What inspires you to lead? At VMware, we’re empowering both women and men to drive positive change for each other, customers, and the wider community. Connect with VMware Sr. Member of Technical Staff, Kavya Reddy Musani, and discover what inspires her to grow in her role as a leader and how she is sharing that knowledge with others at the Grace Hopper Celebration in India.
Role: Senior Member of Technical Staff
Office Location: Bangalore, India
Years at VMware: 4
Share what a typical day is like for you at VMware.
As a Quality Engineer (QE), my day starts with checking if the build of my component has been generated. Then I make a note of the tests to be run and work on verifying and closing bugs. VMware has a huge QE department, and each module of every single component is taken care of by running tests multiple times. There are countless times a component is tested across multiple teams. The automation code is reviewed and renewed continuously to make the best use of it. Although it might seem monotonous to work on the same component day in and day out, I’m proud of what my teammates and I are accomplishing together because I know we’re helping make a significant impact on technology and the wider community.
In parallel, VMware has several innovation initiatives throughout the year that empower me to pursue my passion for technology. From Borathons (employee-led hackathons) to RADIO (VMware’s internal R&D innovation offsite) to patent filing sessions, there is always something going on for me to explore new ideas outside of my main scope of work. These events allow me to stay on top of the latest trends in technology while connecting with new coworkers across the globe.
At VMware we never forget to have fun. It’s a part of our journey to work smart and play hard. Events like the quarterly Beer Bash and activities like badminton, table tennis, and caroms lets me socialize and get together with my friends from other departments to relax and unplug from the work week.
What inspired you to pursue a career in Information Technology?
This may sound silly, but I joke with my friends that they may not see the results of their work immediately. An electric engineer can’t see the electrons and photons just like that. However, I can see the output of my code immediately and I can optimize it to any extent. This is what inspired me to get into Information Technology. I can play with the software and try to use it in multiple ways. Whenever my code solves a problem, I feel as if I invented something new. The rate at which tech is advancing says a lot about the way our thinking has changed. Now, everything can be managed with the tap of a finger and I am excited to say that my contribution to tech is a part of that growth.
You are presenting two sessions at Grace Hopper (#GHCI15) India: one on machine learning and the other on new clear energy. Can you share more about what you will be discussing during these two sessions?
The Grace Hopper conference celebrates women in Computing. It’s a privilege to be associated with GHC and to present two sessions this year. There is a huge flood of data everywhere in today’s world and carefully analyzing it will help us arrive at some common patterns of data behavior. We have popular algorithms like k-means, a clustering algorithm that puts data that is similar into buckets, and decodes incoming data with these buckets of data and categorizes it accordingly. In my machine learningsession, I have taken the example of a spam detector and filter. Spammers are continuously fine-tuning their methods to induce spam, which ultimately puts pressure on email inboxes, and thus lowers a computer’s performance by affecting its CPU, memory, and network. A careful observation will reveal that 70% of emails in our inbox are either spam or junk mail. My colleague and I are presenting an enhancement to the k-means clustering algorithm, which further refines the distance calculated between similar words. Thus spam is detected even more efficiently.
My second session is about tapping into the subconscious mind for energy utilization. We know that the percentage of women in senior roles is less than men at this point in time. Somewhere along the career path, we are losing women to such an extent that we are not able to bounce back. The strong-minded continue to spark in their career. However, not all can cope with the changes that come in personal and professional life. Women are natural multi-taskers. However, they suffer internally to achieve perfection with everything and to satisfy everyone. This leads to stress, improper time-management and a toll on their health. My session teaches techniques to attain an Alpha state of mind where we are empowered to think better and utilize our energy to the fullest.
The 2015 theme for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is Our Time to Lead. What does this theme mean to you?
It’s definitely time for women to lead and rightfully ask for what we deserve. I personally took this as my motive in 2015. VMware Bangalore is empowering female employees to seek out opportunities to grow. One way that we are doing this is by participating in tech conferences and forums. VMware has had a record number of submissions and selections for GHC India across R&D, GSS (Global Support Services), Sales, HR, Technical Operations, and AirWatch. We had 55 authors, 60 submissions, and 10 selections. Of the Anita Borg Institute committee members, 23 are from VMware. These women are working on tracks covering topics across R&D, soft skills, management, and entrepreneurship. I would like to personally thank everyone at VMware, including my manager, who trusted and stuck with me on this journey. My theme to lead has been successful and the numbers speak volumes of our efforts.
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