Hitting the right notes


As a senior software engineer at Grab Anurag Saikia relishes the freedom that he enjoys to find his own solutions. Here he explains why the freedom to be creative is the reason he finds life so enjoyable at Grab.


I think life’s all about finding moments of creativity wherever you can. That, to me, is one of the best things about working at Grab – you can find those opportunities. I think most people who aren’t involved in the industry see the role of Software Engineer as being nerdy and analytical. At Grab, engineering is both as innovative and creative as you want it to be.

Part of that, I think, is because of the level of ownership that you have of your job. There’s no micromanagement – you’re free to explore solutions whatever way you see fit, and you have ownership from inception to delivery. That goes hand-in-hand with the total willingness to embrace new technology. So if you want to use some new technology, you’re free to, as long as it achieves the required results. You could say that the Grab way is that there is no fixed way! It means that you’re constantly learning and constantly growing which is what makes the work so rewarding.


That freedom extends into managing your own time as well. Everybody understands that time away from work is vital, for your own well-being but also for your ability to focus at work when you need to. I love playing tennis, and I looked into booking some court time but the only time I could get was 4:30pm on a Thursday. I discussed with my manager and we mutually agreed that I’d start my day early on Thursdays so that I can make it to the court on time. I wasn’t afraid to ask for this, at the risk of coming across as slacking at work.

That said, the best thing about Grab is the freedom to be creative. I find it in other aspects of my life as well. I’m a musician, I’ve been playing the harmonium since I was four and over lockdown a friend and I layed down some tracks and released them. It’s a bit of fun more than anything, but it gives me a chance to clear my head and be energised for work. It might sound odd, but I see a lot of parallels between making music and my work at Grab. In both of them you start with an end goal in mind – a finished song, a solution to an issue. You have tools at your disposal to make it happen – instruments, software, but the thing that really brings it to life is not the tools, it’s that little moment of inspiration, it’s finding the key to unlock it, the little bit of creative magic.

And when it all comes together at Grab, like a finished song, there’s just no better feeling.