Meet Kaiju: Ashish Mishra, Solutions Architect Q&A
We have unbeatable technical capabilities, and anyone at any level of the company can jump in and suggest a solution. We create a lot of our architecture from scratch, and then improve it according to the requirements of the clients and the market. There is an ocean of opportunities for new solutions and approaches. You just need to jump in.
Each month, we talk to a new colleague, highlighting their unique role here at Kaiju. We profile developers, analysts, and traders sprinkled across the globe in too many time zones to track. What we seek to do in this space is to close that gap a little.
Everyone, meet Ashish Mishra, Solutions Architect.
A solutions architect, says CIO, “is responsible for evaluating an organization’s business needs and determining how IT can support those objectives.” In this way, Ashish works as a bridge between the business operations side and the technological side.
But there’s a lot more to it than that, Ashish says. He has to be ready to redefine his role to meet the company’s shifting, day-to-day needs. But meeting those challenges, he says, is what keeps things interesting.
We caught up with Ashish to ask about his background, his hopes for the future, and (perhaps most importantly) how his ambition to fly like Superman paved his career path.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about where you were born and what your family life was like?
A. I’m from Sardarshahar, a small town in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It’s pretty far from modern, urban life. My education was very strict.. My school’s motto was: “come to school for knowledge and leave for community service.” So, it was very clear what the school expected of its students.
My family has a strong religious background; we actually own an ancient temple in the area. When I was growing up, I would wake up at 4 a.m., milk the cows, go to the temple for prayer, and then head to school. It was a lot, but it gave me a strong work ethic and a sense of purpose every day. Those are things I still rely on today.
Q. How would you describe what you do to someone who isn't technically inclined?
A. I get this question all the time. The simplest answer I can give is to say that I direct my team to make software that can work on multiple platforms, like a smartphone and a desktop computer. I usually describe how I execute one part of the software development and have my team work on the other parts of it.
Q. How did you get interested in this field?
A. I became interested in a kind of indirect way. We only had one television station where I grew up, the one broadcast by the government. Every Sunday at 5 p.m., I would drop whatever I was doing and watch Superman. I wanted to fly like Superman, but I thought I would need to have a suit like his, and I would need to become an engineer to make one. So I focused on engineering after graduating from secondary school and ended up as a computer engineer. I gave up on becoming a superhero a long time ago, but that’s okay.
Q. Where did you work before you came to Kaiju?
A. My first job was at a startup. After that, I worked for a software company called Geometric, as a Windows installer and developer. Then I moved to Pitney Bowes, which was a Fortune 200 company at the time. I worked there for almost 10 years, and it was like my second home. I was an associate technical manager. We were a centralized team for DevOps-related work (DevOps stands for Developer Operations, a combination of the terms “software development” and “information technology [IT] operations”).
Q. How did you end up working for Kaiju?
A. I used to freelance in my spare time, and I found a DevOps opening at Kaiju on a freelance job board. I interviewed with Chief Technical Officer David Schooley, and we just hit it off. He was really cool. I told him that I wasn’t interested in working for an established company that had been doing things one way for too long. I wanted to work for a company that was engaged in new challenges. So I chose Kaiju, which has given me in-depth technical knowledge, the freedom to work from anywhere on earth, and a great team with a lot of potential.
Q. What's different about working for Kaiju, as opposed to other companies?
A. Upper management listens to employees and wants to hear our views, so right there it’s very different from a lot of companies. They encourage thinking outside of your comfort zone, so you can implement the latest technologies. There are really no cracks in the process. Things are managed very well, so we never have any trouble meeting our deliverables.
Q. Has Kaiju allowed you the flexibility to be independent and create new solutions?
A. We have unbeatable technical capabilities, and anyone at any level of the company can jump in and suggest a solution. We create a lot of our architecture from scratch, and then improve it according to the requirements of the clients and the market. There is an ocean of opportunities for new solutions and approaches. You just need to jump in.
Q. Where do you see Kaiju going in the future as a company?
A. I expect that Kaiju will become a major leader in trading in the coming years. Our artificial intelligence side is very effective, and gives logical, accurate results; we have integration with a lot of third-party financial solutions. Our management is mature, thoughtful, innovative, and visionary. I fully expect Kaiju to be a renowned global brand in the next decade.
Photo by Ricky Flores
Daniel Bukszpan's reporting and commentary on finance, technology, and politics has been published in Fortune, The Daily Beast, CNBC.com, and other outlets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.