Hema Huchegowda is Okta’s first Customer Centric Engineer in Australia. She joined them after returning from the USA to Australia, and she’s been promoted and developed to have a fulfilling career next to the Aussie ocean!
Customer centric engineering
We can mistakenly think of engineers huddled over computers, focusing more on the data than anything else. But there is a huge component of engineering that is focusing on, and delivering for, customers. As a Customer-Centric Engineer, Hema works on highly escalated, critical issues reported by Okta’s customers.
It requires me to be quick in my thinking to ensure the reported issue does not have wider impact and if so, engage the right team immediately. It requires liaising and collaborating with other teams within the company including engineering, infrastructure, customer first and success teams.”
She troubleshoots reported issues, identifying the root cause and working to find a resolution.
“It’s never a dull day, every issue that I work on is different and requires applying analytical and critical thinking. The best part of my job is the opportunity to learn and grow every day.”
A global career
Hema was the first woman in her family to go to university.
“Coming from a conservative family in India it wasn’t all easy during the early days of my career. But I was very determined and focused and didn’t let the noise around me distract me from getting what I wanted.”
She has worked and lived in India, Singapore, Japan, the USA and now Australia. She started her career as a systems engineer, then moved countries and focused on network, Java and identity management where she really found her calling.
Working with customers globally has prepared me to appreciate diversity and meet the challenges and expectations that are unique to each geographic region.”
Hema took chances moving herself around the world, but each time it’s been a resounding success.
“I uprooted everything and relocated to USA for work for a few years, and people thought I was crazy for doing that. But I made the most of my stay in the USA, road tripping with my son every time he visited me.”
When she wanted to relocate to Australia, Hema set her sights on Okta. As the market leader in Identity and Access Management, Okta was the obvious place for Hema to build on her extensive experience in the identity space. She also appreciates that they are a recognized and well-respected brand.
Hema’s son was excited when she joined, because his university use Okta for multi-factor authentication to enhance security, and she shared another personal experience highlighting Okta’s great reputation. Applying for an internet connection in Australia, the service personnel looked at her in astonishment and asked if she worked at Okta. Then he shared that they use it in his workplace and love it.
It was a great feeling to come across a happy customer of Okta and knowing the company I work for is well known for for security and user experience.”
Did you know coaching programs and mentoring opportunities are part of Okta’s professional development plan to promote gender equality?
Find out how else Okta support their employees professional development.
Career growth and endless opportunities
“Okta is a great company to work for and is growing – which provides me an excellent opportunity to grow with the company and be part of its success in the region.”
Hema joined Okta as a Customer Centric Engineer and was recently promoted to APAC Technical Lead within Customer Support. She is grateful that opportunities there are boundless.
If you have the will and the drive to succeed then sky is the limit at Okta. I’ve only started my journey in Okta, and there is so much potential for me to learn and grow. Okta provides the perfect platform as it is in an accelerated growth phase, especially in the Asia Pacific region.”
The opportunities and growth mean Hema sees herself sticking with Okta for the long term.
We asked Hema what tips she would give to someone looking to forge a fulfilling career in engineering and she shared;
- Believe in yourself. “Trust your abilities. You have earned the spot and don’t let the imposter in you undermine your efforts.”
- Keep up with developments. “It is very important to skill yourself up with emerging technologies.”
- Trust yourself. “Trust your instincts and do what you think is right for you. You may not have all the answers at that moment, but things will start to fall in place.”
- Get comfortable with uncertainty. “Change is the only constant, accept that and enjoy what life has to offer.”
Hema doesn’t know what the future holds, but she’s excited to develop and grow with Okta. She’s ready to take opportunities as they arise and live life to the fullest!
“Life is a journey, enjoy the ride and make most of what life has to offer. Dare to dream and dream big.”