People of OST: Balakrishna Hebbar, Director, Engineering
Balakrishna Hebbar is a lead engineer with more than 11 years of experience building social media applications like Socialmedian, e-commerce applications like Fab and Hem, and mobile applications like Pepo. He has a master’s degree in computer applications from the National Institute of Technology Surathkal in Karnataka, India. He is passionate about learning new things related to technology, economics and cryptocurrency.
Tell us about yourself!
I am from a city called Mangalore, which is situated in the southern part of India. I did my master’s in computer applications at the National Institute of Technology, Surathkal. I started my career as a software engineer at Zensar Technologies in Pune. I joined Jason, Sunil, and Nishith at True Sparrow Systems in 2007. Since then it’s been a journey of 11 years. Before OST I was part of different projects at different levels, starting with Socialmedian, Fab, Hem, and Pepo. I was involved in the development of front-end applications, back-end applications, mobile applications and DevOps.
What about blockchain technology do you find most compelling?
Blockchain’s transparent, distributed, and immutable nature makes it unique among other technologies. In my opinion, the best part is that no central authority can control the system. Even if there is a central authority, it can not tamper with the blockchain. We get safety and security from this technology. Also, the identity of the user is not disclosed in this system, which helps prevent identity theft and fraud. These are the things that interest me most.
What does your role as director engineering at OST entail?
Here at OST, I am leading the effort in development operations. We work closely with the development teams to provide all the required resources to run the applications that they are working on. Also, we provide deployment tools and solutions for the applications. Basically we build the infrastructure required to run the application, setting up the monitoring systems and making it secure from external threats. Apart from that, I am also leading BI and analytics development. The idea is to build the tools to analyze the data from token economies. But it’s in an early stage.
What is your team currently working on?
I work in a small team consisting of two people. Our job is to make sure OST applications are up and running all the time. We are currently working on a couple of automation projects. The first one is Infrastructure automation. With Infrastructure automation we can quickly provision the resources required to run an application or part of an application. This helps us solve scaling problems for OST KIT and sidechains. The next one is configuration management, which means managing the resources required for stacks and applications. This is more of a underlying resource management function for applications.
What do you find most challenging about engineering in blockchain?
I believe scalability and user experience are the most challenging things in blockchain or blockchain-backed applications right now. Blockchain is evolving rapidly, and we need to keep developing at the same pace, especially with the tools and libraries that we are using. From a DevOps perspective, there are challenges in designing the server architecture for these applications. Every application has its own dependencies, and it is necessary to meet those dependencies to achieve the desired output. With blockchain-backed apps, you need to be up-to-date with blockchain clients to make the best use of the features that they provide. To achieve this, you must have the right server configuration for every client release.
What are you most excited about for 2019?
I am really excited about the launch of partner companies on the OST platform. It is a one-of-a-kind platform with great potential. I am also looking forward to seeing micro transactions from mainstream applications being recorded onto the blockchain and building an analytics system around that.
Thank you, Balakrishna!
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OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs, and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST partners reach more than 300 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, and 500 Startups.