Get to Know: Shaili Kapoor, Software Engineer
What problems are you solving in your role?
As a software engineer for the platform engineering team, I’ve gotten to work on a lot of different projects. When I first started, we were creating a new notification engine to replace our old one. The notification engine has different connectors delivering notifications through paths like SMS, mobile push, pagers, and even fax. I started off having ownership of the WCTP, which is a numeric and email pager. After that, I worked on the voice platform, and now I have an internal mini project of my own. We have big umbrella projects and then we have a lot of mini projects under those.
Tell us more about the project you own.
Because we have a new notification engine and a new voice platform, tech support didn’t have access to the call logs and notifications they needed to help customers. They were asking the tech and operations teams for that information. It was really time consuming for internal teams and not an ideal experience for the customers. My project now is to create a tool to extract these logs and make them easy for tech support to access. Other teams can use it to, like QA, the operations team, and our own development team.
“I’ve been able to interact with people from different teams and learn more about the new platform.”
One reason my manager assigned me this was because one of my goals was to improve on leadership and communication skills. The project requires a lot of UI work. I’ve been able to interact with people from different teams and learn more about the new platform.
What have you learned through that process?
I got to learn so many technologies in such a short time. At first, I was worried we couldn’t make the deadline, but my manager reassured me. He told me, “You can do this.” As we went along, I realized, “He’s right. I can do this. We can make the deadline.” I learned to trust people, to trust my own instincts, and to communicate what I wanted. I also learned that sometimes, when people put in requirements, you have to say, “No. This can’t be done within that time.”
“I learned to trust people, to trust my own instincts, and to communicate what I wanted.”
What did you do before coming to Everbridge?
Everbridge is my second job out of college. I did my Bachelor’s and Master’s in computer science, and a double major in applied math. My first job out of college was as a software engineer for OpenX in their New York office. OpenX is a programmatic advertising technology company that builds ad servers — the ads that you see when you open a website.
Why did you decide to join Everbridge?
The product is so important. It impacts people’s lives. It’s satisfying to know your product is used to actually help people. It’s a completely different type of product from what I was making before. Because it’s an emergency notification system, it has to be more reliable, more scalable, and faster in delivery.
“It’s satisfying to know your product is used to actually help people.”
How is Everbridge different from other places you’ve worked?
We have a very family-like environment, especially in my team. You can bounce ideas off of anyone and get their perspective, or just ask them to do a sanity check of your work. I think that sort of environment helps people innovate, work better, and look forward to coming to work. It’s really fun here.
If someone is looking to join Everbridge, I think the most important thing to know is that you need to be a team player and to take initiative. If you want to work somewhere that’s really collaborative, without any office politics, then I think this is the perfect place. People are really approachable. There are no egos getting in the way.
“If you want to work somewhere that’s really collaborative, without any office politics, then I think this is the perfect place.”
What experience from before Everbridge do you feel like has helped you the most there?
I learned a lot at OpenX. In college, you learn a lot of theoretical stuff, but applying it helped me internalize the processes of software and agile development. We’re moving towards an agile environment here. I learned a lot about UI work there, which I’m using now at Everbridge.
You need to know how to learn if you want to succeed at Everbridge. Learning itself is a skill. You also have to take initiative here. You’re not just handed work and expected to do some little task. If you’re not going to take initiative, I don’t think anyone could thrive — either at my previous company or at Everbridge.
What challenges have you faced, and what’s helped you get through those?
Sometimes I’ll get stuck on a technical challenge. When that happens, after a day or two of trying to solve it, I’ll ask a colleague, because most of my colleagues have more experience than I do. Even if they don’t know the answer, they can point me in the right direction. Everyone has a different way of solving a problem.
“I see myself growing with Everbridge because everyone’s been very encouraging of developing ourselves.”
Another challenge was with the project I’m working on now. My manager told me, “Okay, you’re the project leader. You decide how you want to run this project.” At first I didn’t know what to do. One thing my manager said was: “When you’re working on something, you need to step back and consider how it aligns with the business goals. That’s how you know you’re on the right track.” So I broke it into smaller tasks, and did it as a mini project, then saw how to do it as a bigger project. Now I’m more confident seeing the big picture and building something from scratch all the way to the end.
What are your goals for the future?
Down the line, I’d like to be in a senior position as an engineer, or maybe a project lead. It depends on where my talents fit. I see myself growing with Everbridge because everyone’s been very encouraging of developing ourselves in-house. Every year, we set goals for technical and personal skills we want to gain. Then managers give you pointers on how you can improve and move to a more senior level.
Is there anything outside of work that you are equally passionate about?
I like to learn different activities, so it keeps changing. Right now I’m learning tennis. Before that, one of my co-workers taught me ping-pong. Every evening, we have a little ping-pong match between my coworker and I and two people from the sales team. We have our own little tournament going on.