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Turing’s Women-In-Tech Interview Series: Khushboo Verma, Software Engineer at Microsoft

By February 3, 2022 5 min read

Women-In-Tech (WIT) Interviews is a series where we speak with some of the best and the brightest women developers around the globe. This week, we spoke to Khushboo Verma, one of the most vibrant developers in India, leading voice of WIT communities in Twitter, who now works as a Software Engineer in the Azure Storage team at Microsoft, India, under the Cloud & AI division.

Read our conversation with Khushboo, hosted by Swathi Dharshna, Program Manager at Turing, in our second edition of the Women-In-Tech Interview series.

Swathi Dharshna

Hi, Khushboo! First of all, congratulations on your B.Tech graduation. I had no idea that you did all this in your career while still in college. I’d love to get to know your story and really understand what drives and motivates you?

Khushboo Verma

Thank you so much, Swathi, for having me here today. The curiosity drives me to learn, and throughout my journey, communities have played a vital role. They have helped me build my technical and interpersonal skills, so I wanted to give back. All the initiatives that I do are driven by the will to give back, and also I have noticed that there are very few women role models, especially in leadership positions. Hence, I wanted to bring a change, and also throughout my university life, one opportunity led to another, and here we are today.

Swathi Dharshna

Right after your final year exams, you started as an SDE-1 at Microsoft’s Cloud & AI division. That’s really impressive. How much of your Internship and Student Ambassador program helped secure your career at Microsoft? 

Khushboo Verma

So during the third year of my college, I interned at Microsoft India as a software engineering intern. After my internship, based on my performance and the positive feedback from the manager and my teammates, I was offered a full-time role after a bunch of interviews. That is how I landed my current role at Microsoft, and the Student Ambassador program has no direct role to play. Still, it helped me learn more about Microsoft’s culture and values and also helped me sharpen my personal and interpersonal skills, which ultimately helped me ace my interviews.

 “Public proof of work increases their [developers] visibility which in turn helps them build their social capital” – Verma

Khushboo Verma women in tech

Khushboo Verma

Swathi Dharshna

This year the job market will be hot. But you still need to show up well in the interviews. What’d be that one way to showcase your previous work/projects? Can you share your experience with some of the ideas you have used to ensure your projects shine through in the resume?

Khushboo Verma

Yeah. That’s a great question. I think that the market these days is driven by proof of work. Hence, platforms like Github and LinkedIn are the new resume, so a lot of companies these days reach out to candidates by looking at the work that they post online. If we talk in terms of resumes of candidates since thousands of candidates apply to every role, it’s important to tailor your resume for each role and organization that you are applying to. So, if you have 10 projects, you have to nitpick the top three or four ones that closely resemble the job description and put those on your resume.

Swathi Dharshna

In a Wired piece from 2013 – GitHub Revolution, Mikeal Rogers wrote, ‘developers are not just writing codes.’ I feel this is very true now since devs are building mini-projects in GitHub, starting YouTube Channels, writing in Hashnode, scaling massive developer communities, etc. Being someone who emulates it so well, could you elaborate on the thought from your perspective?

Khushboo Verma

So, I think it’s a personal choice. No one answer fits here, and everyone has their interest. It is getting increasingly popular these days because it helps people have public proof of work. It increases their visibility, which, in turn, helps them build their social capital and open doors to various opportunities.

women in tech Khusboo Verma

GitHub Campus Experts

Swathi Dharshna

That’s wonderful! It’s amazing how you have built a Twitter Community of 44K followers. You’re constantly connected with your audience and occasionally bring guest speakers to talk about WIT, Web 3.0, etc. Why do you think it’s necessary to build/be in a community these times?

Khushboo Verma

As I mentioned earlier, it is not necessary to have an online presence or be involved in communities. It comes naturally to me, and I enjoy the process, so I participate in community building, but communities help you learn and network with like-minded people. It also allows you to give back and build your personal brand, which might help you in multiple ways.

Swathi Dharshna

You talk a lot about this. I’d also love to get your perspective on equality & diversity, especially with Women-In-Tech and the disparity in the current ecosystem. As a fresher in the tech industry, what are the most encouraging aspects for women today, and where do you think work is required?

Khushboo Verma

You are right. I am a huge advocate of inclusion and diversity. I feel that the gender ratio is improving in the industry, but we still have a long way to go. Organizations and communities are actively working towards it, but I think we all can contribute to the cause by uplifting the women and other marginalized groups in our circles.

Swathi Dharshna

So before we end this truly inspiring conversation, I’d like to touch upon just one more area- we all saw you organize one of the largest student developer conferences with GitHub Field Day last year, so I’d like to know more about the vision and plans you have for the future of the developer community in general. What’s the next big step or evolution you see in the community you’re building?

Khushboo Verma

GitHub Field day India was definitely a huge success. It helped us bring student community leaders from all across India together and facilitate collaboration.

Going forward, I see a rise in inter-community interactions and collaborations, which, in turn, would lead to more exposure and opportunities, especially in Tier 2 and tier 3 cities across India. We will witness the rise in the number of great developers and entrepreneurs emerging out of colleges we don’t get to hear about often. I would continuously strive to give back and help as many people as possible. Once again, thank you for having me; it was a pleasure.

Swathi Dharshna

Glad to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today— we would love to collaborate with you sometime in the future.

For more insights, follow Khushboo on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Interested in more sessions like these? Head over to the Women-in-Tech chapter on our Turing Community portal! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach us at 

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Turing Women in Tech Series: Khushboo Verma, SWE, Microsoft
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Turing Women in Tech Series: Khushboo Verma, SWE, Microsoft
Description
In our second edition of Turing’s Women in Tech series, Khushboo Verma, Software Engineer at Microsoft, shares how she landed her dream job in the company.
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Turing
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