Today we inaugurated a new channel – “<She Codes>” a channel for women engineers who are amazing programmers, through which we want to give a voice female techies- their journey and learnings on the way.
We begin our series with: Prachi Aggarwal, a computer engineer who graduated from NIT Kurukshetra in 2018 and joined Fidelity Investments as Software Engineer.
She is a positive energetic young techie who is equally good at expressing herself as her work. She is a great kick starter and always on her toes. She has a lot to talk about and here are the snippets of a quick talk we had with her this week.
She acclaims her to be lucky to be in current team, where irrespective of the number of years of experience, the entire team has a significant say in the product design. This helps a lot in getting much needed broader perspective of things while coding. Right after graduating out of college, people are unaware of their actual field of interest and later they get to understand their interest areas. Same happened with her when she realized her penchant for the backend work and later was able to find opportunities within the company to get some hands-on experience in that.
She gives insight that as engineers usually people get too much engrossed in the work at hand , but ideally it pays off to know the background and the purpose of the work. She expresses this in words of one of her team members ” When you’re using a new framework, or a tool, or even a small lambda function, the first question we should be asking ourselves must be what happens if we not it? What will we be losing?”
She further quotes, “Sometimes as engineers, we get too focused on getting our piece of work done. Without asking a lot of questions. Be it, business related or technology. But our job, as engineers is not just to get the work allotted to us done. Rather to first completely understand the requirement, the reason for the requirement and how it might need to scale in the long term. That remains on the business side. Post that information, when we start implementing the solution, our primary focus should be on exploring various ways in which it can be solved and on questioning ourselves as to why have we chosen the method that we did. This will not just help us solve the problem in the most efficient way, but help us grow as an engineer. Maybe that is how we might not need to go through various mock questions a night before another interview. “
On asking about the journey as a women engineer and the associated prejudices she mentions:
“Rather than arguing or reasoning with people around us to make our point about we being at par with the men in the industry, lets just be our selves and keep progressing. We will be as good as men, or even better and those people will have no choice but to look up to us.” – Prachi Agrawal