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Life in the Fast Lane for Esri Product Engineer Rohan

One of the great things about my role with Esri is the opportunity to interact with employees around the globe—in this case, some 8,300 miles away. Rohan Ganapathy, a product engineer in the Esri R&D Center–Sharjah, tells us about his work since joining Esri in May 2014 and his passion for Formula 1 racing.

How did you end up at Esri?

I was working for a GIS and mapping company called Fugro MAPS as a Product Support Executive for software called PromptServer. I worked mainly on the client side of this software and helped out with testing during its development in Sharjah. This Esri office was just a floor above MAPS.

After I left MAPS in 2013, I met with the general manager for the Esri R&D Center about a possible position as a product engineer. I was eager to take this, as I had experience with Esri software from the development side.

Tell me about your role—what keeps you challenged and what your involvement with the teams in Redlands is.

As a product engineer, I test the fixes built by programmers on various issues or bugs in the software. On software that is commercially released, we look at ways to enhance the user’s process flows. If any issues are reported by clients or other product engineers, the programmers fix them. I test these fixes to make sure they work and do not break or cause issues in existing processes. I also test the additions and enhancements for the upcoming releases and patches.

What I like about my role is knowing there will always be something new to look at. At work, anything new on the development side is a challenge and I like that. Be it a new raster type or a new enhancement that gets a user faster to his/her end result, or just simple usage of a new version of an existing process/analysis, there are constantly new projects to work on.

We have a high level of collaboration with the Redlands team. We have weekly meetings on the progress of development or various fixes. This allows us to prioritize work based on the requirement.

I understand you recently served as a marshal at the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix. What was that experience like? How did you get involved?

Randall and Rohan at their first Grand Prix together in 2011.

I have been a Formula 1 fan since as long as I can remember. It just fascinated me and I’ve followed it ever since. The sport is not just 22 cars going around a track for 50+ laps—there is a lot of strategy by the teams and skill of the drivers involved. The first Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi was one of the best experiences I have had as a spectator, and I watched the second one as well from the grand stands. Little did I know my colleague Randall was actually marshalling that particular race. He knew I was a huge Formula 1 fan, and as he was a post chief he was able to arrange it so I could join his team. It was a far better experience than being a spectator.

As marshals we get to stand right next to the track and see the cars whizzing past us at over 200 mph. Twenty two Formula 1 cars zipping by you at that high of a speed is an adrenaline rush in its own class.

I am the intervention chief at my post and have a team of five intervention marshals. We have been marshalling for the past four Grand Prix’s and are a pretty experienced bunch. We have been lucky to get a post right next to the starting grid—we get a bird’s eye view of the first corner as the cars get off the grid all jostling for position.

Formula 1 is a huge event and the media coverage is global, so all marshals and safety crews are well trained in case of any emergency. As marshals we are responsible for the removal of the driver and retrieval of the car(s) and any debris on the track in case of any incident in our sector. The faster we clear the track, the shorter the time for the cars lapping behind a safety car. A race without incidents is always a good race. The last race was the sixth one and I’m looking forward to being involved in many more.

Is there anything else about the Sharjah office and the work experience you would like to add?

It has been about ten months since I joined and I can’t think of a better place I’d rather be.

Join Rohan and the team in the Esri R&D Center-Sharjah. We currently have two product engineer positions open. Learn more about the jobs and apply online.

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Holiday Traditions Around the World, Thanks to Esri Story Maps

One of the things that’s so cool about working at Esri is our employees: we have countless opportunities to meet and collaborate with people from all over the world. Currently our workforce of 3,100 employees hails from 70 countries.

Shortly after hearing the first Christmas carol of the season (I believe it was a week or so before Thanksgiving!), I started to wonder about holiday traditions and celebrations in other parts of the world. What type of music is indigenous to my colleagues’ native countries? Did they grow up hanging lights around their houses like we do in the US?

These story maps gave me the answers.

Santas Around the World
Smithsonian Folkways Holiday Music Map
Smithsonian Holiday Decorations Map
10 Great Christmas Markets in Europe
Sweet 16–Holiday Trees That Amaze
 

Regardless of where you’re from and how you celebrate this special time of year, I hope you enjoy learning more about holiday traditions around the world.

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Being at the Esri UC: “A Ridiculously Cool Feeling”

By Guest Blogger Rachel, Esri UC Student Assistant

When I got on the plane heading from New York to San Diego, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there would be a lot of maps, and I knew I would be on my feet a lot, but “student assistant” was still a pretty vague term in my mind. Once I arrived, I quickly learned why – being a student assistant means many different things. From getting a behind-the-scenes look at the conference to learning what a banner stand is (and going on a scavenger hunt throughout the conference center to find them) to meeting thousands of fellow geogeeks, the week was an incredible whirlwind of people, activities, and – of course – maps.

While the first few days helping with set up and pre-registration were exciting, when Monday morning hit there Continue reading

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How Many Wheels Do You Need to Get to Work?

If you’re like many Esri employees, the answer is two! In celebration of National Bike to Work Day, two events were held on campus to raise awareness about the benefits of cycling to work. Continue reading

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Turning Trash into Training Dollars

Esri recently held an eWaste Recycle Day, with nearly 100 employees dropping off unwanted electronic items including computers, printers, monitors, TV sets, and cell phones. More than 5,600 pounds of equipment were donated to Goodwill, which processes it in an environmentally responsible way to help protect our planet from hazardous waste. The income Goodwill receives from the recycling program helps fund education, training, and job placement services for people with disabilities.

Truly a win-win. Happy Earth Day!

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Mapping Esri’s World

Take a virtual tour of the Esri campus via a story map to see our beautiful working environment: http://esriurl.com/EsriTour.

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Employees Honored for Years of Service

Last Friday evening, 40 employees were recognized for reaching their 20 year anniversary with Esri. The honorees, including six from regional offices, and their guests were treated to a festive fall-themed dinner. Entertainment and awards rounded out the evening.

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Tour Redlands via Esri Story Map

Tour historic locations and places of interest in Redlands without leaving home! From fairytale-like Kimberly Crest to the Lincoln Memorial Shrine, the only museum dedicated to Abraham Lincoln west of the Mississippi River, get a glimpse of what makes Redlands so unique.

Your journey begins here.

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Intern Passionate about Geography and Mapping

By Maura, Strategic Marketing Intern

Esri intern KathrynIntern Kathryn Hagerman occupies a unique niche at Esri. Serving as a member of the Partner Program Team, she is working to streamline knowledge transfer campaigns. She also worked to develop a collection of ArcGIS Online maps to share stories about the growth of the global Esri Partner Network and highlight exciting work Esri partners are doing.

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Meet Vinesh, Global Mobility Coordinator

Vinesh talks about his role in Human Resources and offers insight into the process for employees who join Esri from other countries.

How long have you been with Esri?

I’ve been here about three years. I actually started as a temp in a recruiting assistant role, working with two of our recruiters and the university relations coordinator. After about four months, I transitioned into my current role as Global Mobility Coordinator.

Explain the term global mobility for people who may not be familiar with it.

Global mobility includes everything about making sure people can live and work successfully in a different country, including analysis and support of relocation and compensation. Generally speaking, I make sure Esri’s domestic and international employees are working with legal status and they have no issues working or staying in the US. That is the simple way I describe it to my friends because you’re right: global mobility is confusing. I usually say “global mobility coordinator” or “I’m the immigration guy.” It’s about making sure that people can focus on their work and not have to worry about items related to the government and their stay here.

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