Recession Planning for Data Scientists (Shailvi Wakhlu) - KNN Ep. 109
Updated: Jul 29, 2022
Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shailvi Wakhlu. Shailvi is the Sr. Director of Data at Strava, where she leads a large team of product analysts and machine learning engineers to enable data-informed product improvements in support of Strava Athletes. In the past, she worked at Salesforce, Fitbit, and multiple other data-rich companies, in addition to previously running her own company. As a data leader, she focuses on harnessing the power of data to build great products, clarify strategic direction, and improve business processes. She is also a passionate mentor in the community and spends her spare time volunteering for programs that further STEM education for minorities. In this episode, we learn how self-advocacy has changed her career if jumping companies is a good or bad thing and some great insights into how data scientists can hedge their work opportunities during the impending recession. I had a great time speaking with Shailvi, I'm sure you will enjoy this episode.
[00:00:00] Shailvi: There's a lot of companies out there that don't watch out for their employees' best interests. There's a lot of managers who don't do that. And if you don't luck into those situations then you have to take on the ownership yourself. Like you have to take that on yourself, where you are doing that consciously.
Because it is ultimately it's your career, it's your advancement, it's your life, it's your happiness. And if you won't take full ownership of that then you know, how can you expect somebody else to do that for you?
[00:00:37] Ken: This episode of Ken's Nearest Neighbors is powered by Z by HP. HP's high compute workstation-grade line of products and solutions. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shailvi Wakhlu. Shailvi is the Senior Director of Data at Strava, where she leads a large team of product analysts and machine learning engineers to enable data informed product improvements in support of Strava athlete.
In the past, she worked at Salesforce, Fitbit and multiple other data-rich companies. In addition to her previously running her own company. As a data leader, she focuses on harnessing the power of data to build great products, clarify strategic directions and improve business processes. She's also passionate about mentorship in the community and she spends her spare time volunteering for programs that further STEM education for minorities.
In this episode, we learn how self-advocacy has changed her career. We learn if jumping companies is a good or a bad thing, and we also get some incredible insights on how a data scientist can hedge their work opportunities. During the impending recession, I had a great and informative discussion with Shailvi, and I'm sure that this episode will provide a lot of value for you. Shailvi, thank you so much for coming on the Ken's Nearest Neighbors Podcast.
Obviously we had a really awesome discussion offline about your history, learning coding from your mother, going all the way into your career now at Strava, which I think is awesome. It's an app that I've I've used in the past. So I'm really grateful for you to come on here. And I'm really excited to be able to talk with you about your journey through this domain and just in general, through, through your life to this point.
[00:02:15] Shailvi: Awesome. Thanks for having me, Ken. I'm excited too. Really love your podcasts.
[00:02:21] Ken: Thank you so much. Well, the first question that I always ask to help me get to know you better, as well as help the audience get to know you better is how did you first get interested in data? How did you first get interested in technology? Was there some pivotal moment or was this a kind of slow process where you gain interest over.
[00:02:40] Shailvi: Yeah. So in my case, I was exposed to data and technology very early on in my life. So I've shared the story with you previously that my mother taught me how to code when I was eight, which was really exciting for me because she, I don't even remember what language it was, but it was some kind of a quitting language for datasets.
And I just loved the whole concept of coding that you can, it almost felt like solving a puzzle that, you know, she'd give me programs to write like later in other languages and say, Oh, can you try to get a program to do this? And it would just be exciting for me to do that.
I like solving puzzles. I also spent a lot of my childhood reading mystery novels and it made me feel like a detective. So, so yeah, so I just had that exposure very early on. And from a very early age, I knew that I wanted to be a coder as I grew up.
[00:03:38] Ken: That's incredible. And so, you know, I'm really interested in, you talked about your mother teaching you coding. What was her background? How did she learn that skill? I don't imagine that's like incredibly common in India where you're from, correct?
[00:03:51] Shailvi: Yeah, exactly. It was very unusual. So we were one of the, I mean, I didn't have a lot of friends growing up, especially when I was very young who had a computer in their house. So people used to actually come to our house to look at this like device that we had. And my mother and her very, very dear brother of hers had given her, gifted her a computer. And she loved mathematics and, you know, she was very excited about it. So she had she, she also learned how to code. She got some books and she.
Inculcated that same, that same passion in my sister and me as well. And so both of us spent a lot of time on the computer and we all, we all sort of like just took on those new challenges of like in India. Again, as I mentioned, very few people had computers. We were one of the first people I knew who also had access to internet much, much later in life. But by that time we'd already been programming for quite some time. So it was very exciting.
[00:04:51] Ken: Yeah, it sounds like, Well, so how did that interest in programming at an early age transform into a career for you? Is that something you also studied at university or, you know, what was the path like for you essentially to get to where you are now?
[00:05:05] Shailvi: Yeah, so for me I quoted a lot. I, we had the option to take it on, like in India, in the final few years of high school, you can choose a specific set of subset of subjects that you sort of dive more deeper into. And so Computer Science was one of the subjects that I chose at that point.
And then I wanted to study to become a computer engineer in India. That's what you called it. You called it Computer Engineering though. When I reached the U.S., I realized that Computer Engineering and Computer Science were a little bit different. It was too late. I'd already signed up for Computer Engineering.
So along with all the programming and Computer Science stuff, I also did some robotics, which was just that, that came as part of the parcel. So for me, it was a, it was, it was very intentional, like for a very long time. I knew that's what I wanted to study because that's what I wanted to do in my career.
And I basically planned around it for a very long time. And I was very, I was very fortunate to have a good Computer Engineering education in college. And then land a Computer Science job, like straight out of college. I was a software engineer. I was a full stack software engineer with a, with a company.
[00:06:19] Ken: So for those that don't know, can you explain. At least to me, cuz I'm actually not that well informed what the difference in Computer Engineering and Computer Science would be.
[00:06:30] Shailvi: Yes. So I think most universities now Computer Science is focused more on sort of the software side. So it's the programming it's like software engineering would be, would be the closest other term for it.
Computer Engineering. They also teach you about hardware. So they'll also teach you about the circuit systems they'll also teach you about so that's why robotics came in, cuz we'd also have like little robots and we'd we'd have the software part of programming them to do something, but they'll also be the hardware part of actually getting it set up. So that was sort of the combined piece.
[00:07:04] Ken: Really cool. Really cool. And so, you know, something, a lot of people always have a question about is, you know, like moving and getting a job in the United States. Can you talk me through that process for you? What that looked like?
