I wanted to dance. Kathak Indian classical style, to be precise. This was my childhood dream,
initial college major, and life goal. Growing up, I won numerous awards at state, national, and
international levels in this art form.
But what if I broke a leg? Or became disabled and somehow lost the ability to dance? This was
how I started studying computers, as a Plan B. Our CEO Josh Schein cites my early proclivity
for diversification as evidence of aptitude for Wall Street, although this is coming from someone
who views having multiple children instead of one in a similar vein. I’m not sure I’m ready for
that!
My capstone college undergraduate project was a software effort involving Kathak rhythms.
Unlike the musical beats familiar in the West (e.g., 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4), Indian rhythms might
involve a sitar player on a 7 ½ beat accompanied by a tabla drummer joining later on, e.g., an 11
½ beat. Both players need to catch one another’s cadences, and getting it right brings immense
satisfaction for players and audience alike. A delightful tension exists, because the music is all
improv, and even professionals can get it wrong in live concerts.
My capstone coding project needed to also get it right, and well, let’s call my efforts a learning
experience! It deepened interest in computers, however, pursuant to which I took an R&D role in
a startup in India after college and learned every aspect of project management involving the
integration of hardware and software. I followed this with a master’s degree in electrical and
computer engineering from State University of New York, New Paltz, subsequently becoming a
software engineer at the Federal National Mortgage Association (‘Fannie Mae’).
I joined Fannie Mae in Plano, TX, on a high-intensity AWS migration project but was quickly
promoted to lead website development in Washington DC for Fannie Mae’s family informational
outreach efforts. I learned much about procedure and quality control but missed being part of a
high-growth cutting-edge team, so when Global Key recruited me in furtherance of its efforts to
systematically track ‘smart money,’ I was ready.
Global Key’s reliance on internal research means that its findings have had to be coded into a
functional and robust analytical and portfolio management program from scratch. Our CEO likes
to joke that the firm’s initial software efforts involved configuring a 1978 Chevrolet station
wagon for lunar flight: every part made a noise, except the horn! With Mars next, my job has
been to make sure we can get there. I don’t set the itinerary. I am not a licensed financed advisor,
and I have by no means made a career of studying markets and investing. Building data engines
that will hopefully do the job, however, is my central role.
Our new database building effort must accomplish three goals, the first being that it needs to
function as a research repository. One downside of graduate student interns is that when Global

Key goes back to restudy a quantitative problem, nobody wants to work with a predecessor’s
code, requiring us to spend valuable time retooling everything from scratch. I am designing the
database to better hold our accumulated knowledge in one place so that we can move forward
more rapidly when building upon projects. Global Key’s current database mostly hasn’t done
this.
Our second database goal is to track holdings from the standpoint of what is in each portfolio,
what we might want to acquire, and what we would exit to make room for something new. The
current database has this functionality, including considerations around weightings and balance,
but Global Key’s evolving research continually gives rise to new screening prioritizations, all of
which now need to be programmed into an updated database configuration.
Finally, the database needs to be a visual communications tool. How do we make decisions, and
how can show that to an insider prospective client who is unfamiliar with our processes? Not all
signals we track are equally important, but how can we convey that in an interesting and
engaging manner? My favorite part of this has been diving into our research and figuring out
how to bring it all to life in code.
Mars beckons … it’s time to start our engines!