A conversation with Intuit Again returnee, Arti Sharma

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Intuit Again is an initiative that provides an opportunity for technologists to return to work after taking a break in their career for caregiving purposes. This platform not only gives candidates a chance to work at one of the “Best Companies to Work For” (#1 in India, #13 in the U.S.), but it also provides technical and other training to sharpen their professional skills.

We talked to Arti Sharma, a software engineer who went through the program in Spring 2018, to learn about the highlights and challenges of going back to work.

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Intuit: Where did you work before you paused your career?

Arti: I worked at Macys.com as a software engineer. I worked on a preview-and-publish project, which was used mostly by Macy’s employees. It enabled a preview of products as they would be shown on the actual site for consumers before putting them on the market.

Intuit: What were the primary skills you used in that job?

Arti: I worked mostly on the back end. I worked in Java and used all the typical back-end technologies and also worked on JavaScript on the front end.

Intuit: Why did you pause your career and for how long?

Arti: I took a break for four years because my kids needed me at that time. It was a tough decision, but in retrospect, I think it was right decision. My presence made a difference and made them successful and confident.

Intuit: What were the biggest challenges you faced when you returned to work?

Arti: There were multiple things. I was coming back after four years, and I did not have confidence that I could transition back to work. Technology changed during that time and there were concepts I was learning for the first time. Through projects I did as hobbies during my time off, I discovered along the way that I like front-end development, especially React/JavaScript. This preparation with React/JavaScript helped me during my interview at Inuit. When I started at Intuit, I was also on a high-velocity team. This was a challenge, but my team was awesome and very helpful. I got mentoring and support that I am so thankful for. This helped me slowly gain confidence and get into the rhythm.

Intuit: How did you feel about your primary skills when you returned to work?

Arti: Front-end development was a new field to me. More significantly, getting back into a regular Agile development process was a bit challenging and took some time to get used to. With the help and support of the team I gained much needed confidence.

Intuit: What new skills did you develop after joining Intuit Again?

Arti: I’ve learned a lot, and I have a lot to learn. I’ve learned all the technical aspects of front-end engineering. I also got better at communication skills at work, which I had kind of lost during the gap. This has been so valuable.

Intuit: How did people help you overcome challenges?

Arti: People have been very supportive and helpful. Whether it’s a big-picture problem or a specific tool, they are always there to help.

Intuit: What are you working on now?

Arti: I’ve worked on a few projects. My first project was a feature that lets users can set up projects and tasks using a list of templates based on common firm workflows. Then I worked on a feature in QuickBooks Accountant that allows accountants to see the status of all their clients on one overview page. Now I am working on a calendar view for practice management that will give firm owners and their employees the ability to track their project deadlines at a glance. I’ve worked in all these projects as a front-end developer.

Intuit: How confident do you feel about going to work now?

Arti: Having now finished a few projects, I feel much more confident than before.

Intuit: What would you tell someone who’s thinking about applying for Intuit Again?

Arti: They should apply! It’s such a good program, and I’m so lucky to have gotten a position at Intuit through this program. The people who were driving Intuit Again were very welcoming, highly motivating and had such positive attitudes. When we arrived, everyone in the cohort was in the same boat. We had less confidence and had some doubt about getting back into the workforce. But this program gave us a great boost. Every two weeks we had check-in meetings with someone from the Intuit Again leadership team or with others in leadership who had also taken a career break. At Intuit, people are truly nice – not just outwardly nice, but genuinely kind. The experiences and advice they shared showed what good people they are. They gave us support every step of the way.

 

Click here to learn more about Intuit Again.

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