Panera Bread Sr. Manager, Lead eCommerce Architect
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
questions. I have been in the technology industry for 17 years now. Uh, I actually was born in India in tonight, Uh, was there for tonight for five years. Then my family moved to Bengal. Ooh, it used to be called differently back then, but I was there for for five more years then, you know, my family came to the United States because my mom wanted to pursue her PhD. She is a professor at Duke University now, and she's a research scientist for the n i H. She does, Ah, a lot of different things with the grant writing and all of that. So when I did most of my schooling in the US, um, I got a degree in engineering, actually is electrical engineering. But right out of college, there were not of not a lot of electrical engineering type jobs. It was I got into i t. So I was back in 2003. Eso once I got into I t estate there for, you know, until you know, and I'm still there. So I would I would highly encourage, uh, students to pursue an engineering or computer science or math and then get into the information technology space

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
my role right now. I'm an enterprise architect. Uh and so you start your career off as a software engineer. So you So there's different paths. You started to suffer developer, software engineer. He moved a senior role than your lead. Then you can either be a manager or a software architect and then that the software architecture has higher pads like you could go senior. So senior architect, lead architect and then your enterprise architect basically on And the, uh you know, it's still an evolving discipline. Um, the and enterprise architecture discipline is, uh, predominantly there to help with the technologies and infrastructure strategy for a large enterprise. So typically you're going into an enterprise architecture jogger going for a company that's ah, nationwide or global. They already have technology that the implementation and they want Teoh, um, you know, adopt new technology. How do you do that? Like, how do you you know, us CTO can just go and say, Hey, everybody, we're going to go do this. But you have to have a strategy for that, right? You have to have ah roadmap plan to achieve that vision. And that's primarily what my role involvesso weekly work hours varies depending on projects in that travel, there's not a lot of trouble liking that depends on the company. You work for a company like X censure or Infosys, for example, you're gonna have more travel than a company like Microsoft or Starbucks or uh huh, near right, so

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
Well, so for my role, since I'm you know, you need the programming suffered about my background. You need design patterns, you know, focus on, Like what? Air Corps software design patterns. It's not just about writing code to make it work, but how do you write it? So that it is? Um it is readable and understandable and maintainable. So those three things I would focus on as a software developer, And then if you master that, then you can move on to more core algorithms on, uh, you know, frameworks and platforms. So there's different, um, progression. And then you have the whole cloud architecture space. So which cloud provider do you choose? Why you are you multi cloud? Are you going to be focused on only one cloud provider it So you move from Hey, I'm working on this one application or program to you're a number of applications to maybe the whole system, then maybe cloud, and then you're talking about the whole enterprise. So you so people may pull you in to help with decision ing on which tool to select for a specific purpose. What's the best approach? How do we that we have a problem. How do we How do we do this? Tempera phone? So what? That's that's essentially what it is.

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
um the challenges in a job like mine is that the industry is constantly evolving and technology by itself will not be enough. So I can't say, um hey, we used to do we used to use Oracle 10 years ago. That should be good enough. No, I So I have to be able to say yes, we're using this solution. But really, what we need to do is another solution and why? So we basically, in my enroll set the technology a crack best practices, standards, tools, frameworks for the whole company And based on what, uh, what is being used, then? You know, the software engineers actually do the implementation, right? The application code for the solution.

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
very good question. So my role involves interacting with, uh, vice president, senior vice president, chief technology officers. They have a certain vision. They want to get something done. But then I have to interact with project managers, developers and directors who are basically trying to achieve that and say, How can me How could make this work and, you know, give input into what must be done?

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
s so I don't manage. Um, you know people as much anymore I am. Or oven influencer and a leader. I don't have a direct reports, but I would say there's ah, really good, um, books out there to help with management. And if you know it's all about communication and having the best communication possible with your direct reports, it's basically building the relationship and having the communication regarding the books. I can, um I am trying to think back, but since I am not currently in that space, I'm not gonna be able to give that, uh, recommendation.

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
There's a lot of when it when it comes to a large organization, there's gonna be conflicts everywhere. Um, the important thing is to not be emotionally invested in in any one, um, solution. So you have to be the, um what do you call it? The, um you know, neutral party that can point out the pros and cons of each solution and get folks to agree on what are their goals in which one will align best with those goals? I think when you are working, you have to start with a common ground. So if you start with the common ground, then you can work from that. And that will be my, um you know, I have many examples in the past in the, uh, the biggest, uh, conflict you're gonna have is whenever there needs to be a decision. Any decision? Uh, there's gonna be some conflict. Like, uh, an example is the company decides to buy another company that creates conflict. Some people, maybe, um, you know, in favor of that decision, others will be totally against it. So

