Ever wondered what it’s like working for a cutting edge software startup? As exciting as it can be (sometimes) frustrating, above all it is dynamic and diverse. In this week’s Startup life Q&A series, we mercilessly grill George Paraskevas, Systems Engineer at Stackmasters. Much like Brian Fantana from the Channel 4 news team, the word on the street is that he’s the stylish, handsome one of our fastest-growing businesses. Let’s find out the truth.
Q1: So George, how would you briefly describe working at a startup like Stackmasters?
I think for me it’s all about being innovative. At Stackmasters we try hard every day to do things differently without reinventing the wheel.
Q2: So Stackmasters. Tell us about it. Give us your elevator pitch.
Stackmasters is a company deeply focused on cloud technologies, not because of the cloud hype, but because we see value in it. What’s more, we want to pass on that value, with interest, to end customers. Cloud is still a bit like a small child that’s growing up fast and we want to play a leading role in that growth.
Q3: Nice. So what are the things that motivate you most, and the most difficult challenges you face in your role?
The most difficult thing for us, is that we try hard to introduce the words “stable” and “production ready” in cutting edge technologies like OpenStack and Docker containers. We try to automate as much as possible in order to have time to evaluate other new technologies and architectures.
Q4: Interesting stuff. Now we have the niceties out of the way, tell us the truth. How many times do you use the phrase “Have you tried turning it off and on again,” on a daily basis?
Haha, a classic one. However, this is a legacy approach for solving things the magic way. We don’t do that at Stackmasters. We monitor our infrastructure so that we always know what causes our headaches, and we know straight away how to fix things when they are broken.
Q5: What do you enjoy doing the most, both work-wise and in your personal life (apart from mastering stacks obviously – Ed)?
Contributing back to communities, so that they can keep on creating open source software.
Q6: Right, let’s move on to the more important aspects of your daily routine. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office?
Check Monitoring systems(even before a coffee? Now that’s what I call dedication – Ed)
Q7: And the last thing you do before you leave?
Check Monitoring systems (so, no skipping as you approach the door like me eh? – Ed)
Q8: Which tools do you use daily and do you have any secret tips and tricks, which help your productivity?
Firefox, terminator, tmux, gedit (I have no idea what those last two are but damn I wish I could use the Terminator sometimes in my line of work. He’d come in handy).
Q9: Stackmasters is all about next-generation Managed Cloud services. What does that mean to those of us who are just basic understanding of IT on the cloud?
We can build and manage your cloud of choice (public or private) for you.
Q10: What productivity and/or work-life balance tips and hacks do you have to share with us?
Sleep well, never do overtime unless its absolutely mandatory, and love what you do. Oh yes, and apply yourself as much as possible.
Q11: OK, time for a few quick fire questions. What’s the last message you sent on Slack (we want the truth – Ed)?
To our CTO: “We need to release some of our tools on github” (is that like releasing the hounds? – Ed)
Q12: What’s your favorite “go-to” reaction meme or gif?
Q13: Is it true your nickname is “Gorgeous George”?
Νο. (yes well that might have been a rumor I was spreading around – Ed)
Q14: When was the last time you did something for the first time?
This Q&A (good to hear that. And the pleasure is ours – Ed)
Q15: What does a successful day at the office, as it were, mean to you?
Finish one new project and solve a long time existing problem.
Q16: Last but not least, if you could start your own business/startup, what would it be?
Distributed bench marking tool based on IoT or mobile devices.
Thanks George. I’ll let you get back to dev-ing in prod.