Connector Spotlight: Enakshi Shah



April 24, 2019

Enakshi Headshots

Another year older, another year boulder. Get it? Cause she climbs, see…

Tell us a bit about the project you’re working on.
We’re helping one of the world’s largest tech companies build a product that lets people stay connected to one another in a way that makes you feel like you’re in the same room.

What about hobbies outside of work?
I have a small art studio set up at home with a growing number of paintings. I mainly do acrylic and watercolour, but I also do charcoal sketching from time to time. I also climb (lead, top rope, and bouldering) and play Ultimate Frisbee with the Toronto Ultimate Club (TUC). I just got my Lead Climbing certification at Rock Oasis, and am training indoors for the winter. 

I also got the Connected soccer team (“Let’s Get Messi”) up and running again—we’re all set to win for the winter season—and used to swim competitively in high school and a bit in university. My crowning event was the 200-meter breaststroke. 

Lastly, I’ve been spending a good amount of time volunteering at animal rescue centres as well as with the United Nations Association of Canada Toronto Branch.

Acrylic painting of horses grazing.
“Horses Grazing” by Enakshi. Acrylic.

You’re a busy woman! Um, anything else?
Well, I’m also planning on updating my website with photos from all the travelling I like to do.

We’ll have to check those out. In the meantime, what organizations did you work at prior to joining Connected?Before Connected, I was a Software Consultant at Nascent Digital where I worked on several TELUS projects as well as a teaching assistant at Bitmaker Labs. Before that, I worked as a researcher in a number of Chemical Engineering laboratories at the University of Toronto, including the Metabolic Engineering Department and the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR).

Enakshi sitting on a bench in Vietnam.
Enakshi in Dalat, Vietnam.

A U of T grad, eh?
Yeah, I loved it there. During my time at U of T, I founded the Volunteer Engineering Experience Program (VEEP) while assuming leadership roles in various organizations, such as Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and You’re Next Career Network. I had such a great experience at U of T that I was even featured in an article by them not too long ago.

We loved that article 🙂 So then, what products have you worked on or been involved with prior to Connected?
For TELUS, I mostly worked on their My Account Web and Android Apps. I was also the primary developer for a fun, interactive holiday card using Angular 2. 

During my time at the Metabolic Engineering lab, I had to experimentally construct plasmids (small, circular strands of DNA) after first designing them via an online tool. I wanted to make this process less tedious so I wrote Python and Matlab scripts to automate a good portion of this process. From that point on, I was blown away by how powerful and essential Software Development is as a skill. I decided to learn programming on my own time and eventually ended up here at Connected 🙂

Amazing. And how are you liking Connected so far?
I love the pair programming environment. I’d never pair programmed prior to joining Connected, and was really impressed by how much faster I was able to ramp up on new projects. It’s also great to be able to discuss architecture with another developer while sharing best practices, so I’m learning a ton.

I also love how receptive everyone is to spending time together outside the workplace. We have several sports teams, after-work socials, and an annual Disconnect at Algonquin Provincial Park. So there’s plenty of fun to go around.

Maybe we need a rock climbing club… What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Connected is your oyster. If there’s a hobby you’re passionate about or something new you’ve always wanted to try, get it going at Connected! You’ll get a sizeable group of people interested in no time.

Enakshi scaling a rock wall.
Enakshi rock climbing at Ao Phra Nang beach.

What product do you wish you’d created and why?
The electric scooter share services Lime and Bird. Cruising at a speedy 20 mph is such an exhilarating and convenient way of getting around a city. I really wish we had these in Toronto!

Haha, maybe not in this weather… Ok, tell us something most people might not know about you.
My roommate and I co-owned a pet turtle named Crush, but he ran away. Well, he ran slowly. 🙁

What song is on repeat while you work?
“Where is the Love?” by Black Eyed Peas

What’s your favourite Toronto restaurant?
Doomies (Parkdale vegan), Rosalinda (tapas-style vegan), Ethiopian House (owned by a lovely family and has some of the best shiro I’ve ever had), and Madras Masala (Christie Pitts, South Indian).

Aside from restaurants, what’s your favourite spot in the city?
My regular climbing gym, Rock Oasis, where the “regulars” have become good friends over time. I love seeing new and familiar faces while spending an evening climbing. I also really like going to Allan Gardens, Christie Pits, or High Park to sit and sketch.

Stay tuned for more profiles about the great people here at Connected.

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