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Case study: Civo

State of Open: The UK in 2023

Phase 3: “Skills or Bust”

Kunal Kushwaha, Developer Relations Manager


Civo is a community-led cloud-native service provider centered around Kubernetes. With over 40 global experts, they aim to simplify Kubernetes usage and boost adoption. They emphasise the importance of practical contributions alongside university education for success in the open-source workforce. Civo, as a technology-driven company, embraces remote work, providing global opportunities and fostering a diverse workforce. Open source contributions are vital in hiring at Civo, many team members have been discovered through their Open Source work. The environment is also an important influence on Open Source contributions, with the UK being a great place for promoting, developing and growing Open Source skills due to its unique location facilitating global collaboration.

Based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Civo, a community led cloud native service provider reliant on Kubernetes, enables companies to host core applications in an easy, affordable and secure way. Civo isn’t just a Kubernetes platform, it’s a community formed by over 40 experts from across the globe, all with the shared vision of simplifying the use of Kubernetes and increasing its adoption.

Beyond the institute

Kunal completed his degree in Delhi, India, and believes that universities alone do not equip people to be a strong part of the Open Source workforce. Ideally, you need a mix of on the ground of active contribution experiences and university theoretical knowledge. As Kunal says, “it depends on the University, although in the end, it is important to think outside the box. Don’t be confined to your university curriculum, it’s important but get out of your comfort zone and try to do things externally. Like learning a new tech stack building project, contributing to Open Source , going to events, networking, people speaking at events, organising events, doing community work, whatever you want to do.”

An Open Source driven workforce

For Kunal, being a technology driven company is a privilege that allows you to work from anywhere – for example you can freelance, work remotely, or in-person jobs. In addition, being a remote company opens various opportunities for Civo to create a globally representative workforce, including creative minds from the UK, US, India, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia. A commonality identified by Kunal is that everyone on the team is an active contributor to Open Source. As he shares, “When I was hired at Civo, I got discovered by my Open Source contributions, which is the same pattern for many other engineers. We believe that the best way to find people is by Open Source.” Open Source contributors have impressive resumes that highlight their skills, projects, relevant experiences and networking abilities. As Kunal says, “In my experience I’ve seen people contributing to an Open Source project behind the company and getting hired by the same company, there are many such examples.” Gaining project-based experience while job hunting is invaluable when apply
ing for roles.

UK specific lens

Your environment shapes your Open Source contributions, experiences and skill development. The UK is a great place to promote, develop and grow Open Source skills. Its unique location allows individuals to work with anyone across the globe, as Kunal says, “This Open Source workflow has really helped me in terms of networking, irrespective of where I’m at right now. Many Open Source communities within the UK, partake in events and conferences, I have seen quite a lot as compared to the rest of the world. The UK is a pretty popular destination for that.”

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