Hackernoon logoThe Journey Of The CTO (Podcast Transcript) by@amymtom

The Journey Of The CTO (Podcast Transcript)

Amy Tom talks to Ravi Mayuram, CTO of Couchbase, about the CTO mindset, career journey to CTO, and skill trends in tech. Ravi says his role involves setting the right technology goals and seeing them through to completion. Amy and Ravi talk about education, trends in data, building trust, and more. Ravi and Amy talk about biases in AI, the maturity of the industry, and the need for explainability in the tech industry. The trend towards Artificial Intelligence and data shifts the data processing industry. How do you mitigate the feelings of impostor syndrome?
Amy Tom Hacker Noon profile picture

Amy Tom

Your Hacker Noon Editor & Pod Host. I'm also a businesswoman, diversity advocate, and true crime lover ✌️

Listen to the Hacker Noon Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsStitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

What's it like to be a CTO? 😱 Amy Tom talks to Ravi Mayuram, CTO of Couchbase, about the CTO mindset, Ravi's career journey to CTO, and skill trends in tech. Amy and Ravi talk about education, trends in data, building trust, and more.

In this episode of The Hacker Noon Podcast:

  • What does a CTO do? What's the day-to-day like? Ravi says his role involves setting the right technology goals and seeing them through to completion 👊🏻 (01:50)
  • Ravi explains that he got his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, but his career grew with the digital journey of technical innovations 📈 (04:50)
  • Is a degree or MBA required to pursue a tech career or to pursue a management role? Ravi says, no but it does give you the theoretical knowledge you can't get from learning to code online (06:15)
  • Amy asks Ravi about when he decided to get into management. He says he grew out of the phase where it was easier to talk to machines than humans 🤖 (09:00)
  • Ravi hasn't always wanted to be a CTO - at one point, he dreamed of being some kind of machine operator/freight train driver. And then he found the even more beautiful digital world (14:44)
  • The trend towards Artificial Intelligence and data shifts the data processing industry. Ravi and Amy talk about biases in AI, the maturity of the industry, and the need for explainability 🧠(19:30)
  • To build trust and confidence with your coworkers, you should work on your domain expertise. Ravi says when you can have an honest debate about your business problems and you have the expertise to solve the problem, you have a healthy and creative environment with autonomy (23:43)
  • Did Ravi have any qualms with employees working from home as we transitioned into that era of the pandemic? 🏠 (27:30)
  • Ravi says, "don't expect somebody else to sit you down and teach you". Learn from a community, online, meetups, schools, etc. (29:23)
  • How do you mitigate the feelings of impostor syndrome? 😳 (32:34)

Connect with Ravi Mayuram:


Podcast Transcript (Machine Generated)

Amy: [00:00:00] So . I have another question fashion to make. I think it has something to do with imposter syndrome of things, but sometimes I feel like I work on something and then I think why would anyone ever follow me on this? Why would anyone ever Elizabeth doulas? This is crazy. I don't know what I'm talking about.

People who don't want to listen to me or hear me or. Get on the projects that I'm working on. And I think it’s a common thing people struggle with, especially in the tech industry and being a young person up and coming in the industry. But anyways, that’s all to say, this is the Hacker Noon Podcast and my name is Amy Tom. Today I am going to get into all that with Ravi who is the CTO of Couchbase. So Ravi, I'm so excited to have you on today. Thank you so much for joining. How are you 

Ravi: [00:00:52] where to go? Thanks for having me, 

Amy: [00:00:54] can you tell me a bit about your role at Couchbase?

Ravi: [00:00:57] Yeah, I'm the CTO and SVP of engineering here at Couchbase. It's been a little over almost eight years now, since I've been in this role here in this company primarily guiding setting the technology vision and developing the product. And when you develop a, you also want to hear from the customers in terms of what they want, as well as how they use it.

