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Nishant is a Computer Science Graduate from Delhi Technological University and is currently working as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon. He has also worked with Expedia Group as a SDE Intern. Nishant loves Competitive Programming and spends most of his time on Leetcode, codeforces, etc. Nishant has also published a research paper on “Cross Domain Ambiguity Detection using Linear Transformation of Word Embedding Spaces” in NLP4RE in REFSQ 20’. Formerly, Nishant has also worked with GeeksforGeeks as a Teaching Assistant on discussion platform of Practice portal for DSA. Nishant believes that “Nothing worth having comes easy”.
When and How did “being a programmer” strike you as a perfect career choice?
I had no idea about programming until class 11th when I chose my 5th subject as Computer Science (in C++). I gradually developed interest in C++ by making small applications like Library Management System, Scientific Calculator, etc. Then, I decided to pursue only IT related streams in Engineering. During college days, I started competitive programming in late 1st year by practicing problems on Hackerrank initially, then shifted to Codechef and gave contests like Long Challenges, CookOff and Lunchtime. Then I moved on to Codeforces and used to practice Div 2A / 2B / 2C ladders and whenever stuck on some problem due to some new algorithm, I learnt about that algorithm and practiced a lot of problems on that topic from sites like Spoj and Hackerearth.
You worked as a Teaching Assistant at GeeksforGeeks. How did that experience help you in your journey?
I interned at GeeksforGeeks twice. Once in my 2nd year as Problem Setter and Reviewer intern (in Office Internship) where I used to create problems for GeeksClasses students and Sudo Placement first 3 editions. I also reviewed articles based on Data structures and Algorithms written by Content Writer interns. Then, I interned again at GFG in my 3rd year as Teaching Assistant (Remote Internship) where I solved queries of students regarding DSA. I had also published more than 50 articles on GeeksforGeeks, most of them being on Advanced Data Structures. Both of these experiences were quite amazing and it helped me develop my skill set as well. Getting an experience of problem setting at GFG provided me an opportunity to intern as a Problem Setter in other companies like Hackerearth and Mettl. Working at GFG enhanced my knowledge which eventually contributed to my on-campus internship and placement preparation as well.
What was your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
Maintaining CGPA: I won’t call it a failure but definitely a mistake on my part that I took it very lightly during the first two years of my engineering. Having a CGPA of about 7.91 at the end of 2nd year restricted me to apply for many on-campus internships due to company criteria. Even if I was able to apply for some of the companies having criteria of at least 7.5 CGPA, they discarded people with lower CGPAs while announcing the shortlist for the very first coding round. But eventually, was able to secure an internship at Expedia Group. Then, I tried to maintain my CGPA and finally was able to reach a bar of 8.5 because of which I had no issues in applying to any company during placement season.
Learning: Even if you are good at Coding, never take CGPA lightly. It does matter upto reaching the very first coding round and for some companies having Quantitative Profile it matters a lot. It also helps in getting admission for doing Masters abroad.
How did you bag an offer at Amazon? Could you share some tips for the same?
It was an on-campus placement in our college having 5 rounds, first being the Online Coding Test containing 2 coding questions and some CS concepts MCQs. All other 4 rounds were technical, 3 being purely based on data structures and algorithms and 1 included some questions on DBMS and OS as well. The only tip is “Practice is the key to deliberate success”. For beginners, I would suggest to start practicing coding problems on Codeforces and AtCoder to have a gist of competitive programming as well as learn new algorithms and advanced data structures by practicing questions on them. Don’t forget to actively participate in contests to increase your speed and accuracy at the same time and upsolve questions. Before placement and internship season, spend some time on GeeksforGeeks and Leetcode to get aware of some standard interview questions and other CS concepts in OOPS, DBMS, OS and CN.
What are some of your greatest achievements and what are your future goals?
- Paper Accepted in NLP4RE in REFSQ 20’ as a Conference Paper and in AMSJ in ICAML as a Journal published in NLP4RE (http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2584/NLP4RE-paper7.pdf)
- Codeforces Max Rating: 1826. Handle: nishant0208
- Codechef Max Rating: 2074 Handle: nishant0208
- 69/8788 Codechef June Long Challenge 18’
- 64/6854 Hackerrank Hiring Contest 18’
- Runner Up in GeeksforGeeks Technical Scripter Event 18’
- Ranked 1st in DopeCode organized by SSE DTU and Code Like it Matters organized by Debugging Society of NSIT.
Nishant can be reached at LinkedIn
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