Hi, I am Pankaj Kumar, a senior software back-end engineer at Isima.io, a hyper-converged data platform. Before delving into my life-changing experience in computer science, I'd like to share a personal story. I hail from Gopalpur, a remote village in the Siwan district of Bihar, where I completed my primary and secondary education at the local government school.
My educational journey began under unique circumstances. I vividly recall that our school didn't even have a proper classroom. We studied under trees during the summer and winter seasons. During the rainy season, the headmaster would request the villagers for a space to conduct classes. With only one teacher managing the entire school, students from grades 1 to 5 were taught together. Additionally, access to drinkable water on the school premises was a constant challenge.
Due to our family's critical financial condition, I couldn't afford JEE coaching classes. Thankfully, after completing secondary education, I learned about Anand Kumar's Super 30 program in Patna through a local newspaper. I managed to participate and was selected for the Super 30 batch.
Anand sir's unique teaching style consistently motivated me to put in tremendous effort. With his guidance and rigorous practice, I successfully cracked the JEE Advanced exam with a commendable rank. It was a dream come true for me.
Although I had no prior knowledge of computers, I excelled in mathematics. Following the advice of Super 30 seniors, I chose to pursue Computer Science and Engineering as my major at IIT Kanpur.
After starting college, I had my first encounter with computers. However, I constantly felt the pressure of performing well since the grades were relative. Some of my batchmates already had 2-3 years of programming knowledge ahead of me.
I was introduced to Computer Science through an introductory programming course in the C language. Initially, I struggled to grasp the concept of loops, understand iterations, and fill 2D arrays. Visualizing memory allocations was also challenging. Nonetheless, I found it fascinating that this small computer box could help us solve real-life problems. I never let myself become demotivated and persisted in understanding the concepts, making my learning more concrete and practical.
I want to summarise these steps point-wise:
I wasn't good at communication skills, which also affected my placement. While I managed to clear most of the aptitude and programming rounds, I couldn't succeed in the interviews. However, as a privileged Computer Science Engineer from one of the best institutes, a Bombay-based firm offered me a position as a Data Analyst.
Believe me, I wasn't satisfied with my performance and made the decision to pursue a career in backend development. So, I chose not to join the firm. This wasn't an easy decision, considering the pressure of my family's financial condition. Nevertheless, I declined the offer and started preparing for off-campus placements.
After completing graduation, I joined AlgonoX, a Hyderabad-based firm, where I developed an internal employee management system. After that, I switched to a B2B e-commerce firm called MedleyMed, where I worked as a Django developer. However, to fulfil my aspirations, a few months later, I joined Fortanix, a cloud security firm, where I gained valuable experience managing their clients directly. I worked there for two long years.
Currently, I am working in the field of Backend development for Data Management. Research and development work is constantly happening in various technologies, so it is important to explore these areas before starting a career in them. It is also advisable to consider the future prospects of those areas in the next ten years. If I had to pinpoint three technologies, my suggestions would be:
Here are some standard practices that I would like to emphasize:
In summary, I would like to say that: Hard work and continuous learning is always the key to success.
Enjoy Learning. Enjoy Thinking. Enjoy Algorithms!
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