It was wonderful to connect with Akanksha Gupta, engineering manager at Amazon AWS, advocate of Women in technology, jury member for esteemed awards such as Stevie Awards, SIIA Codie, GraceHopper and active mentor at PlatoHq, GrowthMentor and FastTrack mentorship programs.
How did you help your community this year?
My focus this year was to assist the community by providing mentorship and coaching to engineering professionals, helping them improve their skills and excel in their roles. I achieved this by mentoring engineers and aspiring engineering managers within my company, as well as by serving as a mentor on several mentorship platforms such as PlatoHQ and Growthmentor.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If I could offer advice to my younger self, it would be to avoid excessive overthinking. I have observed individuals entering their initial job with tremendous enthusiasm, attempting to tackle numerous tasks simultaneously. However, this approach can sometimes obstruct the ultimate objective and leave one feeling inundated. While planning and strategizing are essential, devoting too much time to overthinking may not yield significant results. Instead, if you wish to accomplish ten things, choose one or two and see them through to completion. The lessons learned throughout the process can be valuable and applied to the remaining objectives, so it's best to start executing early and keep the momentum going.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
The accomplishment that I am most proud of is transforming my dream into reality by publishing a book on software engineering management titled "Think like a Software Engineering Manager". The book has been launched in early access and is available at http://mng.bz/aM8m. Through this book, I aimed to inspire the next generation of software engineers and fill a gap that I noticed when I was planning to enhance my skills as an engineering leader and explore job opportunities.
This journey was unique and challenging since there was relatively little material available on the topic, and I had to navigate the publishing business and identify a suitable publisher to bring my vision to life. I had no close friends who had undergone a similar journey, so I had to explore this new territory independently. However, the process taught me valuable lessons and has undoubtedly been my most significant accomplishment thus far.
What is one thing that inspires you?
The notion and potential of attempting something is my greatest inspiration. I firmly believe in the concept of 'karma', hence the act of making an attempt and putting in the effort is truly inspiring to me. A mentor during the initial phase of my career shared valuable advice that not making an attempt ensures a certain failure, while making an attempt increases the likelihood of achieving the end goal by at least 50%.
Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is the one by Theodore Roosevelt
“Believe you can and you're halfway there”.
The quote emphasizes the significance of having confidence in oneself and feeling capable of accomplishing a task. It then suggests taking action and putting in full effort. Even if failure ensues, what truly matters is having believed in oneself and having made the attempt.
1000 Spotlights: Why We Give reflects our mission of giving back, to mentor and to inspire those around us.
Through a series of interview questions, we explore intrinsic motivations behind why we give, and talk with those inclined to make a difference in the lives of others. If you are involved in charitable activities, volunteer and paid academic engagements or in community service, we want to talk to you.
Write to us to nominate yourself or someone else who fits the bill.