So interacting with customers, knowing their future. Plans and the trends and the technologies that they intend to use and how they intend to use Couchbase as a product. So it's been an exciting journey talking to some of the top technology thinkers in the industry, in the asphalt as an academia and building a database is not something that happens very how do you see often?

So it's a privilege to be able to develop something new and that's the excitement here. 

Amy: [00:01:43] Cool. So I want to talk to you about your career and how you actually became a CTO, but first, can you tell me, what does it really mean to be a CTO? What are you doing in your day to day? 

Ravi: [00:01:58] What do you even do? I think it's it's a CTO is a sort of a management position it's in different parts, in different stages of evolution of a small company in the earlier stages of a company, a CTO could actually be a quarter the first, the first time innovator of.

A product or an idea, or the prototyping of an idea. And as as it grows it's a management sort of a position merrier to lead point of extremely smart, smarter than you, for sure. That engineers and how you keep them engaged. That becomes a challenge. How do you set that kind of vision, which engineers, as are a very smart bunch unless they believe that is substance to your vision.

They wouldn't typically take that on and as ideas are a dime, a dozen. It's in the execution that the magic lies. And so the engineer is feeling the innovation involved and building that as where the real magic is. So it's in the two sides of the equation. One is setting the right sort of technology goals for the people.

And the second is seeing it through to completion as in, from the idea stage to actually bits on bisque as I call it until you have a piece of software that actually works and delivers value the customer. It's not either that useful or that exciting. So it's in that journey that you, as a CTO your role is to understand that requirement.

Because many times customers will tell you I need a faster horse. It's your job to go. Tell them actually what you need is the car. And that's what we're building. And this happens at various levels in various ways. Engineers do the same thing because when you give them a requirement, they reimagine to say, what is it that requires building?

So it's in this translation that you play a good role in terms of how to shape and direct the product. And then the rest is all in the sort of mechanics of day-to-day is ensuring that the teams function and the teams, Delaware, the product that you. That you think the market requires.

And so there comes the second part of it, talking to the customers and the market and industry seeing where things are and making it dispense towards that. So that's a long-winded way of saying your job is to deliver a product from conception to reality and in the process Deal with the, all the creative and gnarly engineers and keep them happy and, happy cows make Richie.

So you gotta keep them happy to put a fantastic 

Amy: [00:04:16] party. You have just given me like six different, beautiful analogies in that one minute speech. And I loved all of it. I've never been a CTO or a C-level manager. But in my mind, vision I imagine that it's very like strategic. You have to be high level a lot because you can't be nitty gritty into the coding and developing, of course you need to have a good eye for the overall picture.

And so I want to understand how you got to that point where you. Are able to have that view, that holistic overview and have that management experience. So let's start from the beginning. Where did you study college and what did you study? 

Ravi: [00:04:57] I did my master's level in pure mathematics. And this is back in India.

And so I did not have any formal sort of like computer science engineering, education. So to say in, in the classic sense of the word, but then if you're generally analytical and curious, it leads you in this sort of a space where we can actually express cause some of the.

The principles that we actually use in engineering, if you take her to the true science level that becomes math principles in the mathematics. So if you have that sort of a background, I think that helps with Ben, but then after that, it is, how do you say You can almost call it serendipitous to enter into the coding arena.

And that is simply a question of opportunities. Lots of, as in the last 20, 30 years, it's been this digital journey. That'd be have come a long way. Ever since William Shockley invented the transistor in the fifties, it's been a digital journey in one sense. And that's how you find the opportunities and there's ended somehow after a while.

It's it's a fish taking the water because coding is logic and, if you find fun in it then you start, yeah, you start coding, but a low level and simpler stuff, then it automatically evolves to position some weight and responsibility.

Amy: [00:06:14] Did you say degree in mathematics? Correct. And so let me ask you this. As someone who wants to enter the technology field, let's say. Is a degree required, do you think? 

Ravi: [00:06:27] No. Actually not, but it helps. What I did this way, it helps up two levels. One is when you're very young you tend to concentrate on the skills side of it, which is coding.

