Commentary & Perspective

In Conversation with Nivedita Aggarwal, Director, Information Services, CA Technologies and Program Chair GHCI 2016

The Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) 2016 preparations are well under way, now with the conference to be held just a few weeks away (December 7 -9, 2016) in Bangalore.  As we get ready for GHCI 2016, we took a short break to catch up with one of the GHCI 2016 Program Chairs –   Nivedita  Aggarwal. Nivedita is currently the Director, Information Services at CA Technologies and from all that she shared with us, is a true technologist for sure…

Tell us a little about your professional journey.

Nivedita: Soon after my engineering, I started my career with Tata Infotech (now TCS) in 2000 as a trainee. After trying various technical roles at TCS, I joined CA Technologies in 2004 and picked up a career in product documentation. I started off writing product documentation for Mainframe products, but never had a chance to see those blue-green screens live. Soon, I found myself identifying issues with the current process, proposing ways to solve the issues and leading people to fix issues. So, I naturally transitioned into a management role, handling documentation teams for a few business units. In the quest to expand my horizon, I took additional responsibilities to lead the development and support of tools for the global publication team and later started leading the globalization team as well. This is my 13th year at CA and I now head the Engineering Services team at CA India Technology Center. I’m responsible for Product Documentation, Globalization, DevOps services, Accessibility, and Securability teams in India. Learning the nuances of each domain was so gratifying and made all the extra work so much more worthwhile. It was so important for me to understand the domain so that I could guide the team in the right direction. Knowledge about the process and technologies behind each function helped me identify improvements with a fresh perspective.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a technologist and what has been your favorite part?

Nivedita: I wanted to be a technologist from my engineering days, as that comes naturally to me. I work on technologies and functions that make an impact in people’s lives and I’m happy being a part of that change.

What advice would you give other women who have or are keen to have a career in technology?

Nivedita: Technology is changing more rapidly than ever. It is very important that you engage in continuous learning. Read about the latest technologies, stay connected with the open source world, engage in conversations or meet-ups that talk about technologies, be a part of some networking group or startup idea – there are many other ways. The other key aspect is to have a mentor, someone like an Architect, who can guide you on what it takes to build products rather than just focusing on why we need to use a certain technology.

What do you like to do in your ‘fun’ time?

Nivedita: I love spending time with my kids.

How is the experience of being associated with the Grace Hopper Celebration India?

Nivedita: I’ve been associated with GHCI since its inception in India in 2010.  From being a Committee Member, to a Speaker, Advisory Member and now a Program Chair for GHCI 2016, it has been an amazing journey.  I am stunned by the talent and energy around and inspired by women leaders who are making great strides in their respective fields. GHCI is a great forum for women in technology and a source of inspiration for budding professionals. I’m proud and honored to be associated with GHCI.