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Fireside chat with Yash Khandor, Engineering Manager at Mark43

Who is Yash Khandor?

I am an Engineering Manager at Mark43 Inc., and the Founder and CEO of International Cricket Network – ICN360; with a Master’s degree (specializing in Mathematical Modeling and Optimization) from Carnegie Mellon University. I also serve as a Career Advisor and Engineering Mentor outside of my role with Mark43. With regards to hobbies, I love playing table-tennis and cricket, enjoy mentoring, pro bono consulting, keeping up with the latest and greatest in technology and promoting diversity and inclusion. I was born into this world with nothing and I want to leave behind a lasting legacy – something positive in my lifetime.

Tell us more about your role in Mark43?

My role at Mark43 Inc. revolves around leading development for suite of public safety software. Leading a team of 6 engineers, I focus on the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) product building powerful, scalable and elegant software that sets a new standard in the realm of public safety. My work demands working closely with Product owners and senior engineering leadership to set longer term strategic direction for the team and also the product suite. An Engineering Manager is expected to provide adept technical acumen for a variety of projects and drive the project from ideation to production – including (but not limited to) scheduling, release planning, managing backlog, removing blockers (if any), maintaining and improving internal processes to help increase developer productivity and operational efficiency.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

The most difficult part of my role probably is the ability to effectively balance speed of execution with quality and technical debt, to build a product that would delight our users. A wise man once said – “Patience is a virtue only the greats possess.” The hardest part of Software management is convincing stakeholders that software takes the time it takes, and rushing it will slow it down and make it buggy. I have always maintained that in Software Development – “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Patience will help you move faster. Patience is everything.” Having said that, this is arguably the most rewarding aspect of my role since challenges bring sweeter successes. Empowering the team to achieve organizational goals in a timely manner, while helping individuals level up by providing them with meaningful opportunities to learn and flourish in their role – this is the definition of happiness (I have a grin as I write this!)

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

No, not today or anytime in the short-term future. Recently, I changed my professional track moving away from a purely Individual Contributor (IC) role. I’ve always revelled in situations that involve leveraging my people management skills clubbed with technology acumen – something that comes naturally to me. Understanding the priorities of different parties and communicating effectively between them to help everyone meet their goals is something that has always sparked keen interest in me and has brought me to where I am today – the path of Engineering Management, which I am enjoying and see myself thriving in.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

That’s a very good question, especially given the growth phase that Mark43 Inc. is going through currently. While we have always been cutting edge with regards to technology in the public safety software space, with the growth that we are experiencing both in terms of new Product initiatives and also headcount, it is imperative that we continue to identify new opportunities, form strategic partnerships, leverage international expansion, invest to be the best and stay on top of the game (innovate). With an increasing company size, it will the crucial for Mark43 Inc. to ensure everyone in the firm is aligned with its core values – something that has served as a founding stone for the success that Mark43 enjoys today – both in terms of business success and employee satisfaction success.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

As far as the Public Safety industry/business goes, it is very pandemic-proof since the communities need to be safe irrespective of the pandemic or not. In fact, it has helped the industry realize the power of digitizing workflows which aligns greatly with the Mark43 product suite. However, the pandemic has left businesses and governments to grapple with a perplexing collection of disruptions and a range of unforeseen and unprecedented challenges – and Mark43 Inc. has not been spared either. Some of the aspects that we (as a company) have been working consistently throughout the pandemic to improve are (but not limited to) leveraging digital tools to effectively collaborate and communicate remotely, nurturing a productive (yet enjoyable) remote work culture, helping employees maintain a good work-life balance while delivering high productivity, finding the best talent through a completely remote interview process, working with potential clients through alternate channels of communication and keeping our current clients happy (as always).

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Digital transformation of Public Safety is fuelled by increasing digitisation (for example the number of mobile devices), connectivity (the ability to connect devices, people and processes) and data. Technology is at the heart of our business with Operational Efficiency, Enhanced Situational Awareness, Better Decision Making and Multi-agency Collaboration being the key drivers. The Mark43 Inc. technology stack comprises of: a. Front-End Technologies: React, Redux, TypeScript, RxJS, Electron, GraphQL b. Back-End Technologies: Java, MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, Elasticsearch Mark43 uses technologies and tools that ensure optimum system performance and scalability, performance monitoring, location-based service technologies (heart of our applications), etc.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

Well, that’s a revolving roster. As of today, there are 4 books: Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella, The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo, Managing Humans by Michael Lopp and The Winning Way by Anita and Harsha Bhogle (this book has been with me for almost 9 years now).

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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