Sushma Nallapeta

Sushma Nallapeta

VP of Engineering at Apartment List

 LinkedIn profile


9 Years



Management Experience

Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Handling Promotion
Sharing the vision
Scaling Team
Agile / Scrum


B2C expertise

My name is Sushma Nallapeta, I go by Sue. I am a VP of Engineering at Apartment List, managing a team of 45+ engineers. Prior to this, I was a Sr. Director of Engineering and Acting Head of engineering at Zoosk Inc where I managed a team about about 55+. I have managed full stack teams ranging from web, mobile to api, data engineering, devops and security I have been in management for about 8 years now. Prior to Zoosk, I was a Sr. Engineering Manager at Blackhawk Network, where I managed 4 different teams and about 40 people and got my first experience as a manager of managers. Before that I have had my share of IC & Management roles. I believe in participative and transformational style of leadership. I am very excited to join Plato community and share my experience and also learn along the way.

Hey, I'm available every Tuesday at 4:30 PM (GMT)

Next time slot available
  May 19, 2020
  4:30 PM (GMT)

Book now


A great engineer as a bad manager
6 December

Sushma Nallapeta discusses what happened when an engineer in her team, who would have been a good tech lead, was put into a management position, which she was unsuitable for.

Handling Promotion
New Manager
Career Path
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Managing Expectations
Sushma Nallapeta

Sushma Nallapeta

VP of Engineering at Apartment List

Making Remote teams successful with Agile.
6 December

Nowadays, it is very common to have remote teams working in different time zones. But how can you ensure remote teams are successful and how do you ensure high-quality collaboration?

Internal Communication
Team processes
Agile / Scrum
Sushma Nallapeta

Sushma Nallapeta

VP of Engineering at Apartment List

Reducing layers of management
6 December

Sushma Nallapeta discusses how she dealt with her relatively small team having too many layers of management.

Handling Promotion
Career Path
Scaling Team
Internal Communication
Sushma Nallapeta

Sushma Nallapeta

VP of Engineering at Apartment List


Plato Event #4: Panel
Seth SakamotoChristian McCarrickSushma NallapetaTido Carriero
Rethinking the Engineering Career Path
Tomas BarretoSushma NallapetaBrian Zotter


Driving Team Performance With Effective Communication

Tyler Muse, CEO of Lingo Live, talks to Jen You from WeWork, Michael Spiegelman from Netflix, Sue Nallapeta from Apartment List, and Pat Poels from Eventbrite about how to increase team performance by communicating better.
Sushma Nallapeta


VP of Engineering

Apartment List

Nov 2018 - current

Apartment List is the fastest growing rental marketplace. Currently leading the engineering organization.

Mentor - Engineering Leadership


Jun 2017 - current

Plato ( is a network of experienced engineering leaders, assembled to help other engineering leaders find their perfect mentor for their management/leadership challenges. As part of this, I mentor engineers, engineering leaders, Directors, VPs & CTOs of startups, mid-size companies on various leadership challenges.\_source=sharing&utm\_medium=link&utm\_campaign=launchprofile162

Senior Engineering Manager/Director

Blackhawk Network

Sep 2012 - Mar 2017

Director level role reporting directly to VP of Engineering. Managed different engineering teams and responsible for 40+ engineers, 4 managers, to build best in class payment api's and platforms encompassing fulfillment, egift delivery, wallet management, inventory management and master data management. Responsible for executing the product vision and building the best engineering practices to increase efficiency and reduce costs. • Lead the team responsible for re-platforming a legacy order management platform and building a new highly scalable platform in AWS Cloud environment, delivering 1.4 billion+ in annual face value sales for Blackhawk • Developed and revamped ecommerce site with focus on Analytics, Customer experience which directly led to 400% increase in conversion. • Built Gowallet and Cardpool mobile apps for IOS and Android ground up, which grew to be a 5 star app in Apple App store and Google Play • Built e-gift rendering platform and customized it for international partners with considerations to Safe Harbor Privacy Laws • Responsible for building platforms to standardize Product master data and Inventory for the company and designed a strategy around seamless migration of millions of data from legacy platform • Instilled effective scrum practice and pushed for Automation, continuous integration, one click deployment and achieved 90% code coverage on several platforms reducing time and effort • Led various technology decisions related to scaling, holiday readiness planning to handle large volume, responsive design of the site, etc • Conducted active performance reviews, set business objectives, working with each team member to achieve both company and their career goals • Involved in Vendor Selection, RFP Process and Immigration process for employees. • Introduced many new tools/products to the company to streamline the existing process and build effective products


