OPNFV Intern Spotlight: Shubham Rathi

By February 16, 2017Blog

We kicked off our intern program a few months back and are pleased to welcome our first group of OPNFV interns! They work directly with the community and receive hands-on development experience in NFV. Each intern works closely with an active OPNFV developer as their mentor on a project that suited interest and community need. This blog series aims to showcase these interns and the projects they work on, the mentors who are helping with their professional development, and their experience working in an open source community to help  accelerate NFV.

About Shubham (in his own words):
I’m a senior year undergrad at IIIT Hyderabad, India. I’m working on the Ontology of the Indian Patent System, under Professors Navjyoti Singh and Snehal Awate of the Indian School of Business on predicting the premium value of stock in merger scenarios.

I’m hugely fascinated by Yanni and his music. I hope someday, whatever I’m into gives me the engagement, vigor and passion about life and work as his music does to him and so many others like me.    

How did you hear about OPNFV and what got you interested in this internship?
I heard about OPNFV from a friend who is also interning with the project. A major reason for me jumping into OPNFV is the long-term value this platform can create for the industry. It’s a huge opportunity to be a part of a project that, in near future, has the potential to change the methods of traditional networking domains.

Can you talk about your experience working on an open source project? Any previous experiences you can share or key learnings from working on OPNFV so far?
Prior to OPNFV, I had contributed to a few open source projects as part of my attempt at Google Summer of Code. However, this is my first mainstream and long- term work with open source.  

A key learning following the team mails and discussions lists, is the amazing ability of developers scattered in different parts of the world to meaningfully engage and leverage each other’s skillsets to build such a radical technology as OPNFV.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your internship?
The best thing I’ve learned is how to communicate unambiguously. When I initially started, I spent quite a bit of time ensuring that everyone was on the same page. Putting forth your ideas without having an iota of assumptions was a major skill to learn. There are so many points which we take for granted as understood. When communicating with teams from different parts of the world, each working on a different aspect of the project, it is necessary to be able to explain ideas such that there is no scope for ambiguity.

This isn’t just a project skill; it’s also a valuable interpersonal skill needed to work in a global, virtual environment. To be effective, it is important that the person is able to grasp the context of what you’re communicating and not just the  content.

Who is  your mentor and what’s the experience been like?
My primary mentor is Sofia Wallin. Trevor Bramwell and Christopher Price are my co-mentors. It’s been great working with them. Each of them are very understanding and have very graciously responded to all my questions and corrected my mistakes. My training literally started with Trevor telling me how to post commit messages. It’s wonderful to be learning about the community and the platform from everyone on the team. In addition, Sofia’s leaderships skills are inspiring; her diligence, patience and conduct makes me strive to do better on the project.


What’s your advice to other aspiring open source folks out there?
Just jump in. Pick up whatever you don’t know. There is never an “ideal” time.

What gets you jazzed to work with open source? (e.g., listening to music, drinking coffee, chatting in IRC, etc.)?
Definitely music.

What do you want to do next? What is your dream job?
After this internship, I’ll be focusing on finishing my research. I’m still figuring out what my dream job is. Anything done long enough starts becoming a drudgery. I’d like to keep my mind (and maybe my job) moving with opportunities and fascinations at different stages of my career. I’d be keen to find transdisciplinary opportunities pivoted around Software engineering roles but not limited to them.