WIMTACH Student Profile: Dewalker Agarwal

The programming and development world, is now largely coveted by many new job seekers who have all been sold the idea of the alternative and flexible lifestyle that is available in the tech industry. Yet, the reality is, gaining employment in this competitive industry can be quite difficult and unnerving.

Although learning programming and software engineering takes time, patience, and skill, the learning process is made easier when matched with the right resources. When Dewalker Agarwal, a student from Centennial College’s Post Graduate Software Engineering Technology program initially decided to learn more about software engineering, WIMTACH was his support.

“My good friend Asad referred me to Majura [for a student researcher job at WIMTACH],” he said, jokingly adding “I am still in debt[ed] to him.” WIMTACH was instrumental in his learning journey. With a year spent learning underneath Majura Maheswaran, WIMTACH’s mobile Research and Development lead, and other Centennial College faculty members, Dewalker, was able to expand his knowledge base and absorb transferrable skills from one project to another. “As I move from one project to another, I have something learned from the previous one which I can implement in a better way,” he said. “Sometimes I think like wow, I wish I would have known this earlier so I could have implemented it in that previous project as well.”

Dewalker had the unique opportunity to learn while assisting a team of experts with high-profile projects. He felt that the WIMTACH team offered him a safe and welcoming environment to learn. “I feel I have just been lucky to have amazing team ,” he said. The projects he worked on provided him with first-hand experience to enhance his craft.  “React native or Java Script per se was really new to me when I started with WIMTACH,” he said. “Initially I spent time to learn the language and in a very short time got a hang of it.”

His work and exposure to different projects from all stages of development gave him the chance to regularly practice his technique with different software applications. In fact, he used a variety of software and technologies when working on projects like the mobile application called SAVE, as well as a project called Ventilator and also, while working with clients like Interdev Technologies. “Working on multiple projects provided a lot of exposure to various software and technologies in addition to React Native, to name a few: GitKraken, Postman, MongoDB Compass, NextJs, Agile development model,” he said.

“I incorporated various skills such as time management during on-going semesters, team-contribution, completing tasks within predefined ETAs [estimated time of arrivals], which will be crucial for future phases in my career,” Dewalker explained. Touching on the importance of having a versatile skillset, he explained that the WIMTACH program is great at preparing students for success in professional environments. “Overall, it was a great first experience of working in the Canadian IT industry, with actual clients involved.”

One of the most memorable things about his time at WIMTACH is that it helped him to endure the tedium of the Covid-19 lockdown in Ontario during the early periods of the pandemic. His work at WIMTACH gave him something to look forward to and it enabled him to feel a sense of purpose and direction during that hazy period. “It felt boring at times, just sitting in front of the laptop all day, no social interactions when it was lock down. Later when I was supposed to go to the office occasionally for the Ventilator project, I was always excited,” he said.

His experience at WIMTACH was so positive, he is very enthusiastic about encouraging other students to learn with the research team. “Go for it!” emphasized Dewalker. “It will be very helpful.”

Since his work experience at WIMTACH made job searching easier, he hopes that other students will have a similar opportunity to learn and build their professional portfolio. “When I graduated and looked for jobs, I already had 1-year of professional/hands-on experience on technologies,” he explained.

Now entering his new position as a Software Developer for Cognizant, a leading technology service provider, recognized as one of the Fortune 500 companies, he is excited for the next chapter in his development journey. “I am actually thrilled to get to work with one of the top tier companies,” he said. “Not to mention I recently got to know it’s been ranked #19 on Forbes’ 2020 list of “World’s Best Employers”, so I guess I am pretty excited to get my hands dirty with coding.”

In part, he attributes his recent success to his education at WIMTACH. “Most definitely,” he said. “It was because of the opportunities provided by WIMTACH, and my inputs too, in order to get the best out of it, that I landed this job.”

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