The pandemic has changed the way we live, work, connect, and learn. It’s also made us think about what we really value. What does a dream job look like? How can we advance our careers? What more can we do for our families? To gain insights into these questions, we invited five Intel senior principal engineers to share their career experience at Intel, their tips on advancing in a technical career, and a little bit about their personal life during the pandemic.
What’s your best career experience at Intel?
Bharat: Freedom to experiment and innovate outside my day job
This helps us engineer products very few companies can think of.
Narayanan: Breadth of opportunities
Reflecting on my own career, I have been provided the freedom and support to work in several different areas.
Srikrishnan: Ample opportunities to learn
With the number of problems to solve and the knowledge pool available, it pretty much comes down to how much an individual pushes forward in terms of utilizing the knowledge pool and solving problems.
Niraj: Opportunities to work in different areas and the ability to learn
I had various mentors and managers who helped me in my career growth, identifying the areas where they required help and asking me to jump in, thus giving me the opportunity to explore new areas. Every project I worked on has been memorable.
Sukumar: A dream job and people-friendly DNA
The ability to move across different segments seamlessly is what makes Intel very unique! I have worked on everything from wearables, IoT, phones, and tablets to client and server products. One of the best things about Intel is how people-friendly our DNA is.
What is your advice for friends pursuing a technical path?
Bharat: Choose the right career platform
I would say deep technical solutions are the soul of the company. Intel provides a platform for us to make an impact on all of society. Let’s leverage this platform to bring innovative, pathbreaking technical solutions to market.
Narayanan: Start from your daily schedule
My personal experience is to set a well-defined daily schedule, especially since we are working from home these days. Taking regular breaks and allocating time for physical activity and mental wellbeing are very useful in maintaining focus and motivation.
Srikrishnan: Solve real problems
There are always important problems for technologist to identify and solve. So, my advice is to relentlessly explore and drive the solutions to these problems. Opportunities to learn and grow are vast.
Niraj: Love your work and stay on top of it
It is important to be passionate about what you are working on. Be connected to the end goal and business need. Set your goals to achieve your target and work with your manager and mentors to reach them.
Being up to date with technology is also very important in whatever area you are working on. I like to quote Stewart Brand: “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.”
Sukumar: Be proactive and creative
Look for a problem, solve the problem, and market it. Don’t assume someone else is going to tell you what to do. Be proactive and be creative.
How do you spend your time outside of work during the pandemic?
Bharat: Spend more time with family
I have really enjoyed playing board games with the kids, watching shows on OTT platforms, and helping them create YouTube videos, puzzles, and games. When permissible, I played a lot of net cricket with my son. In terms of learnings, I had to brush up on my household chore skills.
Narayanan: Be a tennis buff
I am trying to revive my game, playing a few days a week with my kid.
Srikrishnan: Spend more time with my family
Fun personal activities (barring the standard dose of TV/do-nothings) are seasonal.
Niraj: Spend time with my family
I lend a helping hand, which I never did earlier. Apart from this, I spend my time with my dog and it is fun watching her mischief. She is our great fielder while we play cricket in our backyard and fetches all the balls for us. She is also good at hide-and-seek, you will always get caught no matter where you hide in the house. I also like playing badminton, listening to old Hindi songs, and watching TV.
Sukumar: Lots of creative pursuits and going to the gym
I am wrapping up a documentary. In fact, I am in the final stages of editing now. I write poetry and I emcee for events (mostly online now). My mother is a famous singer, and I spend time maintaining content on her Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram pages. I binge on movies, sports, news, and books. And, I couldn’t survive without the gym and running. Your typical Jack of all trades, master of none.