The year 2020 was scary enough without the fear of having to find a job after a big career break. Having a break of over a year after just 2 years of experience especially given how badly the job market was suffering because of the pandemic was not an easy situation. There are great programs for women coming back to work after a big break but unfortunately for me, I didn’t qualify for them - neither my experience nor my break was long enough. It also didn’t help that because of the pandemic aspects of my personal life were out of my control - I was supposed to move to another country soon. I didn’t know the timeline for the move myself - international travel has been both risky and unpredictable because of, you know now - the pandemic.
It was during this time that I heard from a friend that InfraCloud was hiring.
The added advantage - it is a remote first company and it didn’t matter that I would have to move sometime this year. I applied right away eager for a chance at a new opportunity.
The selection process was smooth. There was an assignment - a simple one. The goal was to make sure that the candidate can pick up a new technology with just the help of the documentation and minimal help - self-sufficient in learning the basics.
This was followed by an interview with the CTO, Vishal. As nervous as I was for the interview, I realized later that I need not have been; for the first time in an interview, I didn’t feel like I was being interrogated. Two weeks later an offer was made and I accepted - I would join InfraCloud as an Associate Site Reliability Engineer in Jan 2021.
The People Operations team was very welcoming as they walked us through the joining formalities and explained how things worked. Being the pilot training batch, the start of the training was a little slow but in 4 days we were in training to become an Infranaut.
One of the biggest fears I had while on my break and while searching for a job was that what I knew was outdated and old. I had just dipped my toe in the ocean that was DevOps and was not very confident being thrown headfirst into the waters. At InfraCloud though, I was being taught to swim, and once I had learned how to swim I would be given a life jacket before I was pushed into the deep end. There is a three-month training where we learned and practiced everything from the fundamentals like shell scripting to Kubernetes. The training is the best one could ask for! The team is even better, they are very accommodating and ready to help out - there is no question that is too easy or simple!
Work-life balance and colleagues
I need not have worried about how I would manage both a baby and a full-time job. The work life balance at InfraCloud is just amazing, the hours are flexible, the team is understanding and most important of all - the leaders are very considerate. I could not ask for a better place to restart my career.
Remote first and how we tackle it
The remote working model makes it possible to work with talent all over the country, something that we all have greatly benefited from but it comes with disadvantages of its own - in person interaction and help is hard to come by but we try to make the best of the situation with asynchronous communication. There are tea/coffee break sessions and Fun Friday sessions where the company comes together to try to fill the gap of not being able to meet in person. I have personally benefited from these sessions, it was my only way for me to make friends within the company. We make do with what we can as we wait for the pandemic to ride it’s course and finally meet one another in person.
Every month, awards are given out to Infranauts to recognize their effort. Every year Vishal and Girish send out gifts to all the Infranauts to thank them for their contribution throughout the financial year.. This year’s gifts have topped anything we could imagine though. Head out to LinkedIn to check out what the infranauts are posting about their appreciation hamper.
The past nine months at InfraCloud have been great. I love the culture here. I have learned something new every day in the last nine months. Everyone is ready to help when you need it. The leaders put great trust in their employees. The willingness to experiment with new working models, letting employees take the lead, not being afraid to try new things and learn from them is what makes InfraCloud a great place to be and is a great place to restart a career in DevOps!
It is only onwards and upwards from here!