[00:07:15] Shailvi: Oh, yeah. And that's actually, you know, it's very interesting because I came from India. I grew up in India. I didn't have any family in the U.S. So for me to for my family and me to make that decision for me to move even for undergrad was quite unusual. I didn't, I didn't know any other people who did that. Of course, once I moved once I moved here, there were plenty of other people like me, but it was, it was a bit of a struggle because as you know, our country's immigration system is quite difficult for people from different places to to navigate.
And so, you know, you can finish, you can finish your education. But you have a very limited window during which you have to find a job. And it has to be directly related to your field of study. Like you can't have studied Computer Engineering and then suddenly decide, Oh, I actually wanna become a marketer.
You, you know, you don't, you don't have those options. So it's quite it's quite specific. It's quite it's quite different and there's a lot of challenges that come with it. So I definitely got lucky that I actually found my first job. Not even straight out of college, I had technically not graduated yet.
I still had a semester left, but they, I just extended my studies for a whole year so that I could start working earlier. And it was, it was a great job because I ended up working there with that company for six. But I worked in three different continents, so I didn't have to navigate a lot of the visa situation.
Which, you know, usually if you're an international student, after some point you have to, you have to convert your type of visa into a different type of visa. And there's only very few number of those things available. So I didn't have to navigate that cuz I just switched continents instead. It was easier.
[00:09:12] Ken: Really cool. And how did you approach that continent move in your, within your work? Was that something that occurred naturally or is that something that you advocated for? How does that come about?
[00:09:23] Shailvi: Yeah you know, like many things in my earlier career, it was one of the things that felt like it just fell in my lap. At some point that I worked with a company that had offices in multiple locations. And my boss came to my desk one day and said, Hey, we need someone to move to someone to move to our office in drug. And he made it sound really exciting. I. Unfortunately did not know where Prague was. I could not have pointed it down on a map.
I knew it was in Europe somewhere, but I'm like, Okay, that sounds, that sounds fun. So I agreed. And then I went and looked up what Czech Republic was. I was like, what is that? But it worked out cause once I moved like once I did commit to that, to that move you know, they said like, Okay, this is a salary that you're gonna be making there.
And that was sort of my first time advocating for myself, cuz I'm like, Okay, I'm researching a little bit online and based on my cost of living conversion, the salary doesn't seem fair. Like, you know, I'll basically be taking a salary hit. Like I understand that people are paid less in that country, but I should at least be paid the same range as what I'm paid here in terms of just purchasing power parity.
So, so that was an interesting, interesting conversation. And I ended up having that conversation with the same company twice, cuz they asked me to move to Prague, but I asked them to move me to new Delhi, which is where I was originally from.
[00:10:57] Ken: Very cool. And I'd love to hear more. You, you mentioned self-advocacy can you explain to me what that means? And maybe how you can actually cultivate that skill. Cause I sincerely doubt that's something that we all start with. We have to learn to be able to, in some sense, speak for ourselves.
[00:11:13] Shailvi: Yeah. Self-advocacy has been, I think in the later half of my career, it's been the most consistent theme of something that I have done and research and kind of improved my own skills on. Because it's, as you said, like you know, for me, what is self-advocacy I think it is when you. Advocate for yourself when you speak up for yourself. And when you speak up for your interests and try to make sure that those are prioritized in everything that you're doing that to me is self-advocacy.
And it's not something that it's definitely not something that came naturally to me. I come from a culture where it's, where it's not normalized. I belong to an underrepresented group in tech you know, women in general, find it really hard to do that. And it's also something that's not taught.
It's not, you know, I don't, I went to college. There was no class that taught you how to negotiate your first salary. There's no, there was no training that said, Oh if you're being treated unfairly, here's how to speak up and get to the outcomes that you want. So I really feel that the industry as a whole is really lacking that awareness that We always try to give people advice that, Hey, find yourself a great manager or find yourself a really good company.
But that doesn't happen for everybody. There's a lot of companies out there that don't watch out for their employee's best interests. There's a lot of managers who don't do that. And if you don't lock into those situations then you have to take on the ownership yourself. Like you have to, you have to take that on yourself where you are doing that consciously.
Because it is ultimately it's your career, it's your advancement, it's your life, it's your happiness. And if you won't take full ownership of that then you know, how can you expect somebody else to do that for you?
[00:13:11] Ken: Yeah. I mean, that's Ciro and something that for, you know, in my career in my life has been something unbelievably important. I mean, there's, I guess in the United States, the IDM is, you know, it never hurts to ask. Yep. Right, but in other countries it's like the opposite. I forget what the IDMs are in China and probably in India, Indian culture. It's that essentially, if you ask or the, you know, like for example, the nail that sticks out the furthest gets beat down or something along those lines, and the idea of the collective has what's best in your interest versus your individual ideas have what's, you know, you have what's in your best interest is inherently somewhat conflicting.
And I find that really interesting because, you know, there are a lot of people who are moving from Eastern cultures to the west, and this is such a difficult concept to grasp. It's such a different skillset to develop. How do you think someone can start to learn the self-advocacy skill, especially if they're coming from maybe a more Eastern culture, or if they're in an underrepresented group, you know, specifically women in the technology space.
[00:14:21] Shailvi: Yeah, that's a, I think that's a great call out that you know, just the cultural and the gender aspect of it can be quite a bit of a hindrance itself. My thought for this is that for a lot of people, the biggest struggle is actually getting over their own sort of mental narrative of why should I have to do this?
So there's, you know, there's one school of thought, which is. Hey, I'm not like I'm a technical person. I'm, you know, I'm a, I'm an engineer, I'm a data person. Like this is, this is a very salesy skill. This is, this is not something that I should have to do, or this is not something that I can do cuz you know, it's seen as a, even asking for basic things and basic fairness is almost seen as as a bad thing that it's like, Oh, you're being too out there and you're being too flashy.
And there's other things that inhibit people as well. Right? It's this it's this attitude of same thing that you mentioned that, you know, keep your head down. Don't, don't stick out too much. I talked about being an immigrant and working here on a visa and that's genuine concern for people, right?
Like if you're on a visa and you are dependent on your. For your ability to live in this country. And if you lose that job, you have four weeks to head out of that country. you're not gonna, you're not gonna make a lot of noise, right? Because you don't wanna risk losing your job over it. But I think the reframing that at least really helped me is that asking to be treated in a fair manner is not something that's taking, taking away something from someone else.