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
guarding recognition. When you're reporting to your manager, um, I would say your first job out of, like, a university or college. You want toe pick the right person to report to who can help you grow. Um, and that will determine the trajectory of your career. Really, Uh, whoever whoever was your first manager or your first person right out of the gate Because the the whole the promotion only happens if your manager recognizes that you're ready and talks to his manager. So the so there's there may be multiple layers off of ordered structure that have to agree to provide the attitude to give that promotion. And it's it's all about, in my mind is all about saying, um, you know Yuning somebody that can advocate for you. So you need that manager to be your advocate. You need them to see your value, and you need their manager to do the same thing. So two things. One thing I would I would highly encourage is there's a couple of different approaches one years to find a manager who can also be your mentor. That's that's old, ineffective approach. Another is to basically, um, you know, find a mentor on and within the organization that maybe not necessarily your manager, but that could help you, um, you know, navigate some of the nuances of, you know.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
So in my job, it's more or less how the business is. Ah, adopting technology and how the teams air able to deliver a technology solution based on something that I've recommended. So it's, uh, e. I would say it's hard to measure exactly, but it would be based on. And there could be revenue metrics like, Hey, we implement that this new solution and it saved us thousands of hours of work. Um, no, that's one way another way. Is it increased revenue, improved efficiency, increased revenue, decrease costs, those air three different ways that that I think the, uh, implementation candid mission.

What qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
therefore hiring. You know, I've been in interviews. Uh, I've had to interview candidates for other managers. I typically look for attitude, a communication willingness to learn and adaptability. So those air, the four key things I look for now, those air, more soft skills or not technical. Um, what I've learned in my life is that if you have all of these four, then you can master any technical skill.uh, because I have questions I'd have to looking at, You know, there's, uh sometimes there's an HR. Depending on the organization, there's there's actually an HR questionnaire and a, um, you know, standard template that you work off of. Sometimes you I work with the team to say, What are some of the things that we're looking for in this rule? It just really depends on the world.

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
Korean accomplishments? Um, yeah. I would say that, uh uh, there were, you know, several oneness that originally, you know, I was in the founding group for the Panera Rose online ordering platform. So, you know, if you go online and order from Panera Food, that was a platform I helped build. Uh, and scale and, uh, um, work with different teams on that, so

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle at work? What were the challenges? What strategies were effective in dealing with these challenges?

Based on experience at: Sr. Developer, World Wide Technology
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
in my previous in a senior developer roll, What you're really doing is, or basically working on. Different projects are coming and the the projects are already set by the business and technology team, and you're kind of part of the team that's working to deliver that. So it's a matter of, um, you know, are you able to deliver the product on time? And, um, you know, it's also the ability to mentor junior developers in the senior developer roles. You you have to be able to work on multiple projects, implement, implement key teachers and then also mentor junior developers.

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, University of Missouri-Saint Louis
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
the best is Yeah, this I am using very little of what? My original degree waas. But, uh, what my degree did was prepared me for my first job. And then ever since I got my first job, my next job has always been this substance. Uh, like, you know, it's It's ah, continuation or a higher level. So it So what I have, uh, done is every few years I've changed, and that's typical in the industry is Ah. You know, most people, uh, I would recommend not working in the same role for no for more than three years. Like if you are, go three years. You're exactly where you are. Try something different, learn different, learn something. You, uh, and find work challenges. That's what I and then school. It really prepares you to kind of get that first job or internship. But beyond that, you're kind of on your own to find the next, uh, rule

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
the three life lessons I would say is the first ones. There's never enough time. So if you have time to spend time with your family because there's always gonna be that project deadline that you have to hit or you're running, you know you're running back to back and and you're on a phone all day. And I would say that really make the time for your family for yourself. And, uh, because you never know, you never know something might happen and you're not able Teoh like, uh, spend time. One example of this is I lost my grandfather and my grandmother my grandfather just two years ago. But, you know, ever since we moved to the U. S, I didn't really, um, you know, have I would talk every once in a while, but we never went back the visit as much. So that's the number one regret. So if you look are lying will be like when people pass away or like that, you wish you had spent more time and you know things like that. So it that's that's one. The 2nd 1 is never be afraid to take a risk. So you, um, I'll give you one example. So I was working for Panera, and I got offered, uh, you know, right in the midst of Corbett and all these things going on. And I got an offer to work for Starbucks, but I had to move from ST Louis to Seattle. It's a risk. I mean, it's it's moving from one city to all that and right in the midst of off Cove it right. So But what we you know, I would say, Don't be afraid, Teoh take a risk because it might be the right it might end up being the best opportunity for your career. So, yeah, I, uh uh, that's number two And number three, I would say, um, always be willing to learn. So no matter how high you go, you're always learning and there's that doesn't stop. Learning never stops, and then you're no matter how good you are, there's always someone better. And, um, I would say that along with the learning comes humility

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 24 2020
right after internship and thinking back to like, 2003. I did an internship with G. It was a completely different field than when I got my first job. So I would say, between my internship and my starting job, my internship was good. I loved it. But my starting job was the best. Because it gave me, um it kicked off my career and technology in i t. So the, um, the first company I worked for was certain It s amazing company. So if you get a chance to work there, I would highly recommend. And, you know, you find the right company, you find the right manager, um, the role would be either on associate developer, junior developer or just a software engineer. Those would be the starting roles that you would want. Now you could also get into other type other, less common roles. But there's definitely much more shortage on the software engineering site. Uh, do says I would say a retired new interview. Um, no. Be positive. Yeah. You know, even if you have a bad experience or maybe you had a bad experience in your internship, doesn't matter. I would say that you just move on. And you, uh, do the best you can in your next job. And, uh, you, um try Teoh. You try to give out a positive attitude in every step of the way and will be fun.