Friday, October 29, 2010

My Interview for HPS Honeywell Newsletter!

FullName: Karthik Giridharan
Nickname: Kart
DOB: March 27th, 1982
Areas of expertise: Application programming, Turbine control
Total Years of Experience: 7 years 4 months
No. of years in Honeywell: 7 years 4 months
Qualification: BE (ECE) at GCT, Coimbatore
Role @ HTS: Team lead for Turbine control

Interviewer: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself - your education, interests, past work experiences?
Kart: I was born in Salem, Tamil Nadu and did my schooling there. I did my engineering degree at GCT, Coimbatore and got into Honeywell through campus recruitment.
As far as my hobbies, I like sports a lot, particularly cricket. I spend my weekends mostly at my sister’s house @ Koramangala, playing Wii game with my sister and brother-in-law. I also play chess, when ever I get time. Apart from sports, I like travelling a lot and I also write blogs whenever I get time

Interviewer: So, when you were at school, did you play all the time and ignored studies?
Kart: Ha Ha… during my school days, I was good at studies and for some reason, I used to be very particular about getting 1st rank– I would attribute that to my grand father, who used to sit beside me during exams and motivate me to study.

Interviewer: What would you say makes you uniquely qualified for your line of work?
Kart: Generally, my strength, if I have to pick one, is my ability to adapt and learn new things at a faster pace. I always like to take-up challenging roles and responsibilities, from which I derive a lot of satisfaction.
Although I am from electronics background, I used to participate and win a lot of algorithm and coding contests during my college days. Probably that helped me a lot during the initial days of my career.

Interviewer: What is a typical day at work like?
Kart: Of late, I start my day with a game of shuttle early in the morning but the difficult part is to wake my friends early in the morning and make them play. :-)
I start my office work by attending the stand up meeting- In Turbine Controller project we had been following this practise for last 2-3 years. Then I check mails and schedule/ attend technical discussions to address critical issues. After that, I take-up regular planned tasks. In the late evenings, I attend telecons with Ft Washington team.
Sometimes, if go home early, I cook and make my friends eat it. :-)

Interviewer: What Advice would you like to offer to people wanting to go into this field?
Kart: Focus on long term goals - We normally work towards meeting short term commitments and loose focus on our log term objectives. One’s day-today work, ideally, should also be aligned towards that. For instance, if one wants to become an expert in a particular area, one must set incremental goals towards achieving it – It could be as small as reading a new article on that technology everyday.

Interviewer: What difficulties do you face in your job as a Team lead?
Kart: Within HTS we now have cross development locations such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Madurai. Managing cross location and cross functional work is quite challenging. Sometimes, it’s hard to know and understand the issues that the other locations are facing. I now understand what difficulties US or Australian teams would have faced when they were bringing up teams in Bangalore.

Interviewer: What does the future hold for you - any exciting plans, developments?
Kart: I love teaching and I would want to retire early and build a school. Even now, I teach children whenever I get an opportunity. I had taken classes in colleges such as CMRIT, Bangalore and GCT, Bangalore as part of community service programs. Even in Ft Washington, as a part of Honeywell community service program, I took up classes for US school children.

Interviewer: How hard is it to start a holiday?
Kart: I like un-planned adhoc bike trips over planned vacations – the uncertainty makes the trip even more interesting. When I used to stay with my school friends, at midnight, we used to drive all the way to airport or Hosur in bike, have a cup of tea and then come back. I enjoy riding bikes in the nights, when the roads are calm with lesser traffic. I have had several adhoc bike trips around Bangalore.

Interviewer: Tell us about your childhood, dreams disappointments?
Kart: When I was a kid, choosing the field of ‘Engineering’ was a simple and an obvious choice for me. I wasn’t so good at drawing, so it was easy for me to rule out the option of medicine and other biology related fields. I was good at Maths and logical reasoning and not so good at mugging-up things. I took up engineering course, thinking that Engineering is all about Maths and logical reasoning, so that I don’t have to mug up. But even in Engineering, I ended up mugging up quite a lot things to clear my exams. :-)

Interviewer: Who or What are the influences that inspire you the most in your work?
Kart: My grand father is a great source of inspiration for me. He reached one of the top positions in the Agriculture department (Joint Director), yet he was humble, honest and simple. I don’t think I am quite there yet and there’s a lot to learn from him.

Interviewer: In your experience, what is the best philosophy you have found to live by?
Kart: Steve Jobs quote from his speech to Stanford University students “Stay hungry, Stay foolish” inspires me a lot whenever I feel proud that I have achieved something, or when I feel down.

Interviewer: What is the one thing that your friends and colleagues might not know?
Kart: I am getting married soon! I waited this announcement for so long so that I could invite everyone through this newsletter. :-)
It’s an arranged marriage, but she was my junior in my college. She is also software engineer in an MNC in Bangalore with similar aspirations as that of mine, which is “to eat well and sleep well”. :-)

Rapid Fire
Role Model – My grandfather
What makes you happy – When I wake up in the morning and find out that it is a holiday.
What makes you upset – When Tendulkar gets out in the 90’s..
Your favourite Movie – Basic Instinct
Last read Novel - “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen – It is a girlish novel and my fiancĂ© had asked me to read it…so I have no other choice. :-) “Made in Japan” by Akio Morito (autobiography of founder of Sony) is one of the best books that I have read.
Your favourite sport – Cricket
Your hobbies – Sports, travelling, biking and writing blogs.
Most memorable moment in Life – I would like to pick two…
First, when I was selected by Honeywell during my third year of engineering – My last interview was over only at 12 midnight and I came to know about my candidature at night 1 O’ clock, when I was half asleep.
Second, when my nephew was born - It was a wonderful moment in my life.
Your message for our readers – Enjoy your life. Keep it simple. :-)

Note: The interview was also published in the Honeywell HPS Newsletter - HPS Happenings, which was released on Oct 29, 2010.

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