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Companies That Care

This VP of Software Engineering Strives to Make Things Better

Jan. 8th 2018

The reasons why a person embarks on a journey to become a software engineer are ample: unlimited employment opportunities, generous salaries and benefits, pursuing passion. But for Sha Ma, the VP of Software Engineering at SendGrid, what initially drew her to be a software engineer is the ability to make things better. Sha elaborates "Collaboration and working in teams are crucial aspects of engineering. Being able to effectively communicate is a huge part of our day to day."

Managing and facilitating effective communication across teams within the workplace is no simple feat. Sha and her colleagues at SendGrid take it a step further to actively promote a sense of well-being and community amongst its employees. "SendGrid focuses heavily on creating ways for our employees to connect with one another and to make an impact within our local communities. Whether it's our new office space layout or twice a year alignment offsites or interest groups, we provide employee opportunities to meet and to connect in informal settings as we continue to grow. SendGrid is also forefront in local community involvement. We are heavily involved in tech meetups, startup mentorship, giving back to the community and women in tech events."

One way SendGrid accomplishes its goals of open communication is by permeating a "4H" culture: happy, honest, humble and hungry. "Every employee lives and breathes these values. We've incorporated them deeply into our everyday vocabulary, where people are comfortable giving each other feedback by saying 'Honest H…'. We place a high emphasis on culture during our recruiting and hiring process, where each 'H' is vetted carefully during the interview process. Culture is one of the most difficult things to scale in a fast growing organization, and we work hard on keeping true to these values. I've never been at another company where the culture is so apparent in everything we do," Sha clarifies.

Although culture is an important part of any successful and rapidly growing environment, Sha's day-to-day duties consist of leading the software development organization at SendGrid, building and scaling their world-class email Infrastructure, delivering over 36 billion emails on a monthly basis. Sha is also responsible for continuously developing new products and features to create better experiences for SendGrid's customers.

Sha joined SendGrid as a Senior Director in 2015. Her journey from an individual contributor to a people leader has been a fortuitous and gratifying one. Sha says, "I'm an Engineer at heart, and am always interested in solving problems and making an impact. Becoming a people leader allows me to solve bigger problems than I can as an individual contributor. Enabling people to achieve their full potential has been a super rewarding experience; and being a people leader has challenged me to learn new skills and to become a multiplier for my teams. Growing from IC to Director to VP, my role transitioned from being able to execute, to tactical cross functional planning and providing strategic direction to my teams. At SendGrid, we are focused on growing the next generation of managers and leaders to continue empowering our teams to accomplish more."

Making things better both in and out of the workplace is a lofty goal for any software engineer. But Sha's drive coupled with SendGrid's support and values has made all that possible.

WW (Formerly Weight Watchers)

Tech Talks With Women Building The Future Of Wellness At WW (formerly Weight Watchers)

If you are based in the New York area and you'd like to attend this event, please email hi@powertofly.com to be considered for an invitation.

Weight Watchers has relaunched as WW which stands for "Wellness that Works". They are now a company dedicated to becoming the world's partner in wellness.

PowerToFly has partnered with WW for a series of tech talks led by women who are on the forefront of the company's transformation.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 14th from 6pm to 8pm at 675 6th Avenue, 6th Floor, New York.

Agenda (Subject to Change):

  • 6:00pm - Check-In and Networking over Light Food and Drinks
  • 6:20pm - Kickoff with PowerToFly
  • 6:25pm - Welcome & Introduction by Michael Lysaght, CTO of WW
  • 6:35pm - Tech Talk with Ifeoma Okereke, Software Engineer at WW
  • 6:45pm - Panel Discussion featuring women tech leaders at WW
  • 7:00pm - Audience Q&A
  • 7:20pm - Networking continues over Light Food & Drinks

Topics for the evening will including WW's work with Android and the process of integrating with conversational AI such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home. We will also discuss WW's recent rebranding and their employee resource groups like Women in Tech are helping WW's women engineers take their careers to the next level.

Also, WW is hiring! To learn more about WW and their open positions, visit their page on PowerToFly.

About our Events: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age. If you require assistance to fully participate in this event, please email hi@powertofly.com, and we will contact you to discuss your specific needs.

Unfortunately, PowerToFly and HomeAway cannot admit outside recruiters to this particular event. Please email hi@powertofly.com if you have any questions about this policy.

About WW: WW is looking for candidates to help change people's lives. We are a global wellness technology company inspiring millions of people to adopt healthy habits for real life. We do this through engaging digital experiences, face-to-face workshops and sustainable programs that encompass healthy eating, physical activity and positive mindset. By drawing on over five decades of experience and expertise in behavioral science, we build communities in order to deliver wellness for all.

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