Rising Technical Contributor Award

Anjali Kukreja

John Deere

For technical expertise and leadership in automated testing systems; for raising awareness of SWE through targeted outreach and relevant STEM programming; and for incorporating DEI concepts into the company culture.

Globe-trotting and assimilating into different cultures throughout her schooling in Johannesburg; Washington, D.C.; Islamabad; and Paris, Anjali Kukreja wanted to return to India, her home country, to pursue an undergraduate degree.

She earned a B.Tech in computer science and engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. Through an internship with UNESCO in Paris, Kukreja learned about John Deere while reviewing budgetary allocation for crisis-affected situations. She wanted to understand how information technology could be leveraged to help solve greater issues in the world. Kukreja joined John Deere in part because of its vision and mission to use automation to impact the world’s increasing food demand.

She began her career with John Deere as a graduate engineer trainee before transitioning to a software engineer role. Kukreja made significant contributions in SAP Automation Testing, an enterprise planning software program, by reducing countless hours consumed through manual testing. She gained knowledge of a variety of software programs and quality management business functions. Most recently, she served as a senior software engineer with Global IT India, John Deere. In this role, Kukreja became the single point of contact for SAP automation testing by upskilling 12-plus product teams and 90 employees to kickstart their automation journeys.

Kukreja, along with her team members, automated 120 scenarios divided into several groups covering different phases of the product data management (PDM) cycle. She took proactive steps in finding the source of some of the limitations caused by automation scripts. To resolve this issue, she created a utility that helped users resume automation from whatever point it had failed during the end-to-end automation. Her automation efforts affected the PDM cycle used by more than 50 factories, 17 design centers, and more than 1,500 users worldwide. In the end, manual execution time was reduced from four weeks to four hours. For her leadership on this project, Kukreja received the company’s WOW Award and two QA Team Excellence awards, 37 badges, and others.

An integral member of the John Deere diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team, Kukreja often led meetings and goal planning sessions. As a DEI core member, she transformed employee engagement during the pandemic by organizing DEI champions across John Deere globally to share their experiences on DEI. This was followed up with a video compiling DEI achievements during the year.

Kukreja is involved with SWE Lakshya, serving as a communication lead and supporting initiatives and programs, including awards, outreach, and development, and “Wow! That’s Engineering!®” — a free interactive event for 31 girls in 10th grade designed to expose them to the world of engineering through hands-on projects and STEM activities. Kukreja has also contributed articles for the Global SWE newsletter.

Kukreja is continuing her education and is pursuing an MBA at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys spending time with her family, who converse in Bulgarian, French, or Spanish during gatherings. She is also fond of curating ayurvedic drinks with herbs.