In our latest Q&A, we catch up with Radu Cioara, CCC’s Dev Ops tech lead in Cluj, Romania.
DD: Hello, Radu, very nice to (virtually) meet you! Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background? I see you are somewhat of a Linux expert — It’s been decades since I did anything in a Unix way, and I expect that whole operating system (OS) family is vastly different now. What do you like about Linux? What is it the most useful OS for?
RC: Hey, David! My professional background with Linux started when I was just beginning high school. I was very fortunate to have some smart friends who had a little side business of reinstalling Windows and Linux on people’s computers, and they brought me along and taught me the process. That ignited the spark. In University, I studied Electronics and Telecommunications. My first job was interning for Alcatel-Lucent, where I had to deploy and test custom telecommunications software on Linux machines.
My Unix/Linux experience broadened when I joined Atos, a huge, global IT services provider. There I got the chance to play around with AIX (a Unix flavor from IBM) and with a lot of Red Hat while working within a very competitive team. I was very fortunate to see a lot of data-center management on location in other countries, including in Germany and The Netherlands. The most recent chapter in my life with Linux is with CCC and, oh boy, is it a journey! I have the pleasure of working with the best teams in the company and also of learning the joys of working hands-on in a cloud implementation.
What does your role as Dev Ops Tech Lead entail? First, though, for those of our readers who may not know, what is Dev Ops?
RC: DevOps is, basically, a software development strategy which bridges the gap between the developers and the IT staff. It overcomes all the limitations of the traditional waterfall model. The DevOps process involves continuous integration and continuous deployment. To put this in simpler terms, DevOps is a, in origin, a hybrid between Development and Operations. But each shop has a different interpretation of this – in other words, some groups are more focused on the operations side and some on the coding or development side.
As a DevOps Tech Lead, in coordination with my manager and (of course) other stakeholders, I am responsible for what my team in Romania is doing on CCC’s infrastructure. I also train new team members in the Cluj office for the systems side of the house. I have the opportunity to work on new projects that may or may not end up in production — this involves some research and a lot of hands-on practice to get a feel for the new products that we are interested in.
What is your overall experience of working for CCC in Cluj?
RC: I’ve had a great experience working for CCC in Cluj. I am pretty proud to be the first employee that CCC hired directly when it was still Ixxus. The community is pretty tight – we often go out for drinks after work and swap stories — or at least we used to before the pandemic. We still manage to do those things virtually over Zoom.
CCC is now a global company, with offices in several regions around the world. What do you find works best for you towards keeping in sync with your colleagues in other — sometimes quite distant — offices?
RC: I find regular meetings and updates keep us in sync no matter the distance or time zone. Also, having a clear goal motivates and focuses teams together to achieve what is needed. Having a joyful attitude helps too — trying to make others’ day a good one usually boosts morale, especially in these times. Pro Tip: Knowing a few words in each office’s language unites the teams in my opinion.
If you had one thing to share with a prospective employee, to encourage them to come work with CCC at the Cluj Office — or anywhere — what would that be?
RC: “Come work with us; we have cookies!” More seriously, the company is very respectful toward its employees, each office has a great environment, and there is always something cool to work on so boredom is out of the question.