Born for Programming: How Rishu Agarwal Actualised his Passion

How many of us can claim that we have pursued our childhood dreams? Whether it was the thrill of being an astronaut in a spaceship, a painter on the streets of Paris, a surgeon saving a life, or an architect building unique homes We’ve all had big fantasies. There are a few individuals who find themselves living their dreams, and one such individual is Rishu Agarwal.

Rishu is a full-stack application developer with a little over four years of experience building web and mobile applications. With skills that include JavaScript, React, React Native, iOs Application Development, and Data structures, Rishu’s engineering journey started at Jadavpur University with a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering. As part of our developer series, we asked him a few questions about, but not limited to, his evolution as a programmer. Let’s see what he had to share! 

Did you always want to get into programming? 

Yes, I had no doubts that this was my calling. 

Who inspired you to become a programmer?

As a child, I was fascinated by computer games and computers. My interest in gaming got me to learn programming at an early age. 

Can you tell us about your first job experience?

After college, I joined Time Inc, an American worldwide mass media corporation. I was working as an iOS Developer. It was a great learning experience to work in the media industry and an opportunity to put my academic knowledge to practical use as a developer. I moved on from there soon after Time Inc was acquired by Meredith Corporation in 2018. 

What was your next move? 

Following my journey at Time Inc, I joined a Pune based start-up called Perfect and Complete Solutions. It was a small team of 15 employees. The learning curve at Perfect and Complete Solutions was phenomenal. I learned several new languages under my mentor. He gave me an opportunity to explore JavaScript, Stack, and React among other skills. I believe I made the right choice. 

How can you differentiate your experience at a start-up from a corporation?

At that point in my career, I gained more in terms of growth and compensation working for a start-up. It was a close-knit community and I got to work and interact with some of the most wonderful people. It’s difficult to find that kind of camaraderie at a large corporate setup. . 

What prompted you to seek out Recro’s services? 

Working with Perfect and Complete Solutions was exceptional. However,  I found myself at a juncture where I needed to seek new opportunities. That’s when I got in touch with Alok Singh, the Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Recro. Once I got through the interview process, which went extremely well and was conducted very effectively and efficiently, I was informed about a job opportunity at Cure.fit. The project that I was offered to work on seemed exciting and challenging in all the right ways. I didn’t think twice before accepting my role at Cure.fit. 

What project were you involved in at Cure.fit? 

I worked with the Live.fit team to create a machine learning system to track user movements through the camera. The system also assigns energy scores and ranks based on speed and agility in competition with thousands of other users. My team and I worked on the scale of the application and addressed the complications in animation and synchronization of the live streaming video platform. The objective of the app was to cater to the increasing demand for home workouts, which we were successfully able to achieve. 

Live.fit definitely went viral and you were a part of this process. After working on something that impacted the country on a large scale, why did you make the switch to Microsoft? 

Microsoft happened by chance! It wasn’t an opportunity I was actively seeking. I received a LinkedIn message from a Microsoft Recruiter and decided to sit in on the interview. I was simultaneously being interviewed for Cure.fit’s direct full-time employee position. 

My interview with Microsoft went really well and I found myself naturally gravitating towards that path. I trusted my gut and grabbed the opportunity. 

How has that worked out for you? 

Microsoft is extremely process-oriented. The intensity of coding is lower compared to the start-ups I’ve worked for in the past. At the start-ups, I was expected to write code from day one. However, Microsoft’s theory for its developers is to write less but high-quality code. They follow the quality over quantity principle and I have come to understand the value of that. 

The exposure to both, start-ups and MNCs has broadened not just my skills palate, but also my perspective on programming. Being a part of two different work cultures and adjusting to the varying styles of communication and teamwork have helped me grow not just as a programmer but as an individual as well.

Have you thought about what lies ahead for you?

Working at Microsoft has provided me with a glut of choices. I’ve discovered an interest in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Microsoft has a lot of opportunities in these two areas and I would like to explore these domains and learn more about them. Additionally, the company has a rich network base that I can tap into for exploring overseas opportunities in the future. I do want to see what’s out there in the world for me while continuing to be a part of Microsoft’s community. 

Have you ever considered another career? 

My interest in programming is so deeply ingrained that I’ve never dreamed about pursuing a career in any other field. Everyone faces challenges at some point in their careers, but it eventually boils down to whether you still possess that same passion for your work that you did when you first started. And if the answer is yes, all it takes is a little persistence and reflection to dust yourself off and get back on track. If the answer is no, it’s time to explore new things. 

Has the answer always been a ‘yes’ for you? 

Every single time. 

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