prompted me to partake in technical communities and meetups, besides commencing conference presentations.

While initial trepidation accompanied the notion of speaking before an audience, I have since delivered speeches at local and international conferences. Acclimating to the limelight takes a brief adjustment period, yet it presents an opportunity to address audiences, forge connections, and widen my network.

Embarking on a Continuous Learning Odyssey

Within our team, each day unfolds a new learning opportunity, whether through team assemblies or certifications and self-directed training endeavors. Notably, I obtained the Red Hat Certified Specialist in Containers (EX188) last year, a foundational accreditation in the realm of OpenShift and Kubernetes, as I continue my trajectory in this domain.

Our team boasts a flexible structure, conducive to our learning crusade – we can transition into alternative roles or shadow other domains. Should I desire a deeper insight into specific features during a sprint, the opportunity is within reach. Moreover, interaction with individuals beyond our team is seamless. Senior management is receptive and approachable, facilitating engagements focused on product specifics.

In this realm, comprehensive mastery is a prolonged endeavor – newcomers embarking on the DevOps or AI voyage must commence with a robust foundational grounding. Over time, one can gravitate towards preferred topics or skills in AI, delving deeper into chosen domains. Given the perpetual evolution characterized by new challenges and prospects, remain adaptable and receptive to change, primed to pivot strategies and adopt novel technologies to address emergent user exigencies.

Eager to join forces with Arthy in the OpenShift AI team? Explore available opportunities here.

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