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Sudarshan Balakrishna
Sudarshan Balakrishna

Sudarshan Balakrishna

Senior UNIX Administrator

Oracle India Pvt.

Brief description about me
Hi there! I am Sudarshan Balakrishna. I am 2004 batch pass out of Computer Science & Engineering Degree from University B.D.T College of Engineering, Davanagere, Karnataka.  I have 7 years of work experience in IT. I am now working as a Senior Systems Administrator with Oracle India Private Limited, Bangalore.  I am a Solaris (UNIX) and Linux geek with passion for automation of system administration tasks.I am a part of a Global team which is responsible for managing, supporting and improving Oracle’s development server infrastructure. Our server infrastructure is one of world’s largest with a footprint of almost 1,00,000 servers.My current role is of a senior member in the team. I work on supporting Server Infrastructure Operations and Projects. Though I do not manage any employees, I am expected to delegate tasks, mentor and lead other members to get the projects/tasks completed as per the requirements. I am also a member of the Interview panel in our team.I handle and lead many complex and significant projects which varies from an individual projects to a team projects. In this role I am expected and held accountable for the deliverables and often to exceed expectations. At the end of the day, I am happy that I am a part of an Organization which is world leader in IT and fortunate to work on next generation technologies like Big Data Appliance, Cloud Computing, Virtualization and so on.

Challenges in job
The real challenge about my job is expect the unexpected. Since we have a huge server foot print with various operating systems and hardware, there are more chances that we come across new and complex issues. We have to be constantly prepared for outages, escalations, resuming services as soon as possible to meet our SLAs and to provide 99.99% availability of the services. Such a role demands me to be highly technical and be really good at what I do. There are no exceptions to this and it means business. Apart from this I love working on automation projects that are intended to reduce the manual work and human errors in our operations. You just run the script/program that I developed and forget it. You get your job done without doing things manually or being cautious about doing any mistakes. This skill set is most sought out of a System Administrator. Such a vibrant and challenging work environment has shaped my thinking and nurtured innovation in me. Considering the dynamic nature of the IT industry, one has to be smart and a class apart from others in what they do to be successful. I am sure that I am at the right place at the right timeJ. I see my future full of opportunities and I am ready for what future brings to me.

Job made easy
I believe in “Do what you love and love what you do!.” I am always in love with the Operating Systems from my college days. That’s why I became a System Administrator and not a developer. This love and interest about my work has helped me to understand, learn and master the technology I work on. I am really happy about my choice and the knowledge I have gained from my domain expertise and it has made my job a lot easier.

Upcoming trends
The truth is that most of our IT folks don’t know or are not prepared to take advantage of next generation technologies. The next game changing trends are Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobility, Web 2.0, Data Analytics and lots more to come.

My point of view
What I am going to say is purely my personal opinion.
We Indians in India as an individual are really smart and successful in our career. But the truth is we immensely fail as a team. Indians abroad are able to start lot of software companies successfully as innovation and ideas are respected most than who you are and what is your cast/creed. There are so many reasons for not being able to have a great product in India. I would share some of them as I see in my daily professional life: a. Regionalism is a big problem in the IT that leads to unhealthy competition and thus kills the innovation even before it starts. Though diversity brings unity, it also brings lot of challenges which has be address to get the people on board to create a great product.b. People in the upper management are not open for suggestions and ideas from their reporting employees. They often think the idea/innovation from their subordinates could evade their success or overshadow them. There is a very small number of people who respect others ideas/innovation and encourage others to give the best out of them. c.Politics is a BIG hurdle in the IT. Unfortunately, this is a major problem in any IT company. Some people are really concerned about their personal interest than the organization goal and values.d. Most important fact is low confidence about our abilities as a team to deliver. This is a bottleneck for realizing the products. We have to trust our capabilities, take the team that builds the product into confidence. Lead those to right direction and you will have a great product.e.The biggest problem building a product is not technical. It is the challenge to bridge the gap of our differences and to work as a team towards the success. Be open for ideas and improvements. I am sure all of us are really smart and if we accept these ideas with open mind, there is no doubt we can’t have a great product.

My goals
I believe in present. I want to make my present a big success by giving the best I have and I am sure that the future will follow. Looking at where I am today, I want to be in a Managerial role handling a technical team of engineers. I want to take more responsibilities and lead others by examples. I am interested in a role which offers me lot learning and challenge my abilities.
family background
Yes definitely. My parents are from kerala and I was born and brought up in shimoga, karnataka. Credits of my success go to my parents who have given me a good education, values despite of their hardship in my childhood days. I live with my parents and am happily married and have a 2 years old baby boy.

Advice to professionals
System Administration means Problems! It is about how you look at the problem. If you look at the problem as a challenge, then you are on the right track or else please keep away. You do not want to live with problems your entire career. If you love to tackle challenges and interested in postmortem of issues, then you are going to have a bright future in System Administration domain.

Advice to students
This is the BEST Question which my soul still cries to answer for years. Hope I will do it one day. My advice to current students who are studying in the college where I got my degree:
Don’t become what other wants you to become. Follow your heart and choose your career or domain cleverly. Now all IT domains are well paid like development domain. If the Computer Networking that fascinates you, become a Network admin. If you are good at writing and not interested in development, become a Technical writer and so on. The IT world out there is very different from your Text books. There is no guarantee that a topper of a class will be a topper in the IT industry. Be positive, trust yourself, work smart and be open for learning. Always keep an eye on what is happening in the industry. Please listen to your heart and make a conscious decision. You don’t want to end up in a race which some has decided for you. Make your choice and be a winner at what you do. Most important, become a good human being rather than just a good product to the society.
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