Swarna, Project Development Manager

Swarna, Project Development Manager

My Job
I oversee two project teams — Asset Health and Interline. I’m responsible for developing and supporting software applications used in day-to-day railroad operations. Some of the applications under my jurisdiction include the Equipment Health Management System, which monitors and generates alerts for potential equipment issues, and the Interline Settlement System, which settles monetary negotiations between carriers. There are two quality assurance and seven developer software engineers on my team, and we focus on troubleshooting problems, enhancing features and providing upgrades that adhere to the new requirements from customers for a number of applications.

My Day
I do a lot of firefighting in an average day — I’m both working through any issues that arise with our software, and making sure long-term projects stay on schedule. But I enjoy being challenged. My day typically starts with meetings, mostly with different members of my team, regarding status updates for projects and products. I recently realized when I was promoted from developer to project manager that I enjoy managing entire projects, so, I like these meetings because they allow me to be involved in each project phase. I also collaborate with several other Railinc teams and departments to ensure my team is supported.

"I think it's important to look for companies that offer opportunities to learn on the job, and Railinc provides those kinds of opportunities."


What I Like
Railinc is always offering its employees room to grow. I think it’s important to look for companies that offer opportunities to learn on the job, and Railinc provides those kinds of opportunities. As a developer, I was able to learn new technologies, explore them and implement that new knowledge on the job. I’ve also experienced Railinc’s career growth opportunities first-hand. In the past six years, I’ve been promoted from my initial contracting role to a full-time engineering position to my current managerial one. Railinc has a great company culture, too — it’s results-oriented and there’s always something to do next. I like that there’s consistently a new assignment to keep us going. 

My Path
I moved to Texas in 2005 upon receiving my master’s in computer science and started working as a java developer. I then worked in consulting in Wisconsin, before moving my family to North Carolina and began looking for a new job opportunity. Software engineering roles in the financial and insurance sectors are pretty standard, but rail is unique; I had never thought about the rail industry requiring software until I found this job opening. I applied because I liked the idea of an interesting, new experience, and when I came in for an interview, my fondness for Railinc only grew. My interviewer spoke of the new technologies Railinc was exploring, the flexible work environment and the growth opportunities, and with that, I was hooked. I knew then this would be like no other experience I had on my resume, and I couldn’t wait to start.