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Jasmeet Singh is a senior software engineer at HashiCorp

Springboard Mentor Spotlight: Jasmeet Singh

6 minute read | July 18, 2023
Kindra Cooper

Written by:
Kindra Cooper

Ready to launch your career?

Meet Jasmeet Singh, a mentor for Springboard’s Software Engineering Bootcamp. 

The first software program Jasmeet Singh ever wrote was a game directory to help him locate the file locations of video games saved on his computer hard drive. At the time, Windows 98 did not have a ‘search’ feature that would enable users to find files by typing in keywords or file names. As a child, he and his friends would trade games—saving game files on floppy disks and downloading the files onto their respective computers.

Now, he’s a senior software engineer at HashiCorp specializing in developer productivity. Singh helps developers and DevOps teams become more efficient by discovering ways to automate tasks, use innovative programming frameworks, and other development tools.

“My team does hundreds of things everyday to fix problems for a small group or even the entire organization,” Singh explains. “For example, we might discover from the data that certain teams have a slower code review process because there aren’t enough people.” 

His work also involves improving the dev team’s workflows to maximize efficiency and eliminate roadblocks that may delay releases. For example, ensuring the entire dev team uses the same integrated development environment (IDE) which they can access securely over a VPN even while working from home. 

After over 14 years in the tech industry, Singh believes generative AI will benefit software developers, not replace them. 

“No company is using ChatGPT to replace software engineers,” he says. “They’re supplementing developer’s knowledge by providing them with tools like Visual Studio Code and other AI copilots that generate code snippets and provide suggestions.” 

How did you first decide to become a software engineer? 

I played a lot of video games during my childhood. I was always interested in how things are built. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a PC back in the day. I started tinkering with it and writing simple programs. Then I got a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer engineering and started working in tech. 

What was the first software program you wrote? Do you remember it?

My friends and I used to save video games on floppy discs and swap them with each other, then download the files and save them on our computers. It was getting difficult to track which games I had and where they were stored. So I created a very simple HTML page with links to the file location of each video game stored on my computer’s hard drive. You could click once to go the file location or double-click to start the game. I’m talking about really old games like Wolfenstein

What learning opportunities have you had in your career?

I’ve explored a lot of domains in tech—not just software development but how testing and deployments are done, cloud engineering, DevOps, releases, software patches, and so on. I was lucky enough to learn all of these things through my work alongside my daily responsibilities. 

Jasmeet Singh

You mentioned in your LinkedIn profile that you’re a “data-first software professional.” Tell me what that means and why it’s important to you.

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. You need data to measure your progress. I base my assumptions on data in my day-to-day work. In other words, I use data as a baseline for my professional growth. 

You work in an emerging field that focuses on developer productivity. Tell us more about that. 

I’m glad you asked! Software companies have engineers who make the software. Then the DevOps team ensures the software works as it should. Developer productivity is somewhere in between. We serve both of these teams as our customers. We build tools, automation systems, and frameworks. The end goal is to make their lives easier. 

There are so many opportunities in software development. What advice do you have for someone who is considering joining the field?

The sky is the limit in tech, especially software development. Writing code is a small part of the software development process. You can design websites, be an automation engineer, or write tests for existing software development teams. You can be a build and release engineer who ships new features. There is so much that happens between code being written to the user being able to access the application. 

What are your thoughts on generative AI and how it will change the field of software engineering?

Some of my mentees have asked, “What’s the point of learning software development if AI is going to replace me?” I tell them that while AI is super important, it won’t replace software engineers. 

When you write code for a company, it’s proprietary. They don’t put this codebase on the internet. You can use AI to generate code snippets, but you can’t ask ChatGPT to spit out the source code for Facebook. It might be able to give you the code for Facebook login, but it won’t create a complete application. 

Jasmeet Singh

Do you use AI tools in your daily work?

I’ve been experimenting with GitHub’s AI Copilot. It helps me figure out things that would require a lot of Googling. I work with several code bases and three to four programming languages simultaneously. It gets messy to keep all the information in my head all the time. GitHub Copilot provides suggestions as you write code, but you can’t ask it to write all the code for you.  

What made you decide to become a mentor at Springboard? 

I decided to become a mentor because I believe there’s no end to the learning process. Software engineers can’t know everything because technology constantly evolves. The second reason is I wanted to have an impact on people. Most Springboard students don’t have a tech background. They’ve never seen code before. When I see them successfully master the course material and land a job, I feel like I’ve made a difference in somebody’s life.

Do you have a mentee who has inspired you? 

I had a student named Geraldo Gomes who worked on an oil drilling ship in the middle of Gulf of Mexico. He would have mentor calls with me over the satellite phone. The water was very choppy and there were connection problems, but he was persistent. He never ceased to amaze me through his dedication to every assessment he submitted. He was so driven about building a better life for his family. 

I had another student who taught English at an elementary school. He changed the entire course of his life by becoming a software developer. He works for Capgemini now. 

What is the most common advice you give your mentees?

Some of my students aren’t sure what they want to do after graduating from Springboard. I always tell them, ‘No matter what you do, focus on mastering the basics of programming before you learn more difficult things.’ Once you gain the baseline skills, you can learn about computer networking, databases, cybersecurity, performance, and scalability.

Want to become a mentor? Apply here!

We were founded in 2013 with the goal of helping people anywhere in the world advance their careers through affordable, mentor-led online courses. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of students across the globe grow their skills and build new and rewarding careers via a flexible, human-centric, online approach. Every learner is unique—and so are their learning needs. We believe education should prepare learners for the real world, and that working on meaningful projects under the guidance of industry experts is one of the best ways to get there. Our education model, centered around these principles, has launched students from more than 100 countries into professional success. We deliver curated, expert-developed curricula via a mentor-led approach that emphasizes hands-on learning and human interaction.

About Kindra Cooper

Kindra Cooper is a content writer at Springboard. She has worked as a journalist and content marketer in the US and Indonesia, covering everything from business and architecture to politics and the arts.