I am Pranav Tadinada, manager with GlobalLogic, an IT product firm. Till very recently, I worked in a project management role on a GIS (Geographical Information Systems) project. About a month ago, I moved into a pre-sales support role.
I have 10+ years of experience in both the IT and manufacturing sectors:
- IT/ internet – 7+ years of experience with a top-notch internet client, developing their online mapping products, managing teams of 100+ GIS analysts.
- Manufacturing – 3 years of experience as an Instrumentation Engineer with a copper refinery of a metals and mining MNC.
I am a regular blogger since 5+ years (with 500+ subscribers), love reading, traveling and fitness, and have actively engaged in philanthropy for 10+ years. Since 2013, I have been donating 10% of my take-home income (through sites like rangde.org and giveindia.org). I support the causes of children’s education, environment, tackling rural poverty (by helping women entrepreneurs) and health (for old and disabled).
Peacefulrestlessness.com is my personal website where I write regularly on my passions – books, travel, nature and technology.
What does a Manager of a Software Development company do?
- The responsibility of a project manager is to deliver the project with pre-decided levels of quality, cost, time and resources.
- He/she needs to coordinate with various teams and stakeholders (both local and global) and ensure that all important metrics are under control. In case things get awry (away from usual), he needs to take steps to bring the project back on track.
Rough breakup of my day would be:
- 40% of my time is spent keeping a track on metrics and coordinating with people (face-to-face meetings, via video calls, emails, instant messaging or phone calls)
- 40% goes into looking for products and process improvements
- 20% or so is reserved for unexpected situations (fire-fighting, escalations, breakdowns)
Why did you choose Electrical Engineering? Is there something in your teenage that influenced you?
During childhood, I was good at both mathematics and science. People told me that engineering is all about these 2 subjects. Therefore, I thought this is a good path for me and more over I liked it.
My father was an electrical engineer and my mother a statistician. This too served as a motivation. I have always found it fascinating how science and technology improves the world at large. At the same time, technology is like a double-edged sword, it is both useful and harmful.
What steps did you take to land in your present job?
I got my present job through on-campus selections after my MBA. The profile required operations experience, and good analytical and grasping skills, which I possessed.
My pre-MBA 3 years work experience as an engineer with a copper refinery and my good grades throughout academics helped a lot.
What have been the most surprising elements of this career?
The surprising element of this career was that, though I use very few of the topics I learned in school and college, picking up new skills and understanding new situations quickly has turned out to be much more important.
Would you like to give any advice to your younger self?
I would like to give the following advice:
In my childhood, I used to feel the pressure to excel at everything (studies, sports, etc.). Now, I think it is fine to be great at a few things and average/poor at everything else. Therefore, playing on my strengths is better than continuously trying to improve my weaknesses.
You just need to be happy with what you do. You have to set your own success parameters.
Explore more! There is no set path in life. And accept that interests can change as time passes.
Focus more on people skills like communication, collaboration and team-work.
What do you love about your current role?
The job is challenging with a lot of new things to learn. There is a very good work-life balance and the pay is pretty good. The workplace is pretty relaxed along with casual clothing, free food, etc.
What are the challenges you face in your career?
There are lot of uncertainties and volatility in this industry. Technologies get old quickly. If we don’t keep learning continuously, it is difficult to survive.
What type of engineers will be high in demand in the near future?
I can’t predict that! But, I can say that those who keep learning and willing to take up new challenges would be in great demand in the near future. This statement holds true in my case.
Can you please summarise your career journey?
- +2 stream – Science stream (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology), Gujarat state board.
- B.Tech. – Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE), National Institute of Technology, Warangal (NITW).
- Work 1 – Engineer in Electrical and Instrumentation department at copper refinery of Vedanta Resources (located in Silvassa).
- MBA from ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad.
- Work 2 – 7+ years with GlobalLogic. Grew from Team Lead –> Senior Team Lead –> Associate Manager –>Manager.
- Certifications – Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), ITIL v3 Foundation.
- Currently studying for Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).
- Wish to continue with my career for a few years and then have plans to start something of my own.
How did Engineering and MBA help you?
- Engineering helped me develop solid analytical and grasping skills. It also exposed me to a lot of people across India! (I studied in NITW which had students from across the country.) I also made a lot of good friends here.
After 3 years of employment I felt like I wasn’t learning and growing much. I was in the plant maintenance in a pretty isolated place. Although I initially enjoyed, 12 hours per day in the plant was physically grueling. So I decided to study further. M.Tech would have given me a deeper knowledge in one area, but I was looking for a more broader perspective. Hence I choose MBA.
- MBA broadened my perspective. I started seeing from different angles – HR, finance, marketing and not just engineering. I also started networking more.
How do you like to spend your free time?
- Reading is my primary hobby. I read both fiction and nonfiction, and have been reading for 25+ years now! Usually I read 50 books a year (you can track these on 50bookpledge.ca).
- I enjoy staying fit. I mostly do body-weight exercises, yoga and walk 7+ kms a day.
- Traveling is my passion, but current circumstances does not provide free time for travel.
What are the skills and education required to be a Engineer in 2020?
For an engineer in 2020, along with regular education and academic credentials, I would recommend the following:
- Read a lot of books (fiction and nonfiction). They are the best learning available.
- Go for internships or do small projects in various fields.
To be successful in an IT management career, you should have critical skills like:
- Excellent analytical, problem solving and grasping skills (40%)
- People skills – communication and collaboration (40%)
- Subject knowledge (20%)
- Open to learning new things and comfortable with a continuously changing environment
If you are a fresher, potential recruiters look for the same skills which are mentioned above.
What kind of person will be a good fit for an IT Management career?
In order to find whether you are a good fit, I would suggest:
- doing internships in similar organizations.
- taking up small projects in this field.
- interacting with family/friends/seniors who are in the same industry.
If you find that you that you are enjoying what you learn about the field, then you should give it a shot. Also, I think it is fine to change fields later in life. I don’t believe that you are meant to do just one thing in life.
Any recommended resources for students who are interested in Software Engineering?
Students can keep learning from websites like:
What do you think everyone leaving higher secondary school should know especially those who want to be in Software Industry?
Students should be aware of the fact that, software industry requires not just knowing the fundamentals, but other more valuable skills like:
- Analytical thinking and problem solving
- Grasping new situations and taking action
- Collaborating/communicating with people across various hierarchies/ locations.
Thanks for reading! 🙂 If you enjoyed this article, leaving your comment below would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.
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