Like, you know, you're not saying give me more than than the next person. You're just, you're just being asking to be treated fairly. And it does help the business as well. When you are happy and you are productive and you don't feel like you're being taken advantage of you will, you know, do a better job.
You'll like, so you'll give back to the company as well. And so I think reframing that this is something that one, this is a skill that you should learn because. You're not gonna hire a salesperson to do your personal sales on your behalf. And also this is a way to invest in yourself.
It's a way to take control of your own career of your own outcomes. So I think that reframing really helps. And then I think people can benefit by examining specific situations. So for example, if you have trouble negotiating a salary, like that's a very specific thing that you can try to solve for, like, you can try to structure that, like, you know, I have training as an engineer.
I know how to break down a problem into its competent parts and then just solve it. But even other things like how do I get a promotion? How do I ask for more opportunities or how do I even show the opportunities that I'm already doing, which are great and potentially get rewarded for that.
Like, I think all of those specific situations you can seek out help for those specific pieces to a point where it almost becomes a norm and it's a muscle that you built and it comes hopefully more naturally to you in other situations as well.
[00:17:44] Ken: Yeah, I love the idea that you have to sort of build this muscle. You have to get practice at it. And you debunked one of the most common misconceptions, which I think is really powerful is that you're asking for yourself, you know, it's like self-advocacy is a inherently selfish thing, which it isn't right. It's something where you're trying to get what's fair for you, which is what's better for your company.
And people don't necessarily always realize that your values, your pay, your happiness can be directly aligned with company value and those types of things. So I think self-advocacy is wrong when it's, detractive, when you're like, I want you to pay me as all this money, because I want it versus I'm providing this value to as your company.
If you're compensating me fairly. I'm gonna be able to, you know, I'm not gonna have to worry about my finances. I can dedicate more work towards more, more of my time and effort towards doing high quality work. Oh, I have really good insurance. I don't have to worry as much about my health. And I can dedicate that time towards giving back to the company or providing value for them there.
And, Oh, I did this really cool thing for the company. I, you know, I made them, you know, X, Y, Z more money, you know, I'm clearly providing value. Some of that value should inherently be passed back to me because I've created for the organization. So things like that, you know exactly how you described. I mean, that is a way that, you know, there's mut this mutual benefit equation, which I think is really special.
In particular to women in technology, I'm interested in how, you know, you could, like what you would say to the majority of them who, who would like to advocate for themselves more. I saw some interesting research quite some time ago. I'm not sure if it was debunked, but it suggested that one of the reasons that there is, or historically has been this, this pay gap between men and women, is that men are significantly more likely to actually ask for a raise or ask for more money. You know, what are your thoughts on that? and, you know, how would you approach that? That I guess like complex within the domain.
[00:19:54] Shailvi: Yeah. That's a great call out. And yeah, I definitely read that research too. And even anecdotally it makes sense to me. As I mentioned earlier that a lot of norms that we fall into are just, you know, they're just.
Everybody does them. So that's what we do. So for women, it's often hard to be seen as demanding or as kind of asking for too much. So when you don't see other women doing it, or when you don't see, like you just, you know, if it's unfamiliar to you, you're less likely to do it. I do think that that's rapidly changing.
You know, I hope I mean, I see that even, even for me as a manager, like, I'm so proud every time, every time women in my team ask for like way more money, I'm like, yes, yes... Cuz, I just, I just love that you know, it's being talked about a lot more, but I really think that part of the problem is also just a sincere lack of data that is available to people where they even know what to ask for, right. So there was this when I was graduating from college, maybe the advice was. Hey, don't settle for the first number. Like whatever, whatever they give you, like ask for more. But what does that mean? Right. Do I ask for five grand more? Do I ask for 30 grand more? Like I have no idea, you know, so I still remember the first job that I had.
I did follow that advice. And so, you know, they offered me something and I asked for five grand. Well, I think I asked for 10 grand more and they gave me five grand more and I was like, Okay, let's you know, that sounds okay. And the person who had referred me to the job was so mad that I took that offer.
He's like, what are you talking about? Like, they would've like, you know, you, you should have stuck with the with the 10 grand more number. And then I got married at him. I'm like, why didn't you tell me, like, why didn't you just tell me what to ask for? Cuz I don't know these things. And I think.
That missing data that people don't have. Like now again, you can go on Glassdoor, you can look up the salary bands at various companies. There's levels dot FII, which gives you a lot of information. There's a bunch of resources out there, but it's still, it's still hard to find, like it's not there for a lot of startups.
So if you're in the startup ecosystem, it's not that easy to find that information. You don't know what the norm is. And you know, you, I mean, there's a alleged concern that sometimes you know, you, you may be completely out of whack. So I think the more the industry tries to add transparency there.
You know, we shouldn't, we shouldn't be putting the burden on on people to sort of always have to advocate for themselves. Like I've literally had situations where we've extended offer. Someone asked for salary and we are like, no that's way below our band. So we are just gonna give them more, like they asked for expert.
We're gonna give them more because that is the fair thing to do. And I wish more more companies would have that philosophy of just doing what's the fair thing for people like evaluate people's skills and and compensate accordingly. Like, you know, don't base it on what they ask for don't base it on some inside information that they have, because the real reason is like in technology, there's a lot of outsiders. And I think it benefits us as an industry if we, if you rectify that.
[00:23:16] Ken: Yeah. I mean, and you're, you know, how much is it really gonna cost you to pay someone a little bit extra and get them in line with other people on their team who are doing similar work versus the cost of them, finding out that they're, you know, the person that just came on is making more money than them.
And they've been working there for a year, right. They're gonna be really. Annoyed possibly disgruntled. And that's not a problem that you necessarily want to have. You know, something that I find really interesting, and I can't remember who I had this discussion with, but essentially some other research that I was reading and I really should figure out and cite my sources a little bit better, but essentially they were saying that like men and women in the workforce, they can do the exact same things and it can be perceived differently.
So let's say I am somewhat confrontational. You know, I'm challenging what you're saying and whatever that might be. And because I'm a male in the workspace that can be seen as, Oh, he that's a leadership quality, he's a challenger. He's wanting, trying to bring the best out of people. And then, you know, like for example, you might be doing the exact same thing and it would be labeled as, Oh, she's being difficult or something along those lines.
Obviously that comes into salary negotiation that comes into all of these different things. How do we, as a community in the data science realm, how do we face that? How do we confront that? How do we change that perception? And I think a good start is changing, like the people so that, you know, you're more accepting and are used to these things, but you know, what can we really do about that specific challenge?
