"Raven puts in a lot of effort so that every developer knows how an end customer would feel [using the technology], or what they would want to do with it or in what ways it can be most useful for them."— Raj Mukka, Senior Software Engineer
Raj came into the world of engineering with a background in computer engineering and a focus on embedded software development. He says that his path into autonomous technology is a childhood dream realized.
"My father has been in agriculture since I was little. He's still a farmer in India with around eight hectares [approx. 20 acres] of land with a mango farm and other crops. In India, we don't have a lot of automation or machinery in agriculture and there's also a growing need for labor," said Raj as he elaborated what motivates his interests in autonomous technology. "My goal in the next 5-10 years is to get some of this [technology] to India, so I can help my village and people around it grow sustainably with autonomous technology and less pesticides."
For this senior software engineer, it's been a conscious journey in learning everything farmers in the US are putting to use and taking advantage of. Raj started at Raven in late spring of 2021 after three years with another leading equipment manufacturing company.
"I love the way Raven has been working on autonomous technology. There are so many companies in the world that are trying to make autonomous-everything but trying to do it alone. Raven, on the other hand, is approaching it strategically with acquisitions and mergers," he said. This move has allowed Raven to expand the space for innovation for its end-users, as well as for people like Raj who are coding and developing technology. "We can make things work in a way where users get the most use out of it."
The debugging environment at Raven with technology like Slingshot® has been one Raj has really appreciated as a developer.
"Not every company sets up a debugging tool because they feel like it's a waste of time or that they could spend time adding new features instead," he said.
By using Slingshot®, developers can connect to users' equipment across the US and remotely assist them in fixing issues on the field. It's also a way developers and engineers work directly with end users of Raven technology. Raj recently put this to use when he was creating a feature he called "calibration feedback for autonomous drive" for Raven Applied Technology.