Gowri Sendhilkumar joined utopia in 2016 and has brought her development expertise and leadership to a number of projects as a Principal Engineer and Team Lead in Utopia's Research & Development Team, the largest R&D program for Master Data Governance in the World.
We connected with Gowri to ask her a few questions about working in this fast-paced and dynamic environment:
What made you decide to get into technology as an industry?
There was a high demand and drastic career growth opportunities for data governance and related technologies. I wanted to work in a field where I could build on my skill set and continue to advance my career as a part of an R&D team who is continuously innovating. I have always had a passion for the technology industry - I saw my peers taking an active interest in the field and I knew working with a team to build new technologies was something I would enjoy doing.
How have you continued to learn and grow in your profession to adapt to a fast-moving industry like technology?
With every new project, I like to dive-in and started learning. There are new skills that are required with every new development project so we put a big focus on collaboration among our team. I also prioritize self-learning - there are a lot of online courses and resources available (many of them free) which offer deep-dives into specific software technologies or development and coding skills. As an SAP Partner company, we're a big fan of open.SAP.com.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your position?
Getting associated with the existing team and management is always a challenge in any R&D team - everyone has different project management styles, the way they like to work - we all may be responsible for specific aspects of a project but it's imperative that we work together because we're building one solution at the end of the day. The more we can collaborate, the smoother the project will go.
What are things you notice as a woman in a male dominated field/industry?
As a member of R&D, I always felt there could be more women. There is no reason that the technology industry needs to be a "male dominated field" any longer. The opportunities are far more available to women than they used to be. Utopia, similarly to SAP, has made hiring a diverse workforce a priority. I think the perception is that women aren't as analytical as men when it comes to data-driven development, but that is quite the opposite. Myself and my female peers work alongside the mean at our company and we're all a part of one big team. There are no gender stereotypes - we're all WAY too busy on solving challenges, and creating something new and exciting.
What excites you about working at Utopia?
Our R&D team has grown a lot over the last few years and the company itself has also grown. We're working with things like AI and machine learning as a part of our processes and solutions development for our customer project work. It's really cool to be a part of cutting-edge development and a company that prioritizes innovation.
What is something you’re proud of from your time at Utopia?
As a team lead, I have executed many product releases and helped instilled best practices around the project quality which we refer to for upcoming releases. We just successfully launched a new solution in the market called Retail & Fashion Workstudio (RFW) in May to address retailers pain points and challenges around master data management of articles, mass processing and data governance.
What advice do you have for young women who are interested in technology/coding, R&D or other areas?
In whatever technology area you choose, always be true and dedicated. Don't be afraid to make big contributions to projects or the work - others WILL notice and that will surely take you to great heights! Take advantage of the education that is out there online. Don't hold back on asking for advice from women in the roles you aspire to have. LinkedIn is a great platform to network and meet other women leaders and developers.
Stay tuned for our next #WomenInTech post - coming soon!