A Leader’s Mind Part 2: Manav Goel, ADoE

An article inspired by Manav's journey where he not only grew as a developer but learnt to take on leadership roles in a new capacity
Siri Kaliparambil
Apr 28

The Early Beginnings

My interest in programming began when I was young and used to tinker on a computer during my childhood. Since then, I've enjoyed thinking about how technology can be used to solve real-world problems. When I was younger and first began coding, I was fascinated by the logic involved as well as the ability to virtually create anything from scratch while programming. Over time, I became increasingly passionate about all things technology; my interest in computers grew beyond their working as I eagerly learned more about coding and how it can be used in the real world. 

There is a feeling of magic when you create something out of nothing and coding is one such field in which we can build what we dream of! It all started when I started learning QBasic during high school and since then the field has grown manifolds and with my infinite learning about various programming languages, I became happily addicted to the field.

As software developers, most of what we do is solve problems! A good developer is someone who sees different challenges every day and finds ways around them either by researching or using the knowledge they have gained to come to a solution and that was what I aimed to be. I also admire my parents for instilling in me their wisdom about life and encouraging me to follow my passion. They brought me up in such a way that we (my siblings and I) always followed our instincts and this played a big role in shaping my career as a developer today!

My Learnings…

I see challenges as milestones in my development journey and I have celebrated many, whether this was getting beyond a block of difficult code or a scenario where I reinforced one of my skills to find a coding solution. I've been told that a developer needs to be a constant learner and experimenting has been an easy way for me to learn my skills. In my early days, I created a transactional messaging interface that taught me what can go wrong when we scale and this has been one of my greatest achievements.

“Don’t focus on getting it right, but on exploring a lot of directions rapidly… and do so with an open mindset towards learning and unlearning new things.”

As a software engineer, I've worn many hats. Mostly, I've brought software products to the market but my greatest accomplishments come in the form of not knowing what is possible and carving a path through the development world. 

As A Leader…

I am passionate about developing and have worked with many high-performing development teams at GeekyAnts. We often spoke about team building and it started with taking the lead in client-facing calls, task breakups, being the front face of a project and making architectural decisions while seeing things from a wider angle. My journey as a leader started as I started doing this for a single project and then moving on to look at things from a broader perspective where I learned from daily events and shaped my people skills accordingly to take on a managerial role.

I was constantly learning as more and more responsibilities came my way and people started looking up to me. I soon found myself accountable for my juniors’ growth as I saw that they would follow in my footsteps. Another important lesson I learned during my journey at GeekyAnts is from the principle of not saying no to any difficult-looking task and I hope to instill it in those I am leading. 

My Leadership Mantra!

Being a leader is different from being an individual developer. It's not just about you anymore; you need to think of your team and the company as a whole. Whatever action you take will reflect on people, so you can't be too hasty and instead have to be selfless with every action that you take. When teams don't meet their targets, it may not be as simple as working harder or finding more time for work to complete the set task. Instead, it can be about rearranging your priorities or responsibilities and aligning them to your new role. 

My Future Aspirations

I grew up in a family where both my parents are from a teaching background. They were mentoring and heading schools and this is where I learned about taking actionable decisions. They taught me the importance of accepting the core problems of a situation and learning from those experiences which has played a huge role in making me the leader that I am.

I look forward to more learning, growth as well as more hurdles that will shape me as a developer in the coming days. I believe that you will be able to excel if you preserve and you have the willingness to learn and you stay in the game and this is what I hope to do going ahead.