Sayari Ghosh
Sayari Ghosh
Software Design Engineer in Test III, Concur
Bellevue, WA

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    As a Software Design Engineer in Test (SDET), my first task is to make sure that the software works as expected. But doing this manually is a big hassle, so I write automation that can test the working software and find bugs. I also need to make sure that our system works fine under load, that is it can handle a lot of user requests and stays stable under stress.
  • Why Engineering?
    When I was around five years old, I mended my mom's broken clothespin and my dad suggested that I would be a good engineer. I think that stuck with me. I also enjoyed playing with mechano (like Lego, but for making mechanical devices like cranes and pulleys) and electric mechano (similar, but we could make electrical circuits with it). My dad used to encourage me a lot to play with these things. Growing up in India, I was a pretty good student, I chose science subjects in high school. After graduation, I had three options - medical school, physics or engineering. As I already had 3 generations of engineers in my family, and my sister being an architect, I very naturally went towards engineering.
  • School Days
    I have a Masters in Computer and Information Sciences from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA and prior to that, a Bachelors in Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from West Bengal University of Technology, India.
  • My Day At Work
    1. Writing programs - for testing, fixing bugs 2. Configuring jobs to run on servers 3. Monitoring our service, finding issues like response time getting higher, database problems and reporting/fixing them. 4. Attending meetings with my team and manager 5. Attending fun events like Hackathons - where we code something from scratch and make a running software. 6. Just plain having fun, cracking jokes, eating a lot!
  • Best Part
    That I get to create running software (that works on command) out of nowhere!
  • Proud Moments
    Last year, I worked on creating performance tests for my project from scratch. There was not a single line of code written for that before I started and I was initially a little intimidated. But with encouragement from my team, I started to work on it and now it is a reliable service we depend on to verify how our feature is doing.
  • Challenges
    My engineering background was not very strong as I struggled with programming language courses. In India, we relied more on old school theoretical classes more than practical hands-on coding. So my base was very shaky. However, I worked on programming really hard after coming to US and slowly got better. Now, I have a lot of confidence in programming and when faced with a new challenge at work, I tell myself that there was a time when I didn't know programming, now I know. In the same way I will be able to tackle this new challenge.
  • My Family
    I grew up in a very close-knit family back in India. I am the fourth generation engineer in my family. My great-grandfather, grandfather, 3 uncles, 1 aunt and my sister are all engineers of different fields (civil, mechanical, metallurgical and architecture). My dad is a business degree holder and my mom has a PhD in International Relations and has been a University Professor all her life. My husband is also a software engineer. In my family, studies are given the utmost importance and we have always been told to study hard and work hard. Both my sister and I have been encouraged to find stable jobs and stay in those jobs. We are encouraged to be independent women who can stand up for their own.
  • Dreams and Goals
    Short term goals - 1. Learn better coding by working closely with my senior team mates. 2. Focus on learning new technologies, new programming languages. 3. Understand the feature I am working on thoroughly, end to end. 4. Get promoted to the next level at work. Long term goals - 1. Become a technical lead who has in-depth knowledge about software development. 2. Have 2 kids and manage home and work in the best way possible. 3. Become a mentor for younger women.
  • Inspiration
    My dad. From the time I can remember, he has drilled in my mind these few things - 1. I am good at studies and my career should be in something academic or technical. 2. I have a lot of potential and I need to grow to my full potential. 3. Go abroad for higher studies. Higher studies wasn't just an option for either my sister, or me. It was just a natural part of life. 4. Learn to be independent and NEVER EVER think of being financially dependent on a husband.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    If you really have a passion for engineering, you'd be successful in your career no matter what. If someone tells you engineering is not for girls, tell them that the first person to write a program was a woman. (Ada Byron, who was the daughter of the famous English poet Lord Byron.)
  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    If someone tells you engineering is not for girls, tell them that the first person to write a program was a woman.
  • Hobbies
    I really love reading literature, both in English and in my own language, Bengali. My all time favorite books are The Hound of the Baskervilles (a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier). Other than that, I love writing in my blog, cooking (recently started cooking French food following Julia Child's recipes), painting, swimming, gardening and hiking. We have 2 fat orange cats and a dog at home as well and I love to play with them.

I am a Software Design Engineer in Test working at Concur in Bellevue, Washington. I did my MS in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Software is a ubiquitous thing in the human world nowadays and my work is to test this software. As so many people use this world wide, we have to make sure that there are no "bugs" found in there. However, manually testing a software is a time consuming, tedious and error prone process, so we try to automate the testing. My work is to figure out which tests can be automated and then write programs that would run through the software like a human would and tell us if something is wrong. Unlike most of the things we use at all times, a software is not a tangible thing. You can see a computer, but you can't really see a software doing it's own work in the back end. That's why it is so exciting and fun to conjure up something from empty space and make it do everything on your command. That is the fun part of being an engineer!

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Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
Latest Questions
  • Dana, Tampa,FL asked Sayari Ghosh, Concur

    Added Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Hi Dr. Sayari. I'm a freshman in a community college and my major is not decided yet. I'm thinking about majoring in computer science. I know you didn't study computer science but I thought you would give me some advice. I have many concerns: I'm afraid that I'm not smart enough to study computer science, because as you know people who major in computer science are pretty smart. and I hear a lot about how hard it is and how only geniuses can study it so I'm really afraid that I might not be ...
    Related to Choosing a Degree, Computer
    Answers 1
    Sayari Ghosh, Concur
    Answered Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 10:39 PM
    Hi Dana! I really appreciate your questions. (And as a matter of fact, I did study Computer Science in both BS and MS.) Let me address your concerns one by one -
    1. wondering if you are smart enough - remember what the famous scientist Edison said about ...
    Read More
  • Margaret, West Simsbury

    Added Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    I am going to be a senior in the fall. My question is basically this: What is the best school that gets you a job after graduation? I assume internships play a huge role! Thanks!
    Answers 1
    Sayari Ghosh, Concur
    Answered Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 2:52 PM
    It will be very helpful if you can let us know what's your major, what kind of universities you are looking for and what job you want to get after graduation. 
    From my own Computer Science background, I have seen what matters the most is if you are ...
    Read More
  • Anonymous

    Added Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I'm thinking about pursuing a major in mechanical engineering or perhaps electrical engineering. I'm on my school's robotics team and I enjoy learning about how the robot works. However, I perform very poorly in algebra. I love geometry but, algebra just doesn't make much sense to me. I know I have the potential to do well; I'm worried that my professors may not be the best teachers or that I won't absorb enough to pass a math class. What do you think I should do? Should I forget about this and ...
    Answers 1
    Sayari Ghosh, Concur
    Answered Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM
    I can't tell you about the mechanical engineering major part because I majored in Computer Science, but I can tell you about the algebra vs. geometry thing from my personal experience. I loved geometry in school, always scored full marks in it. I loved ...
    Read More
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