Women City


Charumathy Srinivasan

t Manager
, Windows
The Journey: Early Days to How I Got Here
I currently work as a Principal Development Manager on virtualization technologies in the Microsoft India Development Center. This is part of the core operating systems division with a focus on client and server virtualization technologies. My primary area of expertise is replication and storage systems. During my career span, I have worked on networking, database and virtualization technologies. I really enjoy the challenges posed to me designing large scale and robust systems that solve business needs. In my various roles as an individual contributor and a manager I focus on developing and articulating long-term technical vision, creating and reviewing designs and exploring new technology directions.
I received my Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Technology from College of Engineering, Guindy. I graduated with a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a specialization in Distributed systems and subsequently joined Microsoft, Redmond in 1992.

Insight of My Company and the Role I Play in it

Microsoft India (R&D) Private Limited, a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, set up Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC) at Hyderabad in 1998. Over the course of the past 13 years, we have expanded to become one of Microsoft Corporations largest R&D centers outside its headquarters in Redmond.
MSIDC is a part of Microsoft Corporations strategy of global shared development where teams across geographies collaborate to build great software and services. Our development teams are aligned to five out of the seven business divisions at Microsoft Corporation, namely Server and Tools Business (STB), Microsoft Office Division (MOD), Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), Windows and Windows Live Division (WWLD) and Online Services Division (OSD).I work in a senior technical role at Microsoft India Development Center as a Development Manager in the Windows team with a primary focus on virtualization technologies.

Decisions That Mattered
I have made some key career discussions around staying close to building technology. I also chose to have a very strong focus in a specific domain for many years in my career. This allowed me to contribute as a Principal Architect in that domain and helped me make strong contributions to the design and architecture of strategic products such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Data Protection Manager, Microsoft Windows etc.

My Vision as a Leader

My vision as a leader is it is extremely important to have a strong focus on results and a strong innovation pipeline to succeed in todays world. Mentoring and coaching my team to ensure they deliver their best is crucial to my teams success. Seeing my role as a mentor and coach is crucial to my leadership vision.

Resolving Challenges Faced as a Women
As a woman, I sometimes face challenges dealing with diverse styles of communication. I have learnt to make adjustments to my style to accommodate diverse needs. I realize that it is not sufficient just to have the right ideas. Articulating them well and in a way that it is well received is crucial to success.

Work - life Balance
As a parent of young children, it is a constant balancing act in terms of work and life. I have learnt to prioritize certain aspects of my personal life - for instance, rarely do I miss any event at school. At the end of the day, it is about discipline, focus and the ability to be clear around what growth means. I have valued technical growth more than anything else, all the other stuff follows as a natural consequence.

Starting Over from Scratch, What I Would Like to do Differently
If I had to start from scratch, I would probably be unapologetic about being at work. I remember being a young mom and constant feeling conflicted. In hindsight, life has a way of teaching you to balance everything that is important.

Women Leaders: Driving Force for Powering Business
Women leaders bring a unique perspective and style to their roles as business leaders. They have unique strengths that they leverage to drive very strong business results. In todays economy where women have very strong buying power, getting this unique perspective is crucial for businesses to succeed.

My Learning Along the Way
There are many tough and challenging technical problems to solve, but I have learnt that it is crucial to align it with business need. Given the fast paced nature of todays technology, it is crucial to ground technical innovation in a business context.

Two Years Down the Line
Id like to continue to grow as a technical leader at Microsoft. There is a lot of scope to grow to very senior positions by utilizing ones technical insights in the context of a business problem and delivering strong results.

An Accomplishment You are Most Proud of?
More than any specific accomplishment, I am proud of the fact that I work in a technology space that allows me to use technical innovation to fuel business innovation. I deeply enjoy working on complex technology and designing robust systems and my technical career has given me numerous opportunities to demonstrate this passion for technology.

One key aspect to my growth was focus in terms of a specific technology area. It really helped me become a thought leader in that space. While I really value people leadership roles, I believe women leaders are thought leaders first and foremost. My suggestion to my fellow women leaders would be to articulate their thought process in a way that folks take notice.

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