Chandani Desai is a Senior Software Engineer at YourMechanic. Originally from Mumbai, India, Chandani has been with the company for just under a year. Her current focus is on the YourMechanic android application.
Find out more about what life is like for Chandani at YourMechanic:
What first attracted you to engineering?
I’ve always been been a problem solver and my favorite subjects at school were math and physics. I love to work with other people in a team that both challenges and supports me. Engineering, to me, is about furthering my understanding of the world around me, and I’m constantly pushing myself to be a better thinker and innovator.
Where did you get your degrees?
I received my Bachelor of Information Technology from D.J. Sanghvi College, University of Mumbai. I have my Master of Information Technology (Specialization in Mobility) from Carnegie Mellon University.
What are your main responsibilities?
For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on the android application that the mechanics use on a daily basis to view, book, or complete appointments. My main focus is on improving usability and reducing the amount of time mechanics spend logging appointment data. The time saved can help the mechanics accept more appointments.
What is the work culture like at YourMechanic?
At YourMechanic, we are results driven. The team here is extremely talented which helps move things forward quickly. People are honest and direct in their communication. There is a constant source of fun challenges to solve which I really love. We have the liberty to chose what we want to work on and are often encouraged to try out new projects. This does not mean it’s all work and no play, however - there is something fun going on at the company every couple of days that everyone participates in. There hasn’t been one day since I have joined the company when I have not been happy to come into work.
Management believes that family time is very important for a healthy work life. There was a time when I was in the middle of an important deadline but my baby was sick. I was told not to worry about work and make sure my baby was fine before I got back to working on my project. In all these years in this industry, I have never come across such understanding people. When I got back to work after this incident, I had much higher respect for my work and company.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in this industry?
Challenges as a woman in this industry come in all shapes and sizes. As a woman in this field, you are constantly being judged and need to work harder to prove yourself. This can lead to isolation from discussions involving design or decision making. Disagreeing with male superiors is at times difficult but I find that the guys at YourMechanic are always happy to hear my thoughts and ideas. I find that the team and management overall are very open to hearing new ideas, even from people who are on different teams, which is unusual in this industry.
What advantages have you had as a woman in this industry?
The tech industry is very knowledge and skill driven, so in pure technological terms, gender rarely has any bearing. However, probably since the number of women in tech and engineering is generally fewer than men, if you deliver good results, it’s easy to make an impact in a project or a team and be remembered.
What keeps you at YourMechanic?
There is always interesting work to do and I love the freedom of choosing my own projects. Most importantly, perhaps, is that I feel that the work I do is appreciated.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Singing, hiking, cooking, and making jewelry.
What was your first car?
Mini Cooper S.
What’s your dream car?
Describe yourself in one word.