My Journey from a horrible rank to a great company

The year 2015, results for my 12th and entrance exams were out. I did bad! 69.85% and the rank was as bad it can be, I had no idea what will I do and the only thing in my mind was to proceed with Computer science engineering.

But why CS? Let’s go back to 2014, I took CS in my +2 ( high school ), it started with the first hello world in turbo C by the best teacher Mr. Pawan Jeet Singh, made me fell in love with coding.

Thank you, sir

1st Year (July 2015): started at Acharya Institute of Technology and I did exactly what a typical college student is supposed to do. ( I’m glad I did it and I don’t consider as a waste of time).

CHILLING

Meanwhile, I met Sanjay K Amaan who had a startup and this excited me to know how the real-life applications are built, the struggle behind it, I started interacting with him more often, which helped me evolve as a better design thinker( I was not involved technically!)

2nd Year: After a complete year of relaxation, I got a little nervous and thought of learning something and like everyone, the biggest question was where to start? Luckily, I am the youngest in the family and have plenty of people to give guidance (GYAAN) and I took from Tarun Narang (my jiju) to take up online courses, I started with web development. Now, I was ready to utilize the learning so I approached my college fest team if I could develop a website for the fest and they gave me the opportunity. It was a hit. After that, I never stopped and started getting website and app projects from friends and their friends which lead to a freelancing startup Scryptonite 🍻(too small scale to continue for long).

After this quick startup experience, I thought of getting some stability and learning more than just website development. This meant internship. I made my first resume 😫 (toughest and boring task) which lead me to Tartl. Here, I met Angular, I went to the documentation, took courses and help from Angular pro Shiva Prasad. I gave my days and nights to know my new interest Angular, and after a few weeks, I completely fell in love with UI and JS (I know it’s TS for Angular). But, UI without backend is like one-sided love so I had to learn NodeJS and built few projects on it. Now that I knew NodeJs, Express, Angular and MongoDB (MEAN) time to explore and work on it.

Can not read the property of undefined

3rd year:
Now I wanted to work as a full-stack developer and I started my internship search once again. After applying at multiple places, I got it at IoT based car public charging infrastructure company 🍻DrivAMP where I got the opportunity to build their dashboard in angular and firebase from ground zero! 3rd year, after all, is the time when you start worrying about your future.

Pro people: You should take part in hackathons and solve big and challenging problems!
Me: Why not? But, it’s not that easy, you need a team for that. Time to utilize your not so useful friends :D. I built a team of 4 where I was the software guy (Backend & UI) and others for hardware. We participated in multiple hackathons and won 3 hackathons globally💥💥💥

More Starting up:
By now I knew how to build the entire applications, and my confidence level was touching the sky! So the thought of solving some old problems which I know from my first startup…this I started with a product called Paylancer on FinTech 🍻 to solve payment problems for freelancers (didn’t work out due to government rules 😭). But, some failure leads to success as well…you know baazigar; I got 3rd rank at Pitney Bowes global SMB challenge 🍻.

Champion

To the USA and beyond:
I believe in “knowledge grows by sharing” so started some workshops in my college for our juniors on web development and advance JS and with their blessings I got the opportunity to go to the USA for an internship at Old Dominion University, Virginia USA. By the way not just blessings, I worked on a project for 4 months. In my internship, I worked as a research intern and came 2nd with Chatbot challenge for homes.com and got the outstanding intern award with MS opportunity with scholarship💥.

Final year: Giving it back, and getting some
After coming back from the US, my energy level was high so again thought of doing something interesting. I approached my college to form a community to help juniors as always my college supported me and we have a formal ACDC (Acharya Coder’s Development Community) community of 25 members and solved multiple college problems with the help of tech 💥!

Meanwhile, DrivAMP (where I did my first 3rd-year internship) contacted me to build the complete enterprise application for the car chargers.
I started learning how to build a scalable application and build the application with microservice architecture and OCPP protocols for IoT car chargers communication and frontend with role-based authentication in Angular with sockets!

Parallelly, everyone around me with Buzzwords big data, ML and AI. I got curious and started learning. I prepared myself and applied in ESPN for an internship. There I worked with the data science team in writing the recommendation model of what you should watch next on ESPN. It was fun with so much data and thinking about scale.

Till now, I was living in a temporary protected world of my own, where I could jump from here to there 🐸. But my college days were about to get over and the real-life was going to start 🤔. I started preparing for placement and got placed as well…but, somehow I was not satisfied so started looking outside. I sent my resume to 100 plus companies, gave multiple interviews and finally landed into Boomerang Commerce initially as an intern (and later was invited to join as a full-time employee).

Things changed here! I learned how to take ownership, responsibility and customer obsession, along with building the few great features (Share of voice and Budget dayparting) on the 3rd largest Ads provider (AMS) and the best way of writing generic and reusable UI components.

July 2019 Graduation: Finally completed my bachelor of engineering in Computer science with 6.5 CGPA (low, I know! But, who cares!).

I was happy (no backs 😌) and then came a new turn (an unbelievable one)… I got a job offer from one of my dream companies Nutanix 🕺. I started my first full-time job on 26th June 2019.

I work with and earn the same as a top student at a top Indian college gets here.

Back in 2015:
I wanted to prove marks don’t matter!
I wanted to prove college doesn’t matter!
I think I’m close to proving it today.

Conclusion

The only person who can stop you from learning and exploring is you!

I did all my internships/work after my college hours or during semester break for 3years, I used to sleep at 2 AM and attend college at 9 AM.

I believe the biggest hurdle for an individual is to know what exactly you want to do or achieve in your life. Once, that is clear you can do anything. I always wanted to code and here I am…happy in my coding world!

Everyone is having college and exams! How can you be different if you just study for college?
Everyone can code and do the sprint task! But can you take responsibility and ownership of delivering your task on time and tested? Can you take the responsibility of improving the exciting systems? I do.

This is the key to success for any developer as per me.

Connect with me

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikhil-talwar-6a7176130/
Twitter (Getting started): https://twitter.com/its_talwar

Thanks giving

I’m really grateful to my college (Acharya Institute of Technology) and the CSE department who always supported me throughout my college life.

Let’s mention people who guided me to this stage, I’m really thankful to you all for bringing me up to here. (order doesn’t mean anything)

-> Tarun Narang
-> Sanjay K Amaan
-> Tarun Thontadarya
-> Amarsh Vutukuri
-> Pawanjeet Singh
-> Shiva Prasad

Oh, by the way
No. of 🍻 (Internship and work experience): 7 in 2.5 years
No. of 💥 (Big achievements): 9

Thank you!

Nikhil Talwar
Emerging UI champion