Twenty-two-year-old Puranjay Mohan, an electronics graduate from SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Kattankulathur, Chennai, has bagged a techie’s golden goose — placed as a software development engineer at Amazon, Germany. Motivated by his passion to be an engineer, the self-taught programmer has joined the company as a Linux kernel developer and will be making €1.25 lakh per annum.
Mohan is currently interning at Texas Instruments, Bengaluru, and he was set to join them full-time in July. He even considered getting an MS degree earlier. But soon after he received this opportunity at Amazon, which aligned with his skill sets perfectly, his decision was made. Mohan is now raring to move to Germany to join his team at Amazon.
Placed as a software developer but trained in electronics engineering, Mohan believes his job is the perfect amalgam of both his core interests. In an interview with BLonCampus, Mohan said, “My interest lies in the overlap of electronics and computer science. After applying for my degree, I had this choice of either taking up electronics and learning computer science by myself or vice versa.”
“Since learning electronics requires the support of faculty, infrastructure, and labs, I decided to get formal training in electronics and study computer programming on my own. My work now requires both operating systems and a lower level of software that interacts with hardware; it needs the skill and knowledge of both electronic and computer science.”
There is no dearth of jobs in the engineering field and networking is key to finding the right ones, says Mohan. Since the pandemic, more global companies are looking to hire, so networking and reaching out to the right people will open many doors for young and striving engineers, he adds.
“I was constantly contacting people on LinkedIn and asking them what’s new in the industry and what is expected from freshers. That is how I got to know about this job opening at Amazon, so that is something I would advise more people to do.”
Learning programming is not high-brow stuff, says Mohan. “You just need a computer and access to the internet and websites such as Coursera for learning computer science. For instance, during Covid, many platforms made programming courses available for free for students. So I took up online courses and most of the material was easily available or I’d make use of student discounts,” he says.
Which programming language is a must-have for a fresher joining the industry? “Language is only a medium, how you use it, and the work that you are what matters. So, learning a particular language is not going to increase your chances of getting hired. The challenge is whether you would be able to solve any problem using whatever language you know.
But if he must recommend, he says to start with C and C++ because it helps you understand hardware mechanics like how memory works better. After which, one can tackle advanced subjects such as object-oriented programming, which will instil the confidence needed to crack interviews. “If you know C++, then learning Java will only take two months,” he concludes.
(The writer is a BA Journalism student at MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, and is currently interning with The Hindu BusinessLine.)