How quickly can you code out? How much can you code or you are you're in the skill side of it, not on the science side of it. And that comes from maturity. So to say it that's part of growing up in one sense. Now, if you had the opportunity to go to formal engineering and computer science schools, what they teach you a good part is the science of it.

Coding skills you pick up on the side, it's that one subject that you perhaps learned to say, Hey, coding in, Pick the language of your choice C or Java or Golang or any of these things. It's a tool that is used to put many of the scientific principles to action, and I'll go to them design or designing an operating system or a distributed system.

And all these things are the signs that you actually learn. Is it really required? No, but if you have a formal education, does it help? Yes. And so nobody should feel like it's not some it's not a field away, which it's a prerequisite to have some, it's not like a, how do you say being a doctor?

Amy: [00:07:35] Yeah. Okay. I think it's interesting that you say that because I think when you, a lot of times, when people ask that question, do you need a degree to get into technology? You either people either say yes or no. Yeah. The degree is helpful or whatever, but yeah. In terms of people saying yes, I think a lot of people have said yes because of the paper, but I think it's interesting to hear what you're saying, which is yes, because you actually learn the skills.

I think that's really interesting. Now what about an MBA? So as a CTO, do you think you don't have an MBA? You have a degree, right? Is an MBA required to become a C-level manager? 

Ravi: [00:08:10] I don't think so. This is the the proof point is perhaps it's not any it's. How do you say in what our small way is, are people like me?

There are many people who are in this sort of a role in heavily technology focused role. An MBA is not a prerequisite. If you have that it's good because you'll understand the business side of the equation, but that just helps quantify that you understand that side, but if you put in your hours and you have been most important thing is having the relevant experience, education Helps you to get the relevant experience, but not the other way around if you have the experience that is the real education in one sense. And nothing to take away from getting degrees and MBAs and a master's level or PhDs and stuff like that. But it's not the be all end all.

It's not the be all end all. It's not necessary, but definitely it is not sufficient. 

Amy: [00:09:00] Okay, so let's move further down into your career. At what point did you decide that you wanted to start climbing the proverbial management ladder of tech? 

Ravi: [00:09:10] It's a very interesting question because at least from my perspective, it was it was a natural consequence of something that you do and Not so much.

And especially in technology,  climbing the ladder makes sense if you're in one company and you're making progress and through that, so to say in this in, in the Silicon valley oriented mindset typically, or you're going to places of innovation, you're you spend six years here or seven years there, or whatever the span is and stuff like that.

So as a part of doing that, it evolves. You have you have all of the product, you get to be the person who's doing the next thing, as opposed to I climbed the ladder. And then, so I got to do more stuff. Does that make sense? So it's not a direct way out. I put it this way. Keep building interesting stuff automatically more responsibilities come your way.

And then that naturally leads to the 

Amy: [00:10:02] effect of that. I would argue that as a person in tech, I can either go into the management route, which is what you've done, or, you can, you don't have to be in the management area. You can go further into becoming like a master developer or whatever.

So what was it about the like, Leading and like the management that appealed to you. 

Ravi: [00:10:24] I think it's about your personality, as in there was a stage in my career, but I would say it's in in one sense it's almost easier to talk to machines than to humans. So that is that phase.

And some people, if I were to say, continue on that phase and they pay, become the master craftsman, they are the architects and the senior architects that's. Yeah. Once I chief architects and chief scientists and of that nature, because they are. Deep thinkers of a certain area or they're systemic thinkers in a given sort of a domain.

If you will, versus the other path they can take in engineering. If this, these forks come when you're, six, eight years into the industry 10 years or so, very decide at some point opportunities lead you in one direction or the other, which is to say, lead a team, or get deeper into a certain component or a certain part of the product.

So I would say in my case it was that, naturally tended towards leading more teams and one aspect of it as your natural ability to relate to people and help them. By example, whenever you can get to there next phase of wherever they see the growth will be.

