Coming from a humble background, I had made a conscious decision early on that I didn't want to spend a lot on my graduation. I did my B.Tech from Punjabi university, but the curriculum and the guidance weren’t that great. I always felt the lack of a guiding hand for me!(like most engineers, in our country )
I spent a lot of time organizing events in my college in order to find ways to learn and practise coding. But my future still looked bleak. Only mass recruiters came to our college for placement; and without a known college name, the only hope I had was through the placements.
I didn’t have the option of waiting around for better job offers, so when I got selected at Newgen, I joined the company. I had to learn spring boot for a project, and that was when I got to know about the different platforms like LeetCode and Codeforces through my peers. But due to my hectic job timings, my practice was limited to just the HackerRank website. This continued for the next two years, until I heard about Interview Bit. I made an account on the website and forgot all about it after solving a few questions, not knowing that this would pave the way for growth and new opportunities.
Two months later, I received an email from Scaler Academy about a new program that would provide training for 6 months followed by job referrals in MNCs. It felt like it was tailor-made for me. I wanted to grow and support my family -- and I couldn’t do that while working for mid-level companies. Although there weren’t any reviews for Scaler, I took my chance and joined the course. It wasn’t easy at first -- I would spend the day working in the office, then attend classes till 1 in the morning. But my motivation was my driving force. And the fact that I was actually learning about programming and coding was enough to keep pushing myself.
The content was one part, but what really helped me was the instructors and their training methods. They really pushed my mind to think beyond the obvious. There were times when I felt that there was no way to solve a particular question, but the teachers taught me that there was always a way -- there was logic behind every question, I just needed to look for it.
At this point I was working with Cians Analytics, and a few months later, my project got scrapped and I was asked to look for another job. Since my course was still going on, the referrals hadn’t begun, and I was at a loss for what to do next. I reached out to my mentor, Harshit Varshney, and my student success manager, Maragadamma for help.
Since Harshit Varshney sir was from Expedia himself, he referred me to his company. I was full of doubts, but he encouraged me to apply. He helped me prepare for the interview, and I got through. His guidance as my mentor had been indispensable.
I remember one incident when we spent two hours going over my resume. My resume needed a lot of work, and he made me sit myself down and work on it. There was a lot of to and fro -- I kept sharing the changes with him, and he kept writing back about the edits that I needed to make.
He was also responsible for enabling me to be better during my interviews. He would often ask me questions on varied topics, so that I would be ready for any and every question that came my way. He is the reason why I am not scared of interviews anymore.
Maragadamma, my Student Success manager, was another key person in my growth. She would often share articles about new technologies, and YouTube channels to help me keep abreast with the changes. She guided me about the HR rounds in interviews -- how to crack them, ask the right questions, and negotiate my salary.
As luck would have it, I was let go from Expedia after the Covid-19 pandemic. But this time I was ready to face the interviews head-on. Before joining Scaler, I would blankly stare at anyone who asked me tech-related questions. Every interviewer tried to confuse me, and they succeeded -- every single time. But thanks to Harshit sir and my family at Scaler, I could overcome my hesitation and anxiety.
Within a week of being let go, I managed to complete all interview rounds, and bag a job at OLX. And the credit for this goes to Scaler. My experience and training at the Academy helped me build the skills that enabled me to find a job in the current scenario.
I have gained so much through my journey with Scaler, that I decided to become a teaching assistant here. Every time I had a doubt, I would approach my TA, and he was always there for me. This culture, where everyone does their best for the students, encouraged me to give back in whatever capacity I could. Since I didn't feel confident enough to become a mentor back then, I chose to start off as a TA.
Now, I have enrolled myself as a mentor for Scaler Edge -- Scaler's new mentoring program for students still in college. As Anshuman sir had rightly pointed out in a session, most students choose professions based on the current trend without knowing the fundamentals of it. So this course was designed to make them aware of the different professions -- front end, back end, data scientist-- and then pursue it based on their interest and preference.
FINAL VERDICT :
"I have inspired a lot of my juniors at Punjabi University to join Scaler and practice coding, but with Scaler Edge, I can make a real impact. This guidance is something that I couldn't get when I was in college; and now I finally have the opportunity to do something for people like me, to give back to society. This is a mantra that everyone at Scaler lives by, right from the founders to students like me -- to be grateful and pay it forward. And pay it forward, we shall! "