My curiosity has always taken me on some really good learning journeys, but I was often in trouble too, especially in my teens. I would take apart things, just to see how they work – whether an RC car, or a Playstation 2. Although scolded by my parents, I did find an interest – and it was computers.
I still remember writing an HTML file and opening my file in the browser, to see what I could build. I remember the coolest thing I built was a basic calculator. Seeing it work... that feeling got me hooked.
After completing high school, I realized how competitive the Science & Technology field was (and how hard it was to secure a spot at a good University in India). So, I decided to take Computer Networking at St. Lawrence College, Kingston, packed my bags, and moved to Ontario, Canada.
At St. Lawrence, it didn’t take long to realize Computer Networking is more complex than just undoing some screws and figuring out how things work. But slowly and steadily things started making sense, I just had to put my mind to it.
Getting that first job
After I graduated from St. Lawrence, I was able to secure a position as a Technical Support Specialist. In this position, I first heard the buzz word Cloud and started exploring what it meant, and how it was going to revolutionize the tech industry.
Learning about the cloud was just the start, and of course it got overwhelming. During this time, I questioned my decision to teach myself cloud. I was ready to quit, until I went to an AWS Summit in Toronto in 2018 and saw thousands of people talking passionately about Cloud and all the cool things they were building.
After that experience, I decided to learn publicly. I shared my progress on social media and connected with others who were trying to break into the Cloud. I also co-founded the #100DaysOfCloud challenge, where you learn cloud computing for 100days and share your progress everyday!
The community was just so supportive. I would get stuck, but had mentors and peers I could lean on and ask for help when I didn’t understand concepts.
The strength of community-based learning
My experience showed me the strength of community-based learning. I decided to help others who might have been in the same boat as me, trying to transition to a career in cloud. I started with creating some blog posts, and then some videos on YouTube, and then some podcasts and community projects. One of the projects that I contributed to is learntocloud.guide - a 6 month guide to the fundamentals of Cloud Computing. I found that I loved helping others (especially the students!) since I remembered my time when I was a student... when I had no clue what career to choose. And that solidified it for me: I saw the importance of community and how we all can learn better with a sense of belonging.
And that journey is why I’m so proud to join Twilio as a Developer Evangelist. Let’s build stuff together!
You can find me here:
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/rishabk7
- Github: https://github.com/rishabkumar7
- LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/rishabkumar7
- YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/rishabkumar7
- Email: rikumar [at] twilio.com