We are Symphony: A conversation with Vibha Chourey

Suddhaloke Choudhury
Global Content and Social Media Manager
Rakuten Symphony
July 14, 2022
minute read

A passionate stage performer and a ‘Garba’ dance enthusiast, Vibha Chourey currently works as an UI Tech Lead at Rakuten Symphony in Indore, India. We caught up with her to learn more about her career journey, what drives her to succeed and her ambitious goals for the future. 

Tell us a little bit about your journey before Rakuten Symphony.

I grew up in a small town “Khandwa” in Madhya Pradesh, India.  I remember taking “Informatics Practices” as an extra subject in high school where we had to make a small project on Visual Basics. It was at that time that I realized I liked programming and so I decided to study Computer Science Engineering after school. 

At the age of 19, I left home to pursue engineering and after graduating, moved to Indore where I joined Innoeye Software Technologies (which has since joined the Rakuten Symphony family) as a software developer. During my tenure, I worked on various projects for big telecom vendors including Reliance Jio & Telstra and gained some insights into the telecom industry. 

My biggest learning from Innoeye was actually words of advice from my mentor there, “Never run behind money, just focus on your learnings and everything else will follow.”

How would you describe your current role and responsibilities?

Currently at Rakuten Symphony, I am working as a UI Tech lead for one of the Symworld applications designed to help Rakuten’s customer care team maximize automation and customer satisfaction.

Since Symworld has many apps, keeping consistency among the applications is a very big challenge. A lot of my work involves constantly touching base with other application owners to keep the app consistent and up to mark.  

Reviewing the codebase and giving constructive feedback to team members are some of my weekly tasks. I also plan timely upgrades for front-end technology and make sure nothing breaks, all of this while building a strong team of talented and eager individuals. 

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

What part of the organization you are in or the industry you are a part of excites you? 

There are not many organizations who have achieved a micro front-end architecture for UI. I am proud to say that we have done it and our apps are being used live already. Working with the latest technologies to build the one-of-a-kind marketplace for the telecom industry keeps me motivated and super exited. 

When it comes to Rakuten, it is not only about the technology, but also about the vision and mission we have, of connecting and empowering people, and that motivates me.

"I keep asking myself all the time if I am learning something new daily. If you are the same as you were two, three months ago or a year ago, then you are not learning, you are not improving." 

What does a day in the life of Vibha look like?

My workday consists of discussions with different Module leads, Design Team, BA’s and QA’s as well as decision making for UI architecture to be followed for multiple requirements. 

Other than that, I also have internal discussions with my team for planning and distribution of tasks, code review and more. I feel blessed to have the best team, with all of us remaining positive and working together, especially during difficult days.

Do you have any personal mantra or quote which keeps you going?

"Always be a better version of yourself everyday."

I keep asking myself all the time if I am learning something new daily. If you are the same as you were two, three months ago or a year ago, then you are not learning, you are not improving.  

One more popular saying that I personally abide by is: "Either you can find an excuse or you can find a way’."

Making excuses is the worst thing one can do and so I always try to focus on getting on with it and finding a solution.

What are your hobbies outside work? Are there some books, shows or podcasts you are currently enjoying? 

Well, I have multiple hobbies but not enough time. Back in my college days, I won multiple competitions as a stage performer: singing, dancing and playing the guitar. 

My favorite festival of Navratri has 9 days of non-stop dancing. Participating in “garba” events gives me great joy, even though it comes at the expense of some very bruised feet.

Recently I picked up gardening as a hobby as well. I am associated with a group where we exchange plants with each other. My balcony at home now contains a small garden where I spend my weekends, unwinding over cups of tea.

I recently finished reading Sudha Murty’s ‘Three thousand Stiches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives’. It shows how a single act of kindness can mean the world to someone. Even though the author is a multi-millionaire, her simple lifestyle and extremely evolved perspective of life inspired me. 

I like watching Sci-Fi movies like Marvel Movies, Inception, etc. I love how they show the next level of technology. Also, I like web series' that represent women as strong individuals like ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’, ‘Emily in Paris’ and ‘Maid’. I am currently watching ‘Manifest’, a supernatural drama series about the life of passengers and crew of a flight that goes missing and lands after 5 years!

Any personal/professional goals you have set yourself for the near future? 

I always adored kathak dancers because of the grace and expressions they display together while dancing. So personally, I would like to start taking kathak dance classes. I also plan on restarting guitar lessons since it has been a while since I last played. 

Workwise, my focus is to improve the application user experience, making it faster and easier to use. Also, I want to learn UI frameworks other than Angular, like React JS and Python and use those skills to innovate and improve on my current projects.

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