Meet Salesforce’s Women in Technology Superheroes!

This was originally posted in the Salesforce Engineering Blog

If you’ve been keeping up with the news these days, it’s no surprise there is a need for more women in technology across the industry. I believe one reason is that there are not enough WIT role models! Thankfully salesforce.com has a number of female engineers leading major products, and driving important technical decisions. At salesforce.com we celebrate our women technical leaders – our superheroes – without whom our products would not be the same!

Here are just 8 of our women in technology superheroes:

1. Reena Mathew, Principal Architect (Quality Engineering)

Superpower: Telekinesis that can summarize the details of a problem for different audiences.

Reena is currently the Product Owner of the Pipeline team in the Data Center Automation Cloud. She was the first QE to work on the Apex Language, the world’s first ‘on demand’ programming language. Her mantra, “Don’t worry, be happy,” is what got her to be the first QE in the history of salesforce.com to be promoted to the Architect and Principal Architect level. You can follow her at @reenamathew.

2. Theresa Vietvu, Architect (Quality Engineering)

Superpower: Extreme strength to continually attempts things out of her comfort zone.
Theresa has worked on almost all areas of the Salesforce application in the 12 years that she has been at the company. She now works on the API infrastructure. Even as an Architect, she has remained hands-on helping to test and ship features as a result of her unwavering passion for quality. Additionally, she still mentors and on-boards new hires to help share and teach our quality focused culture. Her motto, “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission,” has helped her accumulate a stack of patents issued in her name. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

3. Bala Subramanian, Architect (Engineering Services)

Superpower: Laser sharp vision that cuts through chaos to create execution plans.

Bala currently works as the Architect in theData.com business unit of salesforce.com. She founded the salesforce.com Release Engineering team after coming from a build and release background. Numerous releases and extremely successful datacenter build outs have Bala’s signature all over them. Bala is amazing at seeing an opportunity and taking responsibility before being asked. She successfully transitioned from being a manager to an IC which aligned more to her personal goals. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

4. Jeanine Walters, Architect (Software Engineering)

Superpower: Omnilinguist that can translate any technical conversation in a concise and effective manner.

Jeanine has worked in big and small companies in the past, including founding her own company. She now works on Salesforce1 and her biggest success was architecting a solution and building a team for a feature that no one else thought was possible. She first learned how to program when she was in the 1st grade and strongly believes in the saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” You can follow her on Twitter@jeaninesw.

5. Susan Levine, Architect (Software Engineering)

Superpower: Extra-sensory ability to apply deductive reasoning, logic, and the scientific method to any problem.

After leading the successful integration of theData.com acquisition, Susan now works in Sales Cloud. She created a model for the integration of numerous subsequent acquisitions. Her advice to her 24-year-old self – ”It’s okay to make mistakes, even big ones.” Fun fact: Her twin sister is a Salesforce admin and developer whom she calls when she needs product advice from the real world. You can follow her onLinkedIn.

6. Sriramana Ghadiyaram, Architect (Quality Engineering)

Superpower: Telescopic vision that focuses on the big picture while working on details.

Sriramana has had a fantastic journey! After growing up in a small Indian village with only an elementary school, she is now a well respected QE Architect and has worked on Analytics and Chatter! She has kept her enthusiasm to learn new things and approaches every job as a learning experience. Her encouragement comes from her favorite quote – ”People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” You can view her LinkedIn here.

7. Sue Shanabrook, Architect (Software Engineering)

Superpower: Neurocognitive ability to find the root of existing problems, foresee potential problems, and head them off.

Sue was the first developer in the Tampa office to work on Messaging, and then Monitoring & Management. She is now the Product Owner on the R&D App Delivery Cloud, and has built and structured a team that consistently and reliably delivers services to production. Some of these services include HBase Pilot, Splunk, Logging Hub stability, Message Queue, etc. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

8. Susanne Englert, Architect (Performance Engineering)

Superpower: Supersonic ability to have AHA! moments anywhere, anytime.
Susanne works on the Performance Engineering team, and has previously worked at IBM. In the past she chaired the TPC-H database benchmark development subcommittee for four years. Her initial work as a Performance Analyst is what drew her to Performance Engineering. The ‘detective hunt’ nature of the work intrigued her! She has worked alongside Computer Scientist Jim Gray who has been a source of inspiration for her. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

9. Qingqing Liu, Architect (Mobile)

Superpower: Hyper Speed where everything appears to be in slow motion around her

Qingqing works on the Salesforce mobile app, and has worked at Netapp and Genentech in the past. When Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, she launched her first mobile app as a side project, which is where her love for ‘all things mobile’ began! She loves to hear feedback on the apps she built, and lives by her motto, “Be the change you want to see.” You can follow her on LinkedIn.

Why You Need To Build Your Personal Brand And How To Do It

This was originally posted in the Salesforce Engineering Blog

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw

Welcome to this week’s edition of salesforce.com’s Women in Tech Wednesday roundup! #SFWITWednesday

Whether we like it or not, we are the managers of our own personal brand. Here are the three things I have done to build my personal brand – and you can too!

1. Shine Bright Like A Diamond

(Thanks Rihanna for our theme song!)

First things first… It’s important to be clear on what you want and who you are to really shine. Find your specific niche and build your skills to become a thought leader or expert. Beyond just building your skills, you should be known for them in a way that differentiates you from everyone else. This is key to build your personal brand!

For example, when I was a student looking for internships, I realized I was in competition with a lot of people just like me. Hundreds of people graduate every year, so I had to figure out how I could stand out. There were two things I was most passionate about – gender diversity and technology. I decided to make that my focus. I joined the Society of Women Engineers chapter on the USC campus and was eventually nominated to be on the board. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it illustrated leadership, passion and drive and that’s exactly what companies were looking for! Cut to five years later, when I was looking for a job change. My work with Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners helped me snag a job at salesforce.com!

2. Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For

Everyone has a personal brand (including Lionel). How others perceive your online presence is just as important as how you show up in person. Make sure that when a potential employer, manager, or client does a Google search on you, they see what you want them to. It’s important across the board – blogs, websites, social media, contributions on Quora or Stack Overflow. It all matters!

Until I moved to the bay area, I didn’t have any social presence besides my Facebook profile that was locked down in a fortress of privacy. I quickly learned that people liked to keep in touch online as much as they did in person. A business card was nowhere near as valuable as having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, a Twitterhandle, a blog or a website. A friend of mine suggested I find an online handle that I could use everywhere – now I’m easily searchable because I’m ‘SukruthaSays‘ everywhere on the internet!

3. Say What You Need To Say

While it might be intimidating to speak to a crowd, it’s critical to your personal brand that you have a topic that will get people excited (John Mayer style!). Speaking at conferences, meetups or networking events is a great way to build your network. When you prepare for your talk, force yourself to imagine yourself as the listener. This will give you a new perspective on your topic of expertise.

In 2011, my then employer sponsored a Girl Geek Dinner, and I was asked to be the engineer on the panel. I hesitated at first, but decided to do it anyway. That resulted in a chain of events that led me to be the Managing Director of Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners! Ever since, I have never said no to any speaking opportunities. This month, I spoke to the current batch of salesforce.com interns, and in the process I learnt so much that I didn’t already know about our customers and our products. Later this year, I plan to present a session at Dreamforce. Hopefully, I will catch some of you then!