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Employee Spotlight: Ramesh R, Principal Software Engineer

Meet Ramesh Rajagopal, a Principal Software Engineer at Indix. His experience ranges from boot loader, kernel, and middleware to Android application and web development. He loves dealing with the challenging engineering problems tossed his way everyday, and is inspired by the startup environment. We’re proud to have him on the team, and sat down to learn more about him and his work.

What project are you working on currently? What excites you the most about it?
Indix provides information about products across different categories, brand, and stores. Standardizing attributes becomes a real challenge for a DaaS company like Indix. Not only do you need standardized attributes but you also need to have an ability to apply filters to them. Since Indix is a DaaS company, we want to be able to provide facet information on standardized attributes.

I am currently working on a feature which enables filtering and faceting on standardized attributes via the Indix Product API. We have 8,000+ categories with 10 attributes per category. The unique values within the attribute may vary. The problem space itself is very huge and we have to solve this problem at scale, without any performance degradation. Testability is also hard. These things excite me a lot.

What is the most rewarding part of being on your team?
I am on the search and analytics team. We have built our own search and analytics platform which serves product information via the Indix Product API. This platform maintains and serves product information from more than a billion product variants. Since our team works on the public API, we get to deal with real customer issues. When I joined this team, I was given the job of replacing the whole RPC/Cluster, which was thrilling and rewarding. I get to work on hard problems of distributed computing which is again very good.

What drives you to come to work in the morning?
It’s been one year, three months and 15 days since I joined Indix. It has been a roller coaster ride full of learning. I have never had a single day without any work or spent thinking about what to do. I have learnt different RPC libraries, become a better C++ developer, learnt to build read/write distributed systems. I’m learning everyday how to build things the right way. This lovely and challenging environment drives me to come to the office everyday.

What’s the most exciting and challenging part of working for a startup?
As I have mentioned in my previously, I have learnt many things in a short period. Without a startup environment, this would have not been possible at all. There are so many fresh problems everyday, and I enjoy that. Responsibility, problem space, learnings, all excite me about a startup.

The challenges are sense of urgency, direction changes, and maintaining a good balance between work and personal life.

What inspires you about the vision and mission of Indix?
It’s the vision of building the deepest and broadest catalog for products. Currently, there are not many players in this market who have a massive product database at scale.

What does a typical work day look like for you?
If you want to me describe in one sentence, it would be loads of work and equal amount of fun.

I start my day around 8.30 AM and complete my customary routine for the day before my team meets for the daily stand-up. I’m flooded with plenty of challenges in a given day and I love scratching my grey matter to solve them. In the midst of hectic and challenging work, I also manage to squeeze my daily readings from Hacker News and Reddit blogs. My team does a lot of discussions on a daily basis, like quick ad-hoc huddles where we use our collective brain power to solve a problem or understand different perspectives. When I get tired intellectually, playing a game of ping pong boosts my energy and refreshes my senses. I never miss out on my game time.

How do you balance your work and personal life? What do you do for fun?
As working in a startup can be very demanding, I strive to ensure there is a proper balance between work and personal life. I plan my day in a proper way and by the day I’m getting better at it and strictly adhere to my deadlines to wrap up work while I’m at work and not carry work home. I love watching movies and treasure the time I spend playing with my daughter. I’m also a big movie buff and I try to sneak in at least one new movie per week. I have a special interest in reading about movie directors and their creations and spend a good amount of time reading about them.

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