PickTrace is proud to be a team of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and interests. Each week we highlight members of our team to learn about what makes them, and PickTrace, unique.
Meet Software Engineer, Niraj Dharamshi! Niraj is one of the engineers that has been working on our Onboarding product and approaches the process with an incredible amount of customer empathy. Read on to learn about his user-centric approach to engineering!
What is your favorite part of being an engineer?
- Engineering gives me a chance to do a full circle of: critical thinking –>empathy →building something.
How does empathy show up in engineering?
- There’s a functional part of the problem solving game where someone wants the problem to be solved and you have the ability to solve it in a number of different ways. But the other part – where empathy comes in – is offering them a solution that does not make their life harder unintentionally, and doesn’t harm them in any way.
What’s a favorite memory from working at PickTrace
- Some special moments for me professionally have been going out in the field with the team and looking at the actual farms and how they actually think and work with our solutions – especially the recent trip to Washington.
- One was at a customer appreciation event in 2021 where I was introduced to a new way of doing business – thanking customers for being part of PickTrace
- Of course team offsites are always fun because of how we connect with each other – there’s a fabric in PickTrace that keeps the entire team together that’s always illustrated in those offsites. It’s emotionally rewarding.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- I wanted to be somebody who can build something that impacts a lot of lives and can endure the test of time without me being alive. I never had a particular profession in mind as a child – it could have been anything. Software Engineering gave me chance to work in industries whose target problem space has been huge and have positively impacted experiences of lot of people.
What was your first -ever job?
- As a 12 year old I built a business out of selling masala popsicles. I made Rs. 400 rupee ($8 USD) in the whole summer
- At 18 I started working for my uncle doing machine drawings.
- I also joined a windmill farm – I used to climb windmills every day to take readings of the measurement instruments at the top. It used to take around 2 hours to reach the top of one windmill in the scorching heat of the desert in the west of India. It’s the most adventurous job I’ve ever had.
What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
- Traveling would be my top choice. I love it – exploring cities in general – I love going to places and understanding how people from different cultures perceive and do things
- I like doing debates like on business strategies, philosophy etc
- And after coming to the States – restaurants and nightlife, this wasn’t as much as a thing in India for me.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received – or do you have a mantra you live by?
- I think if I were to reduce it to one statement probably “life is too short – just be nice to everyone”
- I don’t derive pleasure from anything else – everything you do will be replaced or destroyed over time, so what matters is that you remain nice and help people.
If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?
- Mango – mango is a fruit that is watery, sweet, fleshy, and has an amazing taste that doesn’t have any rival in nature. I just love mangos. Especially Alfonso mangos.