University of Texas at Dallas

Jan 2007 - Jan 2007

Involved in a research and development project under professor of UT Dallas and Professor of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona. The project involved building an intelligent analytical tool that suggests the best requirement process for a project. The inputs are captured through a questionnaire scenario based mechanism & stored. This data is further analyzed to give the most optimized solution. • Researched the various scenarios and questions to be captured by the user • Developed an algorithm to analyze all the answers to the questionnaire and provide the user with the best matched scenario • Implemented the project using, JavaScript

Web Development Manager

Kodak Gallery

Sep 2011 - Sep 2012

Managed a team of 8 developers and QA Engineers. Led the web development efforts for the site which included building out personalized site experiences on both desktop and mobile. Responsible for technology direction/choice, managing development schedule, setting up team goals, resourcing, performance reviews, hiring, project planning, vendor management, coordinating with cross functional teams & hands on development. • Implemented Agile Process - Scrum within the Development & QA teams to facilitate the timely delivery of high quality code for various site marketing projects • Successfully delivered the mobile version of Kodak Gallery ecommerce site within a 30 day sprint & was responsible for making all the technology decisions for the mobile website • Streamlined the QA process and pushed for automation to deliver a quality product • Established procedures for quick onboarding of new hires during peak Q4 period • Led multiple marketing initiatives/projects deemed critical and time consuming into successful completion with effective solutions, a quick turn around time and a positive revenue impact • Accomplished successful and timely integration of Baynote recommendations with Kodak Gallery site into production, leading to better cross sells and increased revenue by 30%. • Created several multi-variant tests, campaigns and implemented tracking using Adobe Digital Marketing Suite like Test & Target, Omniture and Google Analytics. • Worked with cross-functional teams like creative, marketing, sharing, products and engineering to collaborate and develop effective software products Tools and Technologies: ATG, Java, HTML5, JavaScript, Jquery, JQuery Mobile, Mootools, Oracle, Quickbase, Omniture, Test & Target, Baynote, Confluence, Jira

Software Engineer

Object Edge

Jun 2008 - Aug 2011

Led the development efforts for various clients of Object Edge (Details as separate sections below) spread over variety of industries such as E-Commerce, Banking and Insurance. Played the role of SME for different clients like National Pen, Netshoes, Charles Schwab and Aviva. Managed offshore developers & QA to implement various software solutions and frameworks. Experience building B2B, B2C ecommerce sites, Compliance Solutions and Enterprise service bus. • Developed and maintained 24/7 high availability, scalable, distributed, award-winning E-Commerce sites for National Pen, San Diego and Netshoes, Brazil on ATG platform and implemented various E-commerce strategies on the site • Worked with Customers & Customer Service Reps to understand various real-time issues faced by them and enhanced solutions to meet those needs enabling better experience. • Implemented a high performance compliance solution for Charles Schwab incorporating complex business rules and dependencies which is used to manage trade compliance • Architected and designed various reusable, dynamic frameworks and accelerators for Ecommerce & Finance industries • Facilitated effective communication with offshore teams which led to better output from the teams • Established release management procedures for timely delivery to the client • Created various functional specification & high level requirement documents, use case modeling diagrams, user stories and training materials • Responsible for creating training materials and setting up an efficient on boarding process • Acted as a Code Police to emphasize on Code Quality, Documentation across the organization • Created various presentations on latest cutting edge technologies like Hadoop, Cassandra, NoSQL, etc and presented to the entire organization • Managed Lotus Notes and Domino Server Administration

