My Journey to SDE 2 at Microsoft!
In conversation with Ankit, a student of Programming Pathshala who broke all the barriers restraining him from success and landed at Microsoft as SDE 2. His story is a story full of hard work and believing that he’s meant for all things better in life. Read ahead to know more..!
#100Stories is a series of transformational stories of courage and indomitable will to excel, picked from the lives of tech students, particularly in India. Initiative by Programming Pathshala
Hi Ankit, would you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, my name is Ankit Guddewala. I am from Bhagalpur in Bihar. I have done my engineering from PSE South Campus, Bangalore. I did my graduation in Information Science and Engineering. After completing my college.
So Ankit, can you trace us through your journey to Microsoft?
After college, I was jobless for about 6–7 months. I started getting very tense and due to peer pressure, I was very depressed and had a lack of confidence. My friends started earning money and were excelling and I was feeling very low.
Slowly, I started searching for opportunities where I can contribute to small projects or get to learn new things. I wanted to gain experience on how things work in the IT industry. I contacted one friend of mine who was doing freelancing and asked him if he could give me any work which I can contribute to. He gave me one of the projects and I started working on it. While working on the project, I started my learning journey.
“What we learn in college is completely different from what we do in the normal day to day life in IT industry”
In college, we learnt competitive coding, got problem statements but in jobs, we do something completely different and it is related to more practical problems. The project was a little difficult for me as I had very little experience. My friend helped me in my journey and provided me with resources. Once I started building the project, I started feeling very confident.
After this project, I landed a job in a startup. In this startup two people were there and we had to do a project from scratch. This project was very difficult for me because I was a fresher and without a mentor, I did not know where to begin. While building something, a lot of things are to be kept in mind. I started learning new things and this was a very challenging project for me. From this startup, I had an amazing learning journey. Every day a new challenge is thrown at me and I started finding solutions for it. I love challenges and I found this very productive and interesting. This startup was the kick start I needed for my career.
After this startup, I started feeling very confident about myself. I built a product for a startup from scratch. I started applying for jobs soon after the startup. While giving interviews, I was feeling very confident.
Soon, I got a job at Siemens. This was another amazing journey. The difference between the startup and the company was interaction with people. In Siemens, I started interacting with shareholders and this gave me the exposure I needed. The shareholders were mostly outside India. I started understanding about the customer needs and what people from outside India think has helped me gain experience.
Unfortunately, I started to feel that in Siemens, I was not learning anything new.
I started exploring again and I wanted to work for FAANG companies. I got rejected in all the interviews. I did not have a good understanding about Data Structures and Algorithms and System Design.
I crossed paths with a guy who told me about Vivek sir. I was told that the way Vivek sir was explaining, even a layman can understand that. I found Vivek Sir on LinkedIn. Here is when Programming Pathshala comes in. I researched about Programming Pathshala and I applied for the course. I was excited to learn from Vivek sir. It was a really motivating journey for me.
Your story is very motivating, Ankit. So after all the efforts and the struggles, how does it feel to finally land in Microsoft?
Honestly, it was a normal feeling. It’s not like I have achieved something great, because there are a lot of things that are to be achieved. For me,
“Success is never owned, it is rented. The rent is due everyday”
My landing in Microsoft does not mean I have achieved success. I have to learn a lot of things. There is no definition of success, according to me. You have to constantly push yourself for success. It is a never ending process.
Amazing, so would you like to take us through your Interview process at Microsoft?
Interview process at Microsoft has been very insightful and amazing. There were a total of 5 rounds, 3 technical; 1 hiring round and 1 behavioral round.
The technical interviews were focused on Data Structures and Algorithms and Low level design. The Hiring manager round was more focused on high level design and my past work experience as I was being interviewed for the SDE 2 role. It was a very good interview and I got to learn from it.
It was great listening to your story Ankit, It sure has been very Motivating to hear about your journey to Microsoft. Would you like to share some insights on your experience with Programming Pathshala?
For me, Programming Pathshala helped me in building my confidence. Before joining Programming Pathshala, I used to think that I could learn on my own but after joining the course, I understood the right guidance is very important. The best thing about their course is that it is a structured course. It starts with the very basics and it slowly helped me to build my problem solving skills. The course at Programming Pathshala has helped me in a lot of things. In Programming Pathshala, as I got connected with the founders, they helped me to broaden my thinking. I started attending classes and the classes were so well explained and detailed that even a layman could understand them. Vivek Bhaiya and Bharat Bhaiya helped me develop a different approach to solving problems and helped me in my interview skills.
All that I have learnt about Data Structures and Algorithms has come from Programming Pathshala. The founders have been very helpful to me from the beginning and at all times. It was very difficult as I was a working professional and when I stayed up late at night and reached out to Bharat or Vivek bhaiya for doubts and needed help in problem solving, I would receive a reply within minutes. This was very motivating for me.
What kept you motivated throughout?
Everytime life pushed me down, all I did was never give up. I developed confidence in myself. Having confidence in myself has helped me a lot. I never give up, no matter how hard it is. I was consistent enough. I took a break now and then but I remembered to pull myself up and start working towards my goal. The only thing that kept me motivated was the thought of never giving up.
Any parting words, for budding SDE?
The most important thing to remember and to do is to concentrate on the basics. Knowing basics will help make your base strong. You can solve any problem if your basics are clear. That is what I have always followed. Programming Pathshala has helped me a lot in getting to know the basics and keeping a hold on them.
Thank you so much for giving me your time Ankit, it has been amazing having a word with you and we wish you nothing but a very bright future ahead as a successful SDE 2 at Microsoft.
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