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Connector Spotlight: Vidya Viswakumar



March 11, 2022

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Anyone who knows Vidya Viswakumar agrees she’s caring, sincere, adaptable; always bringing her best qualities to everything she does. But did you know that this software engineer is also a Friends superfan? Actually, you might. But we bet you don’t know how she combined her love of Friends and her love of travel. Now, all we have to ask is if she’s a Rachel, Monica, or Phoebe. 

Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on.

I’m fortunate to work with a diverse portfolio of partners. Presently, we’re working to improve the organizational product development process at one of our clients’ new ventures. It’s exciting when you get to be involved at this foundational level of organizational design, helping to implement new processes, sharing tips and techniques.

Currently, I’m working on Project Wombat for a large Fortune 50 Tech Enterprise. Wombat is a suite of integrations between an internal business communication platform and a suite of popular instant messaging platforms. It aims to make it easy for organizations to reach any employee, no matter where they are or what tools they use. Wombat enables workers to receive topical and timely information and gain access to resources they need to make an impact with their work — all without disrupting their current platform preferences. 

I’m working on incredibly exciting stuff for some of the biggest names in instant messaging, and soon, baring the final legal negotiations, all of our work will be available to the masses. That’s one of the best parts about working here, the exposure to some of the biggest and most technology-forward brands around while working on projects that have a tangible impact.

What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?

I was very new to React when I joined Project Wombat. The engineers who were working on the feature had to move to other roles so the onus was on me to pick up where they left off. I had to continue the UI work they were doing and had to build on that. At the time, I was new to the client infrastructure and it was challenging. Fortunately, with a lot of research and help from other Connectors and engineers from the client-side, I pushed through and built the UI for the integration configuration work.

Where did you work before Connected?

Prior to Connected, I worked for a Finance technology consultancy. Though it was a service company, it was very different from Connected. Connected feels more like a product company, or rather, how a product company should feel like. In contrast, it’s not hard to see why we get the results we do – it’s designed that way.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

I am proud of the fact that I was able to manage one full product feature of Project Wombat myself. Maybe I should share a bit more context though. 

There are three types of users on the client’s platform: 

  • System Administrators who manage configurations for the whole organization
  • Group Administrators who manage configurations for a particular group
  • Other users who are group members and also have access to the integrated messaging platform instance

I worked on both the System Admin and Group Admin role work which involved extensive research since I was new to the infrastructure and the technology used. And you can only imagine how expansive anything would be at any large, enterprise-grade messenger platform, or more accurately, the parent company they reside under.

Do you have a mantra you live by?

I just have one matra – try to do something different every day and enjoy work even during tough times.

What do you love to do outside of work?

I enjoy travelling and love to see new places. I also enjoy watching sitcoms, Friends in particular. Easily my favourite pastime.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?

Album – The Friends Soundtrack 

Movie – The Complete Series of Friends (that counts, right?)

Book –  I’ll Be There for You: The One about Friends by Kelsey Miller

Bonus: Vidya recently went to Warner Brothers to visit (take a guess) the Friends Studio.

Describe yourself in three words. 

Caring, Sincere, Adaptable.

And finally, what’s your favourite product and why? 

I love my Fitbit. I wear it all the time, and it is an important part of my life now. It makes me feel motivated by counting the number of steps I take, and I get a sense of accomplishment after any workout. Also, there’s a fashion element; at least, when you’ve accumulated the number of colours I have, it also becomes an accessory.

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