Supplement Industry Knowledge and Fine-tune Management Skills
In 2005, Murali Swaminathan (SE-PM, 2007) was employed at Niku, a company specializing in building Project Portfolio Management (PPM) application as a Senior Development Manager, when he heard about the master’s program at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley. He had examined MBA programs and found that the curriculum was not the best fit for his interests. “I was looking for a program that would supplement the knowledge I already had about the software industry and help me to fine-tune my management skills and Carnegie Mellon is a very strong brand name in Software Engineering, so I was intrigued,” says Murali.
Merely six months after starting the Software Engineering program, CA (formerly Computer Associates) acquired Niku, and Murali’s role in the company changed. He was made the Director of Application Development. This led to greater responsibility and more travel and, therefore, Murali had to take a brief leave of absence from the program. “I am grateful that the program understood the challenges faced by working professionals and allowed me to take the time that I needed to focus on my career, without having to give up my dream of obtaining a degree,” offers Murali.
Upon returning to his studies, Murali’s role changed yet again within CA and he was anxious to introduce some of the new concepts he had been learning at Carnegie Mellon to the growing company. “As I honed my skills in team-building, new product development and managing teams from conception to launch, my role at CA continued to be redefined. After completing my degree in the spring of 2007, I took over the sustaining engineering group in addition to managing the innovation team responsible for researching new features and products to meet the demand of customers. I was then asked to lead the product development team for the new Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) application,” commented Murali.
In fact, CA had a special celebration for Murali to commemorate his degree completion. And, the following term, his colleague Ling Wang, began her studies at Carnegie Mellon. She just graduated this past August. Murali reflects, “It was interesting to hear how the feedback provided by students of previous classes had been implemented in order to adapt and improve the program as the industry changed.”
Murali is excited to report that his current leadership role as VP of Software Engineering involves building new products in the area of Energy, Carbon and Sustainability Management. This new approach is seeking ways to assist businesses manage energy usage, reduce carbon footprint, and protect the environment all while achieving corporate sustainability. “I would be interested in meeting with other CMU alumni and faculty who are exploring this field. As the Energy & Sustainability space is so new, collaborating with other professionals in the area could be of benefit to all of us working in the area. Sharing knowledge has been extremely helpful for me in my changing roles in the software industry and I would encourage other alumni and students to get involved in such activities. My network has increased by at least 100 people since joining the CMU family. We have an opportunity as a community to provide for some very important contributions to software development and have an impact in the Silicon Valley and beyond.”
Murali lives in Fremont, California, with his wife, Vidya and 9-year old son, Rahul. Rahul is a passionate pianist and avid chess player.