Name: Neha V.
Position: Senior Software Engineer
Dream destination: Bora Bora
Drink or treat of choice: Kulfi, a frozen dessert made from dairy
For many in the tech field, seeing your impact is the ultimate motivation, and understandably so. The work requires expertise, precision and can be tedious — the smallest detail can have a wide-sweeping effect. So, being able to witness first-hand exactly how that hard work reverberates around the world is quite an experience.
Just take it from Neha.
As a Senior Software Engineer on Marriott’s Global Technology team, Neha’s purview is anything but small — generally speaking, in her role on the team she guides the technical direction of projects, influences change, adopts industry technologies for implementation, coordinates with cross-functional teams, and (last but certainly not least) ensures that the execution of program initiatives will successfully impact Marriott’s guests and associates.
To give a rough idea of numbers — Marriott has more than 160 million Bonvoy members worldwide and employs more than 350,000 associates across the globe, and that number doesn’t even account for contractors and vendors who regularly use Marriott systems. That means that people in the Global tech department, like Neha, can impact millions of people on a daily basis with their work.
Neha got the opportunity to actually see her work in action during a recent hotel stay in Thailand, as she watched the housekeeping team successfully conduct their work for the day.
“Having dedicated considerable time to the housekeeping module of Marriott’s property management system, I was deeply intrigued by observing its practical implementation,” says Neha. “Witnessing firsthand how hotel associates seamlessly integrate it into their daily operations and how the automation in Housekeeping significantly enhances their efficiency left me truly impressed.”
Neha joined Marriott recently in 2022. Prior to officially becoming an associate, she worked with Marriott for 11 years as a contractor, so she was excited by this opportunity to join the team and blend hospitality and technology.
“Marriott is known for its innovation in guest experiences,” says Neha. “Being part of its technical team would allow me to contribute to enhancing these experiences through cutting-edge technology solutions.”
Contribute, indeed. As one example, this year the Global Tech organization introduced its Innovation Series, a series of events designed to challenge associates to think out of the box and outside of their everyday responsibilities about how their organization can improve the customer experience for both internal and external customers. The first in the series: Codefest, which took place in May and, as Neha describes it, was “two days of non-stop ideation, coding, and enhancement.” Neha took home the title of champion.
In addition to being a “proud winner,” Neha was also touched by how Codefest instilled a sense of community.
“It provided us with an invaluable opportunity to interact with various leaders, and witnessing their seamless efforts to ensure the event’s success was truly inspiring,” says Neha.
“My journey with Marriott has been incredibly rewarding, offering me the chance to grow both technically and as a leader within the company.”
Learn more from Neha’s career as a Marriott software engineer inside the Global Technology department, below.
What was your Marriott interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
The interview process at Marriott for my role was rigorous but insightful. It started with an initial phone screening by a recruiter, followed by a technical and behavioral STAR interview. A key tip for candidates aiming for a role like mine is to showcase both technical skills and cultural fit. Marriott values candidates who not only have a strong technical background but also demonstrate a collaborative mindset and a passion for problem-solving.
How has Marriott supported your growth and given you the opportunity to try new things?
Marriott’s commitment to nurturing talent and encouraging innovation has provided me with numerous avenues to grow and explore new horizons. One remarkable instance where I could actively participate in the Tech innovation series (Codefest).
This Codefest was focused on AI tools that were completely outside of the technical stack used in my current project. I was part of AI WonderWomen Team, which won the competition with a product that improves the guest experience. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering help and support of my manager, who also happens to be my partner in the AI WonderWomen team. This is just one example of how Marriott empowers its employees to embrace innovation, fostering a culture of growth and continuous learning.
What have been the 3 biggest learnings you’ve picked up from your time here?
- Collaboration and Teamwork: Working at Marriott has taught me the immense value of collaboration and teamwork. One such complex and dynamic project was the Starwood-Marriott integration, which required the expertise and efforts of diverse individuals. Through cross-functional teams and collaborative projects, I’ve learned how to leverage the strengths of different team members to achieve shared goals.
- Agility and Adaptability: The technology landscape is constantly evolving, and Marriott has shown me the importance of being agile and adaptable.
- Customer-Centric Approach: Marriott places a strong emphasis on understanding and meeting the needs of customers. This has led me to adopt a customer-centric mindset in my work. Whether I’m developing new features or troubleshooting issues, I always consider how the end users will be impacted.
What’s one large-scale project have you worked on for Marriott?
I actively participated in the Starwood-Marriott Integration initiative, which entailed the seamless integration of numerous hotels. Commencing with the initial stages of requirement gathering, this three-year journey was characterized by in-depth discussions, iterative development, rigorous testing, meticulous deployment planning and support. Spanning various geographical locations, this endeavor brought together diverse teams and exemplified collaboration at its finest.
What’s one thing Marriott is doing to redefine tech in the travel industry?
Marriott is leveraging cutting edge technology to develop the TIP OS, a revolutionary innovation poised to reshape the landscape of the travel industry.
How would you describe Marriott’s culture?
At Marriott, we function as a close-knit family. Our culture is marked by a robust commitment to hospitality, excellence, and inclusiveness. Anchored in fundamental values, our approach places people at the forefront and celebrates diversity. The company fosters a collaborative and supportive environment where employees are encouraged to innovate and contribute their unique perspectives while respecting differences.
Describe a moment you felt supported at Marriott.
There are numerous instances where I feel supported at Marriott. Whether it is about achieving critical milestones, solving technical problems, or innovating new products, we work as a team to come up with wonderful results.
Early on in my career as a contractor with Marriott, one of Marriott’s leaders contributed to my growth by proposing me as a tech lead of a large project. This enabled me to work with a cross-functional team and gave me visibility and the capacity to influence key technical decisions.