7 ServiceMax Engineers Discuss Engineering, Keeping the World Running, and Give Advice for Future Engineers
In honor of Engineers Week this coming Feb 16-22, we sat down with a few ServiceMax engineers to learn about the work they do, why they love it, and get some tips for those who might be considering a career in engineering.
Q: What made you interested in becoming an engineer?
Archana: Pursuing a degree in engineering seemed like a natural thing to do back then. I like the way it makes you think logically. I enjoyed my initial years in product support and it equipped me with great skills like an eye for detail, logical thinking, and kept me close to technology.
Adam: I’ve been interested in computers since I was a teenager. I think the thing that attracted me to them was the ability to create something tangible from scratch. The power to create was captivating to me.
Sneha: I’ve always had the dream to be an engineer. Growing up in India, there are two professions that are really renowned and respected, and that’s being a doctor or an engineer. As a kid, I always looked up to my cousins who were engineers and a career compatibility test in school suggested I pursue science and engineering, so I decided pretty early on that I wanted to become an engineer. I’m proud I’ve been able to fulfill my dream as well as my parents’ dreams for me.
Vinay: I was an accidental engineer! I took up engineering as the two options thrown at me were engineering or medical school and I hated dissecting cockroaches way back in college days.
Sharath: For a guy whose ambition was to join the armed forces and serve the country, being an engineer was initially a secondary option. However, once I started working, got deeper into the profession and got an understanding of my role and responsibilities, I found that it enabled me to be exactly what I always wanted to be: a problem solver.
Adarsh: Be it toys, or things at home, building and fixing things with my dad was one of my favorite things to do. And as a fan of comic icons like Tony Stark (IronMan) and Bruce Banner (Hulk), I was more inclined to follow the science and technology path.
Q: What do you like most about being an engineer?
Shashi: The ability to create something or solve a problem that no one else has ever created or solved before.
Adam: I like that every day I get to solve a new problem using technology. Every day is different, and I get to collaborate with others to figure out the best way to build something new or fix an issue. It’s both challenging and rewarding to see your work provide value to others.
Sneha: I feel education is the first step towards women empowerment and I’m glad my parents prioritized my education, which opened up so many opportunities for me in my professional life. Being an engineer makes me proud of myself and motivates my kid to do well academically too. As an engineer, there are so many problems to solve and it’s exciting to encounter and tackle these things on an everyday basis.
Vinay: The empowerment it provides knowing that I can make an impact in my own way.
Sharath: One thing that is constant is change, and it’s quite thrilling to be involved in the continuous technological transformation and disruption journey. The feeling that you can make a difference to the world around you is quite fulfilling.
Adarsh: The challenge of solving problems in the best way possible. Every day brings new challenges and new learning opportunities.
Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time at ServiceMax?
Sharath: In terms of tenure with the company, I just completed a year and could possibly be termed as a “novice”. Prior to joining ServiceMax as an employee, I have been using ServiceMax as a customer (for about 4 years). Over the past 1 year, I am proud to have brought in a customer viewpoint when testing and using the new features and have provided continuous feedback to the product and engineering teams. Working on the Critical Customer Solutions team has helped me create a bond with customers, and having them reach out to us to act as their trusted advisors makes me really proud of the work we’ve been doing.
Adam: I am most proud of helping build a team of passionate engineers that are dedicated to building a product that others find so valuable. That team has helped me grow into a better engineer and I’m thankful for it.
Sneha: I have been among the 1st QA Engineers to join the ServiceMax Go team on the mobile side, so I have seen the app very closely since the beginning. I have a huge share in testing all the critical, major, and minor features of the app. As a QA Engineer, I always try to think from the customer’s perspective when testing the app and providing suggestions to the design team. I am really proud that I have been able to help the team deliver a high-quality app that always gets released on time, as well as resolve customer issues that make a difference for a lot of people.
Vinay: Developing the RCA Tool, single-handedly, using all new technologies, including the language and making DC HTML performant compared to DC classic.
Adarsh: I am most proud of the culture my engineering team has built. It makes ServiceMax a really great place to work.
Archana: I have been able to play different roles at ServiceMax and I’m very proud of my ability to adapt and taken on new projects and learn new skills.