That's something that really bothers me is cuz I've in the workspace a little bit of a confrontational style and it bothers me that, you know, someone else who would have a similar style and be similar, like couldn't be as effective just because of their gender in that space.
[00:25:12] Shailvi: Yeah, I think I think that's really, really great topic because there's sort of that again, that balance, right?
Like you know, as someone who mentors, a lot of people most of them are underrepresented groups in tech. I often tell people like, Hey, this is, this is the reality. This is sort of the status quo. I hope it shifts. And I'm doing my best to kind of, you know, as much influence as I have to try to shift it in the industry.
But here's what you can do in the meantime to to sort of like respond to that. And I, and I really try very hard to stay away from advice that basically tells people to pan. But like really tries to just again, reframe it that, you know, so I've, I I've often sort of given people advice of restructuring, their choice of words, where it is very evident that again, like I always come back to the business value.
Like, you know, if you're taking the time out to point out some flaws and point out some gaps in the plan that your team has or something like that should that is an asset like that is, that is, you know, that is something that's beneficial that you are giving up your time to sort of think about this and actually plan it out and do something about it.
So I'm like, make sure that that comes across when you're, when you're, when you're saying that. And yes, it is an extra burden to people who are gonna be perceived as sort of more on the, or like, you know, like you said, like for someone it might be leadership qualities for some women, it might be you're being difficult.
But I still say like that until we have changed that perception fully, like, unfortunately it's still something that we have to do. But again, I also say it on the other side, like you know, we've had a lot of discussions in rooms where I'm like, Hey, you know Like we can't take this attitude outside.
Like we can't take this attitude when we are hiring people. We have to, we have to sort of shift this out. So I think on the hiring front a lot of companies, for example, started like requiring you to detail. Like why, what did you make in your hiring decision? Like what was something specific that you can call out?
Like it's not perfect. Like, I still think there are some gaps, but I think it's much better than people just saying like thumbs up. I like this person thumbs up. I did not like this person because it forces you to be a little bit more objective in your analysis off a person adding more, more diversity, more voices at that stage also really helps because if I've had many situations where we've been on hiring panels where you know, someone says.
Hey actually, like we shouldn't be dinging this person for bringing this up. Like, you know, maybe they said this in the interview, which sounded like a critique of our business, but that's actually a really as steward observation, like we should, you know, we should be, we should, we'd be lucky to have a person like this who, who saw something that none of us didn't.
So I think having more voices in the room that will advocate for what should be the norm is really important. And I think in data science, like we can absolutely you know, I think data scientists are, are in a good position to change the industry because we can back our stuff up with data.
Like, you know, I always it's just like, I'm like, Hey, how about we also extend our you know, how about we also extend our hiring practices to have that same data rigor that we use in our product. and that's something that we can do.
[00:28:47] Ken: I really like that. I think the data driven nature of the domain is really fun. Something else that I really like about this domain, I think is that the community is very strong and that we can have these types of conversations and people will listen to them. And in my mind, that's the best way that like, in some sense, I can help try and change anything, right? Is that we have these conversations.
People are more aware of these things and the next time they're in a meeting, they're like, Oh, you know, she's not being difficult. She's just being like everyone else. And she's actually providing a ton of value in this scenario, which, which I would hope. I mean, I'm by no means doing that myself, but there's a lot of these conversations that are happening by people that are far more qualified than I am. Well, that's what you're here obviously, but...
[00:29:33] Shailvi: You have a large reaching podcast that has...
[00:29:38] Ken: But, you know, I think that's something that's very special about this domain as well, is that there are a lot of these open conversations that I really don't see in a lot of other domains as well.
I would like to ask this might be shifting gears a little bit, but it's still under the umbrella of self advocacy is that, you know, in some organizations it's still just, you know, isn't a fit, even if you've asked for what you'd like. Yeah. And it does come time to change positions or change to different organizations. How does self-advocacy fit into that process? You know, is it a good thing to necessarily switch a couple of positions? Does that hurt you in this career or is that generally well accepted?
[00:30:21] Shailvi: Yeah, that's a you know, I think it's a very nuanced question because what might be best for an individual may not be sort of overall, like the industry may have a different way of looking at it. So, you know, taking my own example, I stayed in my first first company I worked at, I stayed there for six years and the reason for that was very simple. I was happy working there. I was consistently growing in my career, like, you know, I had new opportunities raises and promotions and like new new chances.
And that was a good thing. And also I felt incredibly valued. Like that company really invested in me, my growth, they invested in my time and in the occasional chances when I also had something personal come up, like they, they cared about those things as well. So I think if you're happy, if you're growing, if you're value.
That is awesome. Like, you know I think I think that's more than enough reasons to sort of stay. I think what I've seen is that it should not, you shouldn't, I mean, I'd love for people to stay longer in every company and role that they work at. But sometimes I feel that people are not actively thinking about what they actually want.
Like, what is meaningful to you? What are your career values? What are you trying to maximize? Like, are you, are you trying to, you know, is learning more important to you? Is the, is power and authority more important to you? Is money more important to you? Or is it just a threshold that you're trying to meet?
Or are you trying to have work life balance? And I think all of those pieces, I think that people who spend that time in building their own self-awareness of what it is that they truly care about make better decisions about, about being intentional about their career. And I think in those situations, when you, when you at least have that self-awareness and you pick up the tools to learn how to sort of ask for what you need, you have a much better understanding of like, whether something is a good fit or not.
And if it's not like, again, sometimes just sharing it can get you the results. Like, you know, you can ask your manager, for example, for something very specific that, Hey, I actually. I already grow in these particular things, but I realize that I wanna work backwards from this specific role that I want in five years.
And I feel like if I don't start making those pivots, now I'll never get there. Like, is it, is it something that's possible? And sometimes it is sometimes it's not. I think the industry can sometimes obviously every company that's hiring you wants to would prefer that you stay, you know, it's expensive, it's expensive to hire people.
So I, in my career I have like, you know, after my first job, like I've had a lot of one or two years stints and again, like it's, some companies actually have looked at it as a plus my current company, when they were hiring me, they were really impressed. They're like, Wow, you've done like so many different things in data science.
Like that's very unique and that would not have happened if I was at the same company. Like I would not have had those opportunities and those learnings, but there's also many companies who look at that as a negative. So I think if you have a good story for it I think that really helps. But I also say that ultimately like you have to do what's right for you.
And sometimes staying could be the right thing for you. Sometimes leaving could be the right thing for you. Just map out what you want from that change and how that benefits you in some way.
