Life @ Aspire Series
He comes from the second spiciest South Indian state, Kerala, yet he hates spicy food. He loves to travel and has an obsession for permaculture which is the development of agricultural ecosystems that are grown to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Meet Anoop Lekshmanan, our Senior Kubernetes Engineer. Containerization wiz by day and part-time aspiring farmer.
What is your role at Aspire?
I am a Senior Kubernetes Engineer.
Where are you from?
I am from Kerala, India.
Munroe Island, Kerala, India
Why did you decide to move to Jordan?
I moved because of Aspire. When I got the offer from Aspire, I did my research on Jordan and I realized that it wasn’t too hot like other Middle Eastern countries and that the weather was very pleasant. There are also many tourist places to visit including one of the World Wonders (Petra) and it is quite an open country compared to other Arab countries. I also liked the work that I would be doing and the customers I would be working with.
Petra by night
What is your background?
I started working when I was 21 at a call center. After that, I worked for a hospital and that’s how I started in IT. I then moved onto a SaaS Startup working specifically on Linux projects. Later on, I started working remotely for Apigee and further down the line they were actually acquired by Google. Years later, I decided to open my own business and I started a smoothie bar. This was actually a success but I couldn’t manage both jobs, so I sold it to a good friend. I decided to give being a business owner another shot and I started a backpackers/surfing hostel in two countries (India and Sri Lanka) a few years later. Once again, I couldn’t manage two jobs and I had no time for my family and friends, so I decided to close this business down. My next big move was coming to Jordan to work for Aspire and here I am today.
Why did you choose IT?
I studied electronics initially, however, I dropped out of college. I started working in IT quite young as well, in my early 20s and I applied my electronics learnings to computer sciences. I was always fascinated by technology.
What are you particularly passionate about within your industry?
I love that you always have to keep learning about new technologies. Things change quite fast so you have to keep updated.
What does your typical day look like?
I recently quit smoking, so my day now starts with 10 minutes of meditation. This gets me set for the rest of the day and helps me get away from my cravings for cigarettes. After meditating, I make my coffee and get ready to go to the office. I usually take a taxi as I am new here and still haven’t gotten used to the roads. I am currently working with a big fintech customer on their Kubernetes cluster. We use technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, Golang and Istio, on-prem and cloud on Google GKE. After work, I either hang out with friends and colleagues and we tend to eat out and try local dishes. On weekends, I like to hang out with my friends and occasionally travel to the outskirts to get to know Jordan. Recently, I went to the Dead Sea and Wadi Al Mujib, my next stop is Petra.
What do you value the most about the company?
The culture at Aspire is great, it’s like being in a family environment. Since my arrival, everyone has been really helpful and friendly.
What are your ambitions for Aspire?
Kubernetes in my opinion is the future, because it goes above containerization and orchestration, is growing far beyond this into an automation framework for the entire infrastructure. This market will be huge for Aspire as it is one of the pioneers in the region. I will have the opportunity to grow and become even more specialized in the coming years. I would like to improve my coding skills with Golang and new upcoming technologies.
If a genie appeared and gave you three wishes, what would they be?
- To have a farm in California with plenty of water.
- To sleep for 1 hour per day and have the energy of someone who slept for 12 hours.
- To decompose all the plastic in the world.
What’s your biggest personal achievement?
I have had the opportunity to live in 6 countries: Kerala (India), Dubai (UAE), Tokyo (Japan), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Palo Alto (USA) and now Amman (Jordan). I have also visited another 4 countries, mainly in Europe. I would have never imagined I could get so far and travel this much, especially coming from a small Southern Indian city and from a middle-class family. My latest achievement was that I was able to save money to buy some farmland. This is my retirement plan, as I love to be in contact with nature and permaculture inspires me.
What’s your biggest professional accomplishment?
I am a college dropout, but I continued doing short courses. I was very passionate about Linux and learning new technologies. This allowed me to grow in my career and got me to where I am today, it wasn’t easy, but I was patient.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Black Daal (a lentil curry) with Chapati (Indian flatbread).
Any tips for new expats?
Jordan is a really beautiful country, the food is great and it is much more liberal than people imagine. I previously lived in Dubai and in my opinion, Jordan is much more liberal (so come with an open mind). I also recommend bringing winter clothes for the colder months as it actually gets cold out here and sometimes it even snows (I couldn’t believe it when I read about it online). The food here is great, my favorite so far are Mansaf and Knafeh (from Habibah Sweets). Finally, people here are very friendly, so don’t be scared to feel lonely, because you won’t!
We are hiring! If you want to work with amazing people like Anoop and become an Aspirer yourself, have a look at our careers page.