This is not the story of a super-smart know it all, a topper throughout or a genius or the hero we all expect to see in these stories. It is a story- of just another guy around the corner with everything ordinary.
Ashish Kumar hails from Varanasi and came to Delhi to pursue Engineering at Indraprastha Engineering College, Ghaziabad. Initially, things were topsy-turvy because of the traditional operating mechanism in the big city, followed by a language barrier and fast-paced life. While all these differences were known and heard of, programming was an alien thing altogether for him. “I had no prior experience of coding which made it even more difficult as I couldn’t make head or tail of it,” said Ashish Kumar.
Once the classes commenced, the first score that I was able to secure was merely 21 marks. It took me five days to get the output “Hello World” unlike my peers and when it worked, I was running around showing off to my friends. (I guess you see where I was, don’t know if this accomplishment is more embarrassing than my first exam’s marks!).
An android training was organised in their college by a training institute based in Kolkata that he attended and was able to make his maiden android app- a rock paper scissor app. Soon after, he got a chance to work on an Android Project at an NGO.
“Amongst all this, I was doing coding and development but there was a lingering feeling like I didn’t feel it! understand it! One of my friends suggested that if I want to seriously pursue coding, do the algorithms and data structures course at Coding Ninjas. I really liked the course but didn’t immediately get enrolled and decided to self-help myself. However, after months of struggle, I finally joined the Algorithms & Data Structures with Java course in February 2019. And hands down, Ankush Sir and Manisha Ma’am are the best! The feeling of ‘not getting it’ was far behind. All the concepts were so clearly explained and demonstrated, I finally understood or rather started enjoying coding. I liked the whole support system, the coding platform and detailed organisation of the course, then the post-course completion support system for placements,” he mentioned.
Soon after completing his course, he got a chance to apply for Cadence Design Systems, a leading EDA and Intelligent System Design provider delivering hardware, software and IP for electronic design; through Coding Ninjas Placement Cell Program. “I was one of the 10 students who was shortlisted by the Placement Team on the basis of my merit by Coding Ninjas,” he added.
Talking about my technical interview rounds he mentioned that there were three rounds which included two Technical and one HR round. According to Kumar, they were told that the technical rounds would be on algorithms and data structures in C++.
“I had never coded in C++ earlier, but I still went for the interview with the same confidence. I looked into the syntax and theory of C++ as much as I could a day prior. In the interview, I was first asked to rate myself in Data Structures and C++ on a scale of 10. I rated myself 9/10 in both. I feel if any student of Coding Ninjas rates himself below that, means he has not done the course properly,” he added.
Ashish Kumar was asked the following questions during his interview:
- Reverse a Linked List in which he was asked to explain and code the various approaches and their time complexity
- To check if a tree is BST
- Theory of OOPS
Because of the expert guidance he received at Coding Ninjas and his hard work, he was able to answer of them and coded them in Java. Thereafter, he coded in Java and a fruitful discussion on his Android project in which he had developed a matrimonial app for a community on behalf of the Modanwal Samajh, a not-for-profit organisation.
In the next and the final round, he was again asked to rate himself in Data Structures and C++ on a scale of 5. However, this time the questions were only based on Data Structures and he wasn’t asked to code in C++ which included as follows:
- What are data structures and its types?
- Implement a stack using a Linked List
- A few questions on graph, to determine if there is any cycle in a graph then write the code in notepad.
Initially, he was offered to work as an intern on a Payroll for 11 months and currently working on 11LPA as a fulltime associate at Cadence.“After joining the organisation, I came to know that my peers from better known colleges had gotten the full time position directly due to their immense knowledge they had acquired from Coding Ninjas,” he said.
Recalling his roller coaster placement journey, he said, “Since I was called for the next round, I understood, they did not expect me to know everything. They just expected me to know what I said I knew very well which I had hands-on knowledge about, because of my mock tests and assistance from the faculty at Coding Ninjas.”
Apart from Cadence, he also received offers from MBB Bangalore, TCS and Code Judge. Kumar during his college has worked on projects namely, Personal Image Search Engine in Python & Open CV. In this, given a data set of images, for example, vacation photos, we made it searchable by image. Currently, he is working from home since lockdown and he feels great to have acquired his financial independence.
After successfully pursuing Algorithms & Data Structures with Java from Coding Ninjas, he is currently enrolled in Competitive Programming. “After doing the first course I became comfortable with data structures. Later, Competitive Programming helped me to brush up my concepts and become more comfortable with advanced data structures like Segment trees and the likes. Most importantly, after doing these courses, I feel confident about myself and my knowledge in the subject and feel proud of my decision to study with Coding Ninjas,” he said.
Ever since Kumar was a kid, he wanted to meet Bill Gates, the richest man in the world and that’s why his aim is to someday work at Microsoft. “The world where I come from, people don’t look up to education or value it as it should be. But now that I have studied and got a job, people in my family, in my neighbourhood feel that it’s a great milestone to achieve. It has changed their perspective on education. As insignificant as it is, it is like a zero to one change here and it means a lot to me,” he concluded.
Ashish Kumar who once wasn’t able to comprehend the dynamics of data structures was the Top Performer Of Competitive Programming Course and was also selected for Google India Challenge Scholarship.
This is not the story of a super-smart know-it-all, a topper throughout or a genius that we all seek. It is a story of just another guy, around the corner with everything ordinary. If you have a Success Story with Coding Ninjas reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Vidhi Aggarwal