Rohit Gupta pursued Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) from BMS institute of technology in Bangalore. Soon after college, Rohit got placed at a core company and it was all going smooth and steady but when is life fair? A certain COVID pandemic hit the world shutting down millions of jobs and careers. Rohit was one of them as he lost his job due to layoffs by the company after having worked there for 2 years.
He was going through a difficult patch in life before he came across Masai School and decided to join the Full Stack Web Development program in search of better career opportunities in 2021.
Cut to today, he’s working full time as a Software Development Engineer for Junglee Games and bagging home a handsome 7 figure package.
Recently we had an interesting conversation with Rohit where he talked about his career-changing journey at Masai, encompassing admission to placement and everything in between.
Here are a few excerpts from that conversation:
Tell us about your background. How did you come to know about Masai?
Right after college in 2018, I got placed in KPIT technologies which falls under the automotive domain. I worked there for 2 years and then COVID-19 struck and I got laid off by the company in October 2020.
Simultaneously, since college I had been preparing for GATE as well. So, I decided to give it a full try for the first and the only time. Unfortunately, the rank I achieved wasn’t sufficient for reputed institutes like the IITs.
At that moment, I was caught in a fix to either find work in the same domain or switch to a different one. It took some pondering to arrive at web development.
Now, the question was- “how to develop the skills”?
A friend came across Masai on LinkedIn and told me about it. I immediately liked the idea of ‘pay after placement’. After some extensive research and going through a few alumni testimonials, I decided to take admission and at this moment I’d say it turned out pretty well.
What other bootcamps were you considering?
I knew about Newton School from another friend who had gotten placed and I’d come across PrepBytes on Instagram. However, in spite of them offering an ‘Income Share Agreement'(ISA) modelled education, there was no upper limit on the payments to be paid back. That’s where Masai struck the right chord with a fixed upper limit on ISA irrespective of your salary. (Learn more about the fees & ISA at Masai)
What challenges did you face in the 7 months at Masai? Did you believe that you could become a professional developer in 7 months?
To be honest, it sounded too good to be true at the beginning. I went in with the sole intention of learning and developing my skill set.
The Masai curriculum says 9-9-6. 9 AM to 9 PM, Monday to Saturday. The thought of it is exhausting itself. I had problems in the beginning to keep up with 9-9-6. But then I got immersed into the curriculum and things got easier.
One month into the course, I’d developed immense belief in myself and the Masai team’s ability to craft me into a professional developer.
Kudos to that rigorous routine, my job feels relaxed and easy now.
What happens after the course completion?
Revision starts one month prior to the placement cycles to brush up the whole syllabus. Students are divided into 4 cohorts namely Alpha, Bravo, Charlie & Delta. Shortlisting for 3 cohorts starts in the first week itself while the 4th cohort gets another week to prepare.
How is the placement process at Masai? How did your placements go?
Most companies send out assignments or take online tests to shortlist students for the next interview rounds.
Then there are a couple of technical interviews and an HR interview to crack before you finally get there.
I got shortlisted by 5 companies to be precise. My first interview was for Junglee Games, where I’m working currently. I also sat for other companies like Leap Finance and Dream11 but couldn’t get through. Many other companies were in the mix too but by then I’d already cleared all the interview rounds by Junglee Games and received the offer.
To be honest, most of the questions I faced in the interviews or assignments had already been revised during that one month revision period.
Right, that brings us to the question- How does the team prepare students for placements?
On the other front, I solved 8-9 test questions on Data Structures and Algorithms every day throughout the month. At one point, my focus got so clear that even loudspeakers in the neighbourhood didn’t affect me one bit.
What did you like most out of the whole 7-month curriculum?
Hackathon. Undoubtedly, it has to be that. So, it’s a team project that we have to build in 48 hours. The struggle was real as we had to work almost all through those 48 hours, getting a minimal 2-3 hours of sleep in between.
But along with the struggle, came a lot of fun and excitement. Our team was totally engrossed and we were exchanging ideas left, right and centre.
In the end, we got to learn a lot from the project. In a way, it was a firsthand team-based software project for me and those memories will last a lifetime.
Are you okay with paying 3 lakh INR for the program now that you’re placed?
Masai is a complete combination of opportunity and skillsets. You’re getting a high-growth career (bread & butter in other words)for life in 7 months and at the expense of just 3 lakhs and that too after placement. That is priceless. Honestly, I wouldn’t judge it on the basis of some price tag. I feel extremely lucky to have found Masai at the right time.
Is there any difference in the level of competence between CS students from college and Masai graduates?
In my opinion, colleges don’t teach what’s required in the industry. We only pay them for degrees.
So, there’s that difference as we get a headstart compared to our college counterparts.
What is your biggest takeaway from Masai?
Personality development. There is a corporate-like setup from the very beginning to make students professional and industry-ready.
We had regular meetings, communication through other channels, teamwork, fun events etc. which gave us a complete corporate life experience. It’s like a full transition from a student to a working professional. Thanks to that, I had no problem and took no time whatsoever in getting used to the work culture.
What advice would you give to other aspiring developers?
I’d tell them to focus on structured learning. See, there’s like an ocean of content out there on various channels such as YouTube, Instagram, etc. and thousands of courses available that are specified for single topics in development. Even if they’re imparting the correct knowledge, students tend to learn in bits and pieces and they never really get to the full extent.
One can’t expect to become a professional level developer with that kind of disoriented learning. Instead, go for a single program that covers everything in a well-structured manner.
Self-learning is good but it doesn’t work at the industry level, generally speaking.
You need mentors that guide you through the problems, you need regular assignments to check on your progress and maintain consistency, you need communication and team-building exercises to become someone that the companies want to hire. Without all of this, you don’t stand much chance in today’s evolving competition.