Shashi: Being able to build a solution that solves customers’ problems and hearing their positive feedback makes me feel very proud.
Ashish: People, product and customers come to my mind! Over the past two years, we have innovated and revamped our product offerings to provide the best end-user experience for our mobile and web users. We have created a singular, modern, best-in-class mobile offering, launched a compelling next-generation scheduling solution, and overhauled our designer administration experience. Our newly launched products have intelligence included in the offerings to improve user productivity.
One of the things I strongly believe in and am proud of is our team’s focus on non-functional areas like continuous automation, performance, and scalability which have had a huge impact on our customers’ experience. Our people have bonded well, we have global teams, and I am proud of their demeanor to collaborate effectively and generate the thrust to propel the entire organization towards a singular mission. Great teamwork creates great products! All of this has resulted in reinforcing our customers’ trust in our company and we heard it from our customers who gave us our best yet NPS score.
Q: What is it like to develop a solution that helps keep the world running?
Adarsh: It is a privilege to be part of this energetic and focused organization. When I think about the impact we have on customers who keep the power on, airplanes in the sky, and hospitals up and running, it’s quite overwhelming, but in a good way.
Adam: It’s very rewarding to see/hear how something you’ve built is transforming the way people work. When I hear about all the various ways our customers are using Zinc out in the field it’s awesome to know you had a part in that. But at the same time, it’s an added stress to make sure what we are delivering is performant and available to all the people that rely on it.
Sneha: It feels great to know the app that I have tested is being used in the real world. So many people are using the app and we are keeping their lives running especially in the health industry.
Vinay: It is really satisfying to know that the work I do isn’t trivial—it makes a huge impact on companies across the world who provide critical services.
Sharath: You feel empowered and equally responsible. It’s a great feeling to know that the things we are building at ServiceMax are continuously improving the lives of people around us and across the world.
Q: What is your advice for those thinking about becoming engineers?
Adam: A few things come to mind. First, I think it takes a certain mindset to do well in engineering. You are constantly running into issues that you have to fix or solve. You need to love solving problems. There are problems that you know are complex from the start and then there are also small issues that are very hard to fix because pinpointing the solution is difficult. In those cases, it can take days to solve. You have to have patience and persistence to get through them.
Second, the best way to get started is to build something real. Learning through school or tutorials is good but the best way to learn is to build something and release it to the real world. This will force you to think through and solve lots of problems that aren’t obvious when you are just working on side projects. So, pick something you enjoy (sports, traveling, fashion, etc.) and build a tool within that hobby. My first website was a “choose your own adventure” type game. I learned a lot by just putting that out there. Finally, surround yourself with others that are learning or established and learn together. This is a career where you never stop learning something new no matter how long you’ve been doing it. Getting used to that is essential.
Sneha: If you have a strong will and interest, you will achieve your dreams. There is a lot of hard work that goes into becoming an engineer, and you need to be ready for that. But the hard work definitely pays off as you will have so many opportunities in your professional life. As they say: no pain, no gain.
Adarsh: If you love it, just got for it!
Ashish: Engineering is a discipline that is going to play a big part in transforming various aspects of our society. Engineering is no longer restricted to creating software and solutions to solve enterprise business problems. It’s an area that is causing disruption and it’s going to touch every human interaction, everything you see, everything you experience. Engineering will evolve the thinking of all professions all the way from doctors to governments.
If you are thinking of pursuing an engineering discipline, you are on the right path to be part of this transformation. Look for what excites you and follow your passion. Look for small opportunities, which could be internship projects or 2-3 month assignments working in small teams. Be part of practical hands-on experience. It will help you identify the engineer within you. It’s also always good to follow companies whose products you use and admire to track the history and future progress of these companies and people associated with building these products. This will give you an overall grounded perspective!
Archana: Honestly it is one of the best careers and teaches you to think straight and solve problems.
Sharath: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and feel free to voice your opinion and ideas. It’s important to understand the user impact of what you are working on in order to gauge if the current design or approach being followed is sustainable, adaptable and scalable. Also, not everything needs a technical change.
Vinay: Love your work and be driven by passion so that you can do your best each day.