Meet Arcweb Product Architect Shahrukh Tarapore

Arcweber Shahrukh Tarapore is not only one of our most active new bloggers, but he’s also one sharp product architect. (Check out his posts: Sherpas Not Software, Counterweighting Excitement.) Let’s take 20 questions to get to know a Shahrukh a little more…

arcweb-shahrukhFull name?

Shahrukh Rohinton Tarapore.

Title and role at Arcweb?

As a product architect, I lead teams of really smart and creative people to connect the dots between client objectives and elegant software and design.

What were you doing before Arcweb?

I was the Regional Technology Manager for India and a Senior Research Engineer at Lockheed Martin.

What excites you about Arcweb today?

The free flow of ideas. It’s a very entrepreneurial culture where everyone is always learning something new and sharing it with others. I also like working in an environment where the mean age isn’t 20 years greater than my own.

What’s your tech setup?

At work it’s a MacBook Air connected to a monitor. At home, a minimalist Debian box.

What’s the best job interview question you’ve ever fielded or asked?

What do you do? A good answer to this question should describe your passion and who and/or what it impacts. It should not be a job description. I myself don’t have the perfect answer, but when I interview people who give a good answer to this question I immediately know there is something special there.

When you’re not Arcwebing, you’re…

Working with my wife on her startup, apartment gardening, and pretending to be a real estate investor.

What city do you want to visit?

Pittsburgh. Actually I have a lot of cities on my “must visit” list, but Pittsburgh keeps getting bumped down for some reason. I hear it’s coming into its renaissance again and I’m excited to explore a city that’s seen its share of ups and downs.

What’s your favorite view of Philadelphia?

From the roof of my apartment building I can look south straight to the Sports Complex. I can lean over the edge a bit and see both bridges to the east. Best of all, I have a great view of City Hall. It’s perfect at sunset when the sky turns purple and orange.

What’s your favorite place to hang out in Philadelphia?

I moved to Philadelphia four years ago and up until a few months ago I was traveling 70 percent of my time for work. Along with becoming an Arcweber I’m also becoming a Philadelphian so my favorite place to hang out is still to be determined. Right now, it’s the grassy knoll behind the Art Museum overlooking the Schuylkill River and Fairmount Park. Its great for lazing in the sun and people watching.

What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?

Ethiopia. My wife and I backpacked through southern Ethiopia for a few weeks.

You get one superpower. What is it and why?

Listening. I think we all—myself included—talk too much and don’t listen enough. Even when we’re not talking words we’re thinking them and not listening to others. If I could turn off the voice rambling in my head and listen every time someone was talking to me that would be super.

Which fellow Arcweber would you trade places with and why?

Thats hard. Nicole definitely knows how to put a jolt of energy into everyone in the office. I like that positive vibe she creates for everyone. On the other hand, I’m really envious of Max’s beard…


What is one crucial element to a successful project?

Project management! With no hesitation or doubt. I leave it to the reader as an exercise to determine if I truly believe that or if I’m attempting to score points with the project management team.

What is the best advice you ever received?

My dad gave me this personal relationship advice which happens to extend well to every human interaction I have: “Only one person can be irrational at a time. If both people are irrational you are just wasting time.”

Have a tech hero?

I had to think a bit, but I’m going to say Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the movable type printing press. The printing press introduced the Renaissance Period, made knowledge available to the masses, and catalyzed huge political and social revolutions across Europe. iPhones are really cool, but that is what I call game changing.

Best meal you have ever had?

Thats too hard. It’s like asking me what my favorite music is. I once fasted for three days. The hard boiled egg I had after that fast was really damn good.

What is your favorite home cooked meal?

This is difficult to answer without an atlas, charts, and an easel. I have a few ethnic or cultural backgrounds I identify with, but comfort food is the common theme that runs through all of them. The following table will have to suffice otherwise I’ll start to drool soon…

Nationality Ethnicity Meal
Indian Parsi Dhansak
Iranian Persian Ghormeh Sabzi
American Louisiana Creole Red Beans and Rice

What’s your primary news source?

Flipboard and The Economist.

What’s the number one reason why a business would hire Arcweb?

We work with the mindset that our livelihood depends on the success of our projects—because that’s the mindset of our customers. Everyone is smart and lots of people know technology and software development, but we truly care. Arcwebers collectively care more about project success than making a buck. And that’s rare in our business.

And that’s Shahrukh! Want to talk product architecture or Gutenberg? He’s always game. Shoot him an email.