“In those days, girls were not often asked what they wanted to study. Suggestions from wellwishers decided a girls career,” recalls Sukhada. She feels privileged that her family supported her when she stated she wanted to explore the electronics sector.
Post her B.Tech from Nagarjuna University, she joined as a lecturer imparting knowledge in the electronics field. As much as she enjoyed teaching, she had to move to the US after wedding. Even though she did not have a work permit, she volunteered at the IT department for In Touch Ministries, after which she was hired full time. “The transition from electronics to software industry was smooth and it motivated me to remain in this field.”
At her current job, she is the only senior DevOps engineer and is grateful that all her male colleagues are supportive. However, the number of female colleagues at that level is comparatively less. “The world has evolved, that there aren’t many pros or cons with women working in the industry. It would be great to see many more women venture into this field.” Over the years, she is thankful for Mr. Declan Taitt, her first boss and mentor; and is inspired by Shakuntala, her aunt who showed how to excel both at work and home.
“Balancing work and home were very difficult in the initial stages, but it’s all worth it when you start enjoying your work.” Her successful moment as she recalls was winning the special recognition award when she moved to General Motors. A data warehousing project, worth a couple of million dollars, was on the cards. She not only nominated herself but learnt it on her own and led the project to completion along with her team within 2 years. “It was a great experience of both learning and teaching.”
Upon completing this project, her next step was DevOps engineering. “I took it up as a challenge and started learning it while working.” She is amazed at the problem-solving techniques that DevOps uses and how the cloud technology has overcome the major factor of wait time from departments. With all the microservices, the way applications are developed; is rapidly increasing. “No one has patience and hence DevOps,” she laughs and continues “DevOps will very soon conquer the world, if the same pace is kept.”
Talking about learnings over the years, fixing issues right away, was her area of expertise however, she feels it could have been done better if there was an earlier start to focussing on the reason behind the issue.
Looking back at her 18-year experience in the field she claims that hard work definitely pays off and learning, on an everyday basis is needed. “Loving what you do is the key mantra here. If you are passionate about your job, money will follow. More than education, I learnt a lot after I started working.” Being organised and taking one day at a time is the tip she would want to pass on, to today’s busy world.
Coming back to the topic of Women’s Day, she wishes that girls learn to speak out their interests even from a young age. Ever grateful to her parents, husband, and kids for all their support she wishes every woman may be encouraged by their family and defended when they step into technology. She concludes, “It does not matter where you start, you do not become a manager overnight.”