Yes, this is what I look like. No, I don’t have any other photos of myself because I am not a selfie addicted maniac. Now that you’ve seen me, lets move onto the segment where I rant off about why I decided to become an RPA developer.
Well, I Didn't.
Like I stated in the intro, I graduated with a B.Tech in ME.
Mechanical Engineering sounded cool, so I enrolled and ended up
wasting spending four years of my life studying arcane concepts that had nothing to do with the cool mechanical stuff I thought I would get to work with.
No cars, no engines, no rockets.
Just lots of theory supplemented with lethal doses of math. They waterboarded us everyday with fluid mechanics, and put the heat on us with thermodynamics. It was torture I tell you.
I was heartbroken. I felt betrayed. I felt like dropping out, but then I remembered my Mother, and how she was looking out for me...with a handful of chappals she would fling my way, which motivated me to keep pushing.
But that didn't change the fact that getting placed in core mechanical companies was next to impossible.
India is known for its large IT base, and the place I was from didn't have as many opportunities for ME, so I abandoned ship and took refuge on another ship that sailed into a land full of opportunities. Lucky for me, they didn't notice the stowaway huddled away in the corner.
On arrival, I lucked out and joined my first company, and was placed in the RPA department. RPA wasn't the first department I was assigned to, but that is a story for another day.
So in a nutshell, I didn't choose RPA, RPA choose me.
Couldn't You Have Stayed With Mechanical Engineering?
To get a job with decent or above average pay, you had to either grind your butt on the academic wheatstone long enough to crack the entrance exams for the IITs or AIMS(before it cracked your butt) which is where most of the top companies actually come for recruitment, or join some random private college, graduate with a "degree" then take a chance, travel abroad and hope someone hires you.
It was already difficult enough to get placed in core mechanical companies, so you can imagine how difficult it was for those who studied at private colleges to even think of applying at those companies.
Most end up as AutoCAD/Solidworks designers, or pursue M.Techs in the hopes that it will land them a better job. But even then, they aren't satisfied with the pay or with their career prospects.
Since IT is what makes up a sizable bulk of India's GDP, opportunities were more in the service sector, and that is why I decided to make the switch.
Ok You Switched, But How Did You Manage to Bag an IT Job?
That is a question I ask myself every time I look back on my journey so far.
Like I said before, I wasn't too thrilled about making the switch nor did I know what I was doing at the time, but things fell in place and it played out fine.
That's just another way of saying, "I got lucky".
I somehow managed to clear the aptitude test, technical interviews and the HR interview for the company I currently work at, despite knowing next to nothing about coding.
Again, that's just another way of saying "I got lucky, and this has to be some kind of dream."
I'd attribute it to my ability of cooking up stories and throwing people off with red herrings, which is what I did each time the interviewer asked me questions I didn't have a clue on.
Interviewer: Ok Ashwin, please describe bubble sort for me.
Me: Well, bubble sort is a coding concept that I had worked intimately with back in school. You see, I had taken Computer Science class during +1, +2, and that is where my passion for coding sprouted from.
Interviewer: Thats, um...great to know, but could you explain the concept behind bubble sort?
Me: By the way, did you get a chance to watch National Geography's latest documentary on AI Robots? It was fascinating and this algorithm they programmed into the robot was in a way similar to bubble sort, and I ha-
Interviewer: Is it? Could you tell me more about this algorithm then?
Me: Well, this algorithm is a coding concept based on bubble sort which is also a coding concept that I had worked intimately with back in school. You see, I-
Interviewer: Could you please answer my question? Do you know what bubble sort is?
Me: I do and I was in the middle of explaining it before you rudely interrupted me.
Interviewer: *sigh* I'll ask you once more, what is bubble sort.
Me: Its a coding concept.
Interviewer: Please take the offer letter and leave.
-Kinda Happened, Kinda Exaggerated
Where Do Your Interests Actually Align?
To be frank, I had no interest whatsoever, in pursuing a degree in Engineering because I hated math, which is a feeling I bet most of you can relate to.
I don't even know why I took the Science stream.
Oh wait, I do.
I was interested in Psychology, and my family responded to my initial career choice with worry. They were concerned stating that only those who are mentally ill would consider a career in psychology.
I didn't know whether to feel insulted or relieved.
But in all seriousness, I wasn't the least bit interested in attending school, but I was capable enough to pass all my exams.
One thing led to another, and voila.
I am an RPA developer.
I know, its not the sort of story you were hoping for, but that was my journey up until now.
I wonder what will happen next on this crazy journey of mine.
Stay tuned for more craziness...
Oh, you want to know more about me?
here you go!