PickTrace is proud to be a team of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and interests. Each month we highlight members of our team to learn about what makes them, and PickTrace, unique.
Get to know Principal Backend Engineer Chaitanya Vemprala! Since joining the team in 2019, Chai has been absolutely crucial to PickTrace’s technical development – jumping in head first to understand the unique issues we’re solving for. Chai’s curiosity and hunger for knowledge are just a small part of what makes him a beloved member of the PickTrace team!
Describe yourself in 25 words or less:
Hello, my name is Chaitanya (friends call me chai/chiya/chaitu) I love writing and reading code. When I’m not working on software projects, I’m usually watching movies, reading books or catching up on geopolitics
Where did you grow up and what is your favorite memory of that place?
I grew up in Hyderabad which is in the southeastern part of India and one interesting fact about this place is it has the largest integrated film studio complex in the world. My favorite memory is playing cricket (best team sport in the world) and eating a lot of biryani.
In school, what was your preferred subject and why?
In school I was very interested in Social studies which is the study of people in relation to each other and to their world. It is an issue-focused and inquiry-based subject that draws upon history, geography, economics, political science and other social science disciplines. I loved this because the way my mom taught me she made this very interesting and on top of that she used to make me write these summaries on the political op-eds which would come in the daily newspaper. That made it very engaging for me.
How do you like to spend your free time? Any hobbies of note?
[I’m] not a hobby focused person, but these days I’m learning to play a cajon which is a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I was afraid of petting dogs partly because of a few bad experiences in my childhood, but here at PickTrace I have overcome the fear and have grown to love them.
Before PickTrace, what was your most interesting or unusual job?
While I was in grad school I was blessed/lucky to work with my professor Dr. Joel Diemer on a web app called Volopt which was a web aggregator. Unfortunately we had to stop the project because of lack of funding but that experience made me what I’m today and owe a lot to my professor.
How would you describe your current role to a child?
[I] help people working on the farms get paid accurately and quickly.
What has been your proudest moment since joining the PT team?
On a client visit recently, one of the owners mentioned that “PickTrace is what this industry needs”, that made my day. That is what we strive for here.
What is your favorite part of working for PickTrace?
Farm labor works in tricky and complex work environments, from picking citrus fruit in California at peak 115F temperatures to apple thinning that they have to work in near freezing temperatures in Washington. The conditions are very tough and we take this as our mission to tackle this problem in a way where we empower/enable organizations to make right decisions on their costing thereby making sure people who are responsible for making those fruits available on our table are paid accurately and quickly.
In the spirit of the season, what is something you are most grateful for in 2020?
I’m very lucky and grateful that I get to work with an organization that is responsible, employee focused and on top of that get to work with smart, thoughtful, empathetic people who care about each other and the community as well.
Finally, and most importantly, if you were a piece of produce what would you be and why?
Oranges, mainly because of the sweet tart taste.
Interested in working with awesome people like Chai? Check out our open positions here!