Apo­lo­gies for pimp­ing my employ­er, but I became the sub­ject of the inaug­ur­al ‘Meet the Team’ por­tion of the BizCubed news­let­ter.

It’s a good feel­ing know­ing that you work for a com­pany that actu­ally cares about open source and open stand­ards. For example, we sponsored the Gov­ern­ment 2.0 event in Can­berra last week.

For the sake of pos­ter­ity, I’ll repro­duce the inter­view here:

Meet The Team — Sridhar Dhanapalan

We are more than a con­sult­ing com­pany — we are a great team! In this sec­tion we will be intro­du­cing one mem­ber of our team in each newsletter.Sridhar Dhanapalan

What do you do at BizCubed?

I make sure that our Sup­port sub­scribers are receiv­ing legendary ser­vice. We like to be an open com­pany, and so know­ledge shar­ing is import­ant to us. I write a lot of doc­u­ment­a­tion on our wiki for the bene­fit of the Pen­taho community.

Intern­ally, I ensure that our team is prop­erly enabled with any inform­a­tion or infra­struc­ture that they need. I take care of our serv­ers and deploy­ments. I also do the occa­sion­al devel­op­ment of BI solu­tions. It’s a var­ied role — I nev­er have a reas­on to be bored!

What attracts you to open source BI?

It seems incon­gru­ous that while we demand trans­par­ency from, for instance, our polit­ic­al sys­tems and fin­an­cial insti­tu­tions, they rely on soft­ware that is opaque.

Pro­cesses and organ­isa­tions can­not be thor­oughly audited if the soft­ware that drives them is closed. I also believe that in using open source and open stand­ards, you are show­ing respect for your users and cus­tom­ers. Your users can see what you see; touch what you touch. They can inspect and inter­rog­ate to their heart’s con­tent, and even make their own modi­fic­a­tions if they so wish. They may not opt to exer­cise those rights, but ulti­mately it’s their choice and not their vendor’s.

What were you doing before joining BizCubed?

I’ve been using com­puters since the early 1980s, and I dis­covered open source just over ten years ago. I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to make a career out of it. I have a back­ground in net­work engin­eer­ing, satel­lite com­mu­nic­a­tions, sys­tems admin­is­tra­tion and good ol’ fash­ioned tech support.

I com­pleted uni­ver­sity with a Sci­ence degree major­ing in the His­tory and Philo­sophy of Sci­ence and Tech­no­logy, which I feel gave me an appre­ci­ation for the inter­sec­tion of tech­no­logy and soci­ety. I think there should be more atten­tion paid to this in ICT, and it’s an area I often encounter in the field of BI.

Do you work with any projects other than Pentaho?

I’ve been very act­ive in the open source com­munity over the past ten years. For the first half of this dec­ade, I was an admin­is­trat­or, edit­or and author at what was at the time the largest Man­drake (now Man­driva) Linux com­munity Web site.

I’m cur­rently the pres­id­ent of the Sydney Linux Users Group and also on the Linux Aus­tralia Coun­cil. Through those, I organ­ise and co-ordin­ate meet­ings and events for the Aus­trali­an Linux com­munity. Oth­er than that, I’m involved in the Ubuntu com­munity, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the Grameen Found­a­tion and a few oth­er projects.

What do you do in your spare time?

My open source con­tri­bu­tions take up the bulk of my non-work hours. I read a lot of news and cur­rent affairs, and I’ve been known to go on Wiki­pe­dia binges. Oth­er than that, I spend time with fam­ily and friends.

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