[00:33:48] Ken: This episode is brought to you by Z by HP. HP's high compute, workstation-grade line of products and solutions. Z is specifically made for high performance data science solutions. And I personally use the ZBook Studio and the Z4 Workstation. I really love that Z Workstations can come standard with Linux and they can be configured with the data science software stack. With the software stack, you can get right to work doing data science on day 1 without the overhead of having me completely reconfigure your new machine.
Now back to our show. So I think a lot of people struggle with understanding what they value. Would you be willing to explain to me maybe what your career values are and how you arrived at those? I think that specific case study would be really helpful for anyone. Listening is like, Oh, this is a real person. And they value these specific things rather than talking about it in sort of these pluralities, which I've been known to do. That would be super insightful for me, as well as the audience.
[00:34:47] Shailvi: Sure. Yeah, I wish I had the link and maybe we can link it later to in the, in the section, but there is something like, I think you can Google it. It's called it's, I think it's just called Career values and there's a couple of websites that will actually just spit out like a big list.
I think maybe it's like about 24-ish different things. So examples, I list some of my top five, like authenticity, creativity, analytical sort of rigor and power and authority. Like there's a couple of things in there. Money also definitely is not in my top five, but it's in that list somewhere.
So the exercise is very simple. You basically look through that list and you force yourself to stack rank I'm big on stack ranking. Like I'm like, you know, you, you really like, you really kind of look at that list and say Would I, if, so let's pick two, so authenticity or learning, you know, if all else being equal, would I take a role that offered me the chance to be authentic?
And that can mean a lot of different things for different people, or would I take a role that offers me learning and you, you know, you'd be surprised like you think that everybody has the same values, like of course everybody cares about money and of course everybody cares about you know, whatever it is that you care about.
But I actually did this exercise with my team and there were some themes that developed that, like as a group, there were a few things that almost everybody cared about in their top five. But there can also be a lot of like specific nuances that for someone, one of those values is a non-negotiable it lands in their top five.
And if their current position does not give them an opportunity. To sort of like do that or to maximize that it's not the right fit for them. So I ideally do think that it helps to go through that exercise and almost force yourself to do that yes, you might like money, but if it comes at the cost of work life balance, would you still want money? And I think that answer is very different for different people. So it's a nice exercise to just raise your own self awareness about that as well.
[00:36:59] Ken: Awesome. I will definitely include that in the link in the description that that is so helpful, like even better like tangible tools to be able to come to these understanding of yourself. Something that I find really interesting is when values conflict so I did a similar exercise just for like my overall life. Like what do I actually value? And, you know, for example, if you value freedom and family, if those are your top two values inherently, those can conflict, right? Oh, I want freedom to travel, to do whatever.
But I also really care about my family and I wanna be with them and those types of things like those two aren't necessarily like mutually exclusive and yeah. Able to pursue at the same time. And so understanding that about yourself, like, Oh, how do I realign my values? How do I think about this in a different way is a great learning experience.
Cuz you have to like decouple the conflicts that you have in your career ambitions, in your life and those types of things. And to me, that was one of the most freeing things that I've experienced as I was able to say, Oh, Okay, objectively, this is what I value. This is where the friction in my life comes from because my values are colliding.
And how do I navigate that? How do I build systems? Or how do I create a life around that? Where everything is in symbiosis something you, you mentioned in. You know, that's one of your values is authority and I guess like growing in an organization and I would lump that under the broader category of leadership. One, how did you get into leadership? And two, maybe what skills are useful there rather than as an individual contributor?
[00:38:46] Shailvi: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think influence and power and authority, like definitely, definitely resonates cuz I. Derive a lot of my personal thing from how much impact am I able to have? How much positive impact am I able to have? And I think for me my parts to sort of like leadership and management has been interesting, cuz I resisted purely managerial roles for a very long time in my career. I didn't want to be sort of typecast as like, Oh, this person is a manager. And I really wanted to build on my technical skills.
So I didn't actually I didn't actually take on like a fully management position until just about two, three years ago. Actually. That was, that was the first time that I, that I took on a role that had no IC component. And it's interesting because as an individual contributor, you have a lot of more, you have a lot more control over your output, you know, whatever you're trying to do, you can, you.
You can pick up the skills you can get to what outcomes you want a lot more because everything is within your power. Management is not like that. Like you are constantly dealing with things that are unexpected. You are dealing with, you know, your job is to motivate other people to get to the outcomes that you want.
But that's not, it's a bit of a science, but it's also a bit of an art. And I think management, I feel is incredibly hard work. And I very strongly believe that, especially in technology, like I wish I wish we, as an industry would agree that it is not a promotion. It is a different job. That a good ICs, a good individual contributors.
Don't just like, they don't, necessarily make good managers and sometimes the opposite. So I think explicit training. Is very important. I think it benefits companies when they, when they invest in that as a skill set. Because I think some of the skills are not as tangible.
Like, you know, as an IC, you can say like, You know, learn Python, learn SQL, learn these spaces, learn how to develop your business sense. And like, those are the little, you know, they, they have, they have more structured sort of outcomes. But as a leader, some of the skills you need to have is, Hey, Plan for the unexpected and be flexible when something completely outta whack happens.
But you know, there's no checkbox at which you can say, like, I have trained you, you went through the training material and now you are flexible. Like that's not, that's not something that you can really do. But I think a lot of it is just you know, being comfortable, doing things that you are not an expert at.
Like, I think anytime there's something on your team that nobody else can do managers and leaders are typically expected to just figure it out. and that dealing with that ambiguity, dealing with that sort of unexpected nature of the job is just something like some people like it, some people don't like, what are you supposed to do?
If a report starts crying during your meeting? Like, that's, you know, you can try to assimilate it. You can try to learn from it, but if you don't have that basic empathy, if you don't have that basic willingness to figure it out and you're not. Overly worried that you'll fail or look silly or something. Then I think like those skills really help.
[00:42:06] Ken: That's awesome. I think something that I was seeing in what you were saying there is that this randomness, this unexpected nature of the work it's actually quite similar to what someone would see in entrepreneurship, right?
And you you'd also describe to me offline how your mother's actually quite entrepreneurial, I'm interested in to how that played into your experience, how that influenced you in your life, as well as you know, in your career as you were moving into leadership.
[00:42:39] Shailvi: Yeah, I think you know, when I became, when I, so I ran my own company for a little bit and one of the funniest things that I learned about myself was that you know, I always believed that people who had certain jobs or were running their own businesses and stuff like that.