If you are a part of that, then automatically it leads you in the manager managerial direction. And that's how I moved on to the management side versus continuing on the technical engineering sort of a path. And a second side of the equation, I think is that the guys who ended up being architects and chief architects are way more smarter than me.

So I think I should leave it to the really smart people. 

Amy: [00:11:56] Yeah, I would think smart is subjective. I think Matt managerial smarts absolutely necessary. And the same flip side of the coin is that those architects are going to say I would never be able to do the CTO's job. 

Ravi: [00:12:08] That is, there is some truth to that, but I think generally I have greater admiration in one sense for the pure science or the purity of what they actually build so that I have a lot of respect.

So yes, many companies do have this ability for engineers to go on the managerial track or the technical track as we call them. And have the ability to grow to your full potential. And that's one thing I ensure here that it happens in, along the way there are those places when people are in this crossroads and one of our jobs is to help them make the right decision and 

Amy: [00:12:40] guide them along.

Yeah. So you're talking about helping developers make the decisions in their careers as you were coming up in your career. Did you have anyone who was guiding you or a mentor? 

Ravi: [00:12:52] Not specifically. But as you can take inspiration from a lot of people around me. And I think that's perhaps what, as opposed to one specific person actually doing that there were many may put it that way.

I was lucky to work with some very smart people and I had the the good fortune of learning from them by sheer osmosis and observation, 

Amy: [00:13:12] so when you started it at Couchbase, was that the first time that you were a CTO? Yeah. This 

Ravi: [00:13:19] is the first time at Couchbase that I'm the 

Amy: [00:13:21] CTO.

And when you entered into Couchbase you were the CTO? 

Ravi: [00:13:26] No, I was not, I was a VP of engineering and then I go to Sarah yeah. 

Amy: [00:13:31] Okay. And so you've been at Couchbase for eight years, right? What was the process like of growing within Couchbase. And becoming a CTO from within. I 

Ravi: [00:13:42] think this is may not be very satisfactory, an answer because it's not like a career growth ish kind of stuff.

It's it was a small company and the opportunity just as part of the growing of the company, the opportunity happened. And in, in, in bigger other companies that are formal processes that you would normally go through to go there, which involves. A DFP or is evaluating and some of the process that's existed in industry.

It's not something that I would say that directly applied in my case. 

Amy: [00:14:10] Yeah. Yeah. Did you always know that you wanted to be a CTO? 

Ravi: [00:14:14] No, there all these things, at a certain level they, they look appealing and, but I would say at a certain level it's not about the title.

It's about the job that you do, titles are there to communicate. What type of job you're doing. If you just see it that way it's better for yourself as opposed to hanging too much value on titles, they happen if you're in the right place right time, and they do the right job, they just come, but concentrate on the value we bring to the people around you and to yourself.

And that takes care of the rest. Yeah. 

Amy: [00:14:45] Okay. Let me ask you this as a child. What was your dream job? 

Ravi: [00:14:49] It was such a long time ago. I honestly I have to say that to be something like a No, it act to be somewhat mechanical at a certain level. I want to say one of those what do you call it?

Fireman, more like the person who was driving the fire truck or like a a freight train driver kind of stuff. Something which, which was doing some. Magically mechanical staff, which was impressive to see as a child, right? No a CTO or any of this corporate ladder kind of stuff. As a kid. I wouldn't say that it was anything that I had actually dreamed off, but as you grow, you realize that the physical mechanical side is one that equally more beautiful or even more beautiful things happening in the digital world.

And, There's a lot to be done. And so that's the that's the fun on this side of the house? Yes. 

Amy: [00:15:37] I think that's a nicer answer than mine. I think when I was younger, I wanted to first I wanted to be a Marine biologist. Then as I grew a little older, I watched a movie and I decided I wanted to be a con artist.

So I was like, that's not a nice career path or a seven year old to go for. 

