Senior Software Developer
Arti is a senior software developer with Tuva. She has been with the Akima family of companies for four years.
Born and raised in India, Arti Singh came to the United States in 2002 armed with a computer science degree and ready to launch her information technology career. Settling down in the U.S. proved to be a more significant hurdle than she expected. But Arti says she’s someone who’s learned to thrive when facing a new challenge or exploring uncharted territory.
Take, for example, her choice of major in college. Most of her friends were studying fashion or interior design. Arti had her sights set on being a doctor. But personal computers had just begun gaining in popularity, and Arti’s dad saw the writing on the wall.
“Computers are a really big deal, and they’re coming,” Arti recalls her dad telling her, encouraging her to study computer science. So Arti enrolled in a yearlong computer science course and soon found herself hooked. “Coding is something that you either love or hate,” she says. “And I happened to fall in love with it.”
Arti took her technology passion across the ocean after she met the man who would become her husband. As customary in Indian culture, Arti’s parents, who knew the family of the groom-to-be, arranged her marriage. A Purdue University graduate, he had been working for a while in Lakeland, Florida, and told Arti she could pursue an IT career in the U.S. He asked her if she would like to come. “I told him, ‘yes, I’m always up for a challenge!’” Arti says with laughter.
So she packed up and traversed half the globe for a new adventure. There were challenges at first. Arti struggled with the language barrier, culture shock, and found few companies willing to sponsor her work visa. “Every day was a challenge because life is so different here in the U.S.,” she says.
But then she got lucky and found a job with a small company designing the interface and back-end of an online gift card solution. Arti put in long hours and often spent the weekends working. But she was learning, too, eventually mastering .NET, the Microsoft-developed software framework she would become an expert in.
“Honestly, it was overwhelming, but I think I always had this technology passion, so I actually enjoyed working,” Arti says.
After a year and a half, she took a job with a document management company that had government clients. That company then launched a smaller business focused on software design, and Arti moved into a new role there and continued learning. Soon she was problem-solving tough technical challenges.
“With technology, either you have the passion, or you don’t have the passion,” she says. “I’m always curious: How do you do this, how do you do that?”
Arti eventually ended up working on federal contracts at the Department of State and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Today, she’s the subject matter expert on a team that supports the Drug Enforcement Administration and designs data warehouses.
For those wanting to follow in her footsteps, Arti suggests first and foremost to figure out what makes them tick. “Being in IT, you absolutely have to love and keep up with the latest technology,” she says. “And you have to find your expertise, whether it’s on the hardware or software side, and there are so many languages you can learn, too. But finding the right passion is very important.”