I never had a plan of becoming a software programmer. In fact, I can say that I actually stumbled into the world of coding and software development. After graduating from IIT Roorkee in Biotechnology, I got placed as a consultant in Cubastion Consulting. A few months into my job, my company was looking at some software changes. So my colleagues and I were divided into different teams and asked to explore the best way to make the new software.
That was the first time I was getting a hands on experience with coding, and I loved it! We worked hard on the prototype, and our seniors were so impressed with it that they asked us to handle the development and see it to its end. This was the beginning of my journey with coding. As a biotech graduate, my knowledge in computer science was negligible, but I was learning everything on the job, and was getting good at it. I would spend hours researching and learning, and in 11 months, I had learnt about and worked on front end and angular technology.
This helped me get a better opportunity at a startup company, Wheelseye -- this time, I was officially hired as a software developer. I worked closely with the guy who was handling the UI part of the software, and in a couple of months, I was handling the entire administration panel as well as the UI part. I got the opportunity to learn and grow as a programmer here, but I wanted to grow more in my career.
So I started practising Data Structure questions, and came across Interview Bit while solving a question. After signing up, I didn’t give it much thought; but a fortnight later, I received an email from them about the launch of InterviewBit Academy (now Scaler Academy) -- a new course for experienced engineers. Thinking it was spam, I reached out to a friend who had been active on IB for quite some time. He convinced me that it was indeed true, and he was planning on enrolling for it too.
After the first introductory seminar, we decided to opt for the program. But we soon realised that it was too hectic for us to keep up with the course because of our jobs. But the class system at Scaler was designed keeping students like us in mind. All the classes were recorded, and we could watch the lectures later and ask any doubts to the teaching assistants.
My friend and I would watch the lectures after office and solve all problems on Sundays. Despite the busy schedule, we never missed any lectures because the instructors were fantastic, and so was the content. I had never learnt Data Structures and Algorithms, but the way these concepts were taught here, I could grasp everything very easily.
My mentor, Ekta Goel from Microsoft, was the best mentor I could have asked for. She guided me at every step. The first thing she did was help me make my resume presentable and attractive. Every session with her was a chance to learn and grow, especially our mock sessions. Even though her profile was backend, she asked me questions about front end, back end, Data structures, designs, etc. and gave me inputs about the areas I was lacking in.
The biggest challenge that I had to overcome was my tendency to over explain. She explained to me how this was putting me at a disadvantage, and gave me tips to explain my answers concisely and effectively during interviews.
When I got a chance to apply to Goldman Sachs a few weeks later, I started panicking because I felt I wasn’t ready for their interviews. But Ekta Ma’am motivated me and gave me pointers on how to prepare better. She even referred some books on system design and operating systems. I cleared the first couple of rounds, but was turned down after the fifth round. I was extremely disappointed after the rejection, but Ekta Ma’am reassured me that one rejection didn’t determine my potential, that this wasn’t the end and there were many companies to explore.
While her words encouraged me to not give up, I was still depressed because I wasn’t getting a pay raise in my company, or any offers with good packages. I was plagued by the thought that front end roles didn’t have good growth opportunities, and was thinking of changing my field to back end or full stack. Fortunately, I got to attend a session by Abhimanyu Sir where I could ask him my doubts. And what he said changed my perception completely. He told us that he had worked in the front end technology and had earned really well. He said not only was it interesting, but the Java script was here to stay. He in fact assured me that I would definitely do well because only a few people could manage to be good at front end technology, Data Structure, and system design.
Inspired by Abhimanyu Sir’s words, I worked harder and got better at the basics. I applied for more jobs in my field, and cracked an interview with Times Internet among other companies. It was the result of not just my efforts, but of my support system at Scaler as well. I was constantly encouraged to realize my true potential. And it doesn’t end there. I still get calls from my student success manager, Maragadamma, asking me if I am doing okay -- they take care of you even after you are placed!
Having experienced all this, I definitely recommend Scaler Academy to all my fellow engineers. Great content, experienced mentors, passionate instructors, reliable teaching assistants, and dedicated student success managers are just some of the reasons that make this experience so worthwhile. Their regular sessions with accomplished coders and programmers help keep the students motivated and push them to do better. But what truly sets Scaler Academy apart is the immense network of supportive and like-minded individuals.
A big thank you to everyone at Scaler for making it what it is!