My journey to staring a "Software Development Company" at age 50+

My journey started off as a mechanical engineer where I was in charge of automating the manufacturing line for a Naval products company that built Sonar Buoys. Trust me, back in the 80s (at age 22), this was quite an emotional roller coaster for me as I was the only women in the manufacturing engineering department, but I learned how to deal with the almost 100% white male colleagues. It was an adjustment for the male colleagues as well, as they had never worked with a young women engineer. After about 3 years, I moved to the semiconductor industry where wore many hats. I worked as a manufacturing engineer, business development/marketing manager, project manager and finally as product line manager. I then took a brief break to spend time with my little ones and dabbled in some non-tech ventures where my kids could tag along with me. I owned an antique retail store, became certified yoga teacher (conducted kid’s yoga camps) as well as owned a math/reading tutoring center. Once my kids were grown, I realized I missed the tech sector, so I went back to working for a major semiconductor company as a project manager; managing software developers for a WIFI product. In addition to the full-time employees that were working on this WIFI project, we also had a requirement for some part-time software contractors. At that time, I had a friend who had recently gotten divorced, single mom who was looking for a part time coding job. So, she and I started our software outsource company. It was just the two of us, my friend being the coder and me doing everything else. I left the semiconductor company I was working for to devote more time to my start up. We started off with just this one customer and then I started getting other customers by word of mouth. My company has grown from two women to around 15 developers now. I moved all of my development to India as it was cheaper but all the PM and communications is conducted from the USA. I mainly work with startups in helping them with product scoping, MVPs, architecture design, software contract to hire.

I enjoy what I do as I have a lot of flexibility in terms of time and where I work from. I need this flexibility as my parents are aging and need to take care of them. I also have an excellent, reliable CTO who does all the managing of the developers so I don’t need to spend my time worrying about this part of the company.

If you have any questions about software development, outsourcing, or anything else, please ask.

Well done, Chitra! This is inspiring.
Congratulations! Your journey is inspiring and shows you can take detours to get to your goal.