your daily code for breakfast

Spotlight 71: an interview with Senior Software Developer Neha!

It’s Friday again, and you know what that means: starting your weekend with another Spotlight interview!
Today we’re going to meet Neha! Neha is a Senior Software Developer, Django Girls the Hague coach and she’s working on some amazing things! Read more of her story below :)
Name: Neha Agarwal
Job: Senior Software Developer
Favorite website, app or gadget: Hackernews
Favorite book: The Alchemist
Twitter: @nehaagarwald


What inspired you to pursue a career in IT? 
I always liked to work with logic. My father is a math genius. That helped me to generate even more interest in sciences. In India, you get to choose between streams(Science, Commerce, and Arts), based on your score in 10th grade. I got high scores and got to follow the Science stream.


What does your working day look like?
First, some house chores:  cooking lunch and maybe a small breakfast smoothie for my husband and me. Followed by one hour drive to work.  I am the scrum master, minding/facilitating six men at work :P
Next, a sip of tea and a quick look at the board to check if there are any impediments I can get out-of-the-way for the team. Then I start working on the sprint until the daily stand up. A quick catch up – Noting down any impediments and back to work.
Lunch with team-mates in the cafeteria or the shopping centre (if the weather is nice.)
Back to work/meetings. One hour drive back home. Luckily, my husband and I have the same client right now. So we get to share our day and discuss on technical topics. It helps, because we both work with a different set of technologies, in our respective teams/departments. Half the effort, double the knowledge! ;)


What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
The coolest project was a government website that had to have high availability and more than 300 sub-sites. I was used to building sites with a shopping cart, complex Java logic, etc. But, this one forced the team to think out of the box, at all levels of the design and implementation. Got to work with brilliant minds. And that was fun.


Do you have a hero or someone who inspires you?
I am sure my husband will not love being exposed. But he is my hero/inspiration/support. He is very industrious and curious and likes to learn in all aspects of life. That keeps me on the run as well.


Why do you love working in  IT/Tech?
Solving problems! There have been many real life problems that have been solved by technology. I have not got into a project of that sort yet. But I am working towards it.


Do you have a degree in IT? If so, what taught you the most? And if not, did you miss some important knowledge?
I have a Bachelor degree in Information Technology. The most interesting course was about Databases. The first job I got was dealing with bank databases, so I was happy I know it well.
Apart from technical knowledge, I already got a chance to work on a real project. My roommate and I made a security application for our university. Competing with others to get the project – Gathering requirement – Giving regular demos – Adapting to the change requests. We were already practicing Scrum 10 years ago. :D


What would be your advice to everyone who is interested in a career in tech? (or learning to code?)
Find a group who supports the cause. There are many these days. Recently, I went to help Django girls training in Den Haag, Netherlands. It was fun. I even supported the group after the training for days. Most of the trainers did so. Also, focus on something small and then build up. Things are changing so fast. There is only so much you can do. Don’t panic. Get the essence of coding and logic.
“When a person desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”


Extra question from Sara: What is your favourite genre of book (e.g. Sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, etc.) and your favourite book in that genre?
Well, The Alchemist falls under the category Fiction. But I would say its more spiritual fiction. I love to read anything that stimulates me to look within, far from the busyness of daily life.