He may not be good at video games, but he can surely test your wits in chess. Meet Ankit Verma, a computer science graduate and the latest Full Stack developer at Skuad. A die-hard foodie, all Ankit needs is a laptop with an internet connection. He will channelize all his energy in creating applications to solve everyday problems. Discover his journey through his words as he talks about his mentoring days, love for Kpop, and his search for more.
Firstly, what are your thoughts about women being employed in tech? Do you feel it's a man’s job, given the skewed ratio?
Let's establish one fact: Women are good at technology. They work with tools and technologies as efficiently as any man. At my graduation, we had 90 boys and 10 girls. The success rate, therefore, is obviously higher for guys compared to girls. So, to say that women are not good at coding or don’t deserve a place in the tech industry is wrong. It is all about the numbers. More women are coming forward and grabbing new opportunities. The numbers, as a result, will increase, and this problem will be resolved. All in all, tech-related jobs are gender-neutral, just like marketing or consulting.
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Name a source of inspiration to you.
Anudeep Nekkanti, a 21 year old coder. He is from a small town near Vishakapatnam who cracked a job at Google. He is the reason I decided to become a software engineer. I really admire him. I read his blogs on how you can master technologies as a software engineer and what you can do to start with it. Post this, I started researching how to become a software engineer on Quora and what I need to do to get into big tech companies. I even had the opportunity to chat with him in my initial days of learning.
In the workspace, I really look up to Pranav, sir. If I want to be like someone, it would be him. No matter what issue you are facing, you go up to him, and he will give you a one-word answer. And that’s enough to solve your problems.
How do you unwind after a tiring day at work?
Playing chess with my father every day and connecting with my friends over zoom calls helps me relax. I am a big fan of Kpop and Kdramas. My favorite groups are TWICE, ITZY and Blackpink. I play their songs even while working to help me stay productive. If I ever feel pressured at work, I switch to cooking. It helps me burn off some steam. (Pun Intended!)
Any advice you would like to give your 10-year old self would be?
Don’t stress too much about anything. Really. In school, I was that studious kid who would worry a lot about his marks. Things eventually fall in place. When I completed my 2nd semester, my brother graduated from the electrical branch. He later joined an IT firm and informed me about the plethora of opportunities available for Computer Science graduates. I slowly shifted from textbook knowledge to implementing learning to everyday life. This was when I started mentoring people in Data and Algorithms.
Tell us a bit more about your experience as a mentor. Did you face any challenges?
From my 2nd year, I have been mentoring working professionals and college students at Coding Blocks. In my summer vacations, I became a mentor at Geeks for Geeks. I interned in Bangalore with Cuemath in my final year. One challenge I faced time and again was my lack of experience on paper. I taught not only students but professionals with 4-5 years of experience. As I was a college student, some people were hesitant to learn from me. They always wanted someone with more experience. They thought that person would know much more and provide better value addition. I worked on my knowledge with time, which eventually brought in more students and boosted my confidence.
What have you learned during this challenging phase of lockdown?
I actually had an offer from Shopee in Singapore. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all the international fights were banned, and I couldn’t join them there. I regretted not applying to other companies at that time. I had some time on my hands and was missing my friends dearly in lockdown. If I face any issues, I have a tendency to fix them by building an android or a web application. So I created an app called Collab to listen to some youtube songs together. Through this app, we can basically listen to the same music simultaneously in different settings.
Our CEO, Sundeep Sahi, noticed this and offered me a role at Skuad. As an organization, Skuad has sort of immunized itself from COVID-19. Because of its remote working structure, Skuad will emerge as a champion in the time to come. Now I feel like I am having a good time professionally. So, I will advise all the people out there to keep trying.
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