Name: Viral Patel
Designation: Agent 0084
Double Agent Role: Senior Software Consultant
Special Skills: Growth Hacker, Life long learner, Empathy driven
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Favorite Emoji: 🎉
In the past year or so, I have worked on several projects, all with unique problems to solve. Working in fast-paced environments with challenges that I haven’t faced before in my career, I was nervous but excited at the same time. I saw it as an opportunity to grow as a software engineer. I was proud of the fact that I allowed myself to be vulnerable and open for feedback during this journey, which not only helped me deliver projects but also deliver quality and elegant solutions to the end user. What started as a one-person project is now used by hundreds of users and maintained by dozens of engineers.
After that, I made a decision to join Test Double. I had never done consulting before and stepping out of my comfort zone one more time brought a level of anxiety, but also great excitement to see what consulting holds for me. And working remotely full time is also something new to me. Now that I have spent more than half a year, I can confidently see myself transitioning into this new role.
The COVID situation has allowed the world to reflect on past actions and taught people to think about long term consequences of their actions. It has also pushed the need for people to communicate and interact with each other remotely and virtually, which increases the need for software. At Test Double, we strive to help companies make better software. I am excited to be part of the journey where the need for better software is not an option but a requirement.
Autonomy, trust, support, growth, and working remotely. Test Double offers all of these, and the culture at Test Double has empowered each and every agent to build their work lifestyle around these principles.
I think I have to repeat myself in saying team culture, because it is something that I’ve never seen in any of the other companies where I’ve worked: the team is really consciously and diligently trying to be empathetic and respectful. And the executives are very transparent and very empathetic towards the whole company.
Writing scalable, performant, and maintainable software. Every software engineering team wants to achieve these goals but due to the creative and innovative nature of software development, it has allowed teams to define their own goals and KPIs when it comes to delivering software. It is a continuous process to renew, upgrade and iterate to improve the current software design, so it truly serves the core business function. Lately I’ve been thinking about recording a catalog that offers opinions on different industry practices and design patterns to allow for writing better software in a wide variety of industries.
A great thing that happened to me is buying my first home. It was great, and an experience in itself. It was a lot of emotional turmoil, because you have to make sure that you’re ready for buying a house, making that much of a commitment, and then finding the right property, sealing the deal, and all of that process. So, personally, that was the biggest moment last year, buying my first home. Fortunately I was able to spend a lot of time during the pandemic living in my new home. I had something to think about or at least something new to experience while we were locked in.
I think going into a post-pandemic sort of world is opening up to a lot more opportunities. I’m looking forward to personally networking a lot. We all haven’t been able to do that in the last one or two years. So meeting the right set of people—it could be new people or people I met in the past—but either way expanding my network. Traveling, I want to get back to that. I haven’t done that a lot. Something I want to explore is places I’ve never been before.
A TV show that recently has been on my mind—I’ve been rewatching it multiple times—is a show called Elementary. It has a lot to do with my love for the art of deduction, and watching detective shows and mystery shows where you unravel the mystery behind an incident. Elementary is basically a Sherlock Holmes spin-off where the character is living in the current century in New York. It’s something I’ve been enjoying a lot.
The book is Deep Work by Cal Newport. The book has changed me drastically. It changed my working style, it helped me get that work-life balance much better, because you can make sure that whatever time you spend on something it’s dedicated and focused. You can really get a lot out of that time block, and at the same time, now you have more time to spend on whatever you want to, either spending time with friends and family or doing nothing. Deep Work is a book that I’ve gone back to in the past year to revisit the principles, ideas and theories, and bring those into my day-to-day work.
Travelling and meeting friends and family that are scattered across the globe and haven’t had a chance to catch up for a long time.
I have had a variety of interests throughout my life. Even though working with computers fascinated me since childhood, I had lot of interests in many other professions. From being a professional sports athlete to being an astrophysicist to studying psychology and starting my own business—I’ve tried a lot. Learning different fields and disciplines is a great interest of mine and it has always helped me bring different perspectives to my software development job.
This interview is based on a recorded conversation with Viral Patel and Cathy Colliver. It may or may not self-destruct.