Harness Celebrates International Women in Engineering Day

In celebration of INWED, we are highlighting a few of the rockstar women at Harness who were recently honored with the our Top R&D Recognition Award.

by Ruchira Bajaj, Rashmi Nanda Sahoo, Meenakshi Vasudevan, Nana Xu, Meenakshi Raikwar, Richa Jajoo

Today, we are celebrating International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) to help raise awareness and encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering. In celebration, we are highlighting a few of the rockstar women at Harness who were recently honored with the Harness Top R&D Recognition Award. 

These ladies are part of our Engineering and Product organization where they develop code, design products, maintain quality, perform testing, write documentation, and more. Everyday, they navigate multiple products and tech stacks, and with their “can-do” attitudes, they make a huge impact on Harness products and culture.

Rashmi Nanda Sahoo

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what is your day job, and what did you study in college?

Hello, I’m Rashmi, and I work at Harness as a Senior Technical Writer. In 2007, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Information Technology and immediately began working as a software engineer.

What is the most important skill you’ve found to build a successful career in tech?

I enjoy both writing and technology. So, after a few years as a developer, I decided to combine my passions and pursue a career as a technical writer. I like simplifying technology for everyone by explaining complex concepts.

A profession in technology, helps you build a lot of skills that help you better prepare and anticipate other viewpoints. It’s important to have a constant desire to study new technologies if you want to have a great career in technology. It’s also important to maintain a constant awareness of emerging technology. 

Don't rely on luck, and never stop learning. Ask yourself every morning: “How far can I push myself and the company in the next 24 hours?” 

What is the best professional advice you have ever received?

Never allow self-doubt stand in the way of your success. Working in a field where you may be the only woman in the room might be intimidating at times. You could even wonder if you have a place there. Don't be swayed by such notions. Create a solid support network and seek out a good mentor. Above all, learn to accept negative feedback, and let it fuel you into your next challenge.

Meenakshi Vasudevan

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what is your day job, what did you study in college?

Hi, I’m Meenakshi Vasudevan, Director of Product Management for the Continuous Delivery module. 

What led you to choose a career in technology?

Computers have always been a fascination for me since my early school days, and I started as an engineer right after graduating from college. After a few years of engineering, I dabbled around other roles, did an MBA, and landed up in product management for enterprise software. Every day, I work to challenge and break the notion that enterprise and complex software are not user friendly!

What is the most important skill you’ve found to build a successful career in tech?

Over the years, and especially in the last couple of years, I have realized that the much needed skill for success anywhere is empathy. As I have the opportunity to work with folks from multiple teams and customers throughout the day, I feel the key to success is to understand where others are coming from and ensure comfortable interactions. In the tech industry, this is not at the forefront as engineers look to solve hard problems in the best way; sometimes the focus on who we are solving the problem for is missed.

What is one piece of advice you would give others on how to navigate their career in R&D?

The tech industry is always changing, and the challenge is to learn new things. This can happen only if we acknowledge that we don’t know everything and push ourselves out of our comfort zone.

The best piece of advice I have received is to never be afraid of saying, ‘I don't know,’ and to always follow it up with, ‘But I can learn.’

Why do you think it is important for women to join the tech industry?

I feel it is important for women not just to join the tech industry, but to stay and grow as leaders in the industry. It is important because women not only bring different perspectives, but they are also the ones who can bring about change for the next generation of girls. Women are best suited to solve and address challenges that women face today within their organization, and societal norms as well. This can only be solved if there is women representation at all levels. 

Nana Xu

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what is your day job, what did you study in college?

Hi, I’m Nana Xu, currently working as Senior Software Engineer on the Product Led Growth team.

What led you to choose a career in technology?

After working 10 years at other job roles, I realized that being a software engineer is my true passion, and  I went back to campus. I completed my master’s in computer science in 2018, and I have been a software engineer ever since. My dream came true. The tech industry is wildly growing and youthful. I can see myself learning and growing every day.

What is one piece of advice you would give others on how to navigate their career in R&D?

To me, the enthusiasm to build up, test, and eventually see the features released is the most important skill that I have found to help me work tirelessly with initiative. You must enjoy what you are doing everyday.

Why do you think it is important for women to join the tech industry?

As women, we need examples in all industries to know that our potential is unlimited; our voices need to be heard everywhere. Patriarchy unfortunately still exists widely around the world. The best way to fight against it is to show everyone that we are all humans, and we can do whatever anyone else can do. This cannot eliminate prejudice or bias, but we can lock them up into cages.

Meenakshi Raikwar

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what is your day job, what did you study in college?

Hi, I'm Meenakshi Raikwar and I work at Harness as a Senior Software Engineer on the Platform Team. 

What led you to choose a career in technology?

From the very start, I had an interest in Computer Science and solving complex problems related to it. I completed my M.Tech(CSE) in 2019, and I immediately joined Harness as a campus hire.  

What is one piece of advice you would give others on how to navigate their career in R&D?

From my own experience, I feel one should always try to learn new technologies and domains and to keep yourself updated with the pace the tech-industry is growing. Along with all the technical knowledge, one must also develop soft skills. It will not only help you communicate your ideas and views better, but it also builds up your confidence.

What is the best professional advice you have ever received?

The most valuable advice that I received was to never self doubt your potential and try to learn as much as you can. In this industry, there are always opportunities out there, and we can always get them. All we need to do is keep working for it.

Richa Jajoo

Introduce yourself! Who are you, what is your day job, what did you study in college?

Hi, I am Richa. I am a Senior Software Engineer at Harness. I work on Core Engineering problems in the Platform Team.

What led you to choose a career in technology?

Technology has shaped our lives a lot more significantly than we can imagine. With the entire world at our fingertips, and the world getting increasingly smaller, I wanted to be part of the industry that has been the reason for this tectonic shift.

What is the most important skill to build a successful career in tech?

The two things that have worked for me in building a successful career in the tech industry are perseverance and patience. You will find yourself being entrusted with tasks that you might have never done before. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Similarly, always be patient while giving help. Always remember that there's a human at the receiving end.

What is one piece of advice you would give others on how to navigate their career in R&D?

The golden rule for navigating a career in not just R&D but any field would be open and honest communication. Maintaining transparency while working with your team will ensure you build reliance among your team members, and most importantly, win their trust. Clear communication with the relevant stakeholders, whether it's about deliverables or a missed deadline – happens to everyone, I promise – will always ensure your credibility is intact. Moreover, it will help your team support you a lot more if you are chasing a tight deadline.

As we climb the ladder of success, let's not forget the power of a solid team supporting each other through the highs and lows. I for one, try to do my bit by creating Wikis to help my peers. As we navigate careers in the tech industry, let's not forget to build a solid community!

Join Us to Encourage More Women in Engineering

As we celebrate Women in Engineering day, we want to underscore that women can achieve whatever they set their minds to. Join us to challenge the status quo and encourage more women and girls to consider careers in engineering.

If you want to get involved and join our community, we are hiring across all departments and geographies! As they say, timing is everything. Interested, but not quite yet? Join our Harness Talent Community on LinkedIn to stay connected and in the know! 

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