How Sarthak upskilled himself to become a MERN Stack developer

Sarthak Bakshi - A Masai graduate now working at Cleartrip
Sarthak Bakshi - A Masai graduate now working at Cleartrip 

Sarthak was born and brought up in Kanpur, a district of Uttar Pradesh. From a young age, his starry eyes held the dream of becoming an ethical hacker one day. Because of his deep passion for computers, by the age of 19, he learned C++, OS installation, network installation, router configuration, server configuration, cloud computing, and even hardware assembling-dissembling!

The following year, after discovering web and app development, with his childhood passion burning bright, he learned CodeIgniter, WordPress, MySQL, Bootstrap, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Java, and Android Studio. This also helped him grab an opportunity as a PHP backend developer.

Sarthak was now a LAMP Stack developer; however, he was still looking for an opportunity to upskill himself and learn MERN Stack to match the industry standards. Yet, he could not find an institute that could teach MERN to a fresher from scratch. But an opportunity presented itself when his brother and seniors, who were alumni of Masai and had upskilled themselves, suggested joining the institute. Not one to shy away from working hard for a brighter future, he joined Masai in August.

He currently works as an SDE-1 UI Engineer at Cleartrip. His goal of learning MERN Stack from the scratch was achieved at Masai and that helped him land a job at one of the finest companies in India. He spared some time from his busy schedule to talk to us about his journey at Masai. Here is an excerpt from the conversation he had with us recently.

How did you trust Masai enough to join?

Even though my brother and a few other seniors had assured me about Masai and its course, I carried out my research. Actually, along with me, in total 10 of our friends were planning to join Masai. So together, we started our research online.

We scoured YouTube, Quora, LinkedIn, etc. My friends were skeptical about joining after coming across a few negative reviews. But I was optimistic because I knew people don’t appreciate good things and will not leave a single chance to diminish the image if a single thing goes the other way. So, with that perspective, I joined Masai.

What is your opinion on the practice-based curriculum at Masai?

For a lot of students, it might be difficult to cope with it. But, it is necessary. If you want to learn a lot of technologies in just six-seven months, ‌you have to work harder than your capabilities. You have to constantly push your limits.

Hard work has no substitute. And, practice-based learning trains you well for the hard work you will have to put in the corporate world to survive. So, it is important and exists for a reason.

How was your Masai experience?

Undoubtedly, it has been amazing! Although I was skilled in various technologies, I lacked the communication skills that are necessary for a corporate environment. I have always been confident about myself and my skills, but at Masai, I learned the right way to implement them.

Whenever I faced problems, the faculty left no stone unturned to make me understand the concepts. I remember facing difficulty in understanding Break and Continue statements in JavaScript, but additional sessions with my IA helped me a lot.

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Apart from that, since I took the leadership of projects during Construct Weeks, I could easily answer about all the aspects of building a project during interviews. As I was the leader, I had first-hand experience with all the aspects and contributed to 80-90% of the projects. That has been immensely helpful.

My experience even allowed me to help my other colleagues during IA Sessions. I was solving their doubts and that enhanced my understanding of programming. It felt good doing that. This has been an amazing experience.

How was the placement process at Masai?

It has been fabulous. I appeared for the screenings and interviews of nearly twenty companies. That is a huge deal. The fact that Masai does not restrict anyone from chasing opportunities tells volumes about the culture at Masai.

Every day, I used to appear for two-three interviews. I was very clear about my goal. I wanted a good package. And so, I was giving my best to achieve that. Finally, after days of struggle, I grabbed a job at Cleartrip with a package that I couldn’t even dream of. Me and my family were super happy knowing that.

What separates Masai from other institutes out there?

The curriculum. It is well-designed and flows properly. At the end of the course, you won't feel‌ there's anything you missed out on.

Also, practice-based training is unique to Masai. We used to study for over 14 hours. It makes us highly disciplined and prepares us for the corporate culture. The hard work of six months was worth it in the end.

What is your message to the students looking to join Masai but are in a dilemma?

Your first confusion might be regarding the time frame of seven months. But, let me assure you that seven months is more than enough to learn these technologies. And, if you focus well, you will get a good package, irrespective of your background.

My friend managed a 9LPA package despite coming from a non-technical background and starting from zero. So stop worrying about your money. It is worth it.

Sarthak ends the interview with the suggestion that students should be allowed to repeat a unit without any questions if they want to willingly. He gives an example that mentions his friend, who made it big after he got the chance to repeat two units, and went on to become an Instructor Associate at Masai.