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Dropping out of college, AltCampus experience, first tech job, and working remotely from a village in Andhra Pradesh - Chaduvula's story.

Chaduvula Prasanth, one of our Alumni, after completing the AltCampus course got placed at BigBinary as a Software Engineer.

In a conversation with our co-founder Prashant, he talks about his journey of dropping out of college, learning experience at AltCampus, learning how to learn, what makes AltCampus's curriculum and community special, the placement support.

He also talks about getting first job, working remotely from a village in Andhra Pradesh, building a product from end to end and transitioning into his first tech job. He also shares his advice for people getting started in web development.

Follow Chaduvula on Twitter

Here's the transcript of the conversation

Prashant: Hi Chaduvula. Good to see you after so long.

So tell us a little bit about yourself. Like, what's your background? What school did you go to? What college did you go to? Uh, what, and like, what did you learn in the college?

Chaduvula: Yeah, myself Prasanth and full name is Prasanth Chaduvula.

And I came from Andhra Pradesh. It's a border in Odisha and Aandra, it's a rural village. And district name is Srikakulam. It's one of the backward districts in whole of Andhra and Telangana. So I dropped out of my engineering in third year and I think fifth semester starting. After that I don't know what to do because I started my own startup and, I gave my application to some other developer to build who took money and he didn't deliver the app.

And I don't know coding that time I came from a Computer Science background, but in engineering it's like you went through C, C++, and Java done. But no one really feels like, yeah, you have to do programming and you have to build products. So that's where, like, I don't know. But yeah, I ended up having this, uh, what happened is like I went through on guy and, uh, he took money and they didn't deliver the app and I was like, I don't know where to test my MVP of my product.

So the time I was a little bit confused and you know, what happens here in my locality is like, if you don't become a software engineer or a doctor, you will be considered as a terrorist. It's not in my area, but it's everywhere, whole in India. But for me, it's like, I, I don't want to be, but yeah, I joined us in unit, but the thing is, I dropped out of my engineer, so what to do next?

So I went, I took a road trip basically to place at the tip of India and the Sri Lanka border. So I was like, I took that road trip and I'm coming back and I'm going through this LinkedIn. So then I came, I came through one article written by you, which is regarding the AltCampus. So I was really got connected because you are a dropout and you took a similar path and you started building something for other people.

It was a profound learning basically. And it's word of mouth. So I don't know, but I really got connected with that one article and I came back home and I directly applied to AltCampus that's the one thing I did. After that it is the journey. It's a life changing journey, basically.

Prashant: Okay. All right. And so just wanted to go back, so why did you drop out of college?

Chaduvula: Yeah, coming to dropping out of my college. It was a decision which I took when my first, uh, MVP got successful because in 36 days, we delivered 1200 units. And we made this revenue of 12 to 15 lakh rupees based on the orders. But the problem is that it's completely manual. We used to do the order basis, everything on Facebook, or WhatsApp.

Other than that to automate it. What we did is we took one small office or a room in our college itself and. There is this, if I have the call is where the CBS system is there, like choice base credit system, where you took you select few subjects and you can attend the classes. So what I used to do is I have this friend, so who they have Leisure period.

They used to come there and they used to chat with the customers. And we used to get orders, but later, like it's not an automated process. So I think like, okay, let's automate it and deliver that. So I met one guy and I given the development process to him and I paid some money to him, but the end result is, I don't know development.

And he's like, uh, in Hindi, there is a saying that 'Chalta rahta hai' . So it is going on going on going, man, it's a never ending process.

Prashant: Got it. So, so you wanted to learn programming because you wanted to build your own app for your startup.

Chaduvula: I Wanted to learn programming basically to build products. First of all, either for my own startup or for some other one, but the thing is, if I get some idea first thing, I, what I want to do is just to build it.

Prashant: And you weren't learning these programming skills in your college, right?

Chaduvula: Yeah, in college, like there will be a semester. It will come and they see the Java and these are the other practical. This is the way you are. You just did it. It's done.

Prashant: Okay. All right. And then, then you decided to join all campus, right?

So how was, how was the old campus learning experience and how was the all campus learning experience different from this quality experience that you just have?

Chaduvula: The college experiences, like a sheep journey. They will be shipped ahead and you have to follow once you feel go and you just go and go and go, and there won't be anyone to guide you.

You're basically a sheep, but here, what happens is like, you're not a sheep anymore. You are an individual with a few people who will come with different backgrounds. And what happens with AltCampus, like it's a community basically, and in the community, you, you won't see all software engineers that basically first you will see different people from different backgrounds from 12th dropout, a dropout from a BSc, fashion engineering guy, or someone from the fashion technology or someone from the architecture, someone from the, um, you can see someone from the MBA.

