If you have not already had the opportunity to read the interview with Angela & Su-jin about their collaboration to improve the stability and performance of NetBackup, or the interview with Vaijayanti Bharadwaj and Asmita Jagtap I would recommend reading those first. To continue the series and share the stories of women transforming the future of tech at Veritas, I sat down with Gayatri Deshpande, Director, Development, and Swapna Thete, Senior Manager, Development, to learn about their technical backgrounds and impact on our Veritas technology stack. Gayatri Deshpande, a member of the InfoScale team, leads the "Availability" portfolio here at Veritas. She also drives field initiatives and programs for Customer Success. Swapna Thete, an Engineering Manager, tackles some of our biggest challenges for the Veritas NetBackup Flex Scale teams. These roles require collaboration across multiple product teams as well as interacting and involving customer feedback.
Describe your current role and responsibility at Veritas
Gayatri Deshpande - I am a member of the InfoScale team leading the Availability portfolio. My team and I develop robust solutions to drive Application Resiliency fora multitude of enterprises and mission critical workloads across physical and virtual ecosystems including cloud and containers. We also focus on providing a simplified user experience for our customers for their deployment, configuration, and management needs by integrating with native DevOps utilities and API strategy.
In addition to delivering major InfoScale releases, I also participate in and drive field initiatives and programs for Customer Success.
Swapna Thete - I am an Engineering Manager for the Veritas NetBackup Flex Scale and Veritas Access development teams. I am responsible for delivering releases of NetBackup Flex Scale which is a hyper-converged NetBackup scale-out solution involving the integration of multiple products from customized VxOS, InfoScale, Access, and NetBackup. This role involves interacting with customers on various customer-facing activities including Proof of Concepts (POCs), initial deployments, and supporting escalations. The role provides a unique opportunity to collaborate and work across multiple product teams to align, plan, and deliver future releases of Flex Scale. The role also involves delivering new features for Veritas Access product, which is a long-term retention solution and constitutes the platform for Flex Scale.
What inspired you to pursue a career in tech?
Gayatri Deshpande - I was fascinated by the field of science and technology since my early school days. Though the science of the complex human body always amazed me, as I evolved in my career, I chose to explore the world of engineering technology. Later, through my industry experience, I got exposure to various roles and domains across development, quality, and application management. It not only gave me an opportunity to design and develop solutions, but it also made me think and act like a customer. What keeps me going is the world of innovation, which never stops and thus carves a path to continuous learning.
Swapna Thete - Since my high school days, I have found science and technology as major areas of interest. I was equally interested in physics and mathematics but leaned towards computer science after talking to one of the teachers. He encouraged me to take up computers as my major after completing my bachelor's and master's in computer science. I then interned in a startup to write a device driver for fast ethernet cards. I
What keeps you at Veritas? What is your favorite aspect of Veritas?
Gayatri Deshpande - I joined Veritas because of my fascination with databases but soon after joining I realized it provided a path to a variety of technologies and ecosystems. The opportunity included independent labs to operate along with varied operating systems, vendor technologies and home-grown product solutions around these ecosystems. I was excited to work with, bright minds aligned and a great culture, which continues to be people centric.
Swapna Thete - Storage domain, people, and culture of Veritas are on top of the list of my favorite aspects of Veritas. Additionally, building a new product like NetBackup Flex Scale is one of my most challenging and satisfying experiences. It involves amalgamation of various product stacks and exposes you to a wide range of Veritas products, applications, and interactions with customer base providing you food-for-thought and producing innovative solutions.
Your role transforms the future of solutions and products at Veritas. Can you tell us about a project that you and Swapna Thete/Gayatri Deshpande collaborated on that you found most rewarding?
Gayatri Deshpande – InfoScale acts as the foundation layer to all appliance-based solutions, including Access and FlexScale. I have closely collaborated with Swapna and her team to build multiple High Availability (HA) features including capabilities like Rolling Upgrade or supporting Mix Cluster versions. Deeper architectural reviews along with any consultancy on HA implementation is a continued collaboration between our teams. Exchange of such ideas and collaboration are opportunities to discover newer use cases even in InfoScale context.