They knew everything that, you know, surely they were there because they were the experts. And it was really funny because my husband got us some of the business, like for some of the, some of the companies that I was building software for, like my husband sort of like helped close the deals and he would just go sell something.
And I was like, I have no idea. I'm supposed to do this. So that worked out great. Cause you know, I was like, Okay, but you know, other people have figured it out so shortly I can too. So, and that definitely was the same mindset that I think my mother had as well, because she was, again, one of the early people who had sort of access to computers she was like, yeah, I can, I can train myself how to do things.
And she created a business out of getting. Indian banks to come to the digital age and like basically like transition. A lot of their things like digitize a lot of their things and create their first ways that they would, you know, keep track of transactions and things like that. So it was, it was, it was again, like, I think that Removing that fear of failure of from you is such an important, such an important skill to develop, because if you're afraid of failure, if you're afraid of looking bad, if you're afraid of making mistakes, there's a lot of things that you're not gonna try.
There's a lot of things that you're just not gonna attempt because you are worried about you're worried about that piece. So I think you know, I definitely saw my mom just kinda go at it and figure something out. And I ended up doing something similar in my own entrepreneurship journey and it's, I think it's been fun.
[00:44:47] Ken: That's amazing. So how does someone eliminate or not eliminate? There's never, you never eliminate fear of failure, but how do you mitigate that or make it palatable so that you can fail. Is it that you just try to fail a bun or you don't try to fail, but you put yourself in situations where you could fail and then you get loose used to it.
You get accustomed to it and you see it as an asset, or is it like this early paradigm shift where you're like, instead of I'm failing, instead of failing, I'm learning, it's never this bad thing. Is that like, I mean, is that it, or is there some other secret sauce involved there?
[00:45:18] Shailvi: Yeah, I would say that, you know, again, everybody has their own personality type and for some people that like for some people that first step, like I think it is important to just experience failure and experience failure repeatedly, and then realized that life is still okay.
Like, you know, you are still fine. I think that's important and an important exposure to have, but I also realized that for some people as a personality type, like that's just really hard to do. Like, some people have a really hard time signing up for something where they might fail.
So they, they won't like whatever, 80% confidence of success before they attempt something. But I. Planning for failure is a very good sort of thing. And saying that I, if I do fail here is what I should definitely learn from it. And, you know, Al almost mapping it out where it almost becomes like a game, right?
Like when you play video games, like you, you know, you try different things and you fail a couple of times, but then eventually you're like, Oh, this is the way I can succeed at that level. So if you gamify that learning mentally or anything that works for you, I think it's really beneficial to just figure out, figure out that next path forward.
[00:46:33] Ken: I really love that idea. You described of gamifying failure or planning for it. That is something that's a paradigm shift for me. I mean, I've always, really, I think sports are incredible or because they are a way to gamify this failure, right? It's a contained environment. The loss is finite you've encapsulated what you're gonna lose and what you can win and that's separate from broader life.
You know, if you're losing sports, you're not losing it life. I would hope that people for the most part can, can see that and understand that. Yeah. And same thing with games and a lot of these toy scenarios. But that's a really elegant way to describe it is that you're like hedging downside, but you can still put yourself in not necessarily harm's way, but you can put yourself in that fairly risky scenario with constraints and rules and, you know, doing that over and over again, simulates the exact same thing.
Exactly which I think is like a very beautiful way to describe it. While we're still on entrepreneurship, you know, both of us, I would imagine, have done the speaking tour around a lot of the conferences and the data space. And there are so many new startups out there within the data domain.
You, what do you think about that? You know, which ones do you think will be around for the longer term and which ones do you think will probably. Fall by the wayside and not the specific startups, but like themes that you're seeing, which are relevant.
[00:48:02] Shailvi: Yeah. I've definitely been thinking a lot about it cuz one trend that I definitely observed, which I was very happy to see was that a couple of years ago it felt like every new data startup was BI related.
Like, you know, they were kind of on the last step of the funnel of like you know, surface insights and surface like useful information and things like that. And a lot of them were quite similar. Like I was like, Okay, this one does this a little bit better. And then there's this other one that has this, this feature a little better.
But I, as someone who's worked in data for a long time, and I'm sure you have that same observation that people always notice data problems at that final step. Like they look at a dashboard and be like, Okay, Not it, but usually the problem is upstream actually, almost always the problem is upstream, you know?
So I feel like I do like that now there's a lot more startups that are focused on the top end of the funnel. And like, they're talking about data quality, they're talking about data reliability and like, you know, just observability at a much higher thing. And there's more sort of platform related stuff like, you know companies that are building out experimentation platforms or personalization platforms.
Like I think that's a good thing. I think besides that, which ones will do well, like I think thematically, these are good areas for data startups, but ultimately it comes down to execution. You know, you can have a brilliant idea and if you don't execute on it, In a, sort of a good incremental manner, which shows your value sooner than you need a lot of money to succeed.
Like I think that goes a long way. So the economic climate is changing rapidly. Money in the investing circuit is not flowing as freely as it was a couple of years ago. And so I think startups have to be a lot more precise in the value that they are bringing to the table.
[00:50:00] Ken: I agree. A hundred percent execution is such important. An important thing, like you described something that I think is part of that execution is community building and branding and sort of the softer side of these things. There's so many tools that I see that are essentially the exact same thing as other tools.
And it's a great concept. It's a great, it's a value added, you know, you have monitoring, you have pipeline building. You have other like ML Ops related platforms that are. You know, virtually identical how do you differentiate the one that differentiates an already good existing product is the one that excels, Well, maybe that's a little self-serving because I have it like a marketing agency that helps with, with branding for some of these things.
Yeah. But at the same time, that is something that I'm really seeing is that if you want to, if you want to build a good product, you need people using your product. If people are using your product, you can get feedback and you can iterate and make the product better. And that adoption cycle is what a lot of these companies struggle with because they're like, Oh, we have this great thing.
People obviously use it. And that's just not how business works, right. Which is a very interesting kind of feedback loop that they have is like the adoption leads to better innovation, which a lot of people don't conceptualize it that way.
[00:51:25] Shailvi: Yeah. I mean, I I've worked in I've worked in enterprise subscription businesses like for a long time in my career. And it was very interesting because you know, I always like, that was one of the differences that I saw in consumer subscription businesses versus enterprise that in subscription in consumer businesses, you're looking at product usage to define the roadmap. And sometimes in enterprise you can just go ask , you can just go ask like some of your top customers that like, you look like you're gonna keep paying, or you might consider keeping if I build what you want me to build.
