How to become a software engineer in 2023 with Aneesh Lal
Aneesh is a Principal Software Engineer at LINK Logistics, a Blackstone company.
Aneesh has contributed tremendously to several large-scale, high-visibility projects by designing and implementing applications for Dell, Philips, Geico, New York City, and Sapient over the last 20 years.
He has also built apps used by thousands of New Yorkers and several across the globe. Aneesh has also built the dnfsummit.org website, where Open-source contributions, projects, and maintainers are celebrated. Aneesh is a recipient of the Microsoft MVP award and Fellowship of the British Computer Society for his substantial contributions to helping, mentoring, and leading the developer and startup communities.
Aneesh has built a 10000+ member startup community in New York City, which hosted 50+ in-person Pitch and Networking events for entrepreneurs. Aneesh has also mentored several software engineers through a non-profit coding academy Pursuit.org. Aneesh is also the Co-Founder of the remitto app.
Connect with Aneesh to learn more.
Listen to the Podcast Here, or Find it Wherever You Get Your Podcasts:
Here are Five Things We Cover:
- Embrace opportunities in AI and Web Three: Aneesh views AI as a new and exciting opportunity in the tech industry. He also highlights Web Three and virtual reality as cool areas with immense potential.
- Prompt engineering as a valuable skill: Aneesh discusses prompt engineering as one of the most challenging and interesting aspects of his work. He sees it as arranging language and tokens to improve responses, and mentions its growing popularity on platforms like LinkedIn, even among non-tech professionals.
- Tech industry’s constant evolution: Aneesh emphasizes that the tech industry is constantly evolving, requiring continuous learning and adaptation. Despite the challenges, he believes that there is security in the field with a growing number of jobs, even during recessions.
- Importance of social skills for software engineers: Aneesh emphasizes the importance of developing leadership and social skills in addition to technical expertise. He suggests that software engineers rely on their social skills to succeed and recommends conveying technical information in a more accessible way for non-engineers.
- Coding academies and mentorship: Aneesh shares insights into coding academies and the value of mentorship in the tech industry. He discusses the unique business model of a coding academy he’s involved with and highlights the importance of having a mentor to navigate job searching and career growth.
Here are Three Key Takeaways From This Episode
Embrace a Framework Approach to Problem-Solving:
The first key takeaway from the episode is the significance of using frameworks to tackle analytical challenges. Ajay highlights the importance of identifying and understanding the problem at hand before diving into the metrics and analysis. Different frameworks, such as lean startup or defining measure and control, can be employed based on the specific problem. By adhering to a structured approach, data analysts can minimize wasted effort and maximize the effectiveness of their analysis. Additionally, Ajay encourages an iterative problem-solving process that allows for tackling one variable at a time or using a multi-layered approach.
Actionable Advice: Adopt and adapt relevant problem-solving frameworks to guide your analysis. Consider the problem’s context, break it down into manageable components, and identify the ideal analytical approach for each stage.
Nurture Soft Skills for Effective Collaboration:
The second takeaway emphasizes the importance of soft skills in analytics roles. While technical competence is vital, collaboration, problem-solving, and a strong understanding of data science concepts are equally significant. Ajay highlights the communication and collaboration required with stakeholders, emphasizing the need to differentiate between what a stakeholder wants versus what they truly need. Being able to navigate these conversations effectively is essential for aligning the analytical approach with the strategic objectives of the project.
Actionable Advice: Prioritize the development of soft skills alongside technical expertise. Sharpen your problem-solving abilities, practice effective communication, and deepen your understanding of data science and engineering concepts.
Leverage Data and Feedback for Continuous Improvement:
The final takeaway showcases the power of data and feedback in driving continuous improvement within e-commerce analytics. Ajay shared his experience in onboarding sellers onto a platform, utilizing data sets to analyze each step’s efficiency and comparing them with competitor platforms. By actively collecting feedback from sellers, they were able to identify pain points and make necessary improvements to streamline the onboarding process. This iterative approach ensures that seller satisfaction continually improves while reducing onboarding time.
Actionable Advice: Harness the power of data to identify bottlenecks, optimize processes, and enhance the overall user experience. Regularly collect and analyze feedback from users to iterate and improve your analytical solutions.