Spotlight: Trupti Devdas Nayak

trupti-croppedRole:  Senior Software Engineer

Hire Date:  June 2012

Fun facts:  Trupti was part of the team that had the winning entry for Chegg Hack Day 2012

“Chegg offers a great growth path – you can be as involved as you want in the strategy. If I have an idea, I can go right up to my manager or our leadership team and talk with them about it.”

Where were you before Chegg?

I was at Yahoo! doing Front-end engineering for Yahoo! Mail.

Why did you come to Chegg?

When interviewing last year, I was looking at the startup space and was keen on joining either a mid-size or smaller startup. I wanted to have an opportunity to continue to work on products which are used by millions of people – I love that adrenalin rush knowing that what I work on has a big impact. Chegg offers products and services which are used by millions of college students and I was very excited about the education space Chegg operated in, it is a new area which I’m eager to learn more about and work in. When interviewing, I met some really great people at Chegg and knew this was the place for me.

What are you working on here?

I’ve been at Chegg for just over 8 months now and as part of the front-end team, the most recent work I’ve done is providing the best-fit School Matches for Grad and Transfer students who are applying for college. I am also the frontend lead for Scholarships on Chegg which we launched a few months back. We’ve had scholarships feature on Zinch, but we wanted to make Scholarships available to all our users on Chegg as well, since finding the right one, applying for it and getting the scholarship is one of the top ways to save money while in school. We want students to sign up and find scholarships that are relevant to them and best match their profile and interests, and we’re using student data to help us do that.

Did anything surprise you about working here?

The first few All Hands meetings were awesome! I was really blown away. I read so many good things about Chegg in the news, but when I heard all the info presented in the All Hands meetings, it was such a positive and energetic vibe. Having our CEO, Dan, come in and present such great information and have everyone so excited about what’s ahead for the company, really was great to see.

What are you proud of so far from your role here?

I’m excited about what I’ve been working on at Chegg, I’m getting the opportunity to work on things which are phenomenally useful to students, especially when they are at that critical juncture – thinking about college after high-school.  Having worked on Scholarships, School Match and building these features from scratch has been a great learning experience for me. When I joined Chegg, I immediately emailed my family and friends to have them sign up and check it out.

What’s been your favorite Chegg moment so far?

Winning the top prize for the Hack Day event! My team worked on building a mobile app for students to rate classes as soon as they are done attending it.  We had a working demo and we won! I had just joined Chegg 4-6 weeks prior to the hack event and I jumped right in to do the front end for that project. That hack will soon be a feature for the mobile product offered by Chegg, which is such a great outcome from a Hack Day event.

How would you describe being an engineer at Chegg?

My team is awesome – there is no micromanagement and we have the freedom and autonomy to work on projects and ideas that we are passionate about. It’s very collaborative and open; I can go up to any engineer and ask for their ideas, thoughts, or have them do code reviews and give me feedback. It really helped getting ramped up here and be productive from day one. There is a great vibe in engineering – everyone is enthusiastic about what they’re working on and collaborating with each other to learn about new technologies, attending meetups and conferences, organizing tech talks and architecture reviews across teams and so on.

Chegg offers a great growth path – you can be as involved as you want in the big picture strategy as well. If I have an idea, I can go right up to my manager or our leadership team and talk to them about it.

You went to school for Computer Science, right?

Yes, I got my Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science in India and then did my Masters in Computer Science and Engineering from the State University of New York, Buffalo.

There’s a lot of talk about how to get more women into technology. What suggestions do you have for young women figuring out if their place is in technology or thinking about how to get there?

If you are a woman looking to get into technology or already in technology, that is great! Find other like-minded people who are equally passionate about engineering & technology and work with them. I admire my manager at Yahoo! who herself started as a software engineer before becoming an engineering manager and senior director leading the entire Yahoo! Mail Frontend team – her enthusiasm and dedication for making Yahoo! Mail the best email product out there and her passion for everything related to technology was inspiring! Take Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg, who are both great role models to learn from.

There are also conferences focused on Women-In-Tech, like the annual Grace Hopper Conference, which celebrates women in tech. Attending these conferences is very inspiring and motivating. It’s for women at all levels of engineering and technology, and the presentations and talks are on topics from a wide range of subjects, there are panels and workshops for women to discuss career growth, being a leader, balancing work and life and so on. Join or create a Women In Tech group at your company!

Anything else?

Chegg is a great place to work at and our new office is awesome. Orange is my new favorite color! I love all the perks – the free lunches, onsite gym, Friday happy hours and all the other great benefits. The people are smart and fun to work with. Several folks from our team go out regularly for “Thirsty Thursdays” at nearby Pedro’s and we get to know each other outside the office. All in all, I’m having a blast working with a great group of people on products which are disrupting the future of education and changing how the next generation of students is going to study and learn. It’s exciting and immensely satisfying!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s