From an Intern to a Principal Engineer: Sharukh Mohammed’s story

From an Intern to a Principal Engineer: Sharukh Mohammed’s story

” After quitting my last job and searching for new opportunities, I joined Ninjacart as an intern. Harish, our Engineering Head, asked me to serve as an intern to see how I worked and performed, before placing me into a suitable role. As I came from a startup itself, I was well aware of how the work culture would be at a startup. I interned for two weeks and was immediately converted to a full-time employee as SDE-1 in 2018. It was gratifying to prove my worth in such a short period of time.”

Sharukh Mohammed-Principal Engineer – 1

From starting as an intern to reaching the role of a Principal Engineer, it has been quite a journey.   After a year of working as an SDE-1 in 2018, which involved working on the  ‘Quality check’ project, and the crate wallet project, my managers were happy with me because of the kind of ownership I showed in my tasks. Within a year, in 2019, I was promoted to SDE-II. This phase brought in a lot of learning for me where I started learning about new systems, building solutions, and working with various teams. My involvement majorly lay in FC products like batching, 100% fulfilment, 100% QC and auto-assignment. 

With this, I even worked with our co-founder Thiru on the Farmer app in Aug 2021, where I was liable to enable a product that helped farmers to be more productive and provide more revenues for them to liquidate their assets. Later in the year 2021, I was promoted to the role of SDE-III. I started working on the workflow engine, which is one of the major tools used to make development and business requirements, easier and faster. In this phase, we also worked on starting the microservice architecture, where we started to understand how a large-scale system would work together. 

I was fortunate enough to work closely with the co-founders during the ‘farmer app’ integration. Even though the app didn’t receive the acceptance that we anticipated, the experience gave me an insight into how the co-founders think and how I could integrate their vision into my work every day. And that’s how I got my unexpected career leap in October 2022, which made me a Principal Engineer. 

The promotion has boosted my confidence to a new level. Not only that, but it has also helped me be more consistent than before. As a Principal Engineer, the kind of responsibilities that I have undertaken is different, as it involves more of people management and firm decision making. I believe that the aspect of ownership and responsibility has seen a new turn altogether. “

With time, I have grown up in terms of how I have functioned as a tech guy. My ability to make decisions and to be more headstrong grew with time.  During the phase when I was an SDE 1, I wouldn’t be much involved in the business discussions, but primarily would be working on the requirements as per my manager’s instructions. In the next phase when I moved up as an SDE II & SDE III, my interaction involved a major quotient of working with the business folks, and that’s when I got an even better clarity of the business. Later after this when I stepped in as a Principal Engineer, it involved more important decision-making, managing a team, and driving solutions in accordance with the business teams. Things have been multiplying with time and that is something that keeps me going. 

“Along the journey, one of the things I faced as a challenge would mainly be the business-related issues that have a direct impact. I remember that, as a new joiner, I would be a bit afraid to take up challenges that would come to us from the business front. But with time, I have been able to overcome that. I have learned to tackle challenges in a much better way, most importantly, on an individual note. I have seen myself in the pressure zone and then work forward to take up tasks, level-headed and confident.”

Ninjacart has always been a tech-first company. We have built multiple products that may have tasted both success and failure, but have always made an impact. In terms of adding value, as a Principal Engineer, I plan to perform my stint with much more focus to scale the products that we are building; the products which will impact the progress of the business in the next phase of Ninjacart. Maybe we will lead from the front, providing tech solutions to Ninjacart’s business to the problems they didn’t yet know they had!


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