Priyanka Viswanathan

Functional Safety Manager

Arm - Arm is a technology company which strives to develop technology to get you connected to the entire world. This will enable access to information at your finger tips to navigate through day to day challenges and help you to make your ideas and dreams a reality.

With self driving cars controlled by computers becoming a reality, we need to ensure that the electronics components and softwares that makes these computers are safe. That is, they are free from errors and also if something goes wrong there are mechanisms to deal with it making it safe for drivers, passengers and the environment. There are measures that guide the development of these electronic components and the software to ensure that they are safe. I define and verify the activities that the engineers who develop these electronics components and software need to follow while developing and testing these computers.

The work involves a lot of interactions with brilliant engineers. While I help them to develop safe component, I get to learn a lot about new technologies from them. My everyday is different with vibrant challenges to tackle which keeps me on toes. In addition, I get to talk to a lot of people to help them solve problems thereby learning everyday something new.

50-60% of my time each day is meeting with people to help them solve problems to develop safe electronics and software. I also work to market the safe products that we make so that we can get our technology to the hands of people who are looking to innovate. I also spend time writing technical papers and blogs.

I am an Engineer (Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication). I did my engineering in India and was fortunate to get a campus placement in a multinational company called Larsen and Toubro (L&T). L&T opened up the world of opportunities in front of me in the corporate world. My first project was to develop a bluetooth functionality of an MRI machine. This exposed me to both hardware and software development which I loved doing. However, I started to feel that doing coding was not something which I thoroughly enjoyed due to predictable nature of each day and the limited amount to interaction with other people. At that time, I found an opportunity in the Quality department, this team developed guidance for the engineers to develop and test software and hardware. The work in this role was vibrant, involved a lot of people interaction and needed my technical expertise. So after talking to few people inside and outside of the company I decided to make a move to Quality Management from hardcore development. I worked in 3 different countries and 4 companies within 9 years of my career in Quality. While I was working in Quality at Arm, I was tasked to work on a project for which I had to learn about the standards for developing safe components for e.g. self driving cars. I started enjoying the oppurtunity it gave me to apply more of my engineering background and explore new areas of engineering. I approached the person who was building his team in this new area within Arm and told that I would be interested to move into this field if there are any opportunity. Later when he had an opening , he approached me and fortunately I could move onto this new role working to develop guidance to develop safe electronic components and software where I could learn new things but also use all the experience I had gained in the last 10 years of my career. This role also came with opportunities to collaborate, discuss and debate with experts in this field at conferences and workshops, which I thoroughly enjoy. It has been a journey moving between various fields, companies and countries. It did come with a lot of challenges and I navigated it with support from my family, friends and mentors. This journey created experiences for me which I will carry and use for my journey forward.

I would like to get up each morning with a drive to go to work and learn, enjoy what I do and make a little contribution to make this world a better place to live.

I love cooking, baking, going for long walks and travelling with my husband and my 5 year old boy. Recently with lockdown, we have started a new hobby to do 1000-4000 pieces puzzles. It is so addictive!

"Enjoy the little things because one day you will look back and realise they were the big things" ---Kurt Vonnegut