Despite being a 6 star coder on codechef, a candidate master on codeforces, and an ICPC regionalist, my story is as imperfect as it can get!
I had no internship in college. I faced rejections in Microsoft, Codenation, Directi. In Fact I even considered CAT as an option. So trust me, it’s not clarity but the Not-giving-up attitude and passion that paves the way to big things in life.Clarity isn’t Everything, Trust me, I am Googler!
We are proud to share the journey of our Scaler Swapnil Mahajan, who is a perfect example of Hard work meets Not-giving up attitude.
Read his complete journey from scratch, his motivation behind Not-giving up attitude and how Scaler Academy helped grab his dream job at Google:
I am Swapnil Mahajan, a 2020 grad from a middle-class family in Kanpur. Engineering was always on my cards, not because I loved computers, but because I loved Maths and Physics.
So when given the option between chemical branch in BITS Goa and CSE in HBTI , I decided to go for CSE.
My journey in coding is credited to my brother, college seniors and competitive friends, who introduced me to codechef early in college.
You know how one achievement of someone, you look up to, gives you your personal goal, a 6 star codechef rated college senior was that inspiration. I decided that if he could do that, I can too.
I joined a course for DSA offered by NPTEL and with a lot of practice in my second and third sem,I became the first student in my batch to reach 4* rating in the second year. But not everything was a cakewalk.
The real eye-opener was during an off campus coding test for internship in Flock, a directi subsidiary, when 2 questions were asked from Dynamic programming(DP) and I had very little clue. Since my college did not provide any internships, off-campus applications was a struggle.
At this point, I decided to even join a coaching for CAT preparation. I used to prepare for CAT entrance in coaching and college free time, while at home, all my time was for competitive programming. I’d agree I was not clear, but I promised myself not to compromise on learning coding.
I was just enjoying the process of coding. There is no other way to put it.
But then came a phase when I confronted a series of rejections and failures. I applied for a Microsoft internship, got rejected because of problems on the binary tree and linked list. Applied for Codechef internship, but screwed in the project round, where I could not implement REST API properly.
I came across a news that one of the college seniors was referred to UBER through IB based on CodersBit, that spread like wildfire. I was very impressed and started solving puzzles on IB . When I got to know about Scaler Academy, I immediately decided to apply for the First batch in April 2019.
I was already coding for sometime, but honestly, it was easy to lose motivation without a proper structure. Here’s where Scaler Academy pitched in. I really enjoyed the entire structure where in 45-50 days, you were trained well for Data structures and algorithms for your interviews. The mentor sessions played a very crucial role in my success today. Having an expert to personally monitor your growth and guide you is priceless for somebody who is striving to learn.
I clearly remember Abhimanyu sir’s words ” Be Audacious, Swapnil. Think of a bigger picture” when I refused to join a hackathon event due to campus placements. His guidance played a vital role in my project.
Now came the most decisive time, I had to choose between CAT and Engineering as a career. Note that by now, I had an offer from OYO through on-campus placements, had become a candidate master on codeforces, 6* coder on codechef, been selected for ACM ICPC regionals, scored an International rank of 51 in Google Kickstart, cleared CCDSAP advanced level, BUT I had a 99.2 percentile in CAT. It was my moment of truth. I knew I have enjoyed coding and decided to go for it.
I got my first referral through Scaler Academy in GOOGLE. Utkarsh Sir and my mentor Kishan Sir guided me all through this while. I cleared all my rounds and I will be a Googler Soon.
Scaler Academy is an amazing platform for those who really want to learn and upgrade their skills. Don’t believe those who say that only DSA will sail you through.System design, projects, HLD,LLD, every topic is important.
One word of advice from my journey would be - Don’t give up. I had my fair share of rejections.
My mother is a literature teacher and this Not-giving-up attitude comes from her. So as a kid, whenever I left like giving up, she always used to make me repeat the following lines from a famous poem:
“Woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have Promises to keep
And Miles to go before I sleep”
I am a Proud Scaler!