From our  Women in STEM TV series meet Kamini Dandapani, who was senior director of engineering at Linkedin when we taped our conversation. She was at LinkedIn for nearly 6 years, where she lead the infrastructure and productivity team for LinkedIn’s application. In March 2020 Dandapani joined AirBnB as director of engineering for developer platform.

“It is not just about me,” shares Dandapani on she works with her team of engineers at LinkedIn. As an individual contributor things are pretty straight forward where you work on a project, “you code, you show the deliverables and you make the impacts.” But things change when you become a manager she says. “I had to take away the I, which was the biggest learning from me as I transitioned into a manager.” As a manager it is “all about the team, and showcasing the team.” But, when things go wrong you “put your face in the front and provide air cover for the team,” she says.

This clip is a highlight of our longer conversation with Dandapani where we find out how she made her decision to study engineering when she did not have a clear idea of what a career in engineering would entail. She shares her journey of becoming an engineer and how she learnt the ropes of her trade and transitioned from being an individual contributor to managing a team. Her first job out of school was at a startup but after that Dandapani has worked for large enterprise companies in Silicon Valley. She worked for 12 years at eBay and then joined LinkedIn where she worked for nearly 6 years and now she is with AirBnB.

This conversation is part of our brand new Season 5 of Women in STEM TV series that spotlights the role of “hidden figures” in Silicon Valley. This episode is sponsored by Zoho.

The Kamla Show is filmed and produced in Silicon Valley and airs on TV in the US and will be available on YouTube later in 2020.

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