Actions speak louder than words — the Kushal Sharma story

Kushal Sharma

At Udacity, we have great respect for those who have a zeal for learning and want to use what they’ve learnt to have a positive impact on the world. Take Kushal for example — he’s passionate about programming, and strongly believes that the Android platform will help him impact billions of lives.

It is this sort of passion that has helped Kushal work with a high impact company like Flipkart. Interesting bit of trivia — he also got this job without having to go through an interview!

Want to know how? Read on -

Choosing Android

Kushal is passionate about programming and learning new things every day. He loves to read and travel, and enjoy learning about math and philosophy. He enrolled in Android Developer Nanodegree because of his love to write programs and figured this was a great way to reach thousands of users.

According to Kushal, Android is one of the best platforms to work on. He says, “it has a huge open-source community and a user base of millions.” Through the Nanodegree he also wanted to validate his online learning from blogs and tutorials. And the fact that this course is a collaboration with Google, made him take it even more seriously.

“I would say my educational background is a long story — and not at all normal.”

Kushal is a graduate in Computer Science from Delhi University. Prior to enrolling at Udacity, he was mostly working on his Android applications, some of which are published on Google Play Store. At the same time, Kushal was pursuing a Master’s Degree from a university at New Delhi, but he only ended up completing the first year.

“There was really nothing that excited me about going to a university. I cleared all my exams for the first year, but sticking to the university curriculum didn’t feel like it would properly prepare me for the kind of work opportunity I wanted.”, says Kushal

Kushal believes formal education is only needed until a certain point. He doesn’t feel the need to study everything because on the off chance he might need it five to ten years down the line. He wants to learn the latest things, and to implement those things now. He wants to take on bigger challenges and find a way to solve them. Kushal loves to learn on the go. And he wants to train himself not only to write programs but to think like a programmer and learn new technologies as they evolve.

Spending a lot of time online (often learning new things about programming) enabled Kushal to share ideas and access information that might require years to learn via classrooms and textbooks.

“Technology changes so fast that it seems by the time a new subject reaches the formal education system, it’s already obsolete.”

According to Kushal, online education helped keep him updated with every new bit of tech that he wanted to learn. “There are no boundaries and no restrictions with the curriculum,” he says.

Enter Udacity

Kushal was introduced to Udacity during the Google I/O — He says, “from that moment on, I was completely excited about it!” The Android Developer Nanodegree was a learning experience for him right from the beginning. Although he had already developed Android apps a year before enrolling in the Nanodegree, he found the learning curve to be exponential.

He credits the Nanodegree for helping him validate his approach towards writing Android applications. The Nanodegree encouraged him to push the limits and write code in new situations. This helped him gain experience and also exceed his own expectations!

Kushal admits that he found the Nanodegree program challenging. One challenge in particular he mentions, was with a project called Super Duo. The project contains half-written code for two applications and some user feedback. One needs to add the missing features in the app and fix the bugs from the given user reviews.

Hey says, “I was never put in such a situation before and had to decide if I should rewrite the entire code or just make changes. It was such a valid real-life scenario that someone would face joining a new company. So I rewrote the code for the first application and made changes to the second application.”

There were several times, he got stuck on almost every project. But the resources helped guide him through the struggles. These resources included Android documentation, Udacity forums, Stack overflow, Github and Udacity Google Plus groups.

A Brand New Job and Journey

When Kushal started looking for a job, he focused on showcasing his projects and working on his Udacity profile. Kushal did not have to give any formal interview for Flipkart.

“The HR team called me and said I did great job with my projects and presented me an offer letter. I could hardly believe it!”, Kushal says.

Kushal has recently joined Flipkart and is excited to work with the best teams on awesome projects. He is excited about the opportunity and aims to put all his efforts towards making the world a better place.

Up next, Kushal plans to start with the Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program. It’s something he has always been very curious about.

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