Aerospace Engineering to Software Engineer
A tale of love and fate
"I hate sitting in front of computer for long hours to earn money" is what I told myself while choosing the stream for Engineering.
Though I am not clear about my interests at that time. I was sure that I am not gonna follow the crowd. I wanted to try everything, so I thought of taking something multidisciplinary. Aerospace was the only option available at that moment. So I chose it.
I liked the subjects, they were interesting but I always felt something was missing. I never loved any subject to the extent I would study any more than required to get good grades. This was the case until my final semester.
While working on my final project, I had to write a program to study aeroelastic properties of aircraft wings. In short we have a bunch of heavy differential equations which needs to be solved. Before solving those equations, we have to hand calculate the coefficients of those equations.
When I had no knowledge of coding, I calculated them for 2 days using 10-15 pages. The next time I had to do that, I knew a little bit of matlab coding, so I thought, why not write a program to calculate them?
Wrote a program, took 15mins of focused work, and boom! It's done. I was flabergasted. Why was I avoiding this my whole life? Why did I hate it this much? It's first time I ever felt love.
As the semester ends in a couple of weeks, COVID-19 hit India and we were sent home. Locked up at home with a lot of free time in hand, I started exploring Python. I was so into it, that I started turning every problem I have into a program.
Because we were locked up at home, our college decided not to conduct any final exams. They decided to give an assignment and conduct a viva, based on these, our final grades are decided. As I said before I started using python to solve everything, so used the same for my final assignments too while all of my classmates were using excel.
All the others spent hours to solve the problems given, but I spent the same number of hours to write code for each of the problems. But guess what? Once I am done with the code, I can use that code to solve any number of similar probelms with click of a button. This impressed my professor too and for the first time I got a satisfactory O grade. If COVID-19 doesn't happen, I wouldn't have learnt python. I wouldn't have met my love again.
Logic or Love?
I was a good Aerospace Engineer. Even though I loved coding by this time, it didn't make sense for me to abandon Aerospace to become Software Engineer. I thought coding will add to my efficiency and nothing more. Nothing more than best friend. Yea, I friend zoned my love. So I went to start preparing for Gate exam and did an online internship while preparing.
But even while preparing for Gate exam, I was more interested in documenting my preparation in HTML. Yea, that didn't work out very well, I was so focused on making the HTML pages that I totally stopped preparing for Gate and started taking online coaching for making web pages saying myself I am a good Aerospace Engineer already and making web pages will give me an edge over others.
This is probably the easiest part. I started making projects, tookup challenges and made myself a portfolio of web apps spending lots and lots of hours. And as suggested by Tanay Pratap, I started posting my journey online which one of my brothers caught an eye and suggested me as an intern in his company. This is the proposal to marry my love. There is no turning back now. I worked hard in my internship and got offered full time position in one and half month. Later got 2 hikes within first 6 months of me working full time, appreciating my excellence.
That's my tale of love and fate. My journey to become Software Engineer.