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Podcast: Kechit Goyal – Head of Engineering At UpGrad On How To Build Awesome Product, Engineering, Culture, Hiring & More

In today’s podcast we have a very special guest Kechit Goyal.

Kechit is heading engineering at UpGrad. He brought up in Ludhiana Punjab till High School. He moved to Kota for JEE Preparation. He won many awards and scholarships like NTSE, 15th Rank in Regional Maths Olympiad.

Finally he got into IIT Delhi CS and Graduated in 2010. He got a chance to intern at NUS (National University of Singapore) and got a very good exposure. In fact, his internship work was recognized in the book published by the professor many years later.

Later he joined Morgan Stanley (Campus Placement). Very early Kechit has realized that he was more suited for startups. Then he Joined a FinTech Product (Dfferentia), a startup acquired by Dion Global. Worked on Dfferentia for around 2.5 years and saw it grow from 10-50 employees. He got a chance to work in the Backend Java, Frontend Javascript, HTML, CSS and a bit of C#. He also won the star performer award at Dion Global.

Kechit wanted to explore other Domains & Other Languages, so he joined a startup called ZLemma which was in the recruitment domain. Kechit worked with ZLemma for 1.5 years and again saw it grow from around 15 to 50+.

Kehit had seen 2 startups from very initial stages, learnt a lot of do’s and don’ts and he wanted to do more. This is the time Ravi (co-founder at UpGrad) approached him and asked if I would be interested in the Building a product from scratch and Kechit accepted. Since then Kechit is heading engineering at UpGrad.

 

In this podcast Kechit gave amazing answers to a lot of questions, here are some of the questions we asked:

  • Kechit could you please tell us about your career trajectory so far, how you climb your career ladder and reach to this stage and become the Head of engineering at UpGrad?
  • Kechit, what’s your thought on CTO or Head of engineering role, As people often get confused by the responsibilities of CTO. In some companies, they considered like a rockstar developer, in some companies they treated like infrastructure guru, in some companies they play their role as product manager. So according to you what should be ideal role of a CTO in any company? Or how you think it grows according to the stages of the company?
  • What exactly you do as an Engineering Head, or I mean what’s your day to day or hourly schedule looks like at UpGrad?
  • You, know while building the product we do many such things on which we feel really proud about like you have worked with multiple products and in multiple industries, so what was your “AHA” moment? Or something on which you feel like, Yes I have done it!
  • Kechit, as UpGrad has presence on both web and mobile devices, so how you architected entire platform and what’s your technology stack look like?
  • Do you still code? Or you play more of an engineering management role right now?
  • What’s your favorite programming language?
  • Kechit as we know technology is changing at very fast pace these days, when I look back, I realize the technology which was in demand three years back currently have no relevance, so what is the future of technology you perceive and how one should keep align with latest technologies?
  • Do you use AI in UpGrad
  • What’s your current tech team looks like in UpGrad?
  • How you manage your team, do you use some tools to manage and prioritize your work?
  • What’s your product building lifecycle looks like? Or how you assign work to your team members
  • How you deploy latest changes, do you follow some continuous delivery tools for deployment?
  • Kechit, I saw your LinkedIn title, you have mentioned “Hiring Passionate Java Developer”, what’s your hiring strategy?
  • Do you take multiple rounds of interviews?
  • Do you give more emphasis on hiring people from IITs or other Tier 1 colleges only?
  • There is one quote by Bram Stoker which I like most, it says – “We learn from Failure, Not From Success”, so accordingly to you what you think is your biggest failure or challenge or in better words, What’s your War Story, and what was your learning from such incidents?
  • What book or resources you would like to recommend to fellow CTOs?
  • And Finally what’s your personal perspective that What are the vital skills you think, are required to succeed as a CTO or Engineering Head?

 

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