Ravi: [00:15:52] It can be a magician, right? Yes, 

Amy: [00:15:57] I'm a magician quote, unquote, Patricia. No, that's okay. I went into sales and it was pretty much the same thing. Okay. So how did you get then into the like cloud computing database industry?

Ravi: [00:16:08] This cloud computing is something that we have all come to know. I had been in the cloud computing business long before it was called cloud. Back when I did some on the first initial work on this, it was called application service providers. That's what it was. It was applications delivered as a service.

That was the transition. This is at the turn of the century. So to say, so it's that far back, 

Amy: [00:16:31] when do you think that was? 

Ravi: [00:16:33] That's like 2000, 2001 timeframe. Okay. Yeah. Those were the first initial good old days of. That data centers where that intensity and internet people still had dial up modems.

And that was still not going to AOL was a thing. The current generation wouldn't even know what I'm talking about and, cell phones were. Those can be phones in which he couldn't perhaps even text properly. There was no smartphones yet at the time. But right, even then cloud was there.

Cloud was beginning to take shape. So it was a natural evolution of computing to go from Monolithic applications and software bundle software do shrink wrap software to software as a service. And that's what became cloud, which has multiple now multiple abstractions exist within that.

So that's, so it was it was to put a software as a service that where, my introduction to cloud computing happened and databases has been a field for awhile since the seventies databases have been I've played roles in multiple areas, operating systems, as one of the first things that I developed was operating systems.

I've done mobile computing done middleware databases. So they're all like what I would generally call a system software there. And then we have of course done application as a service. So that's a span of. Relevant experience as my career group. And so it's a natural evolution of where the industry trend was going to more and more cloud computing and that's that's how I bought into it.

Amy: [00:18:03] Okay. So if you were to start over, would you go into the same industry or do you recognize another tech trend that you'd be interested in going into. 

Ravi: [00:18:15] I wouldn't start differently, but the landscape also keeps changing because there are certain things that they built in the past, which are now assumed to be available.

And then you build on top of it. So from that perspective, I would always want to be closer to data. Because at the end of the day, anything digital is data. And but what we are doing here is to re reconstruct that the database for the modern world, what we have in the database as an industry we have come a long way, but there are a lot of stuff that we still use is it's like using landlines with dial tones.

Nowadays you're on the mobile side of the spectrum where there's no dial tone. So it's that paradigm shift that just to give you an example, that's what happened in the telecom world at something similar, we need to make happen on the database side of the world.

And that's what the set time that we are doing at Couchbase is to build a modern sort of a database. And so I would do the to answer your question. Yes. I would still want to be close to data and databases, but. There are a couple of things which are fundamentally changed. And so as we move forward here, as well as in terms of what I would like if I had a second chance to do differently, more than stuff like that would be in the space, generally, this is a very often abused sort of a phrase and area is, which is.

Broadly speaking, artificial intelligence, because the data that we talk about now, everybody knows there's a lot more data than ever before. Everyday we are generating more than what we generated the entire up to the entire point of 20th century and stuff like that, that, that sort of narrative exists.

But what does that mean is basically that now more and more data is being generated by machines than humans. So in, in this world, when there is a lot more data being generated by everything around you, your cars, your IOT, anything that you enable, they're all spilling a lot of data. How are you going to make sense out of it?

How are you going to find the signal in it from the noise? So to say, and how are you going to get actionable insights? That's what it finally comes to time to insight. So the all techniques that we had used earlier, no longer work, because the scale as they defined the problem. And so you have to now use newer sort of models.

And this is where. They either machine learning and other neural models that are in place, which help you make sense of this data and synthesize that to a point where they can take it, that's what provides you the insights. So I would still want to be in this space to start with  and we are evolving here also, but more effort in the sort of the AI areas as what's yeah.

That's coming for the future. Yeah. 

Amy: [00:20:53] I agree with you. I think Machine learning, the more you get into it, the crazier it is. And the more mind-blowing it is. And yeah, it's yeah. And I, what my interest is in with the data portion and AI and machine learning is how we can train the AI and the machines to to process the data in a way that is neutral or like without biases.

