Anjul Bhambhri may be thirty years into a very successful software-developer career but that doesn’t mean she is resting on her laurels. She is a creator and a cultivator with a passion for the code that drives the modern world today. Bhambhri describes her career using three words - data, databases and big data analytics – it describes both her interests and her experiences.
She’s had many roles over the course of her professional life, from her humble beginnings as a SQL server coder at Sybase (back when it was a startup) all the way to IBM where she preached analytics from the big data pulpit for fourteen years. In 2016, Bhambhri made the move to Adobe where she now serves as vice president of platform engineering.
In her interviews, Bhambhri displays an almost uncanny knack for knowing what’s coming next. In 2012, she gave an interview on the future of big data and shared her views on what tech companies would need to stay ahead: “The enterprises that will achieve a competitive edge and win will have a blend of a healthy data-science culture, enterprising data scientists who can bend the ear of C-level decision makers, and the right combination of technology that will surface the data that make sense in the context of the business.”
Short of predicting when events would unfold as they did, her almost prescient analytics observations would have made excellent reading for the insightful investor looking for a high growth opportunity in the tech industry. Perhaps one of the keys to Bhambhri’s success lies with her approach to her work. In a TechCrunch interview, she describes her experiences at IBM.
“I was in IBM for 14 years, taking one year at a time to see if I was still having fun,” Bhambhri said. “I ended up building really three new marketing segments for IBM in the field of data, big data tooling, and big data analytics.”
Bhambhri frequently takes stock and if she’s not enjoying her work, she wants to find a way back to what engages and excites her. She is not afraid to take risks and it’s paid off for her: “I think three or four times in my career I’ve gone from running big teams to then becoming an individual contributor, proposing something, and then growing that team and the segment. Then after three or four years, taking on an individual contributor (IC) role again to figure out what the next strategy needs to be.”
Bhambhri also points to that place where people and technology come together as one of the things that makes her job interesting. She enjoys the challenge of listening to her customers and then finding ways to meet their needs through technology.
“I’m..a people person. There are people who just enjoy being in their world and writing code, but I just felt that these interactions helped me bring out the best for the products we were building. That just kept multiplying,” Bhambhri said in an interview.
“Those experiences helped me transform from being just an engineer to an engineering leader who is also focused on the product requirements. And not just the immediate needs, but really able to understand where the puck is going to be.”