Meet Gayatri Pendharkar, backend developer and budding mountaineer

How did you become interested in tech?

When I was around 16 years old, I had to choose between arts, science, and commerce. I chose science because it covered a broad subject area with many potential career opportunities – from medical to engineering. During that time, I also took some computer courses which I found interesting. On the other hand, I was really interested in engineering mechanics courses. After a few years, I was still a little unsure whether to study a degree in mechanical engineering or computer science. In the end, my inclination towards computers led me to pursue Electronics and Telecommunications engineering – which is heavily influenced by computer science – at Pune University.

How long have you been working with tech?

Since I got my Masters. After graduating from Pune, I left India to do a Masters in Computer Engineering with a minor in computer networks at Colorado State University. During that time, I met Ruiying, from the Data Ductus Dallas office, at an on-campus career fair. She told me about the work they do as software consultants in computer networking for clients such as Cisco. It was interesting, as I had always wanted to work as a developer in networking. Later, I was officially interviewed and began working at the Longmont office in June 2019 as a backend developer.

What does a typical day at work involve?

I work closely with our Boston office, so my day starts early, often with meetings. Then, I catch up on my emails, before dedicating the rest of my day to development. It is a nice balance to the day. I work with a variety of software, tools, and programming languages such as Python, XML, Docker, Robot Framework, Google Protobufs, etc.

What’s most interesting about your job?

I work on Network Automation projects with our client, Crown Castle. The project consists of a lot of modern tools/software and hence, it involves a lot of hands-on learning. I get to explore new methodologies to find innovative solutions. Additionally, if I need any guidance from experts at Data Ductus or Crown Castle, there is always somebody on hand to help. I also get to attend client development and strategy meetings. It is great to get this exposure in my day-to-day so early-on in my career.

What advice would you give to somebody interested in pursuing a career like yours?

In life, we are faced with tough decisions and at those times it is easy to doubt yourself. You just need to persist and hold your head up high. One day you will look back and be glad that you did not give up and chose to give your all.

What do you do when you’re not crunching code?

Currently, I’m working out a lot to build endurance. I foresee climbing a fourteener – the 14,000 feet (4200m) high mountains here in Colorado in Summer 2022. I would like to chart my progress and document it on social media to keep myself motivated and inspire others.