You know what I mean? Because there's a lot of biases when it comes to AI right now, because the data is still being fed by humans. And if you have a data set that is. It filled with biases such as racial biases, which is a really big issue in AI. I think it's, it'll be interesting to see how that develops and how we can solve that and fix the problems that are around that.

That's where I, my interest in data and analysts and I, yeah. 

Ravi: [00:21:40] Lot of opportunity there. It's got to mature considerably from where we are and that's where a lot of innovation would be. And the more important, more basal stuff that has to happen in this AI world is what experts call us explainability.

You need to be able to explain why the AI produced the result that you finally accepted at a certain level. So explain 

Amy: [00:22:05] isn't it scary when you. When there's no explanation ah, the computers are gonna take them around the world or something. 

Ravi: [00:22:12] I think that's the first thing because out of that will come, which is the next aspect that many people think they can work on is which is trust.


Amy: [00:22:20] And accountability of AI too, I think. So 

Ravi: [00:22:22] just build a trustable system which is what you have now, because humans are involved in many of this process. So you are explainable and Because of that comes to trust in the systems that we have built. And in the next generation of system that we have to build, we have to build trust in them that this actually is giving us the to, to Maddie, to the point you were saying is that it is actually giving me an unbiased answer, in one sense. And so at least learn what the biases are and then again, fix them and stuff like that. But so yeah, those are the areas which are. That are the infrastructural or systemic stuff that we have these other things to fix that. And then, so then the application side of it also in terms of learning models and what you do over there.

Amy: [00:23:03] Yeah. Let's talk about trust for a minute because I think that this goes back to. Management experience. It goes back to my feelings of imposter syndrome. And the more that you trust someone, the more likely you are going to follow them. So I would assume that trust or building trust is an essential skill for a tech management to have what are some other areas that like maybe soft skills that managers need to have in to be at a tech in tech management.

Ravi: [00:23:33] I think it starts with first having a domain experience that, now I'm going to use the user computer programmer reward. I'm going to overload the term trust. The trust context in which I talked about. AI is different in this past year. Talking is the human to human interaction trust.

And when you're leading a Software developers, the way you develop trust with them is being able to have honest debate about the problems that we are going to solve. And in that you bring in your experience, it's almost like you don't tell them what to do. You tell them the seven ways or not to come up with your own new way.

These are the seven other ways we have tried before and what the challenges were or what plums dot Saul and what did not that I think then you have a very sort of healthy and creative sort of an environment. 

Amy: [00:24:25] So am I hearing you say, giving your employees autonomy? 

Ravi: [00:24:29] Yes, that's that's inherent part of this and that autonomy also comes from trust is the other side of the trust, right?

That comes from experience of working together. Autonomy is almost like in sports wall. It's like the no look pass, the person will be there so they can pass, the autonomies of that nature, the person. We'll take care of it in the manner, which is right and you trust their judgment.

So the autonomy is the other side of the trust. You first develop the trust and then the autonomy comes out of that. And absolutely required that autonomy is a very critical part of creative thinking and innovation, because if they always have to look over their shoulder, To see if whatever they're doing a spite, then I think they do these hampered.

So they it's Peter Drucker used to call it. They're the knowledge workers. They are not your source. Supervise them or have you give them the creative freedom. It's an art. It's not like some sort of a science. So to say, it's not, you cannot time chunk them punch in, punch out.

Doesn't work. So it's in that. You have to have in one sense, grown in that yourself, as in you should be treated, you should have been treated that way to say that. Okay, Ravi here is the goal? Go achieve it. And have periodic sort of checkpoints to see, are you going there kind of stuff in between you are given all the space and the freedom when you observed that, that's exactly what you then provide to your team at a certain level.

So at that level your own experience comes to influence how you, you formulate teams and how you allow them to innovate.  

