Meet Harpriya: Growing a family while growing in her career at Thinkific

Dalena Nguyen
Feb 14 · 6 min read

When we ask our team what they love about working at Thinkific, there are a couple of resounding answers: the people and the culture. It’s something we couldn’t agree with more and in fact, they go hand in hand!

We’re always on the lookout for incredible people to add to our team because we know that each and every person that joins #TeamThinkific contributes to the culture we’ve worked so hard to build. While we’ve been given awards for our culture (and we’re grateful to have received them), we also wanted to recognize the team members who make Thinkific the amazing place it is and learn more about their individual journeys.

This is an opportunity for us to introduce you to the talented, passionate, diverse, and friendly crew we have here, and for them to share their unique perspectives on life as part of #TeamThinkific!


Who are you?

Harpriya Buttar

What do you do at Thinkific?

I’m a Software Engineer in Test at Thinkific.

What led you to become a Software Engineer in Test?

I joined Thinkific in 2016 as a QA Tester. As the team grew (I was the only one focused on QA at the beginning!) and Thinkific’s product evolved, I became a Software QA Analyst. I joined Thinkific early on in my QA career and had come from organizations with more traditional and corporate cultures, so it’s been such a great learning experience and I feel like I’ve really been able to grow with the company.

Technology moves fast, so in 2018 our QA team started the transition to focus more on automation that could improve our processes and reduce the overall risks in our product. This transition also meant a shift from my role as a Software QA Analyst to become a Software Engineer in Test.

We also made this transition based on some feedback shared by our team — we wanted to learn more technical skills! It was a big switch from manual testing to becoming more technical, writing automation scripts and even fixing bugs. In the midst of all of this, I was about to start my maternity leave and I was actually a little hesitant about all of this change. What if I didn’t like it?

Throughout my entire maternity leave, I was kept up to date with exactly what was happening with my team, what changes were happening, and how I would continue to be supported through my maternity leave and my return. Leading up to my return back to work, I was nervous because my team had made this transition while I was at home with my new son. But guess what? All of these concerns ended up seeming silly as soon as I got back because the team at Thinkific had come up with a detailed plan for me already!

My team lead and Thinkific’s People team had already thought of how I would grow into this new role: I knew which courses I would need to take, exactly what I would need to learn, and most importantly, I was given all the opportunities to learn and grow while feeling a sense of security in my job. There were so many resources available to me — from being able to do paired programming with my team, to the detailed re-integration plan, to all of the support provided by everyone on the team!

With the new skills I’ve learned as part of this new role, I realized that these were the things I had been wanting to learn to further my career anyways and that I shouldn’t have been so nervous. Today, I’m a Software Engineer in Test and I get the chance to work closely with the awesome Software Engineers who work here!

The flexibility that Harpriya gets at Thinkific gives her more time to spend with her son, Agam!

What do you love about Thinkific?

One of the best things about working at Thinkific is the flexibility. As a working mom, I have the freedom to work at my own pace as long as I meet my goals. Currently, I work from home a couple of days a week, which gives me the chance to spend more time with my son, Agam! It is also helpful for scheduling doctor’s appointments.

When I came back from my maternity leave, Thinkific was very accommodating and open to working on an arrangement that made sense for everyone. I feel so blessed to have an employer like Thinkific who provided me with so many options!

You became a new parent while working at Thinkific. What was that experience like?

There are lots of parents at Thinkific, so even during my pregnancy I was able to reach out to Zuz (Thinkific’s Director of Finance) and Miranda (our co-founder and COO) with questions. Having support from them has been invaluable, and I’ve even created a “Parents Helping Parents” channel on Slack since I’ve been back to pass on advice to others on this same journey!

Throughout my maternity leave, I stayed in touch with the team and connected with Tia (Thinkific’s Director of People and Culture) on a regular basis so I was always updated. I’d get messages from my team and even calls, which was great because with a newborn there wasn’t always time for me to reach out first. When the structure of my team changed, I was informed right away and was told about what I could expect, which really helped ease my doubts.

This year’s Family Holiday Brunch featured a special appearance from Santa

Thinkific does a great job of making our loved ones feel included, from recognizing their birthdays to going as far as hosting a family holiday brunch event (a party that’s kid-friendly)!

Having a team that’s so supportive helps make sure that you’re not stressed about your job, or about some of the other challenges you might face as a new parent.

How did Thinkific’s parental leave top-ups help?

I’m so thankful for Thinkific’s top-up policy, as it took away so much stress! It enabled me to leverage my maternity leave to spend more time with my family. I was able to go on maternity leave for about a year and that time was so valuable! It’s so nice to have the flexibility to raise a child while also contributing to and growing my career, and it was all worry-free — I know that I’m lucky because I’ve had friends who haven’t been able to do the same because they’ve had to think about paying off bills and mortgages.

How have you grown in your career at Thinkific? Where do you see yourself going?

From the start, I knew that I wanted to grow my career at Thinkific and I’ve already been able to come so far. For now, there’s still a lot to learn as I keep growing as a Software Developer in Test. In the future, I’d love to start to take on more dev tasks, too!

What are you looking forward to at Thinkific?

Thinkific has changed in many ways since I’ve joined. I started when there were 25 people at the company and today, #TeamThinkific is made up of over 110 incredible people! Thinkific is still growing quickly and it’s not just one specific team, like product or marketing, it’s across the board. The amazing thing is that even as the team grows, you still feel so connected, and there are plenty of social events to get to know your teammates better.

The culture at Thinkific was a really big motivator for me to come back to work after my maternity leave. I’ve worked at more corporate companies in the past that operated more traditionally — I think if I was still at a company like that then it would have been a lot harder to come back to work.

Thinkific

Thinkific is a software platform that enables entrepreneurs…

Dalena Nguyen

Written by

Talent Branding Specialist @Thinkific. Big on genuine engagement + real (human) connection. Let’s talk @Canucks, travel, #BCtech, #TeamThinkific. Opinions mine.

Thinkific

Thinkific

Thinkific is a software platform that enables entrepreneurs to create, market, sell, and deliver their own online courses. We are revolutionizing the way people learn and earn online. www.thinkific.com

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