As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Neha Gaikwad.
Company Role: Mobile Engineer
Most likely to: Talk to myself while coding
Secret talent: Double jointed
Interested in any potential lucky days, months, and/or years coming up in your future? Just ask Neha! Tell her your birth date and time, and she’ll tell you what the stars have in store for you. Yep, pretty cool. But how? Well, her mom is an astrologer who taught her everything zodiac-related. (Knowing that Neha wanted to be an astronaut growing up makes so much sense now).
Outside of making starry-eyed predictions, Neha has built a successful career in software development and particularly in Android development. Starting her journey in India after completing an undergrad degree in IT, she’s been working on a ton of Android apps for the past few years and has been loving it — from investment apps to healthcare, IT, and employee management ones. After completing her master’s degree from the University of Maryland, she landed at String and Key in October 2020 and has been an excellent new addition who we can’t wait to meet in person, post-pandemic.
So without further ado, here’s Neha.
What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
My typical workday starts with a hot cup of coffee and a morning stand-up meeting with the Android, iOS, and web teams. We discuss our work, accomplishments, and plans for the day. This gives the team an idea of everyone’s progress and the chance to interact with each other and ideate. After that, I break down my tasks, prioritize them, and get to work. In the afternoon, we have an Android team meeting, where I work closely with my seniors to analyze, solve, and improve the codes (if there are any). If I have any free time left, I read some articles and blogs related to Android to stay up to date.
What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
Our FIKA chats, the happy hours, and the meetings where I get to meet and interact with everyone at S&K. It’s only been a couple of months since I joined String and Key, so it’s been nice socializing, albeit via video. To be honest, I was quite nervous when I first joined S&K, since the pandemic forced everything online. I was worried about not having the chance to work with my team in the same workspace, but the people here are so warm and welcoming! Everyone is so smart, talented, kind, and awesome simultaneously, which is extremely rare, and I learn so much from them every day, both professionally and personally.
What excites you about your job?
Android has become, more or less, a passion for me. Learning new technology and skills excites me the most. When I’m given a task to work on, we brainstorm the task, and the best part is that everyone’s input is valued. During this session, we come up with so many different ways to execute the same task; it amazes me and makes me realize that I have a lot more to learn.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
My team and everyone here is so knowledgeable, smart, and experienced that I sometimes find it challenging to keep up with them. I believe that learning something new and expanding one’s knowledge can be as challenging as it can be fun. My team is very considerate and supportive of me, and they always help me out. Thanks to them, the whole process has been a lot easier than I’d anticipated.
What are the values that drive you?
I strongly believe in excellence and perseverance because with those two things, one can be committed, loyal, and passionate about whatever task comes along. I believe in the saying, “Pursue excellence and success will come chasing you.” I think excellence goes hand-in-hand with perseverance.
How do you stay on top of your game?
I try to stay updated on the new developments of the ever-evolving and constantly changing IT sector — that’s very important. I’m always trying to implement the latest strategies and approaches that I come across. Also, adapting to change and learning something new every day — while giving myself and my brain time to relax — helps me focus and stay on top of my game.
What drew you to tech, and what excites you about the industry?
During childhood, I always wondered how a computer works. When my parents got a new computer, I received a lot of attention from my friends and peers because only I had one. From using paint to playing lots and lots of games, I spent a lot of time in front of that computer. My first high school project was stitching images to create a single panoramic image using MATLAB. This gave my confidence a boost and motivated me to get into the tech world. And although keeping up with the fast pace of technology can be challenging, it’s exciting to learn and explore this world’s endless possibilities.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
Cooking tasty recipes with very limited ingredients. I often create my recipes by experimenting with whatever ingredients I have at home — from healthy smoothies to fully-loaded pizzas.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
I recently started to play the guitar, and I love it! I’ve always wanted to learn to play but never got a chance to. But, last month, I finally bought a guitar, and I’ve been learning to play ever since (using YouTube tutorials, of course). Besides that, I like to sketch, play strategic board games when I have friends over, and explore restaurants/cuisines that I haven’t tried before.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Foodie, #NeverSayNo, #KnowledgeSeeker #Clumsy, #Experimenter
Cardio or weights?
Calendar or cell phone alerts?
Dinner or dessert?
Fireplace or fire pit?
Superheroes or supervillains?
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us