Our August IBM Champion spotlight features Vikram Vaswani. Vikram is the founder of Melonfire and the author of seven books on PHP and database programming, published by The McGraw-Hill Companies and Pearson Education and translated into more than 10 languages. He is an active open source developer and community member. He has been working with IBM Cloud since its inception, and has been an IBM Cloud Champion since 2017.
Recently Vikram sat down with IBM Public Cloud Community leader, Krista Summitt to talk about his perspective on the future of Cloud, why he thinks people should join the IBM Community, and Ed Sheeran!
KS: Let’s start with your background. How did you get started working with IBM products?
I started working with IBM Developerworks as a freelancer in 2007, writing tutorials about PHP and XML. In 2014, I deployed my first application on IBM Bluemix and since then, I’ve created many tutorials and sample applications about using Bluemix (now Cloud) infrastructure and services.
KS: What activity or contribution have you made as an IBM Champion that you are most proud of and why?
VV: The activity I am most proud of as IBM Champion is working directly with developers of different skill levels and teaching them how to get started with IBM Cloud. I have presented hands-on labs at user group events in different countries where I’ve guided developers through the first few steps of getting an application running on IBM Cloud - seeing them happy and satisfied at the end of the event has always put a smile on my face.
What does being an IBM Champion mean to you?
VV: It means a lot of things:
- having the opportunity to build and experiment with cutting-edge tech like Watson and Cloud
- learning about and getting early access to new IBM products and services
- having channels and platforms to connect with very smart IBMers and developers and learn from them
- knowing that there is a global, diverse community of other Champions who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with me
If someone is considering joining the IBM Community, what would you tell them?
VV: “Just do it, it’s a very friendly community with a bunch of really smart people!”.
What IBM product or technology do you think will make the biggest impact in the future, and why?
VV: I’m an IBM Cloud Champion, so it should be pretty clear where I’m going to land on this one! I think cloud technologies have already played a massive role in changing how people look at computing infrastructure...and this is just the beginning. As more people realize the benefits of this distributed, scalable and economical infrastructure, the cloud going to add significant value for future innovations in the field, particularly innovations around AI and distributed computing.
KS: Okay Vikram this is the fun part of the interview I call the Lightning Round. I'm going to ask some fun questions, rapid fire, and you give me the answer that is most top of mind for you. Ready?
VV: Ready, Krista.
What book is currently on your nightstand or eReader?
VV: The Last Trial, by Scott Turow
Who are 3 famous people, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with, and why?
- Felipe Cruz, executive chef at Benito’s Hat London. Benito’s Hat is one of the best quick Mexican restaurants I’ve eaten at, and their tres leche cake is fantastic. I’d like to have dinner with Felipe so I can try to steal his recipe...and obviously, I’d expect him to bring dessert!
- Ben Lee, game director of Hearthstone. I play a lot of Hearthstone in my free time and it’s easily one of my favourite games because it’s constantly evolving. I’d like to have dinner with Ben to find out more about his creative process and how he keeps the gameplay experience innovative and fresh.
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web. I use the Web daily and I can’t imagine not having it. I’d like to have dinner with Sir Tim to understand more about how he invented it and what he sees as the future of the Web.
What would you for a living if you weren’t in your current job?
VV: Write spy novels for children
What is your favorite mobile app right now?
What song or album are you listening to most right now?
VV: Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran
KS: Good taste, Vikram! I am a big Ed Sheeran fan.
Vikram thank you for your time. It was a pleasure talking to you and hearing your enthusiasm for the IBM Champions program and IBM Community! Where can people connect with you online?
VV: Sure, they can visit my website https://vikram-vaswani.in