Nepal Tech beyond borders

Sadiksha Gautam: “Being a developer? Never stop learning”

June 26, 2016

Staying curious, exploring new things, learning constantly… some qualities we often hear about being a developer. And that is what Sadiksha, an dynamic and always enthusiastic Nepalese I met in Kathmandu, did.
After having studied and worked first in Kathmandu, Nepal, she decided to go abroad to encounter different cultures and have new experiences in the IT field. Now she is working in Munich, Germany as a Ruby developer. Also, she is involved with Ruby communities and gives talks at conferences.
Now let’s meet Sadiksha Gautam and learn about her experiences as she shares with us in the following interview!

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Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Hi Ludwine, I am Sadiksha Gautam from Nepal. Currently, I work as a Software Developer at EnerNOC, Munich. In 2015, I completed my Masters from RWTH Aachen, Germany. Besides, I am also a Rails enthusiast and volunteer as a coach in Rails Girls Munich and Rails Girls Summer of Code.

I am also a passionate programmer always eager to explore new technologies and possibilities. I believe in optimism and dedication towards any work I pursue. Learning new skills every day at work makes me happy. Besides this, I am also trying to augment my skills by learning different design patterns and refactoring techniques which helps me to be a better programmer.

I also wanted to explore inter cultural bonds and new teaching methodologies provided outside of Nepal

You decided to study your master in Germany. Why did you go abroad?

After I finished my Bachelor’s degree, I worked as a software developer in Nepal for about a year. I gained lot of practical experiences related to my work. However, I felt a need to improvise my skills and gain deeper insights on advancements of computer science. This was possible by pursuing an advanced degree and I thought to give it a go. In addition to that, I also wanted to explore inter cultural bonds and new teaching methodologies provided outside of Nepal. One specific reason for that would be, I felt that the teaching method in Nepal was more theoretical and less practical oriented. Furthermore, I was not able to find an interesting and suitable master’s course in Nepal that specialized in Software Engineering. During my quest, I was exploring for different reputed universities abroad and came across RWTH university (Aachen).

The international Masters in Computer Science offered by the university comprises a superb blend of computer engineering as well as software project management courses. The university also offers other set of courses from software engineering, communications, theoretical computer science and other 11 departments. I took many courses from fields different than Software Engineering as well. This improved my basic understanding of vast areas of computer science. An example for this would be that I was able to learn basics of theoretical computer science. Furthermore, an intermediate level of German language was one of the requirements to achieve the degree. In any country, learning a language is a very important step in blending in the culture. These reasons enabled me to choose RWTH.

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And did you see some differences between Nepal and Germany regarding the way to teach computer science?

After doing my Bachelor degree in Nepal and Masters in Germany, I feel that the studies in Nepal are more theoretical. The education system is mainly focused on passing the exam successfully. Personally I felt, that the way of teaching is not practical oriented. In Germany, the courses are more structured and also offers flexibility to choose courses based on one’s interest. The German education system arouses interests in students to understand why they are studying the specific topic, how to improve the explained technique and whether a solution to any problem introduces further issues or not.

Recently, I found that the education system of Nepal is also improving. I was talking to a friend of mine who did his Masters in Nepal. We compared our courses, and I saw lot of similarities not only in the course content, but also on the teaching techniques. Furthermore, there were lot of practical knowledge included in the Master’s degree as he said that they also had different projects that required the theoretical knowledge they had obtained.

Indulging in an inter cultural work environment has boosted my self confidence

What did this experience in Germany bring to you? Did it change the way you work or your look on software engineering?

Yes, definitely. Compared to my previous experiences I feel my problem solving skills have improved tremendously. I also learned to critically handle many technical as well as non technical issues. Moreover, indulging in a inter cultural work environment has boosted my self confidence.

Being programmer is not only solving problems but also contributing to the engineering community and spreading the knowledge.

In addition to working as a software developer, I also volunteered as a coach in a workshop event organized by Rails Girls, Munich in 2016. The workshop aims at empowering women, who have some or no knowledge of computer science, to program in Ruby on Rails. Furthermore, I am also helping two girls from India for Rails Girls Summer of Code this year, they will work on a open source project for three months.

The technical field in Nepal is growing as there are many companies investing in outsourcing from different countries

I met many people who wanted to go abroad. One of the reasons was the lack of perspectives in Nepal. A small and not so attractive market. What is your opinion?

Well, after completing my Bachelor’s degree, I was looking forward to gain some practical experience. In this process, I discovered many technical companies. They seemed to expand their business and were providing chances for new developers. In my opinion, it is not hard to a find job in technical field in Nepal.

During my last visit in Nepal in 2015, I went to Ruby Developers Meetup in Nepal where I met my old colleagues and new developers. According to them, the technical field in Nepal is growing as there are many companies investing in outsourcing from different countries. This contributes to lot of job opportunities for prospective developers and programmers.

Ruby meetup Nepal

Ruby meetup Nepal members

To read: Saroj Maharjan: “I chose computer science simply because geeks rule the world”

You recently attended the RailsConf 2016 conference in Kansas City. What did you take out from the conference?

The RailsConf2016 was a great experience. I met many programmers from different countries who shared same interests as of mine. It was also inspiring to get a chance to meet and interact with those people whose books and videos I refer to while trying to solve technical issues.

In terms of technical knowledge, it was a great platform to know and learn about the current ongoings inside the rails community. I recently gave a presentation in Ruby Meetup in Munich about this. You can find it here.

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What is your favorite technology or tool at the moment and why?

Since, I am working mostly on Ruby on Rails, that is my favorite technology. It never fails to amaze me. Everytime I feel confident about the language and the framework, I discover new developments are on their way. There is always a room to learn and improve.

I am also learning Elixir and Phoenix. I have learned and played around with different programming languages using Object Oriented Principles. This time, I want to learn something different and what could be better than learning a language that uses functional programming.

What mobile application you could not live without?

Currently, I am learning German and Spanish with Duolingo. Also, the mobile app of BBC keeps me updated to the current affairs of the world. Similarly, as I like to read lot of books, Kindle accompanies me wherever I go.

At the moment you are working in Germany. Do you plan to come back to Nepal?

I just started my professional life in Germany. I would like to explore more and then decide what to do later. I do not have any concrete plans yet.

Nepal is a very beautiful country and I have my family and lot of close friends there. May be I return to Nepal and work there someday. For now, I am still exploring.

Can you say in three word, what being a developer means for you?

Never stop learning

Thank you Sadiksha!! Follow her on twitter.

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