I hold a degree in Physics, but upon completing my graduation, I pursued a Masters in Computer Application, recognizing the burgeoning job prospects in the computer field. I started my professional career as a Test Engineer at Ocwen Financials Limited. However, the limited learning opportunities prompted me to seek new opportunities, leading me to move to a different organisation within six months, still as a Test Engineer.
After a year and a half, I embarked on a new chapter by relocating to the UK, where I joined Redgate Software Limited—a decision that has indisputably marked a pivotal turning point in my career trajectory. My tenure at Redgate has been marked by continuous growth and learning, transitioning through roles ranging from Test Engineer to Project Manager, Engineering Manager, and culminating in my current role as Head of Product Delivery. The experiences and knowledge I’ve gained along this journey is invaluable.
HOW DID YOU LAND YOUR CURRENT ROLE? WAS IT PLANNED?
When I was working as Engineer Manager i.e., my prior role, my personal development plan was focused on the Head of Product Delivery role. What sets Redgate apart from many other companies, is its focus on personal growth, accompanied by a remarkable support to facilitate it. In my case, my manager played a pivotal role in developing me. He helped me to create a development plan that would effectively steer me toward this current role. This encompassed not only acquiring new skills but also involved creating opportunities that allowed me to put these skills into practice. This proved instrumental in helping me develop skills essential for this role.
Redgate advertises any open position externally as well as internally. When the opportunity for my current role emerged, I submitted my application and went through the usual interview process. I was glad to be offered the role. Stepping into this new role is uncharted territory for me, there are many areas of development and a steep learning curve ahead. Fortunately, I have support from my manager and many other people at Redgate.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER, SO FAR?
I take pride in the fact that I am evolving into a confident professional. I’m genuinely appreciative of the skills and experiences I’ve gained so far, and I look forward to the continuous journey of learning and growth that lies ahead.
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE WORKDAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT REDGATE SOFTWARE?
A substantial portion of my time is spent with the Engineering Managers, both individually as well as in a group setting. I help them in problem-solving, offer valuable advice, and lead them to work collaboratively while ensuring their solution areas do impactful work, delivering great software in service of our technical, product, and commercial strategies.
I also play an integral role as part Director of the Engineering team helping to manage the engineering, deliver engineering-wide initiatives, and drive improvements.
Considering the wide variety of tasks, my calendar can be very busy with meetings. Nonetheless, it is important to make time and space to have ‘thinking time’ to get your head down and proactively think about how to make an effective engineering organisation.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC SKILLS OR TRAITS THAT YOU NOTICE COMPANIES LOOK FOR WHEN YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR ROLES IN YOUR FIELD?
There are lots of different roles in Engineering in any software company. Depending on the role, certain role-specific skills inevitably come into play. For instance, applying for a Software Engineer position necessitates experience in software development. However, beyond these specific skills, there are some general skills that most companies value:
· Growth mindset and adaptability – The software world changes very rapidly. The ability to embrace learning, grasp new concepts, and pivot in response to changes is invaluable.
· Collaboration and teamwork – Software development is a team sport. Being able to work well in cross-functional teams, communicate ideas clearly, and contribute constructively is highly valued.
· Communication Skills: Clear communication, both written and verbal, is important when explaining technical concepts to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
· Problem-Solving: The ability to analyse complex issues, break them down into manageable components, and develop effective solutions is crucial in software roles.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it gives you a glimpse into the kind of skills that companies look for.
HOW DO YOU THINK DIVERSITY CAN IMPACT PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT?
Products should cater to a wide audience, which underscores the importance of designing them with a diverse range of users in mind rather than focusing on a single demographic. This is where diversity plays a vital role. The benefits of incorporating diversity within your team or company are manifold:
· Broader perspectives – A diverse team can bring wider range of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds to the table. This can lead to a much better understanding of user’s needs and preferences which can result in products suited to a diverse user base.
· Innovation – People from diverse backgrounds often bring distinctive insights and novel ideas to the forefront. The interplay of these differing viewpoints fosters creativity and fuels innovation, resulting in superior products that can stand out in the market.
· Reduced bias – Biases can inadvertently creep into product development when a team lacks diversity. This can result in products that are not suitable or worse discriminate against certain groups of people. A diverse team is more likely to identify and mitigate such biases.
In summary, a diverse team is an invaluable asset when striving to create products that resonate with a broader and more inclusive user base.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO REACH THEIR CAREER GOALS IN TECHNOLOGY?
If I were to distill my suggestions into a top few recommendations, they would be as follows:
· Cultivate a growth mindset – Embrace a mindset of continuous learning. This helps one remain adaptable and relevant in an ever-evolving landscape.
· Have confidence in your own abilities – Believe in your potential. Don’t fear failure and learn from your own mistakes.
· Embrace Challenges: Don’t shy away from challenges or new opportunities, even if they seem daunting. Embracing challenges can lead to growth and expanded skill sets.
· Have a mentor – Seek out a mentor, who can offer guidance, insights, and support your development.