Commentary from our cloud experts around the globeCommentary from our cloud experts around the globePUTINGCOMCLOUDBLOG

March 28, 2019
Guiding Women on Their Own Cloud Journey
By: Nandini Baddam

Passion is really the fuel for everyone’s personal and professional success. As I advanced in my secondary education, I became deeply interested in information and communications technologies—design, development, hardware, implementation, networking, and so forth. In addition to formal education, “self-teaching” has continued all my life. At my first job, for example—writing Python code as a hardware engineer—I began to teach myself languages such as Ruby, Verilog and VHDL. For me, learning those languages was like gaining the keys to understanding and to making important things happen for companies.

The importance of good mentoring

It’s this kind of passion that a good mentor is aware of—knowledge about a mentee’s interests and strengths, as well as weaknesses that need to be addressed to reach career goals. I was fortunate to have a professor/mentor at Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University in Hyderabad who was passionate about coding and who introduced me to online resources as well as classes that helped me develop my skills. My studies were in electronics and communications engineering, and I was able during that time to learn programming languages such as C, C++ and Java.

A good mentor also knows not to “lock in” a person to a single career path, but to be open to new circumstances and opportunities. Graduates from my university program have an opportunity to work as a hardware engineer or a software engineer. So initially I worked as a hardware engineer for projects related to embedded systems, writing code mostly in Python. Being passionate about “tech stuff,” I began to teach myself different tools and programming languages such as PHP, Perl, MATLAB and COBOL.

Find out how Nandini Baddam navigate through her own cloud journey #womenincloud @AccentureCloud



Good mentoring can also come from your work colleagues. I was fortunate to work with a great team at my first job. I was able to gain valuable advice from more experienced colleagues about career and life issues. This helped me learn and grow, both personally and professionally.

Mentoring doesn’t just come from university or professional settings, however. Many people in my family, including cousins, were IT professionals. And my older brother was a particularly important person in my life. He is a database administrator and we would talk frequently. He would share and explain many IT developments current at that time.

A career that builds and evolves

When I was working at my first job out of college as a system administrator at a pharmaceutical company, I had a mentor who was a few years older than I. He was familiar with the kinds of challenges I was facing each day at work, which was focused on installing and configuring Linux machines on a variety of different server platforms running Apache, MySQL, etc.

During this time, my employer started providing new training programs related to different cloud technologies such as AWS, Openstack and VMware. I then met a couple of people with strong programming skills with who, I could discuss particular “hot” technologies. Another mentor provided guidance in terms of what programming languages the company was investing in and what certifications or courses I needed to take to become more relevant to the company's needs. I became very passionate about cloud technologies and subsequently switched over to a cloud team in 2013.

Today, I am an experienced hire who joined the Accenture AWS Business Group (AABG) in 2017 as a technical architecture delivery specialist. I am an AWS-certified architect, located in the Phoenix office in the US. My team and I are focused on providing business solutions based on different cloud-based technologies such as AWS S3, EC2, Lambda, Cloudformation, DynamoDB, and other cloud-native services.

My primary work focus has been to create an automation framework that provides daily monitoring of web-based applications, putting them through their paces. These projects showcase tools and technologies used to create the framework, but most importantly, the thought process behind the site analysis to determine what to test. It also means using advanced cloud services to replicate a successful solution at one client with other clients where that same work is required.

My own experiences as a mentor

I have been eager to take the mentoring lessons I received and apply them to my colleagues who are at earlier stages of their careers. I have always believed the truth of the old adage that it is better to give than to receive.

The point is that I got technically strong and built my career with good mentors whom I met in my professional life and now it’s my turn to cultivate future tech experts. I am always interested in sharing what I know, helping colleagues understand their industry better, hone their strengths and sharpen skills.

Learning opportunities

To enhance my technical skills in cloud technologies, I got training from different sources such as Acloudguru, CloudAcademy, whitepapers, etc. which provided highly rated resources including learning paths, courses, labs, quizzes, and exams to enable me to get the right training to put me on the right track for AWS success. I also obtained certifications like AWS certified solution architect and the developer associate certificate.

At Accenture, I have had wide-ranging learning opportunities to further develop my technical skills and learn about many new technologies. Accenture has always provided recommended learnings based on my role and business area.

The most intense learning comes from working with clients, of course. As an AWS-certified architect on the AABG team, I have been assigned to multiple Accenture client projects. One especially important one was working as an AWS developer for a data archival project at Coca-Cola, where they wanted all their data to be stored in AWS. This was the biggest project I have worked on, and it was very satisfying. I got the chance to explore AWS services like Athena and AWS Glue, with which I had never worked before.

Today, I am having a different kind of “on the job” learning experience at home. My first child, a baby girl, was born in 2018 and my life has changed a great deal with the added responsibilities of a parent. The world is a different place when you can see things through the eyes of an innocent child, full of wonder and amazement.

One of the many things that makes Accenture distinctive is the availability of various kinds of experiences to help you grow and be successful. From mentoring to formal training, the opportunities are there, and it is important to take advantage of them.

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