“I want to be an expert in whatever I’m doing.”
Harsh Yadav first obtained a bachelor of science degree and followed it up with a master’s degree in computer application. His tryst with computers goes long back, he says, and though physics interested him, the last two years of school life told him that he wanted to explore the field of computer science.
Even the decision to pursue MCA was a result of not being able to get a computer engineering seat at a good government-run college.
“But most institutions today continue to teach us obscure concepts without any idea about what will be relevant when we need to search for jobs at the product or technology-focused companies,” says Harsh.
Ask him about whether that degree helped him at all, he laughs.
“Everything that I learned from thereon was on my own, going on platforms such as Codechef and practicing whatever I found interesting and thought could potentially help me with competitive programming going forward.”
By his own admission, Harsh, who now works at logistics firm Delhivery, the lack of any mentorship or guiding hand at that point in time meant his aim was getting a job at any of the service companies. The thought of building products as a coder didn’t even cross his mind.
Why Scaler Academy?
A friend introduced him to the InterviewBit platform that he found super useful when it came to solving coding problems, and when Scaler Academy (then InterviewBit Academy) was launched, he was among the first few to apply.
“The single-most attractive thing about the course was that it promised to make us ‘industry-ready’ and that is perhaps the biggest limitation in most colleges today,” he says.
From the very beginning, Harsh says it seemed like a different journey altogether. From the way everything was structured to how you solve problems, all of it was a welcome change.
“We had never approached problems that way before, we just had no clue about certain things. We learned how to solve many different kinds of questions, without wondering how tough this or that would be, for example, trees had always seemed tough but now, it seems like just another topic and I have Scaler to thank for that.”
But it doesn’t end there. He remembers how in his first mock interview with the mentor, he couldn’t solve problems and that put him in a bad headspace. In fact, that incident put him down so much that he didn’t schedule any mentor sessions for a while after that.
“My mentor, Pulkit Aggarwal, however, stuck with me and approached me from his own end after that. We sat down, and he constantly motivated me to help with how I approached interviews. If I have to thank anybody, he would be right on top of that list,” he says. Apart from him, Harsh said he was also thankful to Alka Kumari, his student success manager, for being there throughout.
He says he wants to participate in any kind of innovation going forward that helps make a change.
“Even though the first step is to gain complete expertise in what I am doing currently, the eventual plan is to create something that in the broader scheme of things is able to change how something - anything really - works and make it better.”