So I think the playbook of that building out that that feedback loop is a little different, especially, especially when you're starting out, like again, enterprise companies, once they big enough, very different playbook, but it makes sense to sort of come at it with that.
You know, I'm, I always think that companies that have just thrown a lot of money at the problem, like, you're gonna get a different outcome and I'm not saying you shouldn't throw, throw good, good sort of money at the problem, but like, you have to balance that out with like real, tangible specifics that, you know, are gonna lead you to that to that positive outcome.
[00:52:42] Ken: Absolutely. And I think, you know, just companies doing their due diligence and very simple things pays tremendous dividends. Like I've talked with a couple companies and they're like, Oh, our market, we're trying to target. For example, data scientists directly. Like, we think them wanting to use our product will make companies adopt our product more.
And honestly, that isn't necessarily the case for a lot of very large companies. I remember I was working at a very large company. I mean, I guess it was GE, right? And they just started using a new visualization tool to a size sense. From switching from Tableau because corporate decided that they wanted to switch and that they got a better deal or whatever it might be, right.
Like I had literally no input, none of the data scientists had any input in this decision, right. Yeah. And like the idea that, Oh, like the data scientists drive all this, and some companies they do. Right. Some companies and different organizations probably on the smaller side, but a lot of companies, if you're trying to sell the enterprise like that, you're not gonna have any success trying to get yeah.
The data scientist to advocate for this. So it's a very interesting perspective of, you know, like where does it matter? I mean, like who is the right market? And you know, these marketers should know this, but they don't, for some reason, which blows my mind.
[00:53:59] Shailvi: No. And you're absolutely right. Like, you know, the simple, basic who holds the post strings, like it's usually not the data scientist, like it's yeah. It's almost never the data scientist, like maybe they're given like some tiny budget for a few small tools. So yeah. I mean, even when I used to work at Salesforce, I loved Snowflake cuz I had used it in my previous companies and I'm like, It's so fast for analyst.
Like, you know, you can write a query and it's so quick and I don't have to do that, but that was completely the wrong pitch, right. Cause I mean they did end up getting Snowflake after I left, but it was because it saved the money
[00:54:36] Ken: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It's funny how that works. Right. Well, so you did, you did bring up sort of the tightening economy. I'm really interested in how you would approach. Recession planning for someone, maybe who's a new entrant into this market, you know, like what are, you know, what can someone do to maybe hedge themselves to have better opportunities or, you know, give them a little bit more certainty about what's to come.
[00:55:04] Shailvi: Yeah. I mean I still have some PTSD left from the last recession I was working, working during that time. And it's so hard to predict that, you know, whichever business you're working for, like, will it survive or not, not survive, but like, will it thrive or will it not like it's a little difficult and it's also difficult to separate your own kind of career growth from the growth of a company or something like that.
So I think one thing which I think really helps like, and I especially think that a lot of our education again, doesn't doesn't necessarily teach us this, but is to actually stay very conscious and aware of the company's financial performance. Like, you know, most companies like right now, unfortunately, a lot of companies are having layoffs.
Like that's become very common. You log into LinkedIn and there's more people who, who just went through that, but keeping, keeping. Track of that, like keeping understanding the predictors of what that happens is I think one way to just be aware of the possibility. Like there's never, there's never like a situation where it's like, Oh, a company will never have layoffs.
Like that's not a thing. Like, you know, if push comes to shove, that might be a decision that the company has to take. So I think keeping, I mean, of course keeping your skills current and relevant, I think is a good practice. I think also just practicing interviews every once in a while, even if you're not planning to switch a job is a good thing to do because every time I've actually consciously decided that, Okay, I'm gonna start interviewing it takes me a while to actually get my resume in order and then practice my pitch.
Like it's something that you just have to practice. So I think just keeping a little bit fresh, seeing what's out there in the market, what is the latest stuff that's respected and that's valued. Like, I think that's a good way to just be prepared so that if you're ever in a situation.
Maybe not layoffs, but you just realize that your company is just not gonna outlast this current economic climate. You are a little ahead of the game and you, you know what to do. And last thing I would say is just network. I think it's really important to have that strong network of, you know, your current colleagues, your previous colleagues, people who've left the company and gone on to do something else or just going to conferences and things like just building your network. You never know who will come handy when and building those authentic connections or leak and really help when you are in a situation where you need something.
[00:57:37] Ken: Yeah. Then for, in terms of networking, I couldn't agree more. I think something that a couple things that I would add I agree a hundred percent with you. One for me. It's from this book by, I think it's Cal Newport called So good, they can't ignore you. And it's the idea is making yourself Indi indispensable to a company. So what types of processes, what types of work can you be doing with that in the, within that organization that makes it not necessarily like impossible to run without you, but it makes it like very difficult for things to work and that, and that's not to say, like, you don't comment your code and you make it, so no one else can decipher it.
It's to say that you're an in integral part of this process and they value you so much that you're one of the last to go.
[00:58:24] Shailvi: And also that ties in directly to the self-advocacy topic earlier, right? Like make sure that if you are doing good work already, which you probably are, like, make sure somebody actually understands the value of it. Like it's not, it's something that they understand that this person doing X, Y, and Z is actually beneficial to the company. And I think that's a great call out.
[00:58:43] Ken: Yeah, Well, to your point you don't necessarily become indispensable to a company by just doing exactly what you're told, right? You find those opportunities to create that additional value by looking around, figuring out where you can create that value and then advocating for yourself to be in that position to create that value and to become indispensable. So I think that that's a really important one. I wanted to mention.
I also think it's pretty important and valuable, which is like super strange advice, but it comes from my like personal perspective is to like start a side hustle, start other lines of work, create some savings so that you can be more selective if you were to get fired. So if I have, I know I have six months of money saved up.
I have some income coming in from something I've created. I have, you know, probably four or five months before I really start to panic and I can use those four or five months to find a job that I'm really happy with rather than being like, Oh, I need to get paid again. I need to turn around and pick something up.
And that sort of flows into the like practice you're interviewing and like staying sharp on that front. But to me you know, I have multiple streams of income from content creation, from investments, from all these different things. Realistically in a bad economy, yes, those will reduce, but I still have those coming in.
They're still creating value for me. If you get fired from your job, I mean, you might get some residual payout, but essentially you go from having a ton of income to zero income like that. Yeah. And that, to me, at least for me, is the scariest thing. So I've worked very hard to try to create this, these systems that allow me to have some residual stuff coming in.
