Sukhdeep knew what she wanted to do at a young age. While the specifics of her dreams have changed, her determination to follow them hasn’t. She is still doing what she loves, and has followed her fascinations to a career where she gets to put her inherent aptitudes to work in order to facilitate the innovation of an entire company. She describes her commencement into the world of code.
“As a kid, I wanted to do 2 things: be a fighter pilot and solve math problems. At the time in India, women couldn't be fighter pilots, so I focused my time on math, and later engineering. At some point I wrote my first matrix multiplication function and it was love at first sight with programming. That desire to be an engineer morphed into a love for software engineering.”
After getting a Masters in Computer Science from Ohio State University, she went on to hold Software Engineering positions at a variety of tech companies before becoming a Senior Engineering Manager at Box. There she is responsible for heading up the company’s Productivity Engineering group. She describes her role at the organization.
“I have taken my love of software engineering with my drive for efficiency and passion for high quality code, and have applied it to the productivity engineering team at Box. I believe products for internal engineering productivity are just as important as the features that external users see; in fact, they form the foundation for being able to deliver great products to our customers.”
She goes on to describe the importance of the work her team is doing, and what inspires her about managing this part of the company.
“My group's mission is to optimize for long term developer productivity. Through the work of my team, engineers at Box get to focus on building great products for customers, and don't have to worry about impediments that can slow down the speed of innovation. We give them the tools to have more confidence in their code, which in turn can lead to fewer production issues and higher confidence in their work. At the end of the day, we want to make it easy for engineers to do the right thing. “
Sukhdeep, known as “Sid” by her friends, is a mentor that helps engineers navigate their careers through the Women in Tech group at Box. She is also a member of WWCode San Francisco, which she learned about through the aforementioned group. Her belief in diversity and inclusion is very important to her, and she actively works to support those ideals. She talks about this passion in greater detail.
“My journey as an engineer, manager, and mom has driven me to become an advocate for diversity. I believe an inclusive workplace fosters innovation through varied experiences and perspectives. Box has been a great place to channel my passion for diversity into something constructive. In collaboration with amazing coworkers who share similar values, combined with the support from Leadership at Box, I am in a position where I can affect positive change.”
When asked for some wisdom that she would like to pass on to the Women Who Code community,Sukhdeep said,
One of the things I've learned in my career is that while aptitude is very important to your success as an engineer, attitude plays an even bigger role. Strong aptitude, applied with a great attitude can lead to amazing things.
Sukhdeep Sidhu On LinkedIn