WWCode Podcast #19 – Manik Kashikar, Senior Technology Architect at Accenture

WWCode Podcast #19 – Manik Kashikar, Senior Technology Architect at Accenture

Written by Maitreyi Kulkarni




Maitreyi Kulkarni, a Product Support Specialist at Signzy and a volunteer with Women Who Code, interviews Manik Kashikar, a Senior Technology Architect at Accenture.  They discuss Manik’s journey, her current role at Accenture, and different initiatives they are working on, as well as ways that she uses community to stay up to date with the latest technology.


Tell us about your career journey.


I’ve been with Accenture for 10 years. I have 16 years of experience in total. When I started my career in the IT industry, I started as a hardcore Java developer. To meet the needs of the industry and the clients, I started learning new technologies and I moved to the open-source stack, and then to full-stack. I got a chance to be a part of a core architecture team, that was really a change-maker in my career. 


Around 2010, I was a part of a multi-channel solution factory. We developed an omnichannel platform, which is currently being used by multiple Italian-based banking clients of Accenture. From there, I stepped into a very different domain,  security and identity, and access management. I worked on an access and authorization platform and the stability of that platform. For the last couple of years, I’ve been working on cloud technology, app modernization, migration, and solutions for various clients. 


Can you tell us more about your role at Accenture? 


Currently, I’m working as a Delivery Unit Head for Cloud-First software engineering group for one of our European banking clients. I’m playing a dual role, one as a Cloud Architect and another as a Delivery Unit Head, where I’m heading three projects.

Can you tell us more about Accenture India initiatives that help women boost their careers?


There are initiatives that Accenture launches every year. I’ve had the chance to be a part of a number of them. They have allowed me to enhance my leadership skills and strengthen my knowledge in terms of dealing with stakeholders and client management. High-Tech Women Program is a great program for women who want to pursue their career as a technologist or in architecture space. I got certified and had the chance to be part of the core team. I also led this initiative for Europe. 


There is a Cloud Advisory program. They have hand-picked technologists and architects from various domains and industries that Accenture works for. It’s a rigorous, six-week program. There were a number of internal and external training. We were given scenario-based use cases in which we had to design our solution, present it, and they shared feedback. It was a great experience to work collaboratively and to represent yourself as an individual. 


Can you tell us if it is important to have a certification in cloud platforms? 


Certifications are a good stepping stone. It’s good to have credentials. Later on, it is more about how you apply that knowledge that you have gained from certifications, more of your hands-on and real-time experience is something that will help you.


How do you stay up-to-date with technology? Are you part of any communities or societies online? 


I’ve been an active member as part of multiple societies and online communities. I’m also an active member of Grace Hopper Celebration, Anita Borg’s organization. Every year they launch a number of competitions where you can present your point of view and showcase your assets. I’ve been very active in submitting on various topics like cloud security, cloud architectures, best practices, and best practices on app modernizations.


I have attended numerous workshops related to advanced architectures and app modernizations. I also keep myself engaged in participating through a number of internal to Accenture as well as external events, in terms of point of view presentations and paper presentations.


As a woman leader, any tips that you want to share with us today? 


As we progress in our life journey, as well as in our careers, we go through various phases. Priorities keep changing. Be passionate about your work. Learn how to multitask. Be very focused when it comes to your career goal and what you really want to achieve. Do not shy away from asking for help. That’s an important one because you can’t be a superwoman everywhere. You have to let go in some areas. Prioritization and being organized are very important.