What is your name and current position?
I am Vandana Pandey, 2016 SWE Ambassador and President, SWE Chennai International Affiliate. I am working for IBM-India. I am currently Global Quality Leader - Middleware & Database Systems Service Line Engineering. Along with that, I am Global Product SME and India SME for Internet Information Services (IIS).
Tell us about your background and career.
My background is hard-core mathematics and science. I pursued physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology as my core skills in school. Next, I was selected to the Engineering Profession in an esteemed college in Chennai. I completed my engineering by being first in my group, then I got my first job at Microsoft-India. I pursued my career in a technical role, and I liked being technical. I am passionate about technologies.
Now I am the Technical Leader at IBM India, leading all critical projects and initiatives for IIS Technology. In 2017, I was appointed as Member of Academy of Technology (AoT), which is the group of thought leaders that have an enduring impact in making the world better through IBM.
Why did you decide to become a SWE Ambassador or member of a SWE Affiliate?
I was interested in mentoring and giving back to society. I have learned in a long process that mentoring is a two-way process, where we both learn and gain expertise in the topic of discussion. Being a SWE Ambassador provided me the right forum, and hence I applied for the role to mentor and assist more girls to take up a STEM profession and pursue an engineering degree.
As a SWE Ambassador, I was interested to reach out to other women in other organizations, so I started collaborating with other women during SWE conferences and ended up forming the SWE Affiliate in Chennai to get like-minded women together, purse our SWE goals, and achieve our mission.
Tell us about your experience with SWE.
My experiences with SWE so far has been awesome. I got to attend two SWE conferences last year, one in Pune and one in Philadelphia. I would say the education was so helpful that I have started using that knowledge in my day-to-day job role, and it is bringing great results both professionally and personally.
The SWE Ambassador title has assisted me to gain more visibility amongst peers at IBM as well as peers in other organizations. Women outside of IBM know me and reach out to me for assistance or help, which I have been actively giving. Without SWE, this wouldn’t have happened. I would say SWE is becoming constant in my life and the rest of my life is variable.