Amy: [00:25:58] are you familiar with Bernay brown? No. She's a researcher and she studies shame resilience. And she is really involved in training business leaders. So she's got this podcast and I have listened to it before.

And one of the pieces that she talks about is how, if you are constantly looking over someone's shoulder and trying to micromanage them and not giving them that trust. So they need they are not going to do the best work that they could possibly do because you're essentially shaming them into working.

And there was like, why aren't you doing more? And that is not an environment that can foster proper work flow and productivity. And so she's talking about how as a manager, you can't shame your employees into working is not a effective tactic. 

Ravi: [00:26:42] Yeah. And as software development is a creative art, if you will, and there you need to even more.

Oh, careful and sensitive because Some of these people have that an artist's temperament, if you will. And definitely the freedom is absolutely required. The flip side of that freedom comes accountability. Yeah. If you're because lot of these greater people are very highly accountable.

They take accountability very personally. And so once that alignment happens, then it's perfectly can give them all the freedom because, they're gonna think through way more than what. You can do as an individual because they have the time and the space and the the creative Liberty to think through problems that even you, as a manager haven't anticipated.

So in that lies the fun of working with such people and building some amazing products. 

Amy: [00:27:30] Yeah. Now, let me ask you this as a manager. Did you have any qualms with work from home and trusting your employees? 

Ravi: [00:27:40] No, not at all, but at the same time, I would say it's an earned thing. Now, the world has changed post COVID.

Are we gonna, but for all those sort of younger people, we're starting with one that freedom and stuff like that. They should take this as it's a privilege. It's not as a birthright. It's it's a privilege and it's earned that because the flip side of that remoteness is this, again, this trust that I don't need you to tell me every hour of whatever, what are you doing?

But when it comes to a milestone, checkpoint, you come well prepared. The job is done and yell, raise the issues. And so I'm not going to be hunky-dory, you don't have issues. You're going to have problems and that you raise those. Because you're remote, you have to put extra effort now to lays those and bring attention to that.

That's the flip side of that freedom that you get for being remote. And let's what they need to understand. And as part of growing up, people understand so I've never had a huge problem with people. But I do have a problem that if you don't hit the milestones, it's the results and output oriented as opposed to a status tracking.

And as we say, butts on seat that's that doesn't work. 

Amy: [00:28:51] Yep. So what is some advice that you have for maybe some college students or some new grads who are breaking into the industry? 

Ravi: [00:28:59] The fundamental thing to me is you should find your passion. And how do you find passion?

It's sometimes it's the inside unit comes. Sometimes you explore a few things and then you find your passion. So you have to and there's no wonder recipe. If somebody tells you this is the way. Please discard such people because there are infinite bats to this. So all you can do, all you should do is be curious.

Just keep asking questions, keep finding answers for yourself. Don't expect somebody else to sit you down and teach you. Because it's not their responsibility. This is yours. So if you stay curious and love these days with the way the web is, there is so much information that we use so much let's say today, you want to learn something about machine learning.

There are so many courses available online that you can take. And after a certain point, You should find like-minded people be places for meetups or your a user groups. And these are also available, advertised on the, on, on online. At the same time, there are colleges that you are affiliated to find like-minded people and hang out and talk, and that's how you develop the skill of learning.

Learning is not something that you do, to achieve a 4.0 that is that's also some, that's also learning, but you should be constantly in this learning mode so that you rejuvenate yourself. And if you are not curious, just stay curious at a certain level and you will find the answers in, in, at your own pace at your time.

You, you will enjoy the journey yourself, as opposed to somebody forcing a timetable on you and making you, everybody, all of us have our own pace of learning or the style of learning. And so learn more than then opportunities will come. You can get those situations where you are actually. Doing work for a company, even though you don't have big trees and stuff like that, automated fine even work for a couple of years and said, no.

