No matter what else she does in her day, Judy Piper is, first and foremost, a people manager. Her role as a senior engineering manager in the Enterprise business unit is all about empowering others, and her curiosity and fearlessness help her succeed. Judy recently answered a few questions about her cool new project, her advice to others and her favorite extreme sport.
How did you come to join Akamai?
I was working for IBM when Akamai contacted me through LinkedIn. I watched Tom Leighton's video on how the company got started and he explained how the Akamai mapping system worked. I was completely inspired by it.
Tell us about your role as a senior engineering manager in the Enterprise & Carrier division. What are you working on?
As a senior engineering manager in the Enterprise business unit, I wear many hats. As SRIP Network business owner, I lead engineering teams to develop and support the Akamai Intelligent Platform, "SureRoute IP (SRIP)," which improves performance of applications and networks by addressing problems starting at the TCP/IP layer, enabling Akamai Cloud Networking Solutions for Enterprise.
As a product engineering lead, I'm directly accountable for delivery of Cloud Networking engineering commitments that support "optimized transport capabilities," ensuring end-to-end reliability and performance for IP-VPNs and cloud SaaS applications for enterprise, over the SRIP network.
My team recently started on a very cool project to improve performance by mitigating loss on the last mile and I'm quite excited about it.
But ultimately, I'm a people manager. The most important part of my responsibilities is to empower everyone on my team to reach their potential while keeping them focused on high-priority deliverables for the business unit.
What is one of your favorite experiences at Akamai?
I'm passionate about workplace diversity. Having been fortunate enough to have so many wonderful mentors who invested in my career development and supported me, I look for opportunities to pay it forward, providing mentorship and leading participation in various women in computing events such as the Grace Hopper Conference. Last year, I helped Akamai increase its presence in GHC and we sent 27 people and had a career booth and a mixer party. I met and made meaningful connections with so many talented Akamai women.
What are you favorite three things to do in your free time?
Cuddling with my son while watching a movie. Indoor rock climbing. I am at V3/5.10b. I want to finish one V4 this year. Hanging out with my friends over good food and wine.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you use it?
What has been the key to your success?
I didn't realize that I was successful. I wish it was my good looks, but I know that's not it. I'd like to think that I'm a genuine, curious and fearless soul who tends to go for a challenge. My friend told me to "be your amazing, awesome self, Judy!" I try to tell myself that when I'm feeling down or I need courage to do something.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out at Akamai, what would it be?
Be patient with yourself. It's a great place to learn, so take advantage of it. Find mentors.
What's your favorite app?
Pandora, since I can't admit that I use Facebook all the time.
What's the last show or movie you streamed?
John Oliver's show.
If Akamai was an animal, what animal would it be and why?
Bull. It's smart, honest, strong, focused and determined.
What is your favorite part of working at Akamai?
Attending Akamai's internal Tech Summit last year was awesome. I hope I get to go again.