Devi R., Senior Director of DevOps, Builds Products with Empathy
“STEM, to me, is beyond degree and credentials. It’s about applying and leveraging engineering knowledge and empathy toward every product.”
Devi R. is a technologist who enjoys exploring the world and inspiring others. She joined ADP in 2020, building the ADP’s flagship MyADP with her team in Global Products & Technology. She’s been to 54 countries and all seven continents. Devi loves traveling to South Africa for natural scenery and Portugal for the history, art, architecture, and food!
Coming to ADP
Engineers build products with a purpose in mind and the goal of designing for people. I came to ADP with that mindset and found myself in a place that shares the same value.
I have been a consumer of ADP’s payroll product since 2006, so I was excited to hear about the MyADP business app project and took the opportunity right away. I thought, “I want to work on this!” It’s been two years since I came to ADP, and I’m incredibly grateful to be in a culture that values every voice.
I lead the MyADP Product SRE & DevOps teams within Global Products & Technology. For those unfamiliar with MyADP, it is a global, high traffic and volume unified UX web/mobile solution using Cloud technology. Our product is in the Top 10 business applications in the app store. Millions use the product to perform human resources, financial services, onboarding, performance management, payroll, time & attendance, benefits, retirement services, etc.
If I asked myself how my passion began, I’d say it was the endless possibilities in the field that continue to inspire me, including innovation awaiting discovery. When it comes to DevOps, I appreciate the opportunity to perform transformation across various products because it motivates me to strive for better results with my team.
Day In Life as Senior Director, DevOps
To give you an overview of my day, we get an average of between seven to 10,000 transactions every second on our product platform. My team keeps track of the error rate, meaning even 1% can be a considerable number in this user pool. The task makes my role as a technologist critical. It’s no longer about the technical skills that determine if someone is qualified; instead, it’s about empathy for what one is building.
Behind every product my team makes, we understand there are real users and the real impact the product brings to their lives. As a technologist, I make sure the technology is practical and human-centered. With a large amount of data and information, I am proud to say we handle data with security, precaution, and care. We use the data to help people, making user privacy our top priority.
STEM, to me, is beyond degree and credentials. It’s about using engineering knowledge and empathy toward every product. I stay at ADP, where I surround myself with associates who value client feedback and user experience.
Women in STEM
With various tech roles in the industry, I recommend young technologists invest in education and explore as many options as possible in life. The field continues to evolve and challenge the leaders with innovation, changes, and automation.
All the elements above make working as a woman technologist meaningful. I remember serving as one of the women and telecommunication junior board members for a year in my previous company. We collaborated across the nation to understand and research women technologists’ career paths at that time.
Six of us dove into why there are not enough female technologists in the field and quickly learned that many young girls get distracted from pursuing STEM early in their education. The first drop in interest in Tech happens between middle school and high school. We saw a 70% decline in enrollment to 10% by the end of that period. I encourage educators and technologists to inspire young girls, especially at around 8th grade in middle school; the earlier, the better.
As we did more research, the 10% enrollment in STEM when they first enter college drops further by the time they reach junior year. I had the same experience and recalled being one of 15 girls out of 100 students in the classroom. By the time I graduated, there were only three of us left. I kept thinking this would change over time but soon realized we are not there yet. Research conducted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) shows why gender gaps are particularly high in the computer science and engineering fields. Download the Why So Few Women in STEM Report here.
Experience the Reality in the Industry
So, what can individuals do to help close the gender gaps in STEM?
I am passionate about finding out what and how to make young talents focus on STEM early in their career, including providing the right tools, giving concrete advice, and demonstrating the reality in the industry. If you are a student or a recent college graduate, check out our campus programs here.
ADP offers a Development program where young talents get an opportunity to meet with leaders and understand our products. Some of them already have a STEM career, and we provide a taste of the real world before hiring them at the end of the program to become full-time associates.
I’m motivated to mentor these recent college graduates and show how much impact their decision to pursue Tech can bring. When facing intersections in their choices, I tell the young women technologists to try everything. It’s essential to understand what interests you and remember that true passion brings you further in life.
Whether building a product or entering a new career track, I encourage you to be empathetic towards the people you work with, creating a product for everyone.
Interested in a tech career at ADP?