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Culture / Kubernetes

A Day in the Life of a Rancher Engineer

As part of The New Stack Makers podcast series featuring developers and engineers sharing their down-in-the-trenches stories, Rancher Software Engineer Rajashree Mandaogane described, among other things, her general passion for programming while in high school.
Jan 30th, 2019 3:02pm by
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A Day in The Life of a Star Rancher Developer

What becomes very apparent when speaking with Rajashree Mandaogane, a software engineer for Rancher, is that she loves coding and software development. While whether developers find their work “fun” or not is important and how much the fun factor counts for success is a subject of debate, Mandaogane really does enjoy the work. She has also emerged as one of the key team members in Rancher’s development of its open source Kubernetes management and container orchestration platform. Evidence of Mandaogane’s passion for the job includes continually turning over different solutions for debugging or new features in her mind — even when she is at the gym or just opting to halfway work while watching a rerun of “Friends” at home.

As part of The New Stack Makers podcast series featuring developers and engineers sharing their down-in-the-trenches stories, Mandaogane also described, among other things, her general passion for programming while in high school. This evolved into an interest in Docker and containers and then Kubernetes while she was still an undergraduate at North Carolina State University.

Already, while still in high school in India, Mandaogane knew she wanted to be part of the IT and software industries, which booming around her while she was growing up. After deciding to become a software engineer and to learn C, Mandaogane said: “I really got engrossed in whatever I was doing and I said, ‘I like this and want to continue doing it.’”

Mandaogane was introduced to DevOps, and as mentioned above, to Docker and containers while pursuing her master’s degree at North Carolina State University. This, of course, provided a great background for playing a hands-on role in developing code for containerization, and more recently, Kubernetes applications at Rancher.

Mandaogane said projects she was working on during at the time the podcast was recorded consisted of responding to a feature request from a customer and fixing a bug. “So, most of my work usually consists of new features enhancements or bug fixes,” Mandaogane said. “We get this work from our open source users and from our customers alike,” Mandaogane said.

The features Mandaogane said she was developing were for Kubernetes RBAC. While Mandaogane noted, “we have some of our own custom resources,” one of these resources can be accessible by anyone who has logged into Rancher.”

A customer them requested that only users of one cluster “were able to access only certain instances of this global resource, and that’s what I’m working on,” Mandaogane said. “So, I found it really challenging to have RBAC… that is not namespace and does not have any restrictions to start with.”

Mandaogane said she found that project fascinating — and challenging. She described how, in addition to devoting much of her time to that project and developing new Rancher features at work, she also spent some nights looking for solutions as well for the RBAC solutions.

“And that really gave me a chance to take a really deep look into Kubernetes cluster role binding,”  Mandaogane said. She gained a better understanding, for example, of how when creating a Kubernetes cluster role, it is possible to decide which resources users can have access to and how to “narrow it down further by providing names of those resources as well.”

“So, working sometimes at night doesn’t happen every day,” Mandaogane said, who also said she was happy with her work-life balance.

“It’s just sometimes when you have to submit something and there is a deadline,  [you] have to work sometimes after coming home as well to finish off the feature — or whatever is expected,” Mandaogane said.

In this Edition:

1:10: What are you working on right now?
8:25: What kind of deadline are you working on?
12:32: When did you get excited about Kubernetes, and when did you start working with Rancher?
20:03: What’s the tie-in to DevOps and all these different platforms that are available?
22:49: How hard was it to make the shift to GoLang?
29:07: Who are the people that might really be able to benefit from what you’re talking about at conferences?
30:38: How is that process different as opposed to just reading what you’re publishing on the forums?

Raygun sponsored this podcast, which was independently produced by The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: The New Stack, Docker.
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