So you know, People would say historically before the last recession, like Ken, what you're doing, it's so risky. How could you do that? What, you know, your appetite for risk must be crazy. To me, it's the opposite. What I'm doing is so much less risky because I have control over it. And it's not that this water tap is gonna get shut off.
It's that, Okay, it might reduce and flow, but the, you know, the guy over at XYZ company who just got fired, his tap got shut off and he's completely scrambling. I will never be in that scramble state, which I, well, I hope I'll never be in that scramble state, based on the decisions that I've made. And so, you know, it's not that everyone has to go out and do you know, start a YouTube channel or create a small business or whatever, but you can do, you know, like a small contract on Upwork, for example.
You build a portfolio there that opens the door for, if people need data science consulting or contracting in the future, you have that track record and you can get paid for it, and it doesn't mean that everything comes to a screeching halt. So obviously very passionate about this topic. I just wanna make sure, you're okay on time. Cause we'll have probably 10, 15 more minutes of stuff. I just wanna make sure we get it all done.
Amazing. You know, so related to that I would love to hear about your, your current work. So working at Strava, obviously a product that I've used in the past when I was doing a bit more running I've not been doing a whole lot of running these days, but I'm interested just to hear about the domain how you ended up there and what you like most about.
[01:02:03] Shailvi: Yeah. So I've been at Strava now for almost two years. And for those who are not familiar with the, with the app, it's a, it's a community of athletes. It's where athletes come to share their activities with their, with their community and drive inspiration on our platform. So we are a, you know, we are I think we have a lot of fans.
There's a lot of people who love what our platform does. And for me, Strava was a very interesting opportunity cuz I, my last few companies have all been companies where the product itself was data. Like data was the product. And you know, you basically had a, you have a skin on top of the product, which is what, what our customers see.
But like inherently, if we didn't have data, we don't have, we don't have a product. So Strava is like that all the activities that are athletes on our platform record, each of them is generating tons of data. Like if I go for a run it knows my exact map location. At any point of time, it knows my heart rate.
It knows like every piece of tiny bit of data that my whatever tracking devices is using, like it stores that and then for our athletes, there's a lot of different things that they can, they can use it for their own performance improvement for their own sort of experience and things like that.
So for me my team at Strava is basically the data organization, which is all the analysts and the machine learning engineers. And, yeah, I mean, I love the output that the team has. Like we are supporting the company to make better decisions by learning from our athletes and also in including optimizations in our product that are data driven.
So learning from product usage, learning from the voice of our customers, learning from our marketing efforts and all of those type of things. It's an exciting world to build because I also just, I think Strava as a product is a product that is very close to human behavior. Like I think I inherently feel that everybody has some wish to move , you know, some, some people have it more than others, but movement is a very important part of people's life.
And I think just understanding that as a behavior is also just very, very fascinating work for me.
[01:04:34] Ken: That's amazing. Are there any insights about, you know, human behavior athletes in general or movement that you, you can share publicly? That might be just like some fun facts that you've run across.
[01:04:48] Shailvi: Yeah, I guess you know mentally quickly sifting through the list of what we've already disclosed publicly. We do have a urine sport report that we publish every year and that yeah, it's a pretty cool, like you can find it online and we publish that at the end of the year.
And it's pretty interesting because it shows, again, those sort of patterns of sport across the world. So we have it as a globalist and, you know, we'll call out some things there about like how do you know, how do the stats vary for men and women, or how do the stats vary for someone in the U.S. versus someone in Japan or something like that?
And I think one of the very interesting things that I remember was changing habits. Part of as like, almost from a perspective of climate change, like what, what happens when the conditions are actually hotter outside and we did see, we did see that there was, there was differences in how willing people were to participate in a sport outdoors versus indoors as the temperature in their city was very high.
So we did actually map those out and I find it super fascinating because it's something that directly also, like, I care a lot about like the topic of climate change and what, what we can do for it. And, you know, we can, we can see those patterns of how it even affects something basic, like people exercising cause ex exercising is not, it's not just for some people may do it for performance.
Some people may do it because it's fun and they do it with their friends. For some people it's a fitness. It's like, it's a requirement. It's a health requirement. Like, you know, you and I may have a doctor who tells us, like, you need to do this. Otherwise you're not gonna be healthy. So intersecting that with climate and like all of that, like it's super fascinating cuz I feel we have one more opportunity to prove to the world that climate stuff is important. It has consequences to people in a very daily way. And not just sort of the one offs of like, Oh, there's a heat wave or there's a hurricane.
[01:06:56] Ken: Yeah. I mean, to be honest, I think that that's what data science is all about, right. What you just described there of combining two, you seemingly different datasets right. To come to a very elegant insight. You know, that's one of the reasons why I do this is like, how does this. This thing that I care about, how is it impacted by this other thing that I have access to in terms of data and knowledge and how do I make better things out of the world or out of my domain or out my community with what I have access to and what I can see.
And so that to me is such a cool story that you can tell with, with a relatively, I wouldn't say finite amount of data, but with, outside in a domain that is different than what people would expect. Yeah. I'm gonna make sure I record include that year in sport report in the description as well.
I think that would be really cool. And amazing. So, Shailvi, this was incredible. I really enjoyed speaking with you. How can people learn more about you? How can people potentially get in contact with you? If that's something you're open to please, please let me know and I'll make sure to share those resources as.
[01:08:06] Shailvi: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me on the podcast. Like I really enjoyed the conversation as well. It just flows and I I've loved listening to the podcast, other episodes too, so I appreciate you including more people in it. So yeah, my website is just my first name, shailvi.com.
So that's easy, easy enough to find. And I do have office hours listed. There's a contact me section where I host hours on a regular cadence and you know, some of them are free office hours. So it just first come - first served. I am very open to people just reaching out and setting up time with me to chat.
I do a lot of mentoring, like I think in 2020, I mentored more than 200 people. So that's something that I really care very passionately about. And so people come to me with all kinds of very interesting topics. And also later this year, I am releasing a book on self-advocacy. So there's a slot on my website where people can sign up if they'd like to kind of learn more about it. And yeah, most of my talks and things like that are listed on my website as well.
[01:09:12] Ken: Well, I would love a signed copy of your book if you willing to part with one.
[01:09:15] Shailvi: Absolutely. Absolutely.
[01:09:17] Ken: Amazing. Shailvi, thank you again so much. Again, I really enjoyed this conversation. I think there's tremendous value across all the areas that we covered.
[01:09:25] Shailvi: Awesome. Thank you so much, Ken. This was super fun.