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Diya Isac (she/her)

Software Lead - Vehicle Motion Embedded Controls Team
General Motors Canada
Diya Isac
Diya Isac
Location Now
Education Pathway

I give technical guidance to develop software for features that make the car move and stop.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born and grew up in India.

I now live in: Ontario

I completed my training/education at: I did my Bachelors in Engineering (Computer Science) from Maharshi Dayanand University Rohtak, India. I also have a Masters of Technology (Software Engineering) from Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, India.

What I do at work

I work for the chassis and brakes team within the vehicle motion embedded systems group at GM Canada. I think this is the most important feature of the car as it makes the car do its basic requirement. As part of this team I work on creating simulated models using the software MATLAB Simulink. We use models to check in the virtual environment if the vehicle behaves the way we want it to work. This reduces a lot of hardware expenses and it also helps in early detection of issues. Once we feel the simulated model is behaving in the required manner we then generate the code.

So the basic work involves collaborating in a team where we create virtual models for various parts of the car. We divide one feature to the smallest possible element and make models out of them. Then we create quality code to make our products the best. We work on debugging any issues found in code before we release it for further teams to use. We check how different features integrated together behave as part of the whole vehicle.

My understanding of the C programming language, and my previous experience, helps me to come up with best solutions and identify issues quickly. Working as a team we help and motivate each other continuously. In this way we are living our GM behaviours of One Team, Look Ahead and Innovate Now.

My career path is

When I was in high school I decided I wanted to be an engineer. I took courses that would help me set up the base for my engineering dream. Soon after high school I got into an Engineering College. By the beginning of the last semester of my degree I got placed in one of India’s top IT companies. I felt like my dream was coming true. I was really excited to begin work in my area of study.  As I was working toward the end of my degree, my dream was shattered as the 2008 recession hit. Most companies terminated contract employees. Other companies delayed the hiring dates. My start date was one of the ones that was delayed.

Although I faced a setback, my family continuously encouraged me to pursue my career. They kept me motivated so I didn’t lose faith in my dreams. Eventually, by the end of the year the company did proceed with my hiring. I finally got to start living my dream! I was part of the IT department for an automotive client. I found I was constantly being challenged and learning a lot on the go. With patience, time and experience my work evolved. I got to work for more clients, some that were international. This allowed me to travel around the world. Those days I felt I was going to do something great in my field.

When I got married, I moved to Nigeria. I decided to leave my amazing job. It was not an easy decision, but I wanted to take a break to enjoy my family life. I continued to provide freelance coding. Coding is something I am very passionate about and a skill that I think defines me.

Later I moved to Canada where I joined GM Canada. I work at the Canadian Technical Centre in Markham. I am once again living my dream working in a company with many opportunities to grown and learn. I know I am doing something great for society as I work for a company with a vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. We’re on a journey to an all-electric future and I’m proud to be part of it!

I am motivated by

Working at General Motors is very rewarding personally as I learn something new and grow every day. The knowledge across this company is so immense and everyone is so helpful! If you have an interest at your end to learn and know about something then there is always someone who can provide guidance. Working with a wonderful group of people is just one of the reasons I enjoy going to work every day. I get to interact with them and learn from them.

Working at General Motors is not “all work no play”. There are lots of other activities within our company that help people give back to the community as well as connect with people outside the company team. And most importantly working with General Motors lets me have a good work life balance. Even during the current time, with us working remotely and being isolated, General Motors is supporting its employees to feel comfortable even in the remote environment. While IT support is available to get work done smoothly in the comfort of being at home, a lot of support was provided to make sure employees felt well and not alone.

Working at General Motors has allowed me to grow in my career. It has also given me the opportunity to spend quality time with my toddler too 😊

How I affect peoples’ lives

Our Vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions and Zero Congestion is something that drives all of us at General Motors. And as part of the chassis and brakes team I think we take these as our core to come up with the best code/product.  For example, in the chassis and brakes team, we create the virtual models for the braking system. The code generated from it is aligned to meet our vision of zero crashes and zero congestion. This, in turn, helps us move towards the zero emissions.

Outside of work I

I love to play with my toddler and do fun activities with him. And I love doing some quilling in my own time.

My advice to others

No matter what situation you are in, try your best! Enjoy what you want to do and do it whole heartedly and you will have your way and reward. After all it is said “God helps those who help themselves”. So always do your best and enjoy it 😊

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Computer Science
  • Technology
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Learned best “by doing”
  • Liked to design or build things

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