But you will, first of all, you will meet different kinds of people in college live. What happens? We did, you will meet the same type of people who come from the same background. That's it? No one has the outside exposure, but here everyone has their own story with them and you will, first of all, you will connect with good people.

And second thing is coming to learning. Uh, there is one thing called this fish thing. So you should, you should not give the fish. You should teach them how to fish. So what happened in college, they will give you a fish. They will give the good fish Curry, but the thing is after exam, you don't know what to do. But in AltCampus life, the good thing is like, uh, they will teach us, basically how to do fishing.

So what happened in AltCampus, I lived there for eight months and eight months of life is. Coming to coding. I didn't know how to write a single line of HTML before two days I learned, but I never written, I came there. I started writing and after four months I was like, I want to build something that time.

And I asked you and another one from my senior batch. And he say like, yeah Prasanth, you can build. But that time I didn't know Nodejs or React.js. So I took JavaScript. And I started building and I build the product and I launched it. I was very happy that time because you came there to build, learn programming, to build something out of it. And I started it there itself.

So that was one thing. Another one is a profound learning because how I say profound learning means you will learn yourself, you will learn from your mentors and you will learn from your peers. And no one knows who has the good logic with them.

And another thing I came to know is. It's it taught me that fishing thing because I learnt six long ways there, but I came back and I learned three other languages on my own in one month. So it's a different journey.

Prashant: Yeah, you nailed it. I mean, that's something that I tell her that I tell to all the students, including you guys, that, Hey, we can teach you, we can give you a fish one time, but then if we teach you fishing, then you can fish for life.

Right. And some I'm so happy that you have taken that back. And you know, you're gone on to learn what the language is after that. And, you know, doing great at your job. Um, so yeah, I mean, and how was the, how was the course content and sort of like the delivery of course, content, assignments, projects, uh, mentors, peers.

How has, how has your whole, like the side of the learning experience with our course content, peers, interaction, mentorship, doubt clearing and all of that.

Chaduvula: I mean, what I believe is like it's a step-by-step process. They will start with one brick, brick by brick, and it will, they will construct the wall and the constructing the wall, it would take four to six months, but the first brick will start with HTML and next one is CSS. Then next one you will go to JavaScript. Then Node.js, then React.js.

Yes. If time possible, you can then learn ReactNative or Ruby on Rails on your own. But that's the secondary thing. But the main stack, what AltCampus promises, that it delivers.

How it delivers? It's the one of the wonderful curriculum I have seen because in AltCampus, what I came to know is if you believe in Bhagwad Gita just follow Bhagwad Gita. If you believe in Quran, just follow Quran. Don't mix Dhagwad Gita with Bible. That's what AltCampus taught us. Because there they will give us one syllabus.

For HTML, they have this one particular resource, just follow it. Don't mix match. Even right now, if someone asked me from my neighborhood about how to code or get into programming. Then they will like, they will show me like six to seven courses from Udemy to Udacity. I would be like, 'Bro, how many days you want to learn?'

They will say like in one month I can finish HTML, CSS. I was like, yeah, you can do that but from where you will do, then they were like, yeah, from first chapter they will go to Udemy, second chapter they will go to Udacity. At the end what they will do is that they will do from H1 tag to H6 tag. Because they are not building anything.

First you start building something. Then your learning phase will help you to build out something.

Prashant: I mean, yeah. I mean, with AltCampus's curriculum,we go deep. Everything goes into depth, each of these topics. Like even while it's HTML and CSS and some people finish it in like five days, 10 days and they call it, like, okay, I know HTML and CSS, but at our campus, we go through like, I don't know, like almost a month drilling down various concepts, even like small concepts Flexbox etc and then we do multiple projects over there.

Chaduvula: And coming to this, uh, another curriculum thing. Yeah. I want to say something on it. One thing I like there was demo days. At AltCampus, the best part is showcase yourself. You cannot be Steve Jobs, but yeah, just go there and present whatever you have on the Sunday.

It's like a good meal on that day because you will see what other students are doing and how their knowledge is. So it will be, it will give you some type of competence. And also, it will give you a boost of confidence when you build something good and you will meet other peers who have a similar passion.

And I met few of them and I used to collaborate with them so you can make few collaborations. And I, one thing I can probably say is like in college life, I didn't make any friends. I just made friends, but they won't come with you in your life journey, but in AltCampus I made few friends like that here and it like life, the difference I made.

Prashant: Yeah. We miss you. We missed your performance on the Encore.

Chaduvula: And the other thing is, I never played sports. Okay. But in all the campus. Along with this, uh, study, with the programming. I used to play volleyball daily every day, Sunday cricket.

