My journey in the field of information technology started with my Masters at IIIT, Bengaluru. Soon after, I landed a job at IBM through campus placements but I needed something more challenging. I wanted to switch jobs but hadn't studied data structures and algorithms in-depth and so, navigating different coding platforms was quite tricky.
Sometimes, when you're starting, you would see easy questions which would make you feel they can be solved quickly — then there would be very difficult problems which would bring down your morale. I would feel like I just couldn't attempt any of them. That was the main issue I faced when I was searching the internet and trying to solve coding problems.
During my preparation I came across InterviewBit, and I found that the coding platform was very intuitive and simple to work on. It would show how much time a person took to solve a problem — which I thought was a fun way to learn and I tried to solve it in a faster time period than the others. It was a good metric to measure your progress.
Around that time, I came across a banner for Scaler Academy but I wasn't sure how the program would help me in particular. I was already a Tier 1 college graduate with connections and referrals but I knew I did not have the required knowledge to upscale my skill set.
Therefore, I decided to give it a go.
Once the program started, I began to appreciate the quality of the course after attending just the initial set of classes. First, they start with the basics. Even if you've never attempted a coding problem before, you would be able to do it with their thorough teaching. It was never boring — there would always be a combination of problems to solve. You would get something out of every lecture. There would be somebody coming in at 9 pm, taking live lectures for us consistently, every day, every month. The hard working instructors were really good at what they did.
One of the major highlights of the program was the TA support we received. After the classes, I would talk to my teaching assistant and understand the problems better. They would be available even at 12 in the night to help me out. Even on the next day, I could approach them with queries. It was a 24-hour process for me — I would think about the same coding problem I wasn't able to solve all day, and I would try to get better at it. My expectations from the program were rightly met by the DSA program. Following that, we were taught design problems, CN, OS, among others.
Since I already had 2.5 years of experience at IBM as a Software Developer, and wanted to move up in levels, Scaler's design training further gave me confidence to target the SDE-2 position for interviews, after being well prepared on all fronts. It made me believe I could crack the interviews for the role, and that's how I landed the position at Microsoft.
Scaler helped me develop the confidence I needed to try for a higher position. I could understand how systems were built and gained the courage to say that I could build them too. I don't think I couldn't have given an interview for a senior software engineer role and grabbed the opportunity without the upscaling of my skills at Scaler.
Working and learning with students from different educational backgrounds provided me new perspectives. When I joined Scaler, I carried the baggage of the tier-I college brand. My classmate from college too was at Scaler, and we found no difference in the capabilities of students coming from other colleges.
I saw non-tier 1 college graduates doing much better as they were putting in their 100 per cent. That was an eye-opener and it motivated me to do better every day. There was a scoreboard with rankings at Scaler. I used to approach the students featured for help and we used to have lengthy discussions.
In the IT industry, we look at tier 1 and 2 colleges differently, but here, through this platform, I got the opportunity to work with graduates from those colleges without any barriers. At the end of the day, it's all about hard work. It was fun and competitive to learn along with like-minded peers. We really benefited from learning together and not separately.
There are multiple people at Scaler I want to thank. Tarun Malhotra, an amazing teacher, taught us design problems and he also handled DS algorithm classes. Pragy Agarwal taught us concepts and the confidence he had in me gave me the push I needed to sit for interviews. Kshitij was the one who taught most of the DS algo classes and was available even during weekends to help me with problems.
I had a mentor assigned to me from Scaler, Rohit Pal Singh, who was always there to help despite his busy schedule. He encouraged me to prepare more and find different ways to solve problems. Even after my Scaler program ended, he has been of great guidance. He guides me on new areas of technology and tells me what I should be focusing on while doing my job in order to be different from my peers. He made me comfortable with accepting rejections and would sit with me after interviews to analyse what went wrong.
I have been working in Microsoft for around seven months now. While at Scaler, when I was doing mock interviews with the instructors, and I was told by the team that I was pretty well prepared and could start looking for jobs and that's how I applied to Microsoft. I got multiple offers in India and from overseas during the period.
Becoming a programmer was an obvious choice for me. I was always good at mathematics and computer science in school. I didn't have to explore much — I knew I had these specific skills and software engineering was the natural step forward. I was still skeptical about my choice after joining college but that changed when I started studying about algorithms. The kind of mindset required for this field — I knew I had it. It was all about logic, something I was always good at, and today, I'm seven years into the field. This has become my passion. I really enjoy what I do.
If you're unsure about how to get started in the field or if you lack the discipline to code regularly, Scaler is the one platform that will help you. Solving a new coding problem is difficult, it may even seem like a black hole. But to Scaler's total credit, coding actually became fun and rewarding to learn.
Scaler inculcates a habit for coding and you will learn to start loving it, and stop dreading it. It completely changed my perspective on coding. I have a long way to go but all this training gives me the confidence to dream big! I see myself as the founder of an innovative company providing tech solutions to India's problems.
Thank you, Scaler!