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Harshaan's story of learning to code, AltCampus, getting first job and advice for newbies.

Harshaan, 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 learning to code, role of AltCampus, placement support and getting and transitioning into his first tech job. He also shares his advice for people getting started in web development.

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Here's the transcript of the conversation

Okay. I wanted to know a bit about your experience, your background, how AltCampus has helped you and you know, what you're currently doing. So can you just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where you're working etc.

Harshaan: I'm Harshaan Nihal. Currently I'm working in BigBinary as a software engineer. I'm working in BigBinary from like more than around a year now. And I am working on a ticketing app, which is their internal project. I've worked on both the web platform as well as the mobile platform.

Prashant: That's great. So Harshaan, how did you come to realize that you wanted to learn programming or more specifically, what was your journey before that?

Harshaan: So I got introduced to programming in my school time after in the 11th and 12th standard. But after that I stopped programming and join a textile college where I realized, you know, I don't want to learn textile.

And then again, I moved to computer science. I changed my branch to Computer Science. But most of them most of the things I learned is that you already, like, they are teaching you some data structure to do computing, but not purely programming. So I know, C++ I can, I was doing little bit of competitive programming, but it is not like I was improving in my programming setup.

The second problem is I was not able to create a project. So whatever I was doing, I was just solving the mathematical problem, which were given it to him. But I don't know where to implement that in real world. So after the college, I was trying to apply to tech company where I can learn this thing, but because I didn't have any experience on how to create a project this thing backfired with me and I could not get a proper job.

During that time I learned about AltCampus, at the time I didn't have any idea of what is the difference between web development and software development. I thought just the designing part was web development. I didn't know that there goes proper programming behind the web development. So I joined AltCampus and then I realized all those things.

So like even in the first month I learned how I can create the UI structure of like a project or any thing I want. And then later I learned basic of the JavaScript. So now I now knew how I can create a project, how the UI should look like, and I could implement my programmng logic in that, in the project.

Prashant: Okay. Yeah, that sounds good. So what does your learning experience at AltCampus? What was your takeaway? How did mentors, the course curriculum and the peer group, everything helped you in learning?

Harshaan: So like I tried learning coding on my own. Also when I started, I was not aware where to start and not.

So I went through AngularJS. Yes, I had no idea what it properly is. I just knew the basic out of the syntax, but, you know, that becomes very complicated soon. I was able to understand what was given in the tutorial, but I was not able to create those things on my own. Then I moved to PHP and similarly I moved to Java and it is a iteration.

I was not gaining anything. I was just jumping from one language to another. So at AltCampus, one thing I've learned is how to learn on your own. This is the one of the greatest take away from the, like, after competing AltCampus, I learned three different languages and I know how to follow the path. The way AltCampus teaches us to just follow one resource properly and go through it from start to end, even though it, this starting look very easy. Doesn't matter. You have to go through this starting till the end.

You don't jump in the process. So that is very helpful. Other than that, like the second thing is I learned the whole full stack development in AltCampus. So now I am very confident in moving to any platform.

Like let's say if I just know HTML the front end part. So the data structure part would scare me. It was like unchartered domain. But due to the full knowledge, I now know how the backend is working and the front end is working so I can easily create things, then manage them in both frontend and backend.

Prashant: Okay. And when making there, like, say you've gotten a job now you've worked for almost a year now.

So how has making the transition from say learning at AltCampus to getting a job and like working at the job? I'm sure working at the job is very different from, you know, just learning. What was that transition easy? Like if you feel you know confident enough to be able to learn new things and to be able to apply in the job, how was that transition?

Harshaan: While going through the course, I knew the stuff that was taught me to. I didn't know much about other libraries. We were doing it in your JavaScript kind of thing. So initially I was trying to build up everything on my own, which is taking a lot of time.

Then in the job, there is a kind of time constraint. Everything has a deadline. You had to do stuff at a very fast pace. So during that time I started picking up some libraries. I started searching, what the problem is. Then think if there is any alternative for, to solve that problem. For like one or two months, it is very scary.

Even whenever I see a problem, I get scared. I'm not able to solve this problem. This is very complicated. But while working on the project, you understand, you know, everything is like build-able. It just take some time. So now I feel pretty confident in whatever the project is there. It will just take time, but it would be easily done.

The thing is you are not building it in a single day, but every hour, you are constantly putting the effort.

Prashant: That's true. So what, what would you advise for anyone just getting started in this spot of web development or software development you know, what's your advice for them?

Harshaan: So the first key is, get a good mentor. So like a good mentor will always guide you on a proper path. And also, what is the correct way to approach the problem.

The second, learn everything by, by heart, like try to understand. Technology is as deep as you can go. It will give you more confidence. Maybe it will not make your coding skills better, but they will, it will give you more confidence in what is achievable and what is not achievable with a particular knowledge you have.

Oh, if you can't get a mentor, then follow proper curriculum on any coding bootcamp, which you can find, which follow the whole path properly and attend everything on the daily basis.

Practice everything daily. It is like just consistency or not over what you're like. I don't know how to put this in words, but like, you know, whatever you want to achieve, just make it your woman towards it everyday. Don't escape it for like people work for one week and they skipped for two. We don't do that.

Just make a proper plan and follow them properly.

Prashant: Yeah. That's that's great. That's great. Okay. So say, if people want to get in touch with you or follow you, where can, where can they get in touch with you.

Harshaan: So they can get in touch with me either on LinkedIn or on Twitter

Prashant: Okay. Thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it.

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