I still pinch myself once in a while to check if it is a dream and will do till my first day at Microsoft :p. But then I support the reality with efforts that I have devoted towards technology in last 6 years and think this outcome was expected, nothing surprising.
Let me tell you where it all started. My first crush – Technology. I fell in Love with Computers and Technology when I was a 5th standard boy. My brother (Harish Annaldas) in those days started learning computers. I used to play computer games (the classic oldies – Dave, Sky, etc.). I wondered about the magic box. I began thinking what is that makes this piece of machine so magical. Then my brother gave me an Idea about what is Operating System/Windows. It was a bit tough for me to digest that. Windows in a machine! Confused with the name itself. Then came to know that this is a piece of some sort of work (didn’t know about Software/Program) done in a company called Microsoft. This was when I heard about Microsoft for the first time.
I decided to learn computers on that day (which ultimately meant a Career in Technology). Then years passed in a flick and I was in 12th Standard. My first crush developed into pure passion and love. But, my journey had some accidental bends and avenues. I did Diploma in Pharmacy in some unavoidable circumstances. After the diploma, I was back to my dream career with full enthusiasm, energy and excitement. Took admission to Bachelors in Computer Applications (B.C.A.) in Solapur (my hometown). Mathematics was not one of my subjects in 12th, so I was not eligible for engineering courses like B.E., B.Tech. There is a complicated story for this diversion!
After admission to B.C.A., I got my first Computer at Home, my own Desktop! It is one of the most memorable/happiest days in my life. Started learning C Programming (Programming for the first time) on my own using Let Us C. Learned a decent C, in two months, to a level where I can do all the basic C programs done in Colleges in general. But C was not a part of my syllabus, C was in second semester. I was curious to find what was very hot and new in computers to learn apart from the syllabus. Then, after B.C.A. first semester, started learning .NET (it was framework 1.1) using internet, visual studio express edition, code samples downloaded from internet, etc. The fact that I stood out of the crowd fueled my Passion and motivated me to do more. Learned .NET, did three live projects and numerous tools in .NET since then, all apart from curriculum projects.
Then in 2009, I moved to Pune from Solapur. Took admission to Masters in Computer Applications (M.C.A.) in Pune, University of Pune. Completed three certifications in .NET (70-536, 70-505, 70-562). Then became Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) in October 2010. Conducted sessions in different colleges as a Microsoft Student Partner. These things (Certifications, MSP, Tech Talks/Sessions, etc.) gave me exposure/opportunities for growth/development and direction to my efforts. I Occasionally guide students/individuals working on projects on request. I enjoy guiding project teams/individuals. These things also helped me a lot to gain more experience and knowledge. I enjoy exploring things, facing challenges and working on things which push me beyond my limits. Everything was going well and I was well satisfied with where I stood in my career.
A surprise – As I was a MSP, I got an opportunity to appear for summer intern selection process at Microsoft in February 2011. I cleared the written test but could not clear the further rounds. I was rejected! But it gave me good experience and helped me identify my weaknesses.
After six months, I got an email from MSP India about Boot-Camp and Microsoft F.T.E. (Full Time Employment) opportunity for MSPs qualifying for Boot-Camp. I thanked god and MSP India that I am getting one more opportunity to be a part of Microsoft Family. I said to myself: “This is it, and I am going to crack it. I am going to be a part of Microsoft – A company which is touching my life since I was 11, a company which will empower me to touch a billion lives!” I appeared for the test on 6th September 2011. Got the result in November that I had cleared the test. I appeared for the interviews on 22nd December 2011. Finally I got the result that I have been offered by Microsoft on 30th January 2012. It was 30th January 2012, Monday at 4:17pm, I got a call from the MS College Recruitment Team. Then within 10 minutes I got the mail mentioning the same. I cannot explain/describe that day in words. It is the most happiest, emotional and memorable day for me and my family. I got almost a hundred phone calls and texts the next day! Really amazing feeling. I was on top of the world. For me the life has never been the same since then.
Company: Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd. [Microsoft IT – India]
Designation: Software Engineer
Location: Hyderabad, India
Joining Date: 18th June 2012
I am what I am today because of:
1. God’s Grace
2. Love and Support of my Family:
a. Mother – Satyavvabai
b. Father – Vithoba
d. Sister – Jyoti (Elder)
3. Help from many individuals in any form directly or indirectly. Includes:
a. Online Communities
4. Microsoft – For giving Technology to learn, Opportunity to appear for selection process, Giving me opportunity to make this world a better place to live through Microsoft.