I am someone who is always on the lookout for new things to learn. What can I try my hands on? What else can I learn on my own through the web?
Growing up, I would try out building small games and projects online: Tic Tac Toe, Sudoku, and more. I have always sought to explore topics beyond what was in my school syllabus. I chose the computer science stream in high school but it was only in college that I realised my interest had now become my passion.
I'm Kunjan Shah, and this is my journey till now.
The learning culture at BITS Pilani too is inspiring — my batchmates are all into competitive coding contests, hackathons, and some are even developing websites. Every one of us has started early and we look to learn in innovative ways. The Microsoft Student Partner program is a tech community my college classmates and I are part of. Similar interest groups exist here — for web development, app development, AI, machine learning, UX designing, and competitive coding.
This encouraged me to do online courses from my first year at college itself. I also explored web development, and created few basic websites too. I tried solving basic coding problems in C++. I use platforms like Codechef, InterviewBit and GeeksforGeeks.
In my second year, I was introduced to Scaler via one of their workshops at my college. Later, I got a call from them. I decided to join Scaler because I wanted structure in my learning. There is so much to delve into on the Internet, and I felt I needed to prioritise my time in learning important topics and not spend too much time on other areas. Even while discussing topics with my peers, I felt these conversations wouldn't benefit me as much as learning from industry experts would.
I'm particularly interested in competitive coding and I joined Scaler with the aim to learn it in an organised and systematic manner.
The teaching assistants and instructors at Scaler are all always available whenever I have doubts. It is very easy to reach out to them. Paridhi Gupta Ma'am is one of the friendliest and helpful instructors I've had here. My industry mentor guides me on ways to learn, time management, various career paths and their individual requirements.
Pragy Agarwal Sir's Learning How to Learn is a session that changed my learning style. Earlier, I used to be a passive listener in class. Then he helped me understand how active participation in class is useful for improved retention of the information taught. Now, I speak and interact better in class.
The peer group at Scaler is a source of motivation. It’s a healthy competitive community. We can chat about the problems we are working on and non-academic matters too.
The Happy Hour interaction is my most memorable experience. Initially, our meetings resembled online classes and none of us knew each other. But post that interaction, I have found people at Scaler I could vibe with and ask doubts to. I also loved the coffee mug sent to me as a Diwali gift gesture from Scaler.
I have encouraged my classmates and juniors to join Scaler. I will share a piece of advice with them: Identify your interests early, just start with the basics of DSA and then take it forward from there — it gives you an edge over the others and by the time you graduate, it will take you to another level. Starting early gives you extra time to figure out what you want to do next. The structure of the Scaler programme along with the support from the industry mentors to guide you through the placements process is exactly what students need.
I'd like to work in one of the top ten tech companies like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. In the future, I see myself working in a backend role.