“Every line of code we write is a contribution towards a better world.”
As a software developer at ReCollect, Viswanath Sathananth spends his days behind the scenes of the company’s tools, working on the server-side of the applications, maintaining and creating features to make everything easier for customers to configure and use, and automating complex tasks for employees and customers alike.
Viswanath works hard so customers don’t have to. The software he helps create allows ReCollect to serve millions of people in Canada and the U.S. with easy-to-use digital tools for solid waste, including a Collection Calendar, Mobile App, a Waste Sorting Game, and more.
Viswanath’s work doesn’t just solve technical difficulties; it helps solve environmental problems, too, which is quite important to him. “I have seen the impact of improper disposal around me,” he says, from videos of people rescuing turtles and other animals from garbage traps, to seeing cows eating plastics and dying.
“If we humans are more organized, we don’t have to lose the wildlife around us. But ignorance is something that cannot be fixed easily. I see tech as a tool to revert the effects of ignorance,” he says. “Great tech can fix this world. I see ReCollect as a beginning of that revolution.”
Though the work can be difficult, Viswanath is up to the task. In fact, he welcomes it. “C and C++ were the first languages I learned,” he says. “I have always seen my work as a challenge I want to solve.”
Born in Chennai, India, and raised by a math professor, Viswanath says he loved math and physics when he was young. After high school, he decided to pursue computer science “because it felt like a superpower.”
He was working for an email marketing product for a couple of years, handling millions of emails before earning an opportunity to lead a team to create a marketing automation product. But he wanted something a little more challenging, he says, so when he saw a job posting in a Slack channel for ReCollect developers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he got in touch with his current manager, Platform Team Lead Leigh Martell, to talk about the position.
He had been working on projects in a similar vein, and “I liked the vision,” he says. He wanted to work on “something that is useful to this world,” so he chose to do that at ReCollect.
“I was working on a project idea to clean up the great pacific garbage patch. When I heard about ReCollect, the first thing I thought was — I was working at the end of a tunnel, and ReCollect was working at the beginning of it,” he says.“It is easier to fix the root of a problem than the result.”
Day in and day out, his work with ReCollect allows Viswanath to do it all: It affords him the ability to tackle challenging work he enjoys, while also allowing him to work toward a greater good, too. Plus, he gets to use the tools and services he helps create, which perhaps is his favorite part about the job.
“To me, every line of code we write is a contribution towards a better world,” he says. “We don’t have to spend all that money to go to Mars if we make Earth a better place.”
When Viswanath isn’t at work, he enjoys being involved with CancerCare and the Save the Children foundation; loves motorbikes, photography, and cricket, and listening to melody and hip-hop music.
5 Fast Facts about Viswanath
If you were hot sauce, how hot would you be (1-10): “Ten; I love hot and spicy food. If I was allowed to select (any) level, I would choose the highest possible level.”
What gets you through a hard day? “Music — Imagine Dragons.”
If you had superpowers, what would they be? “Eating. I am a foodie; I love everything about food.”
I believe people on Planet Earth should: “Love and help each other. Small things in this world give so much happiness. Life is short; let’s be happy and make others happy.”
The world could do without: “Greed and hatred.”