Meet Aditi, Senior Software Engineer at OnLoop and the first to kick off our special Women of OnLoop series
At the heart of OnLoop is our people. Making people better is what drives us and making sure we have the right people at the helm helps us get there. With that in mind, we’re excited to kick off the “Humans of OnLoop” series, where we feature stories from the inspiring leaders in our community. These men and women have joined us to solve a problem that has existed for far too long at work: a lack of deliberate, day-to-day development of people.
Our first feature kicks off a standout series highlighting the “Women of OnLoop” — a remarkable, global team of women shaping the future of OnLoop. These women are team members, investors, advisors and early adopters. With this beat, we celebrate the journeys that brought them to us.
Aditi Das joined OnLoop as one of our first official hires beyond the founding team. She is a Senior Software Engineer based in our Singapore office, with past experience at Deutsche Bank and SCB. We asked her about the importance of getting the right feedback in a high-impact role like Engineering.
Senior Software Engineer at OnLoop. Singapore-based. Ex-Deutsche Bank and SCB.
Aditi, can you share your experience with getting feedback in your career, and why the problem OnLoop is trying to solve resonates with you?
The problem for me wasn’t that I wasn’t getting feedback. It was that I wasn’t getting the right kind of feedback. The problem was that the feedback I was getting was super general. I keep asking, ‘Ok… but… how do I improve?’ But I never actually got concrete feedback about what would actually improve my skill. I kept hearing the same general feedback that any boss would tell any employee… so I just stopped taking it.
That’s so discouraging. How did that affect you?
I didn’t know what I was good at. I knew I was good… but at what? I’d try something and think, maybe this is what I’m good at. If I had to point at my strengths it was like, I guess I’m hard working? I get involved? It felt like I was citing more personality than skill.
Imagine working four years in the industry, in the same role, and not being able to say what you’re good at. It impacted me outside of work, too. When I was in a job interview, I didn’t have an answer to the ‘what’s your strength?’ question. I was anxious. Every assessment I had was based on myself, my own perception. As women, I think we tend to underestimate ourselves anyway. And I just thought, I’m not good enough, I’m not good enough.
Wow. And that feeling is clearly shared by many people in the workplace. In your opinion, how can offering specific feedback impact growth?
It differentiates what you actually need from the daily noise where you’re getting blasted with information all the time. So much is out there that we need to be able to tunnel in and focus. That is the most important thing. Constant feedback helps maintain the tunnel focus that’s key to real growth.
Is there anything about your role as an engineer that makes feedback important?
Eng is unique because it can feel like you’re getting constant feedback — because you are — but it’s a very specific type of feedback. It’s highly technical, code by code. But that kind of feedback doesn’t actually highlight what you’re good at. I was told each day exactly what I needed to fix from a technical perspective, but I was still asking myself, ‘Am I a good coder or not?’ It still wasn’t compounding in any meaningful way.
The other kind of feedback that becomes super important for engineers is learning from each other. Everyone in eng has a different thought process. When you sit down to code together, there’s a level of synergy required. If you’re not getting feedback from everyone about where you are in that synergy, you end up wasting a lot of time and it becomes very hard to build a product together.
That’s so insightful. Thanks for sharing that with us, Aditi! We’re so glad to have you on the OnLoop team.
Work today is designed to get things done, not make people better. The danger in focusing only on output and not the person — on performance and not growth — is that too much goes unsaid, unnoticed, and undeveloped. This breeds anxiety. Fear. Judgment. Bias. Women in particular are disadvantaged by bias in the workplace, receiving “informal feedback less frequently than men — despite asking for it as often.”
People deserve better.
We don’t have all the answers, but we’ve felt the pain deeply. And we believe that cultivating the habit of regular and specific feedback, reflection and learning for teams, in the right way, can be a powerful force to help reduce anxiety and mitigate bias in and around work. This starts with recognizing each person as a unique individual who brings his or her own set of superpowers to the table. These are the Humans of OnLoop.
If you want to find out more about OnLoop and what we’re up to, check out our website and sign up to request early access.