As trainees at Piros, we’ve really hit the jackpot

As trainees at Piros, we’ve really hit the jackpot

Since he was a kid, he loved technological gadgets. After he built his own computer, he knew he wanted to do something in IT. So, it’s not surprising that Robbe Abé from Leuven would study IT. Right now, he’s one of the trainees at Piros, and he’s loving every minute of it.

When Robbe isn’t working on computer stuff, he spends a lot of time playing sports, in particular capoeira, a Brazilian dance/martial arts discipline, and recently he’s been getting into salsa too. But with his studies, he eventually chose his other passion: IT. “During the last two years of secondary school, I really began to focus on technology,” says Robbe.

He continued his studies at the UCLL in Haasrode. “I’m in my final year of the graduate program in system and network management. It’s a course with a lot of practical elements, which I think is fantastic.”

Speaking of practical experience

Robbe has also done a lot of interning over the past years, usually for two or three weeks but now for a four-month stretch in his final semester. “I wanted to do my last internship at a company where I could really learn something, where I would gain knowledge that employers would like me to have when I look for a job later on,” says Robbe.

“At home, I was already working a lot with Linux. I have a small Linux server on which I host some services for myself. At school, I also find all subjects involving Linux super fun. So, I thought it would be interesting to intern at Piros, where it’s all about Linux. I got even more interested when a classmate, who had already done an internship there, explained his assignment to me.

What does the internship entail?

“Working with two other interns, I compare three tools to automate infrastructure management: Terraform, kOps and Kubespray. Each trainee learns to automatically set up a Kubernetes cluster using one of these tools. I’m working with Kubespray.

Before we get to the tools, we have assignments in which we meet docker, Podman, Crio, Containerd, and Kubernetes (components of a cluster). First, we write bash scripts to set up a cluster. Then we learn to use Ansible to do this. After we set up a cluster ourselves with scripts/Ansible, we switch to 1 of the 3 tools to automate the entire process.

In the meantime, each trainee also looks at how easily this assignment can be accomplished with each tool. How quickly can you install and configure this manually? What are its pros and cons? “We draw up a report on our work, after which we compare our findings,” says Robbe.

Two days a week, Robbe works full-time at Piros in Leuven. On the other days, he can work from home, just like his permanent colleagues. But in practice, he often comes to the office to better separate work from home life. Piros is easily accessible for Robbe, as he lives in the center of Leuven.

Very exciting experience

The internship is still ongoing, but Robbe already finds it a most valuable experience. “One of the other interns had only worked with Linux at school and he has learned a lot more during his internship. I’m certainly learning a lot from the experts at Piros too. For example, if I still make a mistake, I don’t always realize the potential impact of it. My experienced colleagues are then helping me to learn from those mistakes.”

Would Robbe want to continue working at Piros if an opportunity came up? “Definitely. I like setting up systems like I’ve been doing during my internship. I want a job that helps people and makes a difference. I’ve only been here for a month, but I can see that there’s a great atmosphere, with friendly colleagues who are always happy to help. I’m a lucky guy!”

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