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Shirish Puranik

Shirish Puranik
Vice President - Software Development
@ Road Inc., USA


What does it take to deliver world class quality at work?

- An energising interview with Shirish Puranik, Vice President - Software Development, @ Road Inc., USA

The complexities and demands of the software industry are on a steep increase. Today's professionals have no choice but to swim through this rapidly changing scenario to survive and grow. Quality has become a way of life. So what does it take to make a difference in this vying corporate scenario?

Shirish Puranik, Vice President - Software Development, @Road Inc., USA shared his views with CareerEnrich on the basic qualities that today's professionals need to acquire to deliver world class quality.

Mr. Puranik has over 12 years experience in building commercial enterprise software systems. He currently serves as Vice President of Software Development at @Road Inc., where he is responsible for building a leading-edge Internet Software Service. Formerly, he worked with Oracle Corporation for seven years most recently as Director of Product Development in the Database Group. Prior to that he was an engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation for four years. He holds a B. Tech (EE) from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, an MS (EE) from the University of Florida and an MS in Engineering Management from Stanford University.

As a person with significant achievements at a young age, looking back, what do you think are the keys to be a successful software professional?

I strongly believe that three basic qualities fuel success. They are:

  1. Talent in one's field

  2. Hard work

  3. Right Attitude

Talent

In order to deliver best results, any professional has to constantly hone his / her talents. Continuous learning plays a vital role. I would compare learning to a balanced diet. All of us are very keen on avoiding junk food and choosing the right food to meet our appetite. Learning is no different. We require a good dosage of 'healthy learning' on a day-to-day basis. However the trick lies in choosing the 'right' knowledge from the glut of information thrown at us every day especially with the advent of the Internet which has unleashed a torrent of information.

There are three principal steps for quality learning:

  1. Choosing the right mentor

  2. Working with the best and smart people

  3. Keeping one-self updated with the current developments.

Hard Work

It has to be understood that accomplishing a particular task or goal requires immense dedication and focus. First, setting the right goals is critical - get help from your management team or a mentor in setting the right goals. Then, we have to focus and work hard to achieve these goals and results. As Edison said, "Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration" There has to be a passion for work. We need to fall in love with the work we do. Hard work and perseverance have never ever failed to help one climb up the corporate ladder. A burning desire to succeed acts as a propeller for hard work.

Attitude

Having the right attitude always helps. One has to be professional at all times, be a team player and not a prima donna. Learn to be "collaborative" by combining cooperation and being assertive. Finally, it is very important to build self-awareness and know one's strengths and weaknesses to have a healthy attitude. Ask your manager or some colleagues that you respect for an objective feedback and listen carefully. Such input gathered over time is invaluable in improving oneself and growing in the right direction

What is the future for today's Indian software professionals?

Indian software professionals both in India and abroad are world-renowned. Every time I come to India, I see phenomenal improvements in the industry. Competition has helped the industry to grow. Today's professionals have:

  1. The tenacity to put in hard work.

  2. An excellent command over the English language to service overseas clients - this is a big competitive advantage compared to other countries such as China

  3. The commitment and an increasing desire to succeed among the budding professionals of today.

The demand for Indian software professionals abroad has also been on a steep increase. India definitely has the potential to be a world leader in software projects and development. I am proud to be an Indian.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by Mr. Puranik are in his individual capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of @Road Inc.

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