Whatever It Takes: Life of Founding CTO Vinod Chandru (part 1)
Name: Vinod Chandru
Title: cofounder & CTO
Favorite ice cream flavor: Halo Top’s Mochi Green Tea
Vinod Chandru is the CTO and at Kloudless, where he builds , success and solutions engineering, and enables customers to accelerate their application integrations. Learn about what his typical day looks like and how he handles so many responsibilities on his plate.
What does a typical day look like for you?
During the day time PST, I’m usually involved in meetings for a lot of the time. Usually with existing customers, new customers, or folks that are interested in the Kloudless APIs and want to set up a time to chat. I assist a lot with the sales communications with developers and other buyers of Kloudless. I head up the customer success and solutions engineering teams as well, so I also coordinate the support priorities for the day for our cloud service. We make best efforts to meet all our escalated requirements, so I get a summary of the priorities as well to coordinate that among our support and engineering teams.
Prior to our engineering team in Taiwan online in the late afternoon PST, I coordinate any items that we think need to be looked into. Later in the day, by the time engineering is up, I’m more involved on the engineering side of the organization, where I help out with the product roadmap, any meetings around the architecture of various items, building our core product, and looking into code reviews. This means I join both our Berkeley and Taipei tech team , which I’ve found is a great way to stay involved in our product development. I still get to work on the code base myself as well as review code that others write, although I spend most of my time reviewing it these days. Sometimes when there are any architectural decisions or any questions that arise around that, I spend my time looking into that stuff along with dthorman (DevOps Engineer).
There are many more regularly-scheduled items as well that happen weekly and monthly: check-ins with the dev team, support team, the customer facing teams, and planning for our roadmap. Also, there are sometimes high priority support items that come in from customers running our self-hosted version, or there is an escalation due to some kind of serious incident. We generally prioritize these types of support items for that day’s operations on the response side, with our customer success engineer and some of the engineering team.
With so many responsibilities and people you need to talk to (both teammates and customers), how do you handle all of this in your personal schedule?
Can I talk about that here? Does it seem too weird?
I make best efforts on my side to put in as much time as I can into Kloudless’ operations and progress. As a founder, it’s obviously very important to me that the company does well.
I structure my schedule to maximize the amount of time I spend both with the sales team in the day time PST and the entire engineering team overnight, since I found that it helps us maximize our progress as a company.
We have customers that use us around the clock, so it’s pretty convenient to have meetings with some customers in other time zones. For example, Israel comes online Saturday night PST, so on Sunday when they’re working, it’s pretty convenient to wrap up any meetings with customers in that region over the weekend. This frees up the rest of the week as well for other tasks. Our engineering team comes online Sunday evening PST as well.
I’m able to get more into my schedule by shifting my meetings around, and I work around when people are available. This also means that I end up with a schedule that has my life intermittently inserted into it, with my sleep and work schedules rotating to Asian or US time zones as needed.
How do you stay motivated to push hard and grind?
I work closely with customers so am able to see how our efforts pay off as they ship their product. That’s been enough motivation for myself, and I’ve found it encourage the rest of the team as well! We have a #woo channel in Slack to celebrate wins.