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Aishwarya Reddy. Image: Liberty IT

How this software engineer adds upskilling into her day

23 Nov 2021

Liberty IT’s Aishwarya Reddy discusses a typical day at work and how she adds personal and professional development into her schedule.

The technology sector offers such a wide variety of careers from front-end developers to automation engineers. Because of the ever-evolving nature of technology, it also means that these roles are constantly changing and those who work in the sector are constantly upskilling.

Aishwarya Reddy is an associate software engineer with Liberty IT. She spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about how she manages her working day effectively to include time for professional development.

‘As a developer, I believe in doing things that are future-ready’

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

Around 9am I start by checking my schedule for the day and my mailbox. Twice a week we have an informal team chat over coffee, which helps us stay connected and talk about what’s happening outside work.

At 10am every day we have a developers’ huddle to discuss and prioritise the work we’ll be doing for the rest of the day. I get my prep work done for any of the meetings in my diary and then start into my work for the day. While working, I make notes on any questions to ask the product owner during our next team stand-up.

After a 30-minute lunch break at around 12.30pm, I keep working on my various tasks and attend meetings. I also try to take 40 minutes at the end of the day for self-learning, using this time to reflect on my technical strengths, find the key areas where I need to improve and do work that impacts beyond project. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, I aim to wrap up my workday at around 5.30pm.

What types of project do you work on?

I am currently part of a team that provides insurances to small businesses in the US. I love working on this project – I enjoy every second of my time at work! To deliver something new and meaningful to our customers gives me a real rush every day.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

The skills that we use on daily basis include TypeScript, React, Python, GraphQL, MySQL and Selenium. I’m currently focusing on TypeScript and React, along with polishing my soft skills.

I really enjoy taking responsibility for my own personal and professional development. Mastering new skills boosts my energy and enthusiasm – it makes me want to be the best at what I do.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

The hardest part of the day is managing my time wisely, particularly on days with lots of meetings and lots of work. It can also sometimes be a little harder to work virtually than it might be in the office.

I haven’t physically met any of my teammates, but we spend virtual social time together every week, which really helps us get to know each other and makes it easier to reach out if I need help or advice.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

Being virtual has come with its own pros and cons.

To help increase my productivity throughout my day, I make sure I take regular breaks of 10 minutes and during my lunch time I take a short walk in my backyard. One thing I try to avoid is sitting too long in my chair. Keeping your mind and body healthy is one way to stay productive at work.

As a team, we make sure all our huddles or any other meetings are light and informal so that no pressure is felt.

I like to have a to-do list of the week and tick off things as I complete them. This helps me plan my time better.

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

From the day I started to now, I think one that has surprised me was how a small change to user experience would greatly impact the product we offer. I also learned it’s not just doing the things you were told to, but you need to constantly look out for ways to improve your product and offer the best.

Another important thing I have learned is that the importance of adaptability in this role and having a thirst for continuous improvement.

How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

Technology is ever-evolving. This challenges and motivates me to keep myself updated with the latest technology happenings. As a team, we try to think of future usability when we write a piece of code and, as a developer, I believe in doing things that are future-ready.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

The thing I enjoy the most about my job is that no two days are the same. I get to learn something new every day. It excites me to wake up every morning and log in to do the work I love.

I’m rejoiced to see that we make a difference every day, the greatest pleasure comes when you see the project you work on go live and people use it and it creates a positive impact to both Liberty IT and people.

Liberty IT always reminds us to maintain a healthy work-life balance, understands us as employees and puts us first before anything else, helps us to achieve our goals and promotes continuous self-learning.

When I joined, I was assigned a buddy through my team and another through Women in Tech, so I had great support in my first months. I feel included and taken care of here and all of this motivates me to be better at my job than I was yesterday.

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