Hear out the success story of Harsh Agrawal, an 18-year-old Indie Game Developer, a college dropout & a Software Developer who pursued Coding Ninjas Career Camp & Machine Learning programmes and got placed in Avalara with 10LPA.
He is like all of us, grew up in India, in its hard-set ways and conservative mindsets. But unlike us, he defied so many of them and still continues to defy them. His story is the one that sets new paths and inspires all of us to be more practical, smart and driven.
At the age of 13, Agrawal started making games, at 15 he learnt his first programming language and at 18, he got placed at an IT company during the first year of his college (Amity University). He dropped out later and is currently working with Avalara with a package of 10LPA.
Let’s take a sneak-peek to his success story.
He started making games when he was in 8th grade. “I loved playing video games and the prospect of being able to make my own games was very exciting. Therefore, I started researching more about them and slowly learnt to build my own games. It took me two years to become comfortable with the vocabulary and basics of game development in Unity,” he said.
Since the beginning he was persistent of not spending time in college and instead wanted to start working. “To complement the traditional teaching methods with significant practical exposure, I was looking for a professional course of coding and that is when I came across Coding Ninjas Career Camp programme on Instagram,” he informs.
After having a detailed conversation with Coding Ninjas Co-Founder and Faculty, Ankush Singla on Slack. “He unlike most people understood my viewpoint and even supported me. He was kind enough to make an exception for me and after an aptitude test, he let me enrol in the Career Camp Programme,” explains Agrawal with glee.
Sharing his experience at Career Camp, he mentioned that the course started-off from the bare basics to immense rounds of practice on recursion, basic Data Structures (Linked Lists, Queues, Trees, BSTs) to Advanced Data Structures (Priority Queues, Graphs, etc). Full-stack web development was also part of it that covered HTML, CSS, JS and MERN which was covered in great detail. “The course teaches you concepts and methodologies in a span of six months, which an average student would learn in three years. The course is beneficial for students who are serious about it and want give 100% dedication,” he exhaled.
Agarwal’s most liked features were:
- The course payment which starts only when your job starts
- Excellent quality of video lectures
- A substantial amount of quality questions after each topic for practice
- Regular tests to keep you on track
- An active and energised community of students and faculty on Slack
- Frequent webinars with faculty and industry mentors/experts
- Round the clock assistance by the Teaching Assistants
- Industry mentors to solve queries and take mock interviews
- Active placement cell to assist you in resume building to keep you posted about latest job opportunities
Career Camp, is a coding boot camp in which you are taught programming from scratch and are guaranteed a job of a minimum of five Lakhs per annum. “This is a great opportunity for computer science students who are about to graduate to learn to program and get assistance in placement. Also, it is ideal for people from other industries who are looking to transition into the tech industry. I was extremely happy with the course because it helped me to land a job as an 18-year-old with only 2.5 months into the course. I passed the interview round of the first company that I appeared for that came for placement,” he said.
He further explained that during Avalara’s interview there were four rounds in which the first round was a test on HackerRank. It comprised five questions that they had to solve in two hours.
- A string representation of the data in which he had to tell the percentage of the year that passed.
- In the other one, a list of TV channels was given in which some channels were blocked and the other channels had to be watched in sequence. He had to tell the minimum no. of button presses to view all the channels.
- In the last question, there was a deck of cards and the ace was at the bottom. A person shuffles the cards according to some given rule in which he had to return the final position of the ace.
The second round was a personal interview in which he was asked questions from his CV, his perspective and questions on SQL. The third round was a technical round which was held virtually from Pune in which he was asked to propose his approach and coding process for coding questions followed by the fourth was the HR round.
He made the following 2D and 3D games that are available on GitHub.
- Pattern Mania: It is a 2D game aimed for a young audience to teach basic cryptography like Atbash, ROT13 ciphers and mathematical patterns by giving different and challenging problems in the form of different levels.
- Dino Run: It is a 2D infinite runner game loosely based on the Chrome Dino game. Players need to make the highest score possible by continuously avoiding incoming obstacles.
In addition, he has made three other games and self-published at Google Play Store and has also presented a game pitch at Replay Gaming Fund by Alok Kejriwal when he was in 12th grade. Besides gaming applications, he has extensively worked on Python and Web Development projects.
Agrawal boasts prestigious certifications in Scientific Computing, Python, Web, Development and Game Development from international universities.
Sharing his future plans, Agrawal states, “Currently I am pursuing Machine Learning course from Coding Ninjas and would want to work in the industry for a few years to strengthen my technical skills and become financially independent. However, the gaming industry in India is at a very nascent stage compared to the IT industry, so in the future, I wish to invest in it.”
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By Vidhi Agarwal