46. Shreya Shenoy (she/her) – Software Engineer, Hitachi Rail STS

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“Staying passionate is easy when you are doing what you were born to do and I truly feel like I was born to be in tech.”

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

Early mornings and I never quite got along so I prefer to take things in a leisurely manner with the one thing that has the answer to all of my life’s problems—a hot cup of chai. I like to take these 15 minutes I spend drinking my chai to just breathe in before I once again become a part of the hustle and bustle of the world outside of my apartment. Working out before work, however, is how I get energized in the morning and get ready for the day ahead. My typical workday can range from a calm peaceful day to an insanely chaotic day. Personally, I love to keep myself busy at all points, with work and side projects. If I am able to secure some free time at work, I usually find myself researching trends in the software and making a list of technologies, languages, frameworks that I am not familiar with to better myself in my role as a Software Engineer. But after a long, hard workday I look forward to coming home to another cup of tea and a small unwinding session, after which I usually get back to working on my side projects like “Chai and Tech” or online courses to further develop my coding skills. This is what my typical workday looks like. Full of chai and new adventures.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

Staying passionate is easy when you are doing what you were born to do and I truly feel like I was born to be in tech. Coding is something I was always good at. Something I understood. And not a day goes by where I am not thankful for being able to work in a field that also happens to be something I feel like I was meant to do. Especially in a city like Pittsburgh, where tech is booming right now. There’s a lot to discover within the city and a lot of interesting conversations to be had.

Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?

Not really. I majored in Biomedical Engineering in my undergraduate course. A year into college, I knew electrical engineering was a mistake. In India, however, there’s no option of switching majors after you start the course. At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I started taking different electives. One of my electives was an “Introduction to Programming” class, and turned out I had a knack for the subject so I kept taking more Computer Science electives. After I graduated, I traveled for a while and built a website for a non-profit organization I was working at in Hanoi, Vietnam. I slowly started doing more online projects on my own, and at some point decided I wanted to pursue a career in tech. That brought me to Pittsburgh, and here I am now.

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

I’m kinda old-fashioned and still carry a notebook around with me literally everywhere I go. I cannot function without it!

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the #womenintech community?

The support!! The community is very vocal about struggles and obstacles at this point, and everyone is very supportive of each other. I hope I can do the same moving forward.

If applicable, how have you given back to the WIT community?

I’m currently creating a podcast series featuring women in tech in Pittsburgh, with a student at Pitt, Yashasvi Patel. Our city is currently a rising hub of technology, with tons of startups, non-profits, and companies wherein incredible innovation is taking place. These organizations have some incredible women working as founders, software engineers, project managers, and a variety of other roles. The start of any career can be challenging, but it’s just that little bit harder for women in a male-dominated field.

Research has shown that one of the key barriers being a lack of role models. We want to change that. There is very little content currently being created targeting a female tech audience. Our primary aim is to answer the questions we had when we started.

What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?

Don’t stop trying. All the late nights, the hours of endurance, the excessive crying (this one might be just me) will pay off!

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year. 

Filling this form out, I’m not even kidding!

Favorite quote if you have one?

“Ships in harbor are safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”



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