“I was that one annoying guy on the streets asking you for product feedback even if you hadn’t used the product”. Mahesh talks about his old job with a sense of respite where he worked in product marketing doing street sales cloaked as surveys.
Prior to that he used to work in a local mill earning a meagre 12K to support his family.
Of course, now he’s a Software Developer at Leap Finance earning almost 6 times the salary he received from his previous job.
Mahesh Gupta, hailing from a small town near Hyderabad has seen some hardships in his life. When he decided to join Masai, he had to rent a laptop for the course. Even his father was against the decision as he didn’t want Mahesh to leave the job citing financial problems.
Battling all limitations with his never-say-die attitude, Mahesh has built a career for himself.
But how did he get there? What steps did he take?
In this conversation with Mahesh Gupta, he’ll answer all those million-dollar questions summing up his journey with Masai, including the struggles he faced, the placement cycle, his future plans and everything in between.
How do you feel about your new job?
I’m excited as well as a bit nervous honestly. My company’s codebase is pretty huge and I’ve already been getting tickets assigned to me within 2 days of joining. It’s all a new experience for me but nonetheless, I know that I can do whatever’s required. Going through Masai’s program has imprinted immense self-confidence on me.
What’s your job role?
I’m an SDE- 1. I’m mainly concerned with the Front-end for now.
Is this your first job?
No, I started working at the age of 17-18 years in a factory as a supervisor. It was like a small scale mill. I worked there for a year and then I realised there’s not much scope in this sector. Also, with that salary I was never going to be able to pay my family debts.
So, I switched to a product marketing job for a company where I used to collect product reviews on the roads from random passers. People might think of that as a low-level job but I learned some really valuable lessons for life that came in the form of rejections and failures.
Let’s talk about your educational background.
I completed my 10th standard in 2015. Later, I pursued a diploma in mechanical engineering till 2018. College was a bit shaky as I got a backlog. After somehow finishing college, I started working at that mill that I mentioned earlier.
How did you come across Masai School?
Just out of the blue, one day I bumped into Masai School’s advert that featured Sahil Shah as I was following him on Twitter. I immediately liked the idea of zero upfront fee, and the promise Masai had for students like me.
But there was one problem. I didn’t have a laptop. I somehow rented a laptop from a guy in town, which cost me around 1500-2000 per month.
After a month, I got selected for the Glide program at Masai, which boosted my self-belief and I decided to loan some amount from my friend and bought a new laptop.
Did you believe that you’ll become a professional developer, especially coming from a mechanical background?
In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure about it. But after getting through the first few units, I started believing in myself that I can pull this off and bag a decent salary. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about salary as much as I was concerned about getting into the industry and testing my skill set.
How did Masai help you in building your confidence?
I remember getting rejected in call centre interviews at some point due to lack of confidence and communication skills.
I even got rejected in interviews for Mechanical Engineering jobs as I didn’t have the required technical skills.
Masai School helped me develop in these areas. The practical approach to training at Masai including a number of assignments, projects, etc. got me so prepared that I felt no sense of fear or nervousness during the interviews.
How did you come to believe the Masai proposition?
At first glance I thought, is it even possible? Is it a true/legit institute?
But since a credible personality like Sahil Shah featured in that advertisement on Twitter, I couldn’t dismiss it right away.
I checked from multiple sources like YouTube, Quora etc. There was a mix of reviews. I came across the alumni interviews on YouTube which cleared the clutter to some extent.
Also, the proposition of “pay nothing until you get a 5 LPA job” made me think that I’m not losing anything here, all there’s to gain.
How did Masai’s Glide Program help you?
Glide played a huge role in everything turning out to be how it did. Top performers after clearing unit 1 get a living allowance by Masai every month.
That really eased things out for me. As I wasn’t doing a job, my family needed financial support.
In other words, Glide kept that fire burning inside of me, otherwise who knows I might have gone back to work.
“Mahesh describes himself as a very curious person- “I might be weak in maths and aptitude but I have a strong imagination”. His creativity and problem solving skills were at full display at Masai when he was solving tricky questions for fun.”
How did the placements pan out for you? How was the interview process?
On the first day of placements, I was rejected by Dream11 in the last round. That was a tough one to take. But I knew I’d have many more opportunities and also Gargi, our placement coordinator assured me that I’d get there eventually.
In the third interview, the VP of engineering gave me some really complex problems. It was a pressure situation and I gave it my best. Eventually, he approved my ways and I got the much-awaited offer.
What gifts are you planning for your family?
I’ll definitely get my mother a phone and gifts for all other family members. My sister keeps boasting about my job to our relatives, I’ll give her something special as well.
Where do you yourself in the next 5 years?
I have been wanting to work abroad as a software developer, to see how things are there. That’s my plan for the long term, for the next few years, I want to improve my skills even further and be the top performer for Leap Finance.
What advice would you give to the current Masai Students?
First of all, try to complete every assignment. And, focus exclusively on the curriculum first. Learn according to the program structure.
Only after you’ve finished the current topic and tasks, you should learn other things.
In terms of Coding, I got a wonderful piece of advice from Aman, our mentor. “Imagine how you would solve the problem in real life, apply the same concept into coding, tell the computer what to do”. And that’s the principle I always follow while coding.
Most importantly, keep practicing. The more you practice, the faster you’ll code and start finding innovative solutions. I think that applies to everything, doesn’t it?