Now I understand why I need to take those courses, which I saw that stocks while they all seem a lot of theory. Now I understand how the TD translates to practical application, how my, whatever I'm producing can be elegant. Like science is basically about that. Teaching you in aquatic fide manner.

The principles behind what you want to do, what you want to do. So yeah, you might find, you might go that way or you may actually go find the sort of courses and curriculum that you want to work on. So opportunities will come your way. If you stay curious and focus and nothing better than where you are these days, because those information come to you and your fingertips to your phone, to your nearest digital gadget.

Amy: [00:31:35] Do you have any specific recommendations of resources or self-training or networking? 

Ravi: [00:31:40] Not something very specific just for the reasons I mentioned earlier that don't get fixated on that specific, but yeah, definitely. There are online curriculums you should try that are user groups and meetups for the area that you are interested in.

You should go meet and talk to people. There could be in your own colleges, you could have projects that are going on the site in departments that you should talk to your teachers and lecturers to help you connect with people or community colleges and stuff like that.

You can do stuff on the site. I'm perhaps sitting and talking from location where all these things are very easily available to just Silicon valley, colleges and schools available around you. So those are the centers of gravity that you will find. A community just need to be in a part of the community so you can have conversations and they'll help you out.

Eventually. Also, all developers are very, I can tell you this much, they'll be, they'll go out of the way to help you. Once they find that you are seeking something 

Amy: [00:32:35] right. Okay. And my final thing is asking for a friend, of course, but do you feel imposter syndrome and a CTL? And how can I mitigate this feeling?

When I am thinking to myself, like no one is ever going to follow me. 

Ravi: [00:32:56] Yeah. At a certain level a how do I say you. You should never, in one sense, aim for followership as a, it should be a consequence of something. It should not be the thing that you are aspiring for.

You know what I mean? People don't follow you because you want. You've done something, even if you've done something which attacks people just for that purpose people follow you because you have something interesting to offer at a certain level. So you keep concentrating on interesting stuff that did offer.

Then, people will choose to follow you or not. From the sort of imposter  syndrome thing that a lot of times you are making decisions and calls and your hope. Bring that those are the right ones at a certain level. So I, in those moments you're taking calculated risks and bets and otherwise no progress will be made if you just take the, the easy, without doubt.

So in, in those moments you just have to be careful that you're you're not getting a healthier skis. So to say, are, you're not doing any. Snake oil and selling. It's got to be based on the right principles, but the results you're taking a leap of faith a little bit. So at that point, there are those moments of how do you say anxiety if you will central?

Yeah, exactly. But it's not from the standpoint of Did you do anybody into following you? That has never been the case? It wasn't like, followership just to be authentic. Yes. Just stay true to yourself. And the city is your only currency at the end of the day? 

Amy: [00:34:23] Yes. Amazing.

And is this something that I will grow out of as I progress through my career? 

Ravi: [00:34:30] That, oh the impostor syndrome, is that what you're saying? Absolutely. Just stay authentic for yourself. It's just,  It'll come and go, but it'll have less and less impact on who you are.

If you they're centered, then that's not a problem. 

Amy: [00:34:44] Okay. That makes sense, Ravi. Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it. If our listeners want to find you and Couchbase online, where can they look? 

Ravi: [00:34:53] They can find me on Twitter. They can find me on LinkedIn, just search for my name.

You'll find me there. And you can of course send a email, right? [email protected] all digital possibilities. 

Amy: [00:35:07] Perfect. Okay. I will put all of that in the show notes and thank you very much. 

Ravi: [00:35:12] Thank you. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. 

Amy: [00:35:14] This episode was produced by hacker noon and it was hosted by me, Amy, Tom, if you liked it, don't forget to subscribe to our hacker news channels.

And as always, you can find us at hacker noon on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. See you next time. Goodbye.

Amy Tom Hacker Noon profile picture
by Amy Tom @amymtom. Your Hacker Noon Editor & Pod Host. I'm also a businesswoman, diversity advocate, and true crime lover ✌️I Help Businesses Sell


Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.