In our new blog series, Meet Castlight Tech, we’re featuring some of the brilliant minds on our R&D and Engineering team. In this Q&A, we learn more about Sumit Sirwani, a principal engineer at Castlight.
Describe your position at Castlight.
In my role as a principal engineer on the quality engineering team, I manage customer-focused deliverables and data management. This includes leading a team of 10 engineers to provide all of our members with a high-value, personalized app experience driven by rich data quality.
In addition, during the fourth quarter of each year, I lead PYRO (plan year rollover) for our book of business to ensure there’s a smooth transition of data and customization into the next year. Often, I act as a bridge between my customer-facing colleagues and Castlight’s R&D teams to facilitate important milestones such as customer previews and user acceptance testing, in addition to driving internal customer-focused testing.
I love working with customers, and that’s probably because I come from a family that owns a business. I was taught how to understand and address customer needs before I even started high school!
What led to your decision to join Castlight?
I am a data enthusiast. Before Castlight, all my experience was in the finance and entertainment industries, working with backend data, various data models, and data pipelines. While I wanted to stick with data, I also wanted to explore and learn about a new industry, and I’d always found digital health very fascinating.
Some of my old project buddies worked at Castlight, and when I learned about the company’s mission, it immediately resonated with recent healthcare experiences my friends and I had faced. I realized that Castlight would not only provide me with the opportunity to learn about a new area, but it would also allow me to positively contribute toward simplifying the healthcare experience for so many people.
When I got the offer, I was very glad and excited to accept it. And I was so surprised with the welcome I received from everyone on the Engineering team. Within the first few weeks, I became part of the family and felt like I’d been working with this wonderful team for a long time.
What’s your favorite part about being an engineer at Castlight?
The people and the culture. I really like how Castlight has preserved its culture over the years, providing flexibility to employees and trusting them. Castlight has provided such a nurturing work environment. Everyone here is easy to reach, people don’t hesitate to raise and discuss challenges, and our social and training events continue to bring team members closer.
So far, what’s your favorite project you’ve worked on at Castlight?
During my seven-plus years at Castlight, I’ve worked on many products and touched every feature of every product offering. I have also worked in many different roles, from a quality engineer to an engineering lead who drives deliveries and project management.
But if I have to pick one project, I am really fond of the Castlight Complete product. Leadership recognized my contributions to its predecessor and gave me the opportunity to lead both the product and customer Complete implementations from a quality standpoint.
Not only is it a great product, but the experience working on it helped me unlock many skills, including project management, effective collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, and understanding the ins and outs of our systems. The knowledge I gained and the skills I honed continue to help me with what I do now and will stick with me throughout the rest of my career.
What do you like most about working in digital health?
Working in digital health is very fulfilling, as you can relate to the health challenges others are dealing with, since you’ve probably faced similar scenarios caring for your own or loved ones’ needs. It feels great when you read member reviews about Castlight’s solution or see how much Castlight’s COVID-19 Test Site Finder helped people throughout the pandemic.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
There are quite a few things that interest me outside of work, and photography is one of them. I am an amateur landscape photographer and have won a few photography contests.
I also love hiking, as it allows me to be out in nature and explore. Yosemite National Park is my favorite place to go. I find it more beautiful every time I visit.
I enjoy good music and often sing and dance to the tunes—and it’s even more fun to do when I’m cooking! It’s an unusual combo, I know, but I use it as a stress buster. I have invented a few delicious healthy recipes like the Bombay-style Avocado Sandwich and Indian-style Curry Pizza.
The latest and most important addition to my list is being a good, fun dad to my toddler. I love everything I do with him, including just watching him grow. I have never experienced such a pure form of happiness in anything before.