Full Name: Karthik Ramasamy
Job Title: Chief Product Officer
Graduation Year: 1993
Degree: MS Computer Science
Where’s Home Now? Bay Area California
Where are you from? India
Karthik Ramasamy is the co-founder and chief product officer for Streamlio, a company that is focused on building the next generation of event data processing infrastructure. When time permits, he also teaches in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at University of California–Berkeley. Previously, Ramasamy was an engineering manager at Twitter where he co-created Twitter Heron, the back-end system that processes all events on Twitter in real-time. He holds 10 patents, is the author of several publications, and co-wrote “Network Routing,” now in its second printing, with a UMKC faculty member.
Describe growing up in India. How did you become interested in computer science?
My interest in computer science started with programming when I was in 10th grade. My friend had access to ZX spectrum and we were thrilled with the idea of programming it. We started programming games using basic programming language in ZX spectrum. By the time I finished 12th grade, I already mastered Basic, Fortran and COBOL and decided to pick up computer science as the major in my undergraduate. Still the passion for programming provides a sense of satisfaction.
What made you choose UMKC for your master’s degree?
I already had friends at UMKC and they convinced me that the CS department provides a very good comprehensive curriculum and friendly faculty who enjoy working with the students. Furthermore, UMKC provides the Dean’s International Scholar Award which makes an education as an international student nearly the same cost as a domestic student.
You’ve co-founded two successful companies. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to enter the technology startup world?
Startups are extremely hard. You need to be extremely passionate about what you are doing and there should exist a business opportunity. Finding the business opportunity is often a challenge that requires persistence and perseverance. You should not be afraid of pivoting the business depending on market conditions.
How did UMKC prepare you for/contribute to your success?
UMKC was my first experience of US education. Coming from India, we were used to more pedantic type education. UMKC transformed my thinking and help on problem solving skills – why the problem is relevant, who benefits, what are the approaches and how to implement.
I have been adhering to this problem solving skill from then on.