The open-source world is fascinating- Vinit Shahdeo

Vinit Shahdeo

Vinit Shahdeo, a software engineer by profession & currently exploring the fields of modern web development has always believed in action rather than words.

Here, Vinit is sharing his journey being an Open Source Contributor. His apprenticeship will certainly propel him ahead of the curve.

Go ahead and know what his story has to offer to aspiring youth so that you can easily find a path of self-growth.

What was the driving force that made you choose to work on open-source projects?

When I started my journey as an engineering student, I wasn’t really aware about what potential a coding career holds, but my hunger for exploring different fields led me to get into the world of open-source, as soon as I got into it, the world started to change for me.

By the end of my engineering studies, I started to maintain my GitHub repositories, reviewing codes and maintaining documentation and everything was so exciting but the best part was, the networking and building things which can help the developer’s community across the globe. In a world full of distraction my only distraction and excitement was getting those green dots on GitHub, I somehow got addicted to the fun of it.

The open-source world is all about bringing astounding ideas together and it’s all fascinating and collaborative, for me, it started with my passion and turned into helping hundred other programmers to help them in their journey into open source.

As we all know what amount of opportunities the open source world provides, I was so amazed by every bit of it, it was not just a starting but also a great learning opportunity for me. After which I got into so many open source hacking leagues such as RGSOC, FossHack, GSSOC as Project Maintainer and, it just kept me going on.

Soon it became my world, if I would like to give a rundown of my motivation behind being in this bodacious world of open source I would say the appreciation and support I got from everyone really kept me motivated.

I always dreamt of building my own software, even though I wasn’t even aware of what goes behind building software, but my passion led me where I am today.

As soon as I got into open-source, I realized the power it holds and ever since I have gravitated towards it, you can imagine how amazing it gets your hands on, for example – the working code of tech giants such as Facebook and actually make modifications to it, amazing isn’t it?

Why did you decide programming as a profession?

If I would tell you frankly, I didn’t have much knowledge in the beginning but I always knew I would enjoy developing software. During my school days, I used to inspect the source code of Facebook which made me feel like a hacker then.

From my childhood, I had this passion for cutting edge technologies and for building some software of my own, which kept me going. It was something I really loved and I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.

There were times when I was struggling to get selected in top companies, but it never discouraged me to give up on programming rather it challenged me to push my limits and come out of my comfort zone. Hence I realized and decided that programming would be the profession I would love to pursue. Therefore I worked even harder, kept myself consistent but also enjoyed the process of it, hence here I’m working as a Software Engineer with Postman, the pioneers of technologies all around the world.

What are the key responsibilities of a software engineer at Postman?

Working at Postman is an enriching experience. It is fulfilling and as well as so rewarding for an individual. It is because of the fact that working at Postman lets you explore your passion.

At Postman, everybody is treated equally and they all are equally responsible and accountable for the entire life cycle of a product being developed in the company. The day to day task at Postman as software engineers demands a person to be well aware and updated to the current technologies, he will be working throughout the software development lifecycle from the brainstorming of an idea to testing and implementing the code, and of course at every step in between.

It is very enriching and a great learning opportunity for a Software Engineer at Postman because his responsibility would include developing world-class code/ product which should live up to the expectations of millions of users around the world and that’s the scale of every activity being carried out at Postman.

We at postman are very customer enteric and as engineers, we have the responsibility of millions of such customers. Each and every engineer at Postman is working to serve the millions of trusted customers which are of the utmost importance to the company, hence we take each and every responsibility with utmost sincerity.

As you have been actively involved in extracurricular activities at your college, Did it help you at the start of your career?

I have been really active in extracurriculars throughout my college life and I feel taking part in extracurriculars is as important as being good in academics. It is because they shape you as a person. The experience you gain there helps you to tackle real-life problems. These activities definitely helped me in my career because extracurriculars helped me to explore and find my passion.

Initially, I was a very shy student but extracurricular activities helped to be out there and exposed me to the world of opportunities and success. In my college when I just started as a beginner at GitHub I have been involved with CodeChef’s VIT Chapter and the VinnovateIT organization on GitHub, where we did a few group projects. And they helped me to identify my passion in open source. After which I have become a diehard open source enthusiast. It helped to be aware of the latest in tech and as well as to have a holistic approach to the problems which is very essential from a product perspective in the tech/product development environment.

Hence, anyone who is reluctant onwards extra circular, the only piece of advice I would like to give to them is, go out there and explore your passion, and extra circular might be the stepping stone for you in your journey.

Do you feel your engagement at college clubs fills you with pride and gratitude?

