This interview is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative. Campus Philly is featuring the “Philly stories” of Black and Brown tech founders, entrepreneurs, and young professionals who are making an impact in the region, demonstrating why the Philadelphia region IS the most diverse tech hub.
Tanmay Mody currently works as a Software Developer at Vertex Inc, a corporate tax solutions company based in King of Prussia! He develops and tests software features in Vertex’s Oracle connector. Tanmay grew up in Rajkot, India, and came to the United States to pursue his undergraduate studies at Temple University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in General Business Studies. In his free time, Tanmay enjoys outdoor activities like running and hiking. He is also very fond of playing tennis and chess. He loves walking around and exploring new places in the city.
As an international student, what were some resources, groups, or activities that helped you “find your fit” and adjust to living in Philadelphia?
I believe people are always the best resources anywhere you go. You can learn a lot just by interacting with people and asking them about their life in the city. I used to participate in events of my interest to build connections. This included networking events like career fairs, as well as cultural events hosted by different student organizations.
To meet new people, I signed up for emails and newsletters for student events. I like playing and watching sports, so I also attended club meetings for the games I was interested in. One thing led to another, and I was a 76ers fan before I knew it. In addition, I was very adamant about taking public transport wherever I went, so I got to explore and know the city better.
Did you always know that you wanted to pursue a career in tech? When did you first realize that this was the career path for you?
Marine engineering was the career I wanted to pursue before I decided to be in tech. I took some programming classes in high school as an extracurricular activity, and I found them very fascinating. As I kept learning new programming languages, I kept becoming more interested in them. Furthermore, growing up, I loved math as a subject. Soon, I realized that programming had very similar problem-solving aspects to math.
Moreover, I used to read several tech magazines that would keep me updated with new tools and inventions which I found to be quite intriguing. That is when I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in tech.
How did your experience interning at Bentley Systems help build a foundation for your career in software development?
My internship at Bentley Systems has a very significant contribution to who I am today. Getting a 10-month internship experience at a multinational company is a great way to build your career foundation. Throughout my time at Bentley, I got to work closely with experienced software developers, architects, and managers.
Being mentored by them gave me a whole new perspective on the software development world. I also got the opportunity to work and collaborate with people from different countries in Germany, India, Lithuania, and more. I worked on multiple small projects with various teams of the company, too, which gave me multidimensional exposure early in my career.
What’s a typical day like for you as a Software Developer at Vertex, Inc.?
My typical day involves signing in, checking emails, and laying out an agenda for the day. Then I usually have a standup meeting to provide an update on what I am working on and ask for assistance where applicable, if I am facing any issues. After the standup, I work on my tasks which are mainly brainstorming and coding. I also organize collaborating sessions if needed.
You work remotely from your home in Philly, for a company based in King of Prussia. How do you stay connected to your colleagues and build community and culture while working from home?
During the peak of the pandemic, I would set up one-on-one virtual happy hours, coffee chats, or game sessions with my colleagues after office hours. Now that the COVID situation has improved, I usually meet up with a few of my colleagues for weekly tennis (if weather permits) or table tennis sessions. I also try to meet them for in-person dinners or happy hours from time to time to stay connected. It is very important to build camaraderie with your colleagues to have a healthy workplace environment.
How important is it to continue to learn and grow professionally in tech?
Learning is essential to growing in tech. New tools and software products are being built every day that make your life easier. In today’s fast-paced world, staying up-to-date with the trends and adapting your skillset is necessary to remain valuable. If you don’t keep up, your skillset might become outdated a few years down the line, which could ultimately hinder your professional growth.
One needs to have a growth mindset to become successful in a tech career. Throughout my time at Vertex, I have strived to improve my knowledge by taking up certifications like AWS, Spring Boot, and more, along with learning about the product I am currently working on.
If you were to go back and time to your freshman year of college and tell yourself ONE thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to try new things; embrace them with a positive attitude and try to enjoy the process without worrying about the results.