A Look Inside The Solution Engineering Team At Appian
Want to know what it’s like to work on the Solution Engineering team at Appian? We asked Principal Solution Engineer, Gina Patel to share her insights about the work, the culture, and why Appian was the perfect place to start her post graduate career in Solution Engineering.
Meet Gina Patel, Principal Solution Engineer
- Joined Appian in 2019
Why I joined the Appian Solution Engineering team
Whenever I'm asked about why I chose Appian, I always respond with three reasons -- the culture, the grind, and the opportunity for growth. At Appian, every single individual I've met has a great combination of incredible social skills and intelligence. I enjoy the grind because I'm highly motivated by knowing that the work I do has an impact. And lastly, the opportunity for growth here has been unlike any other company. I started as an Associate Solution Engineer after college in June 2019, and today I am a Principal Solution Engineer. In my opinion, Solution Engineering at Appian was the perfect place for a recent graduate like myself to dive deep and discover more about my passions within the world of tech.
Career Growth within Solution Engineering
In Solution Engineering, while your day to day will mostly consist of solving support cases, there is a lot of opportunity to use your time in ways that will benefit you and the team as a whole. The Appian platform is constantly changing, so there are always opportunities to work on something that is new.
An example of where we saw exciting new development during the pandemic was with the Appian Workforce Safety application. Appian created an application that allows companies and colleges to have their users complete a daily check-in form to state if they’re facing any symptoms or had exposure to Covid-19, and assists with contact tracing.
The development of this application opened a new opportunity within several teams at Appian to focus on this subject area where our customers were growing at a rapid rate. It was untouched. No one from the support team knew what it consisted of. I decided to get my hands on it and became the point of contact for every customer who deploys this application to support any issues associated with them, and then was provided with the opportunity to present at the CIO All Hands about it, only a year after joining Appian.
When I first joined Appian, my team noticed there was an opportunity to improve the process for sharing internal announcements. Being on a product support team, it is critical to always be in the know about high impact bugs or the latest policy changes. However, the process at the time produced no real way to track who was reviewing and responding to every potential announcement.
Three Associate Solution Engineers on the team, including myself, built an internal dashboard for any new announcements to be posted. This made it easy to track who read which announcements and allowed for any clarification or updates to be posted in one centralized place.
This ensured that if there was known information about a bug, engineers weren’t missing any important information because they had the Announcement Dashboard as home base.
I like to share this project because at the time we were new hires only 9 months in, and got the opportunity to improve the way we work on our own Appian platform.
A Typical Day in the Life
You will play many different roles as a Solution Engineer, all critical to the customer experience. One of the main roles is to investigate and troubleshoot customer issues - which is fun, it’s like solving technical puzzles throughout the week. As the main point of contact for customers within Appian Support, you will work to investigate why reported issues are occurring, look at past cases or product bugs to see if this is expected, and try to reproduce the same issue on your end. You will write knowledge sharing articles in order to ensure that the next customer or engineer who sees this issue doesn’t need to spend as much time running through the same troubleshooting steps as you. They can just see how you resolved it and be able to come to a quicker solution.
You will also ensure Appian Cloud customer sites are healthy by using our alert monitoring system. You will configure Appian Cloud capabilities - such as VPN, DNS, IP allow listing, and report enhancement requests to the product team to ensure that we are always building software based on customer want and need.
Challenges Along the Way
The most challenging part about our work is that every support case a customer creates is different, and it can be intimidating at first to be presented with a new issue you've never seen before. However, the training you receive as new hires and the troubleshooting practices in place make the work way less intimidating over time.
Working to Impact
The Solution Engineering team is the first encounter a customer has when they face any issues using Appian. It's important to make a helpful first impression while managing customer expectations in order to ensure that customer satisfaction is guaranteed. I'm highly motivated by knowing that the work I do has an impact on the customer’s overall experience with the Appian platform.
Why you Should Join the Solution Engineering Team
We’re growing! If you want to work on a high impact team with massive opportunity for career growth, Solution Engineering at Appian is the place for you. With a culture that expands far outside of the engineering department, Appian is committed to setting you up for both professional and personal success after graduation.
Read more stories about working at Appian on our Engineering and Product team Careers blog.