Swapna Thete - As mentioned, NetBackup Flex Scale is a hyper-converged solution involving multiple product stacks, which includes InfoScale as well. Gayatri works for availability portfolio and for NetBackup Flex Scale as well as Access. Gayatri has provided her support for multiple performance issues, development of new features or simply troubleshooting issues. Her prioritization and customer focus has helped build this product in a timely fashion.
What was your biggest takeaway from this experience, working with each other? What did you learn about each other?
Gayatri Deshpande – Swapna has been leading Access and FlexScale releases quite efficiently and under her able leadership, these releases are delivered in a timely fashion and with quality. Her keen customer and field focus has helped drive multiple PoCs (Proof of Concepts), Sales initiatives, and associated wins. In addition, Swapna was one of the chosen employees as part of the FWIL (Future Women in Leadership) program where she drove multiple projects toward customer success.
Swapna Thete – Gayatri’s multi-tasking ability to juggle InfoScale deliverables along with other activities makes her no less than a superwoman. She has been leading WAVE (Women at Veritas Empowered) chapter of India, was an active part of the D-19 local task force, and has written a blog for tech track making her someone I can always look up to.
How has collaborating with Swapna Thete/Gayatri Deshpande and other women at Veritas influenced or inspired you?
Gayatri Deshpande – Women have an upper hand when it comes to traits like multi-tasking, attention to details, and aiming for perfection. We continuously strive to achieve this balance in our personal and professional life. I have high admiration for our women employees who are influencing both, the technical and leadership paths to success with great confidence and commitment, and I gather inspiration from them across roles, levels, and functions.
Swapna Thete - I have primarily collaborated with Gayatri for NetBackup Flex Scale release features. Her time management skills to carry out multiple activities apart from release deliverables are very inspiring. She has also presented and collaborated with multiple customers where a person can see her customer-centric approach. As part of FWIL, I got to know the journey of many women, their struggle and herculean efforts, and their deep urge to succeed.
What are some challenges you’ve encountered as a woman tackling these initiatives and in your role?
Gayatri Deshpande - Not just pertaining to one role, but overall, in our journey we may have faced perceptions, judgments, or been affected by biases at some point in time including we ourselves imposing self-limiting beliefs in us. I consider the proficiency that we build is through the quality of our work, genuineness and established credibility built in that path. Our conviction to stay determined and continuously assess through constructive feedback filtering the noise can make us grow to newer heights.
Swapna Thete – Work-Life balance has been one of biggest challenges considering long hours required to meet deliverables. During the early days of motherhood, I had to let go of multiple opportunities considering personal challenges, but it's possible to bounce back. There are times when being part of Future Women in Leadership or WAVE forums, I hear certain comments that can evoke bias about the need to have such initiatives. It's always important to educate and emphasize diversity and inclusion to silence these remarks effectively with the right examples.
What advice would you give to women who want to break into tech/leadership roles?
Gayatri Deshpande - Never give up before trying! Stay patient to learn, unlearn, and relearn! It’s ok to keep gaining perfection while on the job rather than aiming to be a perfectionist!
Swapna Thete - Women should follow their passion and continue to work towards it relentlessly. Always believe in yourself and do not get bogged down by pressures. It is important to keep learning, upgrading your knowledge, and collaborating with other members to get a fresh perspective. Continue to set short-term goals and keep reviewing them to track progress towards them.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Gayatri Deshpande - I try to revive the musical artist in me and other modes of creativity through travel, reading, and being with nature. I find ways to connect my right brain to the left, which helps me align creativity.
Swapna Thete - I am actively engaged in yoga and meditation and make it a point to pursue it regularly. Traveling to places closer to nature also has a calming effect on me. I like to read newspapers and understand political events from around the world. I love to explore and watch various dance forms.
What keeps you motivated?
Gayatri Deshpande - Evolving with innovation and technology, solving important customer needs and empowering teams to succeed and channel their strengths aligned to business goals to bring the best in each.
Swapna Thete - Customer satisfaction is one of the key areas that keep me motivated. I also like working with multiple customers for POCs, and Beta programs, and converting those opportunities into deals is one of the big motivation factors. I enjoy mentoring team members, helping them grow across the career ladder, and looking at their achievements gives me great satisfaction.
Thank you to Gayatri and Swapna for sharing a little bit about their work and experience at Veritas. Veritas Technologies is growing, and we encourage you to explore open roles at our career page: https://www.veritas.com/company/careers.
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