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February 09, 2018
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Women in Tech: Part 3 – Technical Support Engineer

I am Vani Subramanian, born and brought up in Kerala, India. I have an engineering degree in Computer Science from College of Engineering, Trivandrum and have completed my Executive General Management Program from IIM, Bangalore.

I believe the future is all about how we extract information from data, how we understand it, and how companies will use it. Being in this digital era, my love towards data started during the early days of college which landed me with the company Informatica. I was with this data integration company for 7 years where I was providing technical assistance to customers on a wide spectrum of Informatica products in addition to acting as a bridge between customers and internal QA, Engineering Team. This is where I was introduced to Apache Hadoop that eventually led me to join Hortonworks.

Powering the Future of Data

Hortonworks truly believes in powering the future of data. My main responsibility in the current profile is to diagnose and resolve customer’s inquiries for Hadoop related issues.  This occurs in various steps, the first step being understanding customer’s issue and environment and then going on to collect relevant logs and traces for further debugging, analyzing the information collected and involving in live meetings/WebExes with the customer. In some cases I have to work closely with the R&D team to identify product issues and get necessary fixes to solve them. During the course of my job, I constantly ensure that knowledge management and data capture processes are done by converting technical solutions to knowledge base/ community articles. Customer satisfaction has been my key goal and I am proud to be a part of one of the best customer support teams worldwide.

As Hortonworks’ support revenue stream is built on top of customer relationships and providing quality customer service and care, I believe the present role I am handling presents itself with huge opportunity as well as challenges. What I find most interesting in my work is that I’m constantly challenged every day. Every customer is unique and so are the issues. This gives me the opportunity to grow and constantly work on my skills be it technical or non-technical. A sound technical base is aide in quick debugging and troubleshooting of customer’s problems.  

Getting a good technical base is challenging in many ways as technology is still developing; but, on the other hand, there is high overall solution and delivery expectation from customer’s end. In most of the scenarios you and customers learn the technology together. This situation urges the support department to work closely with R&D to fasttrack solutions and keep pace with the needs of the customer.  In addition, being in support requires you to understand the bigger picture not just an issue raised by a customer and proactively assist them.

Managing communications/expectations to customers at all levels to maintain positive relationships between Hortonworks and customers has been both challenging and interesting. It is a constant endeavor to sharpen my communications skills and the art of managing time and people within the organization and with customers.

Room for Women Pioneers

With women pioneers highly under-represented in the Hadoop technology field, I believe it also gives them a huge opening to mold new opportunities to showcase their unique strengths and confidence and bring in more ideas. Hadoop is a fast changing space. Acquiring knowledge and skills, keeping abreast with the latest technological trends, and focusing on customer relationship management is the key. Keep asking questions and keep seeking answers. Always strive to understand things in depth and be proficient in what you are doing.

 

Read the other blogs in our Women in Tech series:

Comments

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