Pooja Pasawala · Software Engineer · Huffington Post

Pooja Pasawala

Software Engineer · Huffington Post

Finding herself bored in a job formatting spreadsheets, Pooja was motivated to learn to code. “I always loved puzzles and math. I started recording some macros in Excel to get my job done faster. I thought, ‘What else can I do?’.”

She started teaching herself Python online with Codecademy and went to a Hackathon for Sphero — a programmable robotic ball. She made an app to change the colors and make the Sphero go in random directions to be a toy for a dog or cat. “I thought it was so cool that I built something that had a purpose. I wanted to dive in deeper so I started looking into bootcamps and stumbled upon the Flatiron Web Development Fellowship.”

“At first I wasn’t going to apply because I thought my odds were bad. Then I thought ‘why not me?’ I’ve worked really hard and have invested time into learning to code already. I got the fellowship and it changed my life. It gave me direction. Now I don’t let anything stop me from applying to scholarships and conferences.”

At Flatiron Pooja built an app to find the optimal place in New York for a group of friends to meet up, optimizing for the minimum average transit time per person using Ruby on Rails, Javascript and the Google Places API. She landed a job at Medstro, a knowledge sharing social media site for physicians and medical students, where she worked on the full stack building groups and discussions using Ruby on Rails and Javascript. Now she works on the rendering team at the Huffington Post, making sure that everything is in it’s right place on the site on web and mobile from ads to articles.

Her advice is to think long term and figure out the path to get to your goal backwards. “Remember everyone starts at zero. Don’t be afraid of that. As you put in more time you’ll know more. Think about where you want to end up and what you need to do to make that happen”.

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