New Delhi: For Anshul Jain, Data Structures and Algorithms became a topic of fascination in high school. At a time when few understand the importance of programming, she had already begun taking interest in what would become the cornerstone of her career. From there to now working at Google, her Scaler Academy review is one full of gratitude and learning.

“However, as much as I enjoyed my classes in college, I always felt the syllabus was too theoretical and that the teaching could have been more industry-specific,” she says when asked about the beginnings.

But what exactly prompted her to join Scaler Academy, considering she was already working at a product-based company before that?

The need to polish her DS Algo skills, learn System Design and become part of a vibrant community of talented peers, according to Anshul, who also worked at MakeMyTrip before taking the leap to being a Noogler.

But Anshul isn’t alone in being able to change her career trajectory with the help of Scaler Academy. Boasting of over 1,500 others placed learners in little over two years, the program seems to have truly been able to live up to the promises it makes. But how has it done what it has?

Or rather, the more pertinent question, how is it different from anything else out there that claims to do the same?

Founded by Anshuman Singh and Abhimanyu Saxena under the umbrella of InterviewBit, a popular platform to practice coding for tech interviews, in 2019, Scaler Academy is an upskilling program for software engineers.

The idea behind starting something like this came from the learning that while a self-preparation platform was good enough for a large population, the majority were unable to fulfill their dreams. It wasn’t because they weren’t good enough but certain pieces of the puzzle were missing such as quality teachers, a structured curriculum, network of talented peers and a mentor-like figure to guide them throughout.

Personal Mentorship

A point that even Anshul was quick to point out, mentorship is among the most important and loved features of the program.

Prachi Agarwal, an ex-Microsoft employee, was her mentor at Scaler Academy.

“During our monthly interactions, she would help me improve my coding style. My coding style used to be very cluttered and today, it is very clean as a result. She also encouraged me to work on projects on the side,” she says.

This sentiment is mirrored by several other alumni as well. Take for example, the case of Baishali Ghosh.

“While I still feel I have a really really long way to go, I just want to take some time to thank my mentor Pragy Agarwal for keeping his patience and keeping me motivated and for Scaler Academy for making me believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel even in these dark times,” Baishali, who currently works as an SDE-II at Amazon, says.

In fact, even she had her concerns when joining Scaler Academy, thinking it might just turn out like many of the others out there. She says she can now see patterns where she couldn’t earlier and it is because of the discipline and persistence that the program brought to her life.

There have been instances where learners have also called out the role that these mentors often play, sometimes going above and beyond what they signed up for.

Rishi Prakash, a tier-III college graduate who currently works at Netomi, had glowing things to say.

“If I had to describe my experience with my mentor, Shishir Chandra, in one word, it would be brilliant! One of the reasons I had joined Scaler was because of the mentorship program, but in all honesty, it was way better than my expectations.”

He continues, “I was under the impression that it was important to solve as many questions as possible, but Shishir sir explained to me the importance of understanding the core of problem solving by focusing on the same set of questions.”

World-Class Teachers & Structured Curriculum

As someone who was self-admittedly lost when he joined the program, Rishi says that Scaler helped him find himself again.

“The content I had learnt before Scaler had been more theoretical than practical, but the course structure here was designed around relevant, practical concepts - the topics and questions given as assignments covered everything that was needed for the Data Structures and Algorithms rounds in the interviews,” says Rishi who