Sr. Software Engineer - E-Commerce Consultant

National Pen

Aug 2009 - Jul 2011

• Responsible for building the e-commerce storefront and customer service center application using ATG 9.1 • Extensively customized ATG Customer Service Center for National Pen, recognized as one of the best CSC implementations of ATG by Oracle • Experience designing and implementing Estore checkout flow, shipping, promotions, product customization, fulfillment, payment integrations with Cybersource and paymentech • Experience Architecting various functionality and customizing CSC for Ticketing, Product Customization, Personalization, Promotions, adding multiple types of payment options, shipping, dynamic email templates, etc • Worked with Customer Service to understand various real-time issues faced by the reps and enhanced the solution to meet those needs enabling better experience • Worked closely with the business to understand the requirements and to clearly articulate various technical aspects of the project • Architected and designed web pages to be dynamic, business users driven, Marketing empowered • Led offshore teams with development and QA Efforts • Created various training materials, documentation for easy on-boarding Tools and Technologies: ATG 9.1 Ecommerce Suite, CSC, BCC, Java, JavaScript, Jquery, Dojo, HTML, Oracle, SQL

E-Commerce/ATG Software Engineer - Consultant


Mar 2010 - May 2010

• Was brought in to build payment modules and UI for site (recognized with the Oracle Retail Innovator Award) with a very quick turn-around time • Built other Estore modules and functionality that was business critical Tools and Technologies: ATG 9.1 & ATG 10 Ecommerce Suite, BCC, Java, HTML, JavaScript, Jquery, Oracle, SQL

Software Engineer Consultant

Charles Schwab

Jan 2009 - Sep 2009

• Developed individual modules of the trade compliance solution designed to be flexible and configurable • Architected the conflict detection system in the application • Implemented complex business rules and dependencies and fine tuning for performance • Responsible for the application development including UI • Worked with variety of teams like business, engineering, SI to deliver successful, revenue driving, quality software • Coordinated with offshore team members and was responsible for development path. • Recognized for best performance in the team Tools and Technologies: Asp.Net, C#, Component Art, JavaScript, CSS, NHibernate, DB2, Visual Studio, IIS, Resharper

Software Engineer Consultant


Jun 2008 - Dec 2008

• Software Engineer responsible for delivering major financial ACORD transactions for the integration of AdminServer with existing Eco-systems of Aviva Insurance • Configured and enhanced the Object Edge ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) Framework • Extensively used open source frameworks like castor, spring, hibernate to achieve various functionalities and acquired business knowledge about various ACORD transactions • Designed and developed the translation tool for individual financial transactions. • Involved in defect fixing and closure, analyzing data using extensive querying and data mining techniques and identifying data quality and gap issues • Release management to client testing environment including documentation. • Packaging code into deliverable and deployable artifacts • Acted as a Technology and Application SME by helping Knowledge Transfer to Client developers • Adhered to Agile Methodologies for program development & ensured a quick turnaround time Tools and Technologies: Java, Spring, Hibernate, SQL, PL/SQL, XML, XSLT, WAS, WID, Oracle, SQL

Software Engineer - Intern


Jan 2005 - Jan 2005

• Implemented an in-house project management tool called 'Planner and Tracker'. It provided an interface for a project manager to specify goals, projects, activities, deadlines, alarm, generation of reports/charts, etc • Analyzed, documented, managed project requirements and changes to requirements • Identified the different roles and activities in project management • Designed project workflow in the tool based on the business • Actively participated in the high level and detailed design of the tool • Implemented the project using Java and XML • QA tested the code for a working prototype • After the project, continued involvement in Novell’s Open source project, Pragati, as a developer Tools and Technologies: Java, XML, JBuilder, Turbine, Velocity, Torque