Music and tech make a perfect pair — coding, troubleshooting and focusing on projects are often accompanied by a soundtrack for many in the IT industry. Whether it’s getting into that “flow state” or simply dialing in on a complex problem, listening to music seems to be the method of choice for IT employees looking to unlock creativity.
In this series, called Music Behind the Tech, we’ll help you get to know Rackspace employees, their stories and the relationship between the music they love and their work. We’ve even embedded their playlists at the bottom of each post. Rock on!
Enterprise Architect Veera Venigalla started working at Rackspace on Valentine’s Day in 2011 — a symbolic start date, she said, as more than six years later, she’s still in love with the company. But Veera’s love of music started even earlier, as a child growing up in India, where her father always played music in the house.
“Music has played a crucial role in my life,” Veera told us. “My dad always kept the music on. Even when we were studying, there was background music on, because music can be soothing and can take you to the next level.”
Veera’s studies paid off and eventually led her to the world of high tech. When she joined Rackspace, it was as a senior technology strategist for the company’s Big Data product line. One of the projects she said she was particularly proud of launching is Cloud Backup, which offers protection and disaster recovery for Rackspace Cloud Server files. Veera later went on to work with projects around block storage, Hadoop, ObjectRocket and PCI compliance, to name a few.
“I had amazing opportunities in this role,” Veera said. “The sky was the limit and I had a rock star team.”
In 2015, Veera took on a new adventure and became a senior manager on the Global Enterprise Technology team, working on business management projects. In this role, she helped empower Rackspace support teams to deliver the best experiences for our customers.
During this time, Veera also became Six Sigma black-belt certified by helping to streamline a project around rapid provisioning of server gear while decreasing the error rate for our customers. Those projects helped lead her to her role as an enterprise architect, which she’s held since 2016. Today, Veera evaluates many of Rackspace’s internal enterprise applications, which further empower our Rackers.
Working on so many projects with multiple touch points has presented plenty of challenges and problems to overcome. When faced with a particularly sticky situation, Veera would often turn to Hindi philosophy songs to help put the problems into perspective.
“When you look at the grand scheme of things, life is like a big stick,” Veera said. “The problem you are facing is a small stick, and when you put them next to each other, you’ll easily know that [the problem] isn’t a big deal. You can easily solve it.”
The songs she listens to help paint a bigger picture for Veera and put even the most difficult problems into perspective. To get an insight into the music and meaning of the songs, Veera translated one of them for us during an interview:
Life, what type of puzzle are you?
Sometimes you make me laugh,
Sometimes you make me cry.
Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture has also helped Veera take an active role in the technical community, both in and out of Rackspace. She was one of the founding board members of our Professional Organization of Women Empowered at Rackspace (POWER) group, she is the chair of the mentoring circle for all of the Rackspace resource groups, she’s an intern program manager and she’s helped lead our internal technical conference called Rax.io.
But there was one accomplishment that instantly brought a smile to Veera’s face when she talked about it — the Diversity Champion Award. She was the inaugural recipient of this award, which recognized her passion for always having an inclusive attitude and helping people from all different kinds of backgrounds.
Similar to the way artists from different backgrounds can create a sound that is unique and inspiring, diversity on technical teams can yield amazing outcomes. “Diversity matters. Diversity drives creativity,” Veera said.
“If you make room for diversity, you will be amazed by the results.”
Check out Veera’s playlist below.
Stay tuned for our next Music Behind the Tech profile and visit Rackspace to find out more about our experts and the ways they’re helping customers tackle their toughest IT challenges. And whether you like smooth jazz or hard rock, if you’re looking to start your own career at Rackspace, be sure to apply online today.