Chandan Gupta, one of Masai School’s students learned the hard way of the 9-9-6 lifestyle at Masai after he joined us in March of 2021 becoming a part of the ‘Ninjas 2’ batch.
Cut to today, he’s working as a software development engineer in Dream11 with a 7 digit salary, and the 22-year-old developer seems to be really liking his newfound job.
Chandan connected with us from his office desk and shared his Masai School’s journey. He also explained how it is possible to become a professional Software Developer in 7 months with a quality Bootcamp if you’re committed to your cause.
Here are a few excerpts of the fun conversation we had:
Why did you choose to join Masai School?
My elder brother, who also happens to be a software engineer, introduced me to the concept of a bootcamp where you can start learning at zero upfront fees and payback after getting a job.
I googled and came across 2-3 bootcamps of the same income share agreement model based in the US. My first instinct was to join Microverse as they were offering remote classes. But, luckily I came across an article about Masai School, an Indian coding bootcamp.
There were two features at Masai that sealed the deal for me.
First, Masai gave the option to quit after 1 month with no standing charges. I wasn’t looking to quit or anything but as a wise person would, I was considering the different possibilities before making any decision.
The second thing that pulled me towards Masai was the course duration. See, other foreign-based institutes were offering programs for a year or a year and a half. Being an Indian student, you’d know that we are quite time-sensitive and choosy regarding our careers.
So, without further ado, I appeared in the MSAT and got enrolled in the Full-stack Web Development Course at Masai School.
What other career plans did you have in mind?
I was pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and preparing for competitive govt. exams like SSC. I actually wanted to do B.com but due to my biggest fear at that time- English, I let it pass as my friends told me I’d need to write long answers in the English language if I opted for Commerce.
Anyways, I appeared in a few competitions and realized it’ll take quite a long to crack one. And I couldn’t be absolutely sure about that either. Add to that the pressure of imposing all your hopes on one thing.
Wondering all these things, I decided to try my hands into something else. After a conversation with my elder brother, I knew that programming was the real calling for me given my inclination towards maths.
So, I started my coding journey in October 2020, learning from random sources on YouTube.
By March 2021, I had learned quite a bit of DSA but I still wasn’t ready for an industry-level job. That’s when I decided to go for structured learning and practice-based training at Masai.
You mentioned that you had problems in English. How did you overcome that challenge?
Yeah, not just problems, I’d say English ghosted me. The majority of my career decisions were factored around my inability to communicate in English. For the same reason, I was apprehensive about joining Masai too.
Only when I got enrolled, I came to know about the ‘Utter Program’ at Masai which is aimed at improving English communication skills in students. Not all students have to go through it, as it’s not a part of the main curriculum.
The Masai team shortlists students for ‘Utter’ based on a short video that everyone has to submit at the start of the course. Selected students are then trained in all aspects of English communication starting from Unit 2 to Unit 4.
Apart from the regular software development training, this program was the biggest plus point for me, one of the primary reasons I did well in the interview and got selected.
Now, I don’t feel any hesitation in speaking my mind out in a corporate setup. I might still make a few grammatical errors here and there but I have developed decent clarity, structure, and style in my communication due to the training I received in the ‘Utter Program’.
Few of my friends wanted to join Masai but were dubious because of the same insecurity in English. I told them – “Don’t worry when you can utter.”
Tell us about your Placement Experience at Masai.
It was an exciting experience, to say the least. I cleared the Masai Accreditation at the first attempt and was stamped ready for placements.
We were all waiting in our blocks (you can say) for these companies. First one to arrive was Ola. Unfortunately, I wasn’t shortlisted by them but I didn’t lose patience as I knew that several other companies were in line for hiring Masai Graduates and I’d get it sooner or later.
Gargi, our placement coordinator also helped me develop the right mindset for the upcoming interviews.
Then other companies such as Dream11 and Junglee Games came onboard. I was shortlisted by Dream11 and they wrapped up three rounds of interviews fast in 3 days and at the end of it all, I had an offer in my hands. Trust me, it was one of the greatest feelings ever.
What is Masai Accreditation(MAC)? How does it work?
See, MAC is Masai’s way of testing whether a student is ready to sit for placements or they need more work on themselves.
And it doesn’t just have to do with your technical skills but your overall personality development.
So, the team takes multiple mock interviews on all the topics as well as mock HR interviews and DS contests as a part of Masai Accreditation. One needs to clear all these interviews and overall evaluation in order to sit for placements.
However, if you are unable to succeed in any of these metrics, the team takes care of that by providing individual customized training sessions.
Can non-tech students really learn to code at Masai?
Yes, they have and they can. I know it’s quite difficult to fathom but students coming from arts & commerce backgrounds have gotten placed in high-end software jobs after studying at Masai.
If there’s a proper structure and process in place, anything can be achieved. I had gathered a bit of coding experience before joining Masai, so it wasn’t that difficult for me. But there were other students in my batch who didn’t know the ABC of programming and they still came out with flying colours at the end of it.
The Mastery-based progression model at Masai makes sure that all of us have understood every concept clearly. In case, someone with a non-tech background struggles with the fundamentals, they’re given more individual time to adapt and learn through a new approach with the help of the mentors and sherpas.
This thing is totally different from the education model followed in colleges. In college, we think like, “anyhow, we have to get passing marks.” While at Masai, that changes to, “Oh, I have understood 90%, now how do I get that remaining 10%?”
Do you see the difference in the two mindsets here? Well, that’s what Masai School does to you. You’re no longer running away from studies hoping you’ll pass. Rather, you are chasing what you don’t know yet.
What’s your biggest takeaway from Masai?
That’s a difficult question, to be honest. Everything I learned at Masai has prepared me for the long run and hopefully a successful career.
But if you’re asking me to pick one thing, it has to be the 9-9-6 schedule we followed. (9 AM – 9 PM, Monday – Saturday)
I was a late-night person who used to get up after 10 AM in the morning, at times that would even reach 11. I didn’t consider it that much of an issue back then.
Upon joining Masai, I had to revamp everything about my lifestyle. It was indeed a military-style training camp.
We were expected to be fresh and ready for the everyday scrum meet at 9 AM, conducted by the CTO of Masai School, Nrupul Dev. That planned out the direction for the rest of the day which included DSA classes, Skillathon, coding classes, and assignments.
The day ended with a standup meet (8 PM – 9 PM) which summarised what we learned in the day and if we had any additional problems with any of the concepts.
In the beginning, it was kind of tough but as time progressed, I got completely absorbed in the program and nothing else distracted me. At times, I’d be working till 12-1 AM and still wake up on time for the next day.
As they say – “there’s no shortcut to success”, I witnessed that first hand at Masai. You can’t just become a software developer in 7 months by fluke, you have to commit to the Masai way of learning.
And that’s what I did, and that threshold for commitment helps me immensely today in keeping my work life sorted and finishing tasks within deadlines.
So, the 9-9-6 at Masai will always be a life-changing chapter for me.
Was it worth joining Masai School?
Masai showed me the way when I was struggling to find one. It has given me the perfect launchpad for a career in the fast-growing world of programming.
I wouldn’t just call Masai a coding institute, rather it’s a career-builder that crafted every aspect of my personality and made me a true professional.
People say that one can’t get a high-paying job without a professional degree. Well, here I am working my dream job at Dream11, and I’m just getting started.
So, yes absolutely it was worth it.