From taxi driver to software engineer, here’s how the online coding course changed the life of this young man from Bihar

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A taxi driver from Bihar has successfully outgrown his life as a driver and is now working as a software engineer at WebEngage. Thanks to a 30-week coding course, which he says landed him a job as a software developer.

Originally from Munger, Ashish Raj is the son of a farmer whose family is not financially strong. After completing his education, he moved to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh for higher studies. His father spent all of his savings on his son’s first-year college fees.

On the advice of friends and family, Ashish earned an electrical engineering degree in hopes of getting a government job. However, he struggled to make ends meet during his time in town.

Poor family background

“I don’t come from a financially strong background which meant limited opportunities for me to grow up. Growing up in Bihar, there is only one goal for young people, to get government jobs. To school, the mindset was to become an engineer because that’s the shortest route to get into the government sector,” Ashish told News18.

“The financial situation was terrible for a joint family like ours. I saw the first year that most of my seniors who had left university did not find jobs at all. I could not contract any ready at that time, but I needed money for me and my family, to be away from home,” he added.

To make ends meet, Ashish took the help of his cousin to learn how to drive a car and got a driver’s license after a while. He started working as a driver in Bhopal with taxi aggregator Uber.

“My whole family was very disappointed because they spent everything on my education. Indian families value education more. It was the hardest time I have ever had,” he said. -he declares.

He was caught in a capture situation. He couldn’t stop driving because he needed the money, and driving left him neither the time nor the resources to study. He couldn’t buy the extra supplies, including books, accommodation costs, etc. necessary if he reduced his working hours.

I came across a short term coding course

That’s when the Bihar native came across a 30-week short-term course in full web development at Masai. In April 2020, he took the course and learned HTML, Javascript, CSS as well as the MERN stack. As part of his project work, he also built a clone of the professional networking website LinkedIn.

Ashish has always had an interest in computers. It reminded him of his childhood when he spent a lot of time in his uncle’s internet cafe. He took a chance on the coding course because he didn’t have to pay anything for it. “If it doesn’t work, I won’t pay them anything and if I get a job, anything will be better than driving a taxi,” he said.

At the end of the 30-week course, he now thinks, “There are people who do four years of IT who have less knowledge than me at this stage. Right now, I’m working in a field in which they can’t get in because they don’t have any software development skills,” he adds.

For Ashish, it took him almost three weeks to get the job after completing his course. He didn’t land the first job he applied for because he lacked interview skills, but he took each interview as a learning step. “I participated in 6 or 7 interviews. I prepared myself by taking feedback from the past and tried to improve myself,” he explained.

For his job at WebEngage, he first had to pass a coding test, followed by a technical interview. Later, interviews with the manager and HR were held, after which he finally got the job.

Although he didn’t reveal his salary, Ashish said it was more than what he earned, more “doing a better job”.

The quest for better doesn’t end there for him, “I want to grow more, get a better salary package in the future. First I just wanted to do good in life, now I want to improve myself in as a software developer, make more money, and help my family. I just want to keep doing this job and grow and earn more doing something that I loved to do as a kid,” he said. he declares.

When asked how important knowledge of English is for tech jobs, he said communication and understanding are key factors. Therefore, knowing English helps. “I’m improving my writing skills, but coding is a language in its own right. Once you understand what needs to be done, you can do it. I think English is a crucial basic skill. The more you fluent the better, but knowing English is important in technology,” he said.

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