I personally feel engagement at college clubs fills you with pride and gratitude and most importantly helps you to become confident about yourself.

I have been a part of multiple clubs and activities throughout my college life. I actively took part, projects, hackathons and seminars and they only helped me to get better at my chosen career.

The most important part of being in such clubs is that you can seek guidance and help from your seniors who have more experience in life and can guide us in the best possible way.

Illustrate how the experience gained from open source contributions, shaped you as the person you are?

The experience gained from the open-source contribution was very valuable to me. Being in this field teaches you excellent technical skills and keeps your learning ability intact.

Open Source lets you review and learn from the codes written by the best developers around the world. You learn the way others write their code, obviously the better way!

It immensely helped me to develop an industry level thinking process and enhance my skills. Moreover, it enabled me to upskill myself in order to build highly scalable products which are targeted for millions of users.

Personally being in open source made me more flexible towards the things, helped me to be a collaborator and to adjust to the changing requirements of the industry. It kept me on my toes and encouraged me to always strive better, helped me to be effective and efficient in my workplace and in my personal life as well.

Share your proudest achievement being a programmer.

My journey has been really a delightful one, from being a shy boy who had dreams to develop something revolutionary to an engineer working in Postman.

In my whole course of the journey, every little thing gave me immense joy, when I was able to help someone else in theirs, but out of all I really cherish when I built a COVID-19 tracker which gives you access to coronavirus related stats in a more convenient way. All the information is displayed statewise, and it is very easy and quick to stay up-to-date. Fortunately, I got recognised for building the COVID-19 tracker for India, and I got featured and praised for it in the newspaper. It was a golden moment for me as being praised for your work nationally is a matter of great pride.

It was one of the proudest achievements for me as I got recognition for my constant efforts put in for the betterment of our society and community. It filled me with immense joy as everyone around me was very proud of my work and I was able to make myself and my parents proud.

What according to you are the important skills that a person needs to possess and develop in the process?

From my entire experience and journey a few things which I feel are important for a person to possess  are:

  • Logical thinking and problem-solving ability: It is precious because it helps you in all aspects of your life.
  • Ability to learn, re-learn and unlearn: It helps you to keep yourself updated and going in this ever-changing world of technology. In other words, being flexible helps you to achieve better results in life.
  • Excellent communication skills: They help you to convey your thinking process convincingly. It helps you to communicate and understand the problems and to deliver customer-centric solutions. I have seen people with excellent problem-solving skills with average communication skills. Communication skills are like PR for your skills. If you don’t know how to sell/convey your skills, your hard work goes in vain.
  • Logical thinking and problem-solving ability: It is precious because it helps you in all aspects of your life.
  • Ability to learn, re-learn and unlearn: It helps you to keep yourself updated and going in this ever-changing world of technology. In other words, being flexible helps you to achieve better results in life.

What are the emerging career prospects and opportunities for the freshers?

Nowadays, there are ample opportunities available for freshers, all you have to do is take a leap forward and grab it. Due to the increase in remote work, there are bountiful opportunities such as remote internships, fellowships, projects to work on without going anywhere. It has provided freshers with international exposure and opportunities which were not really there in normal times.

What is your message to students, aspiring the same or a similar role to do?

My message to the students, who are aspiring for the same or similar roles is, first you should never stop believing in yourself, you should be hungry for knowledge and should never stop exploring. Without exploration, you will never know where your passion really lies.

Apart from this, the most important thing is consistency, nothing can be achieved without being consistent in your hard work. I would suggest anyone who is willing to succeed, to devote at least 2-3 hours of the day towards their goal or coding in case they want to pursue programming as a career.

Another important aspect in a successful person’s life is having fun in what they do and do it with a happy mind, you should be excited to do it, and if you’re not, isn’t really your passion.

Last but not the least, should have a good amount of sleep and rest in order to change yourself for the next day to conquer as we say in the programming community, a good sleep removes bugs in your code. A good amount of rest keeps your mind fresh and healthy to work hard.

How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to engage with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?

I would encourage and suggest everyone engage themselves in extra-curricular activities because they are a great way of engaging yourself in fruitful learning and exploration of different fields. They help you identify your passion, which is the most important part of anyone’s career.

I would suggest everyone out there be selfish for their growth and enhancement when it comes to extracurricular, choose whatever helps you to learn and get better because at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

While engaging yourself in extracurriculars your aim should be to strive for learning and passion and not just the fun of it.

We at Young Influx would take this opportunity to thank Vinit for taking a leap of faith and sharing his impeccable story. We are humbled and grateful, your efforts mean a lot for the youth seeking growth and development.

And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here.

And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such stories here.

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