By Kunal Vasavada
Recently, I visited a mattress store to find one for my toddler son. This was a rather large store with so many brands, comfort styles, price tags and more. Within a few minutes of browsing around, testing a few mattresses by hand to check for firmness, reading some of the comfort and technology claims about few brands, I felt the stress of choice overload. As opposed to browsing further, I immediately sat down on a comfy recliner chair and began listing down my non-negotiable criteria for picking a mattress. I then did a search on my mobile to filter down to a handful of options, then found them in the store to finalize my selection. After all that mattress is where my son is going to spend 1/3rd of his day – its an important purchase!
Where you work is in a way a similar decision. In today’s fast-paced, rapidly evolving technology landscape one is often faced with similar choice overload. Recently I joined Akridata to lead the field systems engineering function after an 18-month break from the professional world. I had ample time to think about what I would like to do next. I had worked for Akridata’s founding team in their previous startup, but what led me to reach out and apply was simply the strong match of the job to the criteria of my search – much like discerning my mattress purchase. I would like to share my decision criteria and how I see them now as an employee at Akridata.
- Technology – I spent 13 years working in data technology and storage companies. While my roles varied, I developed a good understanding and curiosity for data-driven economies. In my job search, my priority was to find companies working on hard problems around data infrastructure and ML (Machine Learning) use case acceleration. Akridata made its first public presentation earlier this year at NVIDIA conference jointly with Dell and that’s where I learned about Akridata and how it was working to solve the giant Edge data management challenge of real-world AI. The idea of managing data life cycle across geo distributed and hybrid environments resonated well with me. I felt that sudden rush to reach out to the Akridata team with my proposal for a role and types of work I could take on. Now in the role, I find it very fulfilling to hear daily stories from our customers that validated the exact data challenge we are focused on.
- Autonomy – As a mid-career professional, I value and appreciate personal autonomy as I lead the field systems engineering function and the work I need to do. Of course, it is way cool that Akridata’s technology enables autonomy in products and services! To me autonomy is about freedom in deciding how you want to get work done and not so much of the what and why. Knowing startups typically provide this by design, I expected that this would be the case. Now that I have been here, I am glad to share that this unique cultural fit is met daily!
- Flexibility – Having spent time at home during the pandemic, it was clear that hybrid or remote working models work best for me and my young family. In all my previous jobs, I was 100% at the office. But the nature of my role here is well-suited to remote officing and Akridata accommodates that nicely. I mean, most days I am meeting with customers and that is either a video call or traveling to the customer site. The transition to fully remote work has been smooth due to the open and frequent communication that takes place among geographically dispersed teams.
In nutshell, I feel challenged to work on important problems in the technology space that will shape the future of data economies. And I get to do that with a lot of flexibility. But most importantly, I get to do my work with so many other capable and dedicated colleagues. That’s precisely why I joined Akridata!