If I were to start my career again as a fresher, I would rather be a independent developer / entrepreneur than joining another company

If I were to start my career again as a fresher, I would rather be a independent developer / entrepreneur than joining another company

Vini, Sr. Software Engineer AOL Inc, 22000 AOL Way, Dulles, VA     .    

Please brief us your current role and responsibilities
I’m Working as a web developer in a phenomenal email product called ALTO( altomail.com ). I’m responsible for the frontend development of various features like Message list, stack views, search, conversation threading etc.

Your history of your career
I started my career as a Software Engineer in Infosys in 2003. I worked for clients like Verizon & AOL in workflow management & VOIP products & moved up in my career ladder as a programmer analyst.
In 2006 I was deputed onsite at Dulles, VA for working on AOL Client. I was promoted as a technology lead during my tenure at AOL for Infosys. My daughter was born in 2008 & after that I worked for a few months in Infosys for the clients AOL & at Capital One. I took a sabbatical for about 10 months in 2009. I joined back in Infosys & worked on a Banking project for CapitalOne in early 2010. Due to some personal reasons I had to quit Infy in 2010 & joined AOL as a software engineer in 2010.

Have you faced challenges in your life? ... Now when you take a step back and think about those challenges, do you surprise "how I did that?" Can you share with us.

Yes, my tenure at capital one when my first daughter was 6 months old was one of the challenging periods in my life. I’ve had several sleepless nights during that period, juggling between offshore calls & the needs of a crying baby.

Now a days it is very difficult for a fresher to get a job! How you got your first job?

After my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, I joined Masters but I kept trying for my passion of a software job. I took an off campus aptitude exam for Infosys & was selected. At that time, there was no personal interview, so I got the job just after clearing the aptitude test.

24 hrs is not enough for a woman, managing the kids, family, running to office ... how do you manage?

Very true. However, things are pretty easier in US than in India. In my current work, office hours are not more than 8 hours & the commute to work is less than 10 minutes. I generally try to finish off my office work at office, so at home I could concentrate on my family. Right now, I have my mother in law to help us out, as I recently had my second child.

Any interesting or challenging situations happened when you really struggled to balance work and life?

There was a period of time where I travelled about 120 miles a way to work. I used to drive about 12 miles from my home to Capital One Headquarters & then take a bus from there to Capital One development center which was more than 100 miles away. I used to leave home at 5:30 AM and come back around 7:00 PM. So, I basically had very little time to take care of my family on weekdays. The interesting part here was that I used to get offshore calls after that. What helped me here was ‘work prioritization’ – I was pretty strict that I wont take offshore calls in the night hours & gave the much needed importance to family & sleep. Instead of taking the calls at night, I scheduled offshore calls in the early morning when I’d be in the bus travelling to work.

Any tips to women how they can tackle these situations?

I would say time management & work prioritization hold the key. I’m not very good at these either. I’m working on it & trying to improve as well.

Tips for freshers – How to get their first job?

To be honest, I’m not sure of the prevailing job market for freshers. If I were to start my career again as a fresher, I would rather be a independent developer / entrepreneur than joining another company. I’d advise freshers to equip themselves in iOS/ Android development as the mobile apps are the latest trend in the new generation.

Educational Background - BE in Electronics & Communication

Awards and achievementsI’ve received individual excellence award twice and team excellence award once in Infosys. In AOL, I’ve received spot award once.
Your Hobbies – Reading  to my daughter & listening to good music.
The company you liked most in your work history – AOL for flexibility & countless number of benefits for a working mom from mother’s room equipped with hospital grade breast pumps to help nursing moms to yoga, zumba and other fitness classes helping us to stay fit.
A book you liked to readI’m a big fan of Harry Potter series
3 happiest moments in your life – Wedding & birth of my daughters