We’re pleased to introduce one of our newest members of the team, Santhana Parthasarathy, as VP of Engineering! Santhana joins the HelloSign team with over 20 years of experience in engineering. He's an avid technologist and after 7+ years at Salesforce, the itch to take his knowledge to a promising startup took over.
At Salesforce, Santhana held a variety of engineering leadership roles and helped successfully launch several platform and security specific products that were widely adopted by over 400,000 Enterprise customers. Throughout his career, Santhana has demonstrated a history of building large full stack engineering teams, improving productivity, efficiency, morale and shipping high quality Enterprise and Consumer facing products.
In partnership with the executive team, Santhana’s mission is to scale the Engineering organization, including Development, Quality, and DevOps functions. Santhana’s primary focus is to ensure we have the right people, technology, and processes to help our products scale to meet the growing needs of our customers. We couldn’t be happier to have him here!
Instead of doing a traditional introduction post, we thought it might be more fun if we shared a more personal Q&A style introduction to our new teammate.
What inspired you to become an engineer?
As a kid, I was very interested in becoming a doctor. I actually wanted to become a surgeon. While that passion lasted for a couple of years, I ended up taking a computer science class in high school just because I needed an extra credit. That decision triggered a chain of interesting events in my life and I ultimately decided that I wanted to work on computers.
My family consists of a lot of lawyers and businessmen, so when I expressed interest in becoming a computer engineer there was overwhelming support. I’ve always seen myself as a problem solver and the fact that computers can solve a lot of interesting problems inspired me to become an engineer.
What excites you the most about joining HelloSign?
I love building products! HelloSign is on a mission to expand beyond electronic signatures and simplify business processes. The entire company is committed to building products that customers enjoy using. This is evident from the fact that the Product and Engineering teams get a lot of interesting ideas from different departments here at HelloSign.
The culture here at HelloSign is also very inspiring. People genuinely care about each other. I feel like HelloSign is poised for incredible growth and I’d attribute that to the wonderful people and culture we have here.
What’s the biggest challenge when scaling a team?
Often times when teams are attempting to scale, innovation is put on the back burner because of other priorities. A lot of companies face this challenge and choose to ignore innovation. It is my firm belief that any scaling strategy should have room for innovation in order to be successful in the long term.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
“Never stay in your comfort zone for too long!”
This is best advice I’ve received from a former mentor. I appreciate this advice because when people tend to get into a comfort zone for too long, they end up getting bored and lose passion. That is a recipe for disaster! I continue to give this advice to my engineers when I coach them.
In your 20 years in Engineering, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned?
Invest in yourself! In the past 20+ years, I’ve seen so many positive changes caused by technology and I just don’t see an end to it. The most important thing I’ve learned is that in order to be successful, you can never stop learning.
How do you keep up with the latest innovations in the engineering world?
In the past I’ve relied on tech conferences to keep up with latest trends. However with so many innovations going on I feel like attending technology focused meetups and reading blogs keeps me up to date with what’s happening.
What has been the biggest hurdle in your career, and how did you overcome it?
As I took on larger teams to manage I found myself constantly juggling conflicting priorities. I figured this would ultimately impact my careers, so I decided to find out how successful technology and business leaders deal with such challenges. Ultimately, I decided that staying organized and disciplined would help me overcome those challenges.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
I love nature, so I enjoy spending time outside hiking and traveling to places that offer the best of nature. I’ve started meditating recently and I feel it really keeps me healthy and agile. Alternative medicine and astrology are also areas of interest. I’m also closely following outside of my technology focused work.
Who’s your idol?
That would be Deepak Chopra. I am truly inspired by his work on alternative medicine.
What’s your favorite book or movie?
Who doesn’t fancy the idea of living in a fantasy world? The Harry Potter series lets me do that. Or that’s what I think!