In today’s leaders talk, I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Shashidhar Soppin, DMTS (Distinguished Member of Technical Staff) at Wipro Limited.
Shashidhar is an experienced Senior Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. He is skilled in Google Cloud Platform, Data Science, IT Strategy, Machine Learning & Deep Learning, Data Center, and Cloud Architecture.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a fun-loving and hardworking guy. Always exploring new technologies and how they can be adopted and learned as early as possible. Also, I love people and respect the individuality of each person I meet. I read a lot of books and like to travel to new places and explore the hidden beauty of these places.
Tell us about your Professional Journey.
Spent almost 20 years in the IT industry working across Samsung, Ness, IBM, Wipro’s of the world. Played various roles from Software Developer to Product Manager, Senior Architect, Pre-salesperson, DMTS(Distinguished Member of Technical Staff), etc. Learned a lot of new things in all these roles and happen to meet wonderful people across this journey.
What inspired you to pursue your AI/ML courses?
As explained earlier, I am an explorer of new technologies and new areas. Happen to get excited when the first time I have heard about AI/ML. So, enrolled me in these courses and started evolving myself in AI/ML field.
What was the most important part of your professional journey?
There are so many to quote when I meet customers and understand their problems and suggest to them what works best for them is important to me always.
What are your accomplishments that have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
When I first filed my patent idea and when I first spoke in the big conference in a houseful of the auditorium was the most important and satisfying movement in my life.
Teaching people about new skills is most exciting to me.
The kind of excitement you get for your contribution will give you greater satisfaction.
Tell us about your transition to Management from Engineering and later back to Technical Leadership? What are the lessons learned in Management and Technical positions? What mindset is required to wear different hats?
There is no mindset required to play any role according to me. Given any role, what kind of relations you will have matters most to me. Be it management or technical role, I am people friendly person always. Organizations will come and go, but what will be left is the kind of behavior and attitude you have shown to the people you worked along, irrespective of your roles will be carried forward. I am a firm believer in Karma and spirituality, “You reap what you sow.” Throughout my career, I have many wonderful friends, always helping them (whenever possible) so that they are successful in not only work but also on relationships and with family.
What are the skill sets required to excel in Software profession? What certifications helped you to grow in your career?
As I mentioned no one certificate or course will lift you. What technology or skill you learn, where and how to apply it matters most. Nowadays with the availability of MOOCs, anyone can learn any new skill faster than olden days. But how fast you apply it to the present market trend is very important.
Tell us about a time you struggled with work-life balance. How did you manage to solve it?
Never looked at any point of time as struggling. Whatever happens is a lesson learned, “never make the same mistake twice” is my principle
Always there is a solution to any problem, For example, I have joined Yoga and Meditation classes.
Who and what inspires you?
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Roger Federer. The list goes on and on.
What leadership advice would you give to lead or manage the team?
I cannot say don’t follow the leaders, set-up your own trend, and be the leader in all the activities and work items you do.
Tell us about your client-facing roles and responsibilities? What are your strategies to retain existing customers and acquire new customers?
Not easy but it is fun and challenging.
How client meetings are different from the usual Management meetings? What skills set are required to excel in the client engagement role?
Anything can happen in client meetings; all clients are different, and meetings can deviate with one simple question. Be cautious and experience matters most.
Tell us about your brand building exercise and strategies. How did you build your product/services brand and penetrated the already crowded segment in the market?
Not easy and not very difficult
What drives you to keep going when it’s really tough?
The motivation factor that you have inside you.
Given how volatile the Software Industry is, what advice would you give to professionals to stay relevant and grow in their career?
Read, learn, unlearn, and re-learn again.
How should people connect with you?
People can reach out to me on LinkedIn.