Like I became a different kind of person there. I never played sports. In my school because in high school there was no school ground. In my college, there is a ground, but your peers won't come there to play with you.

Prashant: Yeah, no, I mean, those are fun times. Okay. So what are you currently, where are you currently working and what are you currently on? [00:11:32] What's your job and role look like?

Chaduvula: I don't say become a digital nomad right now. But yeah, I work remotely for a company called BigBinary, where we've this thing called Ruby on rails as the core. So I learned Ruby on Rails. Then I, I came back home. Yeah. As I said, I'm from a rural village Srikakulam, which is in Andra and I'm staying in my village.

The good part of my village is that you will have 2 towers next to your home, so you will get good internet connection. So I'm working from my home and yeah, it's been like six months. I'm working from my home and it's great.

Prashant: And what are you currently doing in your job? Like what's your role there and what you're working on?

Chaduvula: Coming to my job when I completed my internship phase in BigBinary. I had a talk with the CEO of BigBinary, Neeraj, and we are discussing about this EdTech thing and I explained one product and he was into that same product lineup, in Edutech. So we started building one product. So that time I took this job of building a product called NitroAcademy, which is to turn institutes and schools and organizations to online.

Any instructor can start teaching online with just a mobile number and he can put his videos. He can create mocktest, he can add students, he can take payment, you can do everything basically. And organization can maintain all the schools at organization level.

Prashant: And so what part are you working on in this app?

Chaduvula: So coming to the tab, the best part is, I started the product. I written a whole backend for this product. I written the whole front end of the product. And there is another peer from our campus only used to work in, uh, intern in BigBinary. So he started working on that time in native app. So in the middle, he has to learn Ruby on Rails.

So. Then what I had a talk with, Neeraj again, and then he said that 'Prasanth the app is completed on website and backend', I completely written on my own. And second thing is like, I slowly started it and I was the end and the beginning of it. So it was like, then he said to me 'like Prasanth and you have to start learning this ReactNative and start building it'.

So then I learned react native in the meantime, and I. I come, uh, we are in the like 90% app completed. We are fixing the bugs right now in react native right now.

Prashant: Yeah. Awesome. I mean, it makes me so happy to hear that you guys can build full-stack applications and now we're working on mobile side as well.

I'm just so happy. Uh that's awesome. So how has this, um, AltCampus' placement support when you're looking for the job. And, when you actually got the job, did you feel like you were ready? I mean, AltCampus kind of like made you ready for making the transition into the job?

Chaduvula: Once I completed this all learning from the AltCampus, right. You said to me like 'Prasanth, there is this company and start, you have to learn Ruby on rails for this'. The next message I sent was yes, I will learn.

Then I took the journey. And in that learning process, what I learnt is that yeah AltCampus taught me how to learn first of all. That was, uh, uh, one of the greatest thing I got from there because to be in the industry, you have to learn new technologies daily. So that thing is great thing.

And the thing is like coming to learn Ruby on rails thing, I started learning it way learning. I was like under confident, but one when I was doing the phase of L0, like internship. So, once they have this six to seven people with me in the same batch. That time I got so much confidence. It's like a boost up. Then I started this L1, they say like six weeks, but the whole batch, we finished it in three weeks. And now they changed the rules also. So happy ending for me.

Prashant: Yeah. Okay. I'm just so happy to talk to you again and like again, like, uh, you know, sort of hear back what we did and your journey and all of that. Yeah. So anyway, now we are at the end of the call. Um, any, any parting advice for people who are learning to code right now?

Chaduvula: Yeah, one thing I can suggest is don't come to already AltCampus or any bootcamp just for jobs. Because if you come for the job, you will look into the job structure. You will fall in the trap. You won't learn coding for yourself. If you want to be a good programmer, just learn coding for yourself first, then make other happy.

And another thing, what I want to say it is. In online there are plenty of courses for free and some are paid. There are few communities, like AltCampus, like boot camps, whatever it is. But, don't fall into this trap of making this hybrid person. Don't read the Bhagwad Gita and Bible at the time. Just follow one thing, be it Bhagwad Gita, the Bible or the Quran, whatever it is just believe in one resource and try to finish it.

Don't just learn. But if you learn HTML, okay, it's fine. HTML and CSS you learn just take your favorite site. I'm not saying just to take a Facebook, just take any dating site also if you like it, but try to build it. The template itself. Then you like you enjoy the process. Then automatically you will get that dopamine. That dopamine to go further and learning the good technologies like JavaScript.

Just follow one resource and one mentor.

Prashant: Okay, good. Thank you so much for your time. Have a good day.

Chaduvula: Thank you. Bye-bye.

AltCampus provides quality content, mentorship, peer support system, and placement support to help you land a job like Chaduvula 😊