PagerDuty’s Neha Wadhwa credits her parents for her career in technology and software development.
“I wouldn’t say getting into software development or the tech industry was a childhood dream,” she admits. “I think this field chose me because of my initial exposure.”
In the late nineties, a time when women in tech weren’t common, Neha’s parents encouraged her to take computer classes.
“We got to play around with language C,” she recalls. “It was a lot of fun using logic, drawing triangles in C language, and solving problems. From that point, I knew that I wanted to pursue my bachelor's in computer science and a career in technology and software development.”
Fast forward to present day, it’s only natural that Neha now works at PagerDuty, a mission-driven tech company. We sat down with her to learn more about her career at PagerDuty, how she’s grown professionally through opportunities at the company, and tips for making the most of your company’s professional resources.
Leading a Team with Purpose
Neha has been an Engineering Manager at PagerDuty for almost three years now.
“I'm responsible for the successful execution and delivery of various innovative features that we are building,” she explains. “I think innovation is the key as we move towards Operation Cloud.”
In addition to her daily tasks, Neha puts much focus on managing her team.
“I care deeply about the team, our mission, our culture, and the milestones that we are going to be working on together,” she shares. “I love building high-performing teams that are engaged and committed to the overall cause. As a manager, I love to empower and enable people and give them the autonomy to make their own decisions.”
Neha also highlights that 50% of her team are women and how curating a diverse team has led to the team’s overall success.
“On my team, I've made sure that equal opportunity is given to underrepresented groups,” she explains. “I feel that has made a huge difference towards the overall success of what we do and how.”
The thoughtfulness behind her team development is backed by a company that puts its employees first.
Growing at a People First Company
Neha appreciates many different aspects of working at PagerDuty, the main one being that employee care is a top priority. “That is the foundation of the overall culture at PagerDuty,” she shares.
One of PagerDuty’s methods is People First, which in essence brings together the needs of its customers as well as its employees in order to produce innovative products and solutions.
Every Dutonian is encouraged to bring their most authentic self to work. She explains, “There is space for everyone here and, there are necessary levers in place to help empower every person while at the same time helping to amplify their voice.”
The attention and focus PagerDuty gives to their employees is also reflected in the work they do with their customers.
“I’ve learned so much about our customers,” Neha says. “PagerDuty is a customer-devoted company. It's not just about building a new feature from an engineering perspective. It’s about looking through the lens of the customer, understanding what's important for them, identifying their pain points, and then building features that help alleviate those pain points.”
PagerDuty recognizes that its employees are at the heart of its innovation which is why the company not only takes care of its people but also invests in them. Neha points out the various resources provided to help managers and individuals learn valuable new skills in order to advance and grow in their roles.
“We have a comprehensive leadership program to complement our management training so that managers and leaders can be successful in their roles,” she shares. “The PagerDuty Product Development team provides a training budget, which gives you the opportunity to take courses, work with a professional coach, or attend conferences to improve your skills, whether they're technical or soft skills. Additionally, there is also a lot of peer support available.”
This peer support has been invaluable to Neha’s experience. She explains, “I reach out to my peer managers for suggestions or feedback to get a different perspective, and this helps me see things through the lens of another person.”
In addition to these resources, there are also mentorship circles to help employees advance. “It's up to the individual on what they want to explore, figure out what works for them, their areas of interest, and then take the initiative to create a path forward.”
Advice to Help You Grow at Your Company
Many companies offer career-advancing resources, but the key is taking advantage of those opportunities.
“It's all about being proactive and taking the initiative,” Neha explains. “But at the same time, it’s important, to be honest with yourself about work-life balance especially if you’re feeling burnt out, you don't want to take on everything just because you want to grow.”
Neha offers the following advice to make the most of your company's resources:
- Define your own path. “Explore what works for you, what keeps you engaged, and figure out what's motivating you,” Neha advises. Once you identify your calling you can find the right resources specifically geared toward your interests.
- Reach out to managers and mentors. By connecting with your peers, managers, and mentors about your goals and interests, you create a support system to help you grow and succeed.
- Don’t try to do it all. With the availability of professional development resources, it can be tempting to want to take advantage of everything. “However, the best thing you can do is to focus on the things that genuinely apply to your goals and aspirations, and then take action. This will be a more scalable and sustainable path towards growth.”