Nasdaq Women in Technology: Niharika Sharma, Senior Software Engineer, Nasdaq’s Machine Intelligence Lab

Women in Tech: Niharika Sharma

Niharika Sharma is a Senior Software Engineer for Nasdaq’s Machine Intelligence Lab. She designs systems that gather, process and apply machine learning/natural language processing technologies on natural language data, generating valuable insights to support business decisions. Over the past years, she worked on Natural Language Generation (NLG) and Surveillance Automation for Nasdaq Advisory Services. We sat down with Niharika to learn more about how she got her start in computer science and how she approaches challenges in her career.

Can you describe your day-to-day as a senior software engineer at Nasdaq?

My day-to-day work involves collaborating with Data Scientists to solve problems, ideating business possibilities with product teams and working with Data/Software Engineers to transform ideas into solutions.

How did you become involved in the technology industry, and how has technology influenced your role?

My first exposure to Computer Science was a Logo programming class that I took as a junior in high school. After that, I took a couple of coding classes for fun.

When it came to choosing a college major, my high school Mathematics teacher suggested I consider a career in Software Engineering. At first, I thought, “Programming?! That’s too geeky!”. I liked coding, but I never wanted to be that nerd who sits in a cube staring at a computer all day. For college, I chose to study Chemistry at Delhi University, but a few months into the course, I realized technology was where I belonged, and I eventually pivoted to Engineering.

A decade later, I admit that it was the best decision I ever made. I found the concepts and problem solving so engaging that after obtaining my degree, I took a leap of faith and moved to the U.S. to pursue a Masters in Computer Science from Northeastern University. In the final semester, I

The Post COVID-19 Recovery Will Take Some Time: InnoVen Capital’s Ashish Sharma


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Startups have been at the heart of venture capital (VC) funding for the past few years, and expectations were high at the start of 2020 but the entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem has not been spared by the coronavirus pandemic. In recent years, despite an environment of uncertainty and political-economic tension, great progress has been made in the venture capital space.

Startups in particularly hard-hit industries have found themselves at risk in these uncertain times as sales have softened and private fundraisings have proved more challenging. Founders had to look hard at their businesses, including their cash runways, forecasts, capex and assumptions, in order to weather the storm.

InnoVen Capital’s managing director and chief executive officer Ashish Sharma talked to Entrepreneur India and discussed how startups are being evaluated especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Near-Term Market Impact

The pandemic will directly or indirectly prolong to significantly affect business action levels and operations for startups for many months to come.

This will more than likely result in a decline in VC deal volume over the short to medium term, particularly for startups in the travel, ride sharing, workspace sharing, leisure and events sectors given the contraction in consumer activity and government responses to the pandemic. It has resulted in a pronounced uptick in activities in areas such as e-commerce, online entertainment and social media, online medical and health services, home working and education tools, and non-contact services such as robotics and artificial intelligence, particularly for supply chains and logistics.

“Because of the pandemic and consumer behavior, the demand and destruction has been very high and the recovery will take a long time,” Sharma noted.

While the consumer end-markets

CNCF’s Priyanka Sharma on building an open source movement during a pandemic

When Priyanka Sharma took the reins at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) this summer, it was hard to say whether her timing was auspicious or ominous.

As general manager of the organization that oversees the fast-growing open source movement, she is in an immensely influential position. But with a global pandemic upending everyone’s plans, she knew the foundation’s priorities would need to adapt.

For four months now, she’s been trying to strike a balance between helping the foundation navigate its technical mission and tending to the well-being of its community. What she’s learned so far is that both aspects are essential for an open source movement to thrive.

“Many people are like, ‘Oh, what a terrible time to walk into this job,’” Sharma said. “But I think it’s been really good because I’ve had a chance to step up and help the community go through a challenging period.”

A new cloud infrastructure

Founded in 2015, the CNCF is an open source organization that operates under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation. The CNCF’s mandate is to oversee the ecosystem of tools being developed to drive the growth of “microservices,” or “cloud-native computing.”

This approach to developing cloud infrastructure, which relies on containers, holds that breaking applications into smaller, self-contained units can significantly reduce the costs and time needed to write, deploy, and manage them. The result should be a web that is faster yet more stable. Just as compelling to proponents, it should deliver a more open web that makes it easier for users to change cloud platforms.

As containers began taking off several years ago, Google developed an orchestration platform called Kubernetes to manage them. Google approached the Linux Foundation about open-sourcing Kubernetes, and those talks led to the creation of the CNCF, which also counts Twitter, Huawei,