While working as a QA tester, Yogita Nesargi started taking data science courses after hours to beef up her skill set. Yogita didn’t like that her role was very much behind-the-scenes, involving little interaction with stakeholders or other teams. While learning data science, she started to realize she was more interested in the data engineering side of things.
Luckily, when Yogita decided to make a career transition and enrolled in Springboard’s Data Engineering Bootcamp, she was paired with a mentor who was an experienced engineer–Akhil Raj, founder of Akhil Tech Solutions.
“My mentor was a very experienced data engineer. We had a great rapport,” said Yogita. “Whenever I had questions I would reach out to him and he was always ready to help me out even in between our weekly calls.”
Now she’s a data engineer at Deloitte’s Omnia AI department, a division that helps companies implement AI solutions. She likes that her new role in data engineering is much more collaborative.
I started my career in the IT industry in 2010. My first job was in the testing department, doing manual testing and automation testing.
My role had become pretty stagnant. I’d been doing it for many years and I didn’t see much growth potential. I started taking data science courses online and I even enrolled in a university program for it, but I found I was more inclined to the software engineering side of data science. That's the reason I selected data engineering, because it has the technical aspect I was looking for. It’s also an up-and-coming field and very much in-demand.
It was quite hard. In my previous testing role, I didn’t do much coding, so I had to do a lot of studying. I started teaching myself data science in 2018 and then in 2020 I discovered Springboard.
Entering the job market was a little more difficult. Switching careers as a mid-career professional is difficult because employers expect you to have a certain level of technical knowledge to land a job. So I had to get up to speed and reach a certain level before I started applying for jobs.
Yes, there's competition for sure. But the job market is hard for people transitioning from a testing background to data engineering or software development.
It's difficult because the subject is very vast and there’s so much material to learn to get into the field.
Springboard definitely helped me a lot. I followed the curriculum closely and all the advice the career coaches gave me. I prepared my resume per the industry standards and I put all the knowledge I gained during my Springboard experience on my resume.
I would study my material on a daily basis and research how to prepare for interviews, what kinds of questions to expect, and all that stuff. Once I started going to interviews, I just kept doing them and getting better at it. Even if I didn’t pass the interview round, I would make a note of questions that were asked and the answers I’d given so I could improve my interviewing skills.
I joined Deloitte as a data engineer in the Omnia AI department in Toronto. My current project is to build a dashboard for the executives and employees on the technical operations side. I’m currently in the requirements-gathering phase. So my job will be to do data transformations, build ETL pipelines and get the data into a target form which can then be displayed on a dashboard.
I'm enjoying it a lot. As a tester, I had no interaction with stakeholders, such as gathering requirements or anything like that. My work was very much behind-the-scenes, so I felt like I wasn’t contributing enough or that my role didn’t have significance. But in this role, I know that the work I’m doing is of value to the project and the stakeholders.
There weren’t many data engineering bootcamps out there; most of them were for data science. I only found two: one program was offered by Udacity and the other was Springboard. The Udacity course covered the bare minimum, which was not much, whereas Springboard covered a lot of material. I thought I might stand a chance in the job market. There were about 15 mini projects and two capstone projects. That was the selling point for me.
My mentor was Akhil Raj [founder of Akhil Tech Solutions]. He's a very experienced data engineer. We had a great rapport. Whenever I had questions I would reach out to him and he was always ready to help me out even in between our weekly calls. I could chat with him on Skype. He really helped me achieve my targets and get to where I wanted to be.
The most valuable part was the curriculum, the capstone projects, my mentor, career coaches, and the entire Springboard community. They were very helpful, supportive, and super professional. They were always ready to respond to my queries. Whenever I sent an email I would get a response within a day. It was a very encouraging environment.
My advice would be to work hard. Be dedicated and motivated. Data engineering is a really vast subject and you need to be really dedicated to your goals and have a mentality of continuous learning.