A Developer’s Story – Ashwini Mohan

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Ashwini is a young programmer who is charting her career path with a vision. After graduating in Information Science in 2018, she interned and later worked with Quintype Technologies, a Bangalore based startup that’s helping shape the future of media. Currently she is working at Casaone, a furniture rental startup, as a Software Engineer. Over to her to share her story with us.

How did you start programming and what about it gives you a kick?

I found programming interesting because every day there is something new to learn. New languages and development environments are always coming out that can make your experience better and more efficient. In my college days, I liked the continuous learning opportunity it provided. But it’s after I started working that I discovered my passion for it. When I entered work, there was a rapid acceleration of learning towards a purpose. It made me really love the subject more every time I found a new library. This is what gives me a kick too.

What do you like/dislike about technology?

I think for me it is too early to have strong likes and dislikes. Likes: I enjoy the creative process itself as much as the end result. You get to use your creativity and your mind. It’s not static.

Dislikes: It’s fast-paced. If you are not passionate about technology at heart, you may become unhappy about the influence it has on your values.

What are some interesting challenges you have solved?

As a fresher working in a startup, for me all work was really challenging. Once onboarded, we are put into projects that are big for the company. There’s nothing like seniors get to do the major tasks and juniors sit on the bench. Though I had no experience, I was given equally challenging and important pieces of work that made me want to work hard to figure out the best techniques, refer articles, read and learn quickly to meet deadlines. The challenging part was when I found out that Frontend Development is not quite what I had learnt in college. What I needed to know to do the work, I learnt after starting my job.

One specific challenge I faced was while developing the page builder for the Quintype platform. The scope of the project was intimidating. I got an opportunity to learn new programming languages like Typescript.

I am so proud to say I built quite a few features for the Frontend of this product. The best part of Frontend development is that it’s all about the user experience. If you don’t want to/can’t think about UX, you can’t be good at Frontend development. I like this field because what we visualise as a team before we start developing something, we can actually see it taking shape. The part I play – for example in building a feature – I get to imagine how it works, and then see it in action. Maybe even a few years later, it will exist. Being able to see my hard work visually is awesome.

Learnings so far 

I learnt that I have to first figure out what I’m interested in, rather than randomly attempting to get a job. After college, I had joined a coaching centre to learn specific languages and tools. There were multiple options to learn practical programming and I picked up bits and pieces of everything. This helped me figure out that I am interested in Frontend development. 

Once you find something interesting, you can develop your interest and grow in that area. That focus is valuable in giving your career a good start. 

I realised that a lot of what I learnt in college did not help me when I entered work. Maybe it was that in college the focus is on learning things with the objective of getting marks and passing the exams. I didn’t pay attention to the practical aspects. For example, knowing about Databases is important in every company, and it was taught in college also. While I learnt it well, it wasn’t enough for the job. To really learn something, you have to learn with a deep interest in the practical application of the topic.

Startups vs. MNCs.

I didn’t have any specific thoughts in mind about whether I should work in a startup or an MNC. When I started attending job interviews, Quintype was the first opportunity I got. When I attended the interview at quinype, I really loved how I felt there with the people and the vibe and culture of the place. So I joined Quintype and it worked out well for me. I exchange notes with friends who work at MNCs and saw that I got a great deal of exposure, experience in technologies and projects compared to MNCs.

I realised that at startups the work and learnings are pretty high. I get equal amount and quality of work as my peers and seniors. It’s not like because I am a fresher, I only get to work on boring stuff. Everyone is equal. IMO as a fresher, the startup experience is extremely valuable and even better.

What do you look forward to/what are your dreams

While I started with Frontend, I don’t want to stick to it forever, I want to spend a few years, learn enough, and then gather experience in backend and domains like cyber security. I am fascinated by cyber security. I spend time reading up about it. I hope eventually I get to move into this domain.

Experience with Geektrust

I got to know about Geektrust from my colleagues at Quintype. I registered on the platform and got a call immediately. I was not sure how difficult it would be to get a job considering my limited experience, but Purnima from Geektrust kept giving me the confidence that it will surely happen. To me it felt like a ray of hope. The support was incredible. All I had to do was solve the Geektrust challenge. But before I even attempted it, I was shortlisted by Casaone. I had 5 long rounds of interviews and their coding challenge to get through. It went very well. The experience overall was too good and motivating for a relative fresher like me. I found a job in one week.

About Geektrust Dev Stories

Geektrust is a platform for technologists to find interesting opportunities and shape the future of tech. We meet inspiring people and companies in our work, and we see some great code written by our users. So we started the Dev Stories series, to bring stories of different developers to the world.

If you’d like to be featured in our Dev Stories, write to us at hello@geektrust.in

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