I am very excited to introduce one of our newest team members, Lakshami Mahajan! Lakshami (pronounced LUCK-schmee) also happens to go by the nickname Lucky, and when I asked her which she prefers, she said something along the lines of, "I really don't care, like, I couldn't care less." But don't be fooled by Lakshami's easy-going nature about her name, she's super passionate about her work and very opinionated on the important things, like how she takes her coffee and tea. She also happens to be a talented developer and an overall phenomenal human being, but I'll be quiet now and let you get to know her yourself!
A: I grew up in a tiny town called Grafton, OH. We were excited when we got our first stop light. Since then, I’ve lived in Massachusetts and Arizona, and now am in Olmsted Falls, OH.
A: This is such a great question. What I love about Craft is that I can build an intuitive, easy to use, and scalable tool for people to do their jobs faster and easier than they can with other CMS options. Talking through with a client what they do the most in a day, I can add quick posts right to their dashboard so they don't need to search for anything; I can build them exactly what they need instead of them trying to shoehorn their workflow into a pre-built, opinionated system. I’ve learned that I love making people's jobs easier, so taking complex systems and figuring out how to make a custom workflow with scalability in mind is a big deal. That way, once we build it, clients don't need us so much afterwards except for things like feature builds and expanding upon the work we’ve already done.
A: It was a long slow road. I loved building things in html when I was in lower school, and I loved making little tiny websites through weebly for side associations, but it was really my cousins that got me into actual development — they both were consultants and encouraged me to pursue a career in tech either as a PM or as a developer. And here I am now!
A: How excited other women are to work with and see other women in tech, and how they are inspired to come into tech as well. For me, I came from a world in an equestrian sport that had a whole lot of women but not a whole lot of non-white people who weren’t grooms or barn help; from an academic world where there weren’t many women or anyone not-white; and on top of that, I’m from a biracial family (my father is from India and my mother is Irish/German from Indiana). All that is to say, there’s never been a time that someone wasn't surprised to see me — either with my mother, who is very white, or in a barn and not cleaning stalls, or in front of a classroom or on a panel. There is nothing more empowering than seeing someone you relate to who is doing what you want to do. It’s both incredibly sad and incredibly wonderful. On my very first project in my very first job, a female client called me a unicorn: I had soft skills that made me a really good listener and communicator, but I also had the dev side to me that could do the technology-things. There are a lot of things that have been tough, but the worst for me was discovering that a colleague that I respected and worked closely with genuinely didn’t think there was a gender gap, racial gap, or any other kind of gap in tech, and that tech was the one space that was purely merit-based — which is just so phenomenally untrue, and what is additionally more upsetting is that their opinion and thought process is super commonplace. Some people think that if they haven't experienced it themselves it just doesn't exist, and that lack of empathy is so detrimental on so many levels.
A: Do it. If you want it, go for it. Ask questions. Learn by doing. Make connections and build a support system for yourself. As you build your career and move forward, check in with yourself — what are you willing to and able to tolerate, what do you want from a company or career, and what do you want from your peers and colleagues? This will change, and sometimes you’ll be wrong, and that’s ok. But do it if you want it.
A: I generally just love food. My favorite thing to make is a roasted chicken — I use penzeys shallot pepper and mix it with soft butter, put that under the skin and over the whole chicken, stuff it with a lemon and an onion, start at 400 for 10 minutes, then drop it don to 325 for the next hour or so depending on the size. I also love jalapeno corn — 3 jalapenos, diced, cooked in olive oil or butter for 5 minutes and then toss in a frozen bag of sweet corn with plenty of salt.
A: I love me some music. I have a pretty wide variety of tastes — very into Lizzo and Lady Gaga, very into Miranda Lambert and Eric Church, forever into Queen, Barenaked Ladies, David Bowie, Suzy Bogguss, Brooks & Dunn, Mary Chapin Carpenter… the list goes on. Recently I’m back onto Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine and Joanna by Lady Gaga.
A: I am a both person, but it must be strong. A previous coworker referred to my coffee as “jet fuel” because I leave it in a french press for 20 minutes and put a half a cup of grounds in it. On tea I am equally spoiled — my mothers masala chai is a thing of legend. And I feel 17 strongly. And I mean 17.
A: It would be a romantic drama-dey. Lots of big life changes every few years leading to a love life and husband that surprised me, but also with random series of unfortunate events. I think I like Meaghan Rath for this because she’s got a great comedic range as well as the drama actress side to her.
A: Parks and Rec and the West Wing.
A: I would spend it with my horse, Scooter.