Every community is only as good as the people that make it up, so we’re starting a series of interviews in which we will put a spotlight on the people whose posts and comments have been appreciated by the Hashnode community.
One of the recently helpful Hashnoders is Ramiro Berrelleza, the CEO and co-founder of Okteto. Read on to learn about Ramiro, his favourite technologies, advice he has for new developers and founders, and why he enjoys helping other developers on Hashnode.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. When and how did you start coding? What are you working on right now?
Ramiro: Hi everyone, I'm Ramiro 👋! I'm originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, but I've been living in San Francisco for the last 6 years. I'm currently the CEO and co-founder of Okteto.
I fell in love with coding because of the internet. I was about 16 years old when I first got access to the web at my high school. It was mind-blowing! I was completely obsessed with understanding how it all worked. That led me to learn all about HTML and CSS, then to do a CS degree, and finally to a job offer from Microsoft. I decided to move to the USA "for one year", just to see what life was like here. And here I am, 10 years later, now in San Francisco, working at my own startup. It's been a fun wild ride.
Q: What inspired you to create Okteto?
Ramiro: I have a passion for building developer tools. I really love the idea that I can build stuff that will empower others to make their vision a reality. It's what I've done for my entire career at Microsoft, Elastic Box, Atlassian and now Okteto.
Kubernetes, for those that don't know it, is a container orchestration platform originally created by Google. It's a very complex platform, but it's also incredibly powerful. We saw a lot of companies struggle with using it. So my co-founders and I decided to create Okteto to make it easier for software teams to not only adopt Kubernetes but to really benefit from it.
Q: Which technologies have you used over the course of your career and how did you pick them?
Ramiro: I do a lot of side projects in my spare time, so I pick a lot of technologies that way. I have also learned a lot of things through my different jobs. As far of programming languages, my favorites are .NET, Python and Golang. When it comes to cloud platforms, I've worked a lot with Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. But lately, I've been focusing a lot more on Docker and Kubernetes, given the type of work we've been doing at Okteto.
Q: What advice do you have for teams looking to improve their Kubernetes and Docker development workflows?
Ramiro: I'd recommend people to use Okteto to develop your applications, but I might be biased 😉.
Kidding aside, I'd recommend teams to invest time into really understanding how Docker and Kubernetes work. Also, I'm a big believer in automating as much as you can is super useful. This helps you, which is great, but it also helps your entire team. Automate your dependency management, your build process, your deploys, and anything that you do more than once per day.
Q: What are your most and least favourite parts of being a founder?
Ramiro: That's an easy one: my favorite part about being a founder is that we get to work on something we feel really passionate about and that we get to do it with an incredible team. It's kind of a cliché, but it's true. It's all about the team.
My least favorite part is probably that I don't get to code as much as I did before. But with all the other exciting things that come with building a company, I don't really miss it that much.
Q: What do you do in your free time? How do you make sure to keep work-life balance as a founder?
Ramiro: I love to hike. I really enjoy the serenity that comes from just walking in the middle of the forest. I also enjoy reading, cooking, traveling and exploring the city. I'm really fortunate to live in a city like San Francisco, there's always something new and exciting to check out!
Work-life balance is fundamental. You can't do your best job if you don't take care of yourself.
Q: Why did you join Hashnode and what do you like about it?
Ramiro: I was pretty late to the party. I found about Hashnode this year through Twitter. I think it was a tweet about Mitchell Hashimoto's AMA.
I really liked the look and feel of the site and the quality of the information on it. But what really drew me in was the community. Everyone is so positive, helpful and encouraging. It's just amazing. I hope I can do my part to keep it that way.
Q: You're one of the most helpful Hashnoders this week. What motivated you to contribute to the community?
Ramiro: I really liked the vibe I got from the community. It's great that there's a mix of high technical content, but there's also people asking about the human part of tech.
I've never seen a tech community before where someone took the risk to talk about how they were feeling. It was really cool to be able to reply something like "I've also felt like I don't know anything lots of times. Don't worry, it's normal". That kind of got me hooked on Hashnode.
Q: If you were to start coding today, where would you start?
I do recommend people to start with web applications. They are the ones with the most reach, and the easiest ones to get started with.
Q: What advice would you give to a person that’s just starting out as a founder?
Ramiro: Don't be shy about asking for help. The tech founder community is incredibly generous. We all know how hard it can be to start something new, so most of all are always willing to help each other. I'm always amazed by how much other founders are willing to help out. All you need to do is ask.
Ramiro, big thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and contributing to Hashnode!
We hope you like the interview. Follow the Dev Spotlight series, meet and follow Ramiro and other helpful Hashnoders on this page, and please share any thoughts or questions you may have for Ramiro in the comments below.