Read time: 2 minutes
Geetha Ramachandran has spent her entire career working in the technology industry. She’s passionate about innovation and finding solutions to complex problems. At FINRA, she leads teams in building and delivering enterprise solutions with a focus on automation and development operations. In part one of the three-part series, Tech Journeys: Women in Technology & the Evolution of the Industry, Geetha gives us a snapshot of her personal technology journey and how she’s kept up with innovations.
Part 1: Geetha’s Tech Journey and how She Has Kept Up with Innovations
My personal technology journey started in my home in India with my family. You see, both of my parents were educators. My mother was a math professor and my father taught chemistry. So, growing up, I was fascinated by both of these subjects, and it wasn’t long before I discovered my own passion for science, technology, engineering, and math.
In college, I majored in computer science and engineering and after graduation, I started my career in technology and consulting services as a software developer, writing business applications for clients such as General Electric and the International Monetary Fund. However, after having my first child, I took a brief break from work.
“My technology journey began in India and became a reality in the United States. It took me from the continent of Asia to North America.”
In 2010, I joined FINRA as a test automation developer, but I wanted to continue to learn and grow in my career. So how did I keep with technology advancements? Honestly, I found it challenging to commit to college-level courses or lengthy training programs while raising young children, so I turned to experiential learning. I gained the necessary skillset for the job and got hands-on experience through hackathons, special projects, open-source projects, and collaborating with cross-functional teams. This greatly improved my skill set and kept me current with new technology. And I’ve continued on this course by participating in and winning multiple external and internal hackathons and through coaching teams in these events. FINRA’s Createathon, our internal hackathon and three-day, innovation event, along with research and development projects have allowed me to continuously learn and grow.
But that’s not all, I use social media to learn about the latest trends and connect with other professionals in the industry. Plus, I take courses offered by experts to learn about the foundations of new technologies. For example, I have taken the courses on deep learning and neural networks, which gave me a solid understanding of the fundamentals for those technologies. I also had hands-on learning opportunities that allowed me to apply what I learned to real-world projects and scenarios. The more I worked on the project, the more confident I became in my skills, and the more I was able to learn.
In addition to learning and honing technical skills, I have also found it valuable to share my knowledge and experience with others. I have participated in various conferences and meetups where I have had the opportunity to present on a variety of tech topics. These experiences not only helped to improve my communication skills, but they have also allowed me to connect with other like-minded individuals and learn from their experiences as well.
Along with gaining technical skills, it was also important to develop management and leadership skills to guide teams and deliver projects. I’ve been fortunate to have mentors who provided guidance and allowed me to learn by doing. My technology journey has been an interesting ride, but through it all, I have been able to keep up with the fast-changing world of technology. And with so many new developments happening every day, I am excited to see where this journey takes me next!
Geetha Ramachandran is Senior Director of Application, Engineering, and Data Science Platforms