From the start, Tiger just had the right idea about looking for a college. Instead of reading US World News’ rankings, basing his decisions on sports teams, or even aiming for the Ivy Leagues, Tiger set out to make his college search a data driven effort. He asked himself, first, where he wanted to work. For him, that was an almost typical answer for an aspiring young technology student: Google, Facebook, Red Hat and other big name tech firms.

Passawit Kaovilai From there, Tiger worked backwards. He checked the data on which colleges sent which graduates to which companies. In the end, he settled on NC State, Raleigh campus, as its graduates were getting jobs at the companies he most wanted to work at. And, as he'd hoped, that lead to a nearby opportunity to become a summer intern at Red Hat’s Raleigh headquarters.

Tiger’s real name is Passawit Kaovilai, and he’s now entering his third year at NC State. He said that many people in his native Thailand have nicknames, and that his translates well into any language, and is understood immediately. He was also born in the year of the tiger, so the name is a natural fit.

Here at Red Hat, Tiger has taken on the duties of a technical marketing intern. That means he’s been diving into Red Hat OpenShift 4 to help create documentation and learning tools for users in the field. That also means contributing to open source projects, and getting his handle out there on GitHub, however modestly. 

Red Hat Raleigh’s 2019 class of interns

fRed Hat Raleigh’s 2019 class of interns

Sometimes, just getting up to speed and contributing to an open source project is difficult to do. It is hard to find the time, complicated to get started, and tough to get motivated. At Red Hat, we like to help our newcomers get over these hurdles, and provide time for them to work on open source projects during their work day. We even encourage our interns to do this. What better way to learn about the modern developer workflow while participating in an actual enterprise software community?

Tiger also worked on transferring some of our internal training materials onto a newer, easier to use system. While all of this work will only be seen by our consultants and internal engineers, it was nonetheless a great way for him to learn about the OpenShift Container Platform while performing heavy lifting that really provided quality of life enhancements to our employees and field teams.

We were not Tiger’s first experience with business software development. Last summer, he interned as a web developer at Deutsche Bank. Before that, he helped his parents in Thailand.

I was an IT guy for my parents’ business. I’d fix their computers. They operate Shell gas stations. I made our printers wireless and connected them to machines on the network. I fixed viruses. I haven’t actually operated a server that served remote clients. I’ve been in IT fixing stuff a little before joining,” said Tiger.

This summer, by working with OpenShift, he’s been effortlessly spinning up servers for his work projects, and attaching them to clusters. In fact, our internal systems are capable of provisioning entire OpenShift environments on demand for testing and development purposes, and Tiger has used those to become his own cluster administrator many times over.

Tiger’s majoring in industrial engineering, with a minor in computer science. While he’s now considering a career in technology, he’s not a longtime server administrator, nor is he an expert in scalable systems. This summer, however, we’ve given this 21 year old a crash course in hybrid multi-cloud development at scale. And he’s done a great job, building valuable assets for our teams in the process, and learning how to contribute to open source.

It might take a little while for all of the value Tiger has added to his resume to sink in with him, however. Right now, when you ask him about his favorite part of the Red Hat intern experience, he’ll tell you it was all the free, team exclusive t-shirts he got!

Whenever we do something interesting at Red Hat, we print a t-shirt. When we shipped Red Hat OpenShift 4, we made a t-shirt. When we shipped Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, we printed a t-shirt. When we had our whole cloud business unit in Raleigh for a meeting, we printed a t-shirt. Tiger got all three. He was very honored.

We’re honored, too, Tiger, to have gotten the chance to work with you this summer!

About the author

Red Hatter since 2018, tech historian, founder of, serial non-profiteer.

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