Sometimes we forget the humans behind the tech in our ever busy world. DSF is fortunate enough to know some incredible tech leaders across the world and has the privilege of hearing them present at our events. That being said, our Speaker Spotlight sets the stage to get to know our speakers on a more personal level and connect them with our growing community. Read the mini interview below!

A bit about Sid:

  • Hello, I’m Sid Agarwal, currently leading Developer Communities for APAC at Neo4j. Formerly, I pioneered India’s first fintech community as the ‘Developer Relations Lead’ at Open Financial Technologies. Prior to that, I spearheaded community efforts as a Program Manager with Google’s Developer Relations team in India, overseeing programs like Developer Student Clubs, TensorFlow User Groups, Google Developer Groups, and Google Developer Experts. In 2019, I collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, to launch ‘Build for Digital India,’ engaging 7,000+ students in solving India’s challenges.
  • I’m passionate about design thinking and enjoy mentoring startups to enhance their UX and designs. Recognized as one of ACM’s Distinguished Speakers, my career of roughly a decade is dedicated to building, scaling, and growing communities in India, launching ed-tech initiatives, fostering design innovation, and contributing to the startup ecosystem.
  • In 2021, I was nominated as a finalist for the CMX Community Industry Awards for my role in community building. As an avid public speaker, I’ve shared insights at over 1,000 national and international forums, reaching 300K+ individuals.

For more about me, feel free to explore my LinkedIn Profile.

How did you start out in your tech career?

I started my career with a passion for technology and community building. I was fortunate to join the Google Developer Relations team, where I had the opportunity to lead and contribute to various developer programs. Also, thanks to Beahead who gave me the opportunity to switch from being a “developer” to “developer relations person”. Both the experiences combined ignited my enthusiasm for nurturing tech communities and fostering innovation. From there, I continued to build on my expertise and eventually found my current role as the leader of Developer Communities for APAC at Neo4j.

What are the signs of success in your field?

Success in my field is marked by several key indicators. First and foremost, it’s the ability to foster thriving, engaged, and collaborative developer communities. Measuring the impact of the programs I lead and the positive influence they have on the tech ecosystem is another vital sign of success. Additionally, being recognized as a thought leader and influencer in the tech space, and having the privilege to share insights and speak at renowned events, are significant markers of success.

What is the best and worst thing about your job role?

The best part of my job role is the opportunity to work with incredible tech enthusiasts, startups, and young minds, helping them innovate and grow. The worst part, on the other hand, can be the demand for constant energy and time to manage multiple responsibilities. Striking a balance between work and personal life can sometimes be challenging.

What can you advise someone just starting out to be successful?

For those starting out in tech, my advice would be to stay curious, keep learning, and embrace the power of networking. Be open to trying new things, take calculated risks, and be persistent. Building a personal brand through content creation and active participation in the tech community can also set you apart. Most importantly, remember that success often comes through failure and learning from your mistakes.

How do you switch off?

To switch off, I enjoy a combination of activities like traveling (preferably to remote places with no internet or less internet bandwidth), spending time with family, and engaging in creative hobbies. Playing board games like Sequence also help me relax and clear my mind.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would advise my younger self to worry less about making mistakes and to embrace failures as opportunities for growth. Trust the journey, keep nurturing your passions, and always stay open to new experiences.

What is next for you?

Career-wise, I aim to continue expanding my influence in the tech community and exploring new opportunities to make a positive impact. Personally, I’m committed to personal growth, wellness, and supporting causes that matter to me. I’m excited about the journey ahead and look forward to the new challenges and experiences it will bring.

If you could do another job now, what would you do? Why?

If I could do anything, I would further bridge the gap between technology and social impact. I believe in the transformative power of tech to solve real-world problems. Combining my passion for technology with my desire to make a meaningful difference would be incredibly fulfilling.

What are your top 5 predictions in tech for the next 5 years?

  • AI Advancements: Artificial intelligence will continue to advance, leading to more sophisticated applications, from autonomous vehicles and smart homes to healthcare diagnostics and personalized marketing.
  • Graph Technology Evolution: Graph databases and technology will play a pivotal role in data analysis, offering more intuitive ways to understand and query complex relationships, benefiting areas like social networks, recommendation systems, and fraud detection.
  • Quantum Computing Progress: Quantum computing will make significant strides, revolutionizing fields like cryptography, materials science, and optimization problems with unprecedented processing power.
  • Sustainable Tech Innovations: The pursuit of sustainable and green technology solutions will accelerate, with developments in renewable energy, eco-friendly transportation, and waste reduction reshaping our approach to environmental challenges.
  • Healthtech Transformation: Healthcare will undergo a profound transformation, with telemedicine, personalized medicine, and wearable health devices becoming mainstream, enhancing patient care and enabling proactive health management.

These predictions reflect key areas of technological advancement and innovation that are likely to shape the coming decade and especially in India.

Watch Siddhant’s session at the Data Science Festival here. 

Thank you to all our wonderful speakers for taking part in our Speaker Spotlight!

Want to become a DSF Speaker? Apply here!