Archana Janarthanan- a day in the life of a Daemon Engineering Consultant

Every Daemonite has their own story to tell, and Archana Janarthanan is a perfect example. After 16 years away from the industry, she joined us through the Tech Returners programme and quickly became an indispensable part of our team. We caught up with Archana to talk about her journey, and to find out what it means to be a Daemon Engineering Consultant. 


Nice to meet you, Archana. Can you start by telling us a bit about your career so far.

Archana JanarthananMy journey goes all the way back to 2000. I was fresh from university with a distinction in computer science engineering and I joined a company called California Software in India. I started as a trainee but the company recognised my potential and put me on a fast track. Within three and a half years, I went from being a software engineer to a senior software engineer and then a project lead. 

I had to pause at this point because of family circumstances. I had a child, moved to the UK and then had another child. My career was on hold but my passion for coding never faded. Sixteen years later, I was at home with my children during lockdown and we were looking for ways to spend the time. I introduced the coding world to my daughter and we both got sucked in. A lot had changed while I was away but I managed to catch up quite easily. New technologies and platforms had come along, but the fundamentals remained the same. 

Around this time, I was having a casual catch-up with an old friend and colleague, Sarath. He reassured me about my ability and introduced me to a friend who was leading a team working on a product for a healthcare analytics platform. I joined the project and worked with them for nearly one and a half years. The confidence and trust I gained from working on this team was phenomenal, and it made me realize that I was ready to enter the market.  I saw a social media advert for Tech Returners, did some research, and here I am at Daemon!


And the rest is history! Tell us more about your role as a Consultant. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

As a consultant, I believe my role revolves around solving problems, managing changes and improving efficiency. Every day is a new day with new challenges. My best times are when I'm glued to a tricky problem for hours . The pure satisfaction of nailing it , that sweet dopamine hit I get makes all those hours blur into nothing. It's like time just slips away in that awesome 'got it!' moment. Most of my days at Daemon are filled with this and I look forward to these moments more and more.


What was it like returning to the industry, and what attracted you about Daemon as an employer? How have they supported your ongoing career development?

I came across Daemon through the Tech Returners opportunity. I did some research and read about Daemon’s values and products. The thing that attracted me most was their commitment to being a ‘People-First’ consultancy. I love being part of a company that places people first. The Tech Returners programme is a perfect example of this.

The inclusion and importance of a culture interview, and the effort they take to make sure they recruit someone who fits their culture was an eye-opener. Having approachability as one of their core values gave me the confidence that they would help me to learn as well as contribute my inputs effectively. This, along with their technology expertise, makes Daemon a great platform for tech returners like myself to relaunch their careers.

At Daemon, I never felt like a tech-returner. My values and ideas were received without any hesitation and this gave me the confidence to contribute more. The trust and acknowledgement I have gained from my colleagues is amazing. We have buddies and people managers who help us with our career opportunities. When we are not actively working on projects, we have an amazing internal engineering team where we can experiment with new ideas and develop sample projects and templates for later use. We have been given free rein to team up or work individually on any ideas. 


Read more about Daemon’s unique culture


What does a typical day in the life of a Daemon Consultant look like?

At the moment, I’m working for a large UK insurance company building a financial data warehouse. This is a massive and fast-paced project with tighter deadlines. Every day is a new challenge. 

My day starts with a stand-up call with other Daemonites in which we share our progress so far.  I am now considered as an SME by both clients and teammates, and I am the primary point of contact to discuss the major impacts of any changes or new developments.  20- 25% of my time is client-facing.

Now we have expanded to nearly 15 members working on multiple streams of the project. I am overseeing most of these streams and mentoring new members. This takes up 30- 35% of my time. 

The remaining 40% is creative. This involves solving problems, innovating new methods, learning new concepts and researching new techniques which could improve the efficiency of the project. At Daemon, I feel every day is a learning experience.


Another day in the life- how Principal Consultant Wim Olivier spends his days


What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of where I am now, and I never feel that I had a gap. Every day is a dream come true. It's as if I seamlessly picked up where I left off. Others look at me with disbelief when I talk about my gap. I am glad to be an example to anyone who is thinking about rejoining the industry. Believe you can and you will do it!


That’s a great message! What excites you most about the industry right now?

I’m always fascinated by new innovations in the tech industry- both the speed at which we’re achieving them and the growth we‘re building around them. The rapid changes make yesterday feel like a world away. Working from home is a great example. The fact that I’ve been able to rejoin the industry without disturbing my family life has made a huge difference. 

The pace of change is so fast that you’re always trying to catch up. You can’t be idle. Technology is a force of its own and it drives me to keep growing and learning. That’s what really excites me. 


Is there a particular technology that interests you at the moment?

AI is definitely something that I want to explore further. Every day I’m pushing myself to learn more about it. When it comes to personal development, that’s how I’m spending a lot of my time at the moment. 

I’m especially interested in the potential of AI in a medical setting. AI and machine learning can improve surgical procedures, reducing time and lowering risks, so there’s a real opportunity to save lives. My son is a medical student and my daughter is interested in engineering, so I can see how these two fields can go hand in hand.


You mentioned teaching your daughter about computer science. Do you want her to follow in your footsteps?

I’m trying my best to be an example for her. I went back to work when she was 13 years old, so she’s seeing a whole different side of me and how I’m respected in the industry. She says “Wow, that’s a great world, Ma! And you’re doing a lot for it!”


It sounds like we might have another consultant on the way! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.  How can people find you online?

You can connect with me on LinkedIn, or just get in touch with Daemon directly! 


Want to join our team? Take a look at our careers page. 

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