Navigating the Skies of DevOps and Innovation: An Interview with Gabriel Mesquida Masana

9 November 2023


Gabriel Mesquida Masana

Navigating the Skies of DevOps and Innovation: An Interview with Gabriel Mesquida Masana

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation, staying ahead of the curve is essential. Gabriel Mesquida Masana, the CPO at Thales Air Lab, is a testament to the importance of adaptability and continuous learning in the tech industry. In a recent interview following his participation in the DevOps Talks Conference Singapore 2023, Gabriel shared valuable insights about his journey, the DevOps conference, as well as advice for recent graduates stepping into the industry and individuals aiming to progress in their careers. Join us as we delve into the world of aviation technology and the role of DevOps in shaping its future.

Gabriel has a diverse educational background. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Bath in the UK, a Telecommunications Engineering degree from BarcelonaTech in Spain, and a Master in Business Administration from Henley Business School in the UK. Gabriel's journey into the aviation industry began whilst he was working as a transport technology consultant. He was offered to join the program management team of Barcelona’s airport in Spain. This project involved the construction of new runways, towers, terminals, and various IT systems to support the operations. Later on Gabriel applied his expertise to build and integrate Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Airport IT systems in various international locations, including India, the Middle East, Brazil, and Australia. Gabriel’s focus centres on the seamless integration of systems, with a keen interest in new technologies such as cloud and their application within the realm of ATM domain. Two years ago, Gabriel came to Singapore, to work in ATM innovation, actively researching and developing novel concepts and systems to advance the field.

Thales is a global tech leader with more than 77,000 employees worldwide. The Group is investing in digital and "deep tech" innovations including AI, Big Data, connectivity, quantum technology, and cybersecurity for a trustworthy future. Thales's advanced high-tech solutions, products and services serve five vertical markets: digital identity and security, defence and security, aerospace, space, and transport. 

Gabriel Mesquida Masana's journey through the aviation and technology industry showcases the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and hands-on experience. His insights from the DevOps Talks Conference Singapore 2023 and his role at Thales Air Lab underscore the pivotal role of DevOps in shaping the future of Air Traffic Management. As recent graduates and tech professionals navigate their careers, Gabriel's advice to embrace new challenges and technologies while maintaining a thoughtful approach serves as a valuable guide. The adoption of Kubernetes in his work exemplifies how the right DevOps tools can lead to transformative results in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Hi Gabriel, thank you for taking the time to sit with me, let’s get started:

What have you enjoyed most about attending the DevOps Talks Conference Singapore?

Gabriel: I enjoyed the different topics that were presented with a wide range of presenters, topics and, of course, presentation styles. There were topics for everyone.

What presentation or speaker did you look forward to the most, and why?

Gabriel: To be honest I went there with no expectations but I especially enjoyed the closing presentation on how the DevOps roles have evolved towards infrastructure engineers. It’s worth staying all day!

What are some of the things that you enjoy in your role as CPO ATM Twin AIR Lab at Thales Air Lab?

Gabriel: I enjoy the opportunity of learning new things, discovering new topics and trends and being able to introduce those as topics to develop in the AIR Lab for the Air Traffic Management of the future. It’s a unique position to be able to work and learn all the time, and to be at the centre of so many interesting reflections about future technologies applied to our domain.

What is your advice to recent graduates entering the industry?

Gabriel: My advice: be hands on, discover and learn by yourself and don’t be scared of starting a new coding or DevOps project. So many learning resources waiting to be used! Show us you can learn and build and you’ll be hired.

What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome in your career to date?

Gabriel: Keeping apace of the new trends it’s always a challenge. I would say that, in my position, the challenge is balancing both the new trends and avoiding following fads blindly. Sometimes it’s too tempting to replace a tool for the sake of trying a new one, but then your architecture lacks consistency. Refrain from that. Think before acting.

Highlight a recent impactful DevOps tool or approach you've adopted.

Gabriel: Using Kubernetes 100% for AIR Lab and building on its advanced abstractions for the ATM Twin was a risky bet that has paid off. Cannot be happier.

Gabriel Mesquida Masana is a devoted DevOps specialist who has made significant contributions to the achievements of Thales Air Lab. He has also become a source of inspiration for newcomers in the industry. It was a true pleasure to conduct an interview with Gabriel, allowing us to gain valuable insights into his work and experiences.