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“It’s good to sit down and thrash out solutions to real-world issues […]”


Working Life Blog

Innovation and Meaningful Connections.

Laura Shishodia – Product Manager

One of the reasons I applied for a job at Aridhia was to work more closely with clients and platform users; boy, have I done that. Before Aridhia, I cut my teeth in the fintech industry as a business analyst and found that problems with the software were found and suffered by someone who was three or four steps removed from me. The bank’s customer had to contact the bank’s support who reported to the tech manager who reported it to the second level support manager who then reported it to my service desk who then reported it to me… I found the delay in being able to help people and solve their problems annoying.

At Aridhia, I’ve travelled all round the UK, Europe, and the US to meet with the users of our platform and see it being used to solve real-world problems. In fact, during my first week at the company (pre-Covid) I travelled to London to meet with the DRIVE team at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Not only was this an excellent opportunity to meet users of the platform and see it in use, it was also a great way to meet and get to know my own colleagues who I was travelling with. That was week one… since then, I’ve worked closely with GOSH to develop features and gather input to improve our platform.

Post-pandemic, meeting with colleagues is less frequent, but I find that the close-knit tech teams are fabulous to work with daily and despite being seated hundreds of miles away in some cases, I really notice a sense of support and help from everyone I work with. We have daily meetings and most of the developers I work with carry out pairing sessions to simulate sitting and working together on a problem. For me, I know that if I reach out with a problem or question, it will be picked up and dealt with quickly.

I also enjoy our get-together days. I’ve found that as a Product Manager working with multiple teams, I am in a room with some of my colleagues about once every one or two weeks. It’s good to sit down and thrash out solutions to real-world issues, share a coffee with colleagues or just remark on the weather (obviously).

Laura and Kara from Aridhia with colleagues from C-Path at their annual Rare and Orphan Disease Conference.

We understand our users and their goals well, and the development teams really care about the solutions. It’s great to see our product being used to make a difference to people’s lives. Last year I was lucky enough to travel to Washington DC to present at the Critical Path Institute’s first annual Rare and Orphan Disease Conference. While at the conference we demonstrated some new features of the platform which hadn’t been seen by any other clients at that point. We developed a special Proof of Concept to showcase the pinnacle of our development. The audience were really excited by the prospect of being able to use the DRE to securely share their own research data with their community. Questions like, “How can I register on your platform?” and “How can I bring my data?” were really encouraging.

I’ve also enjoyed heading up a project to refresh our UI in Workspaces. It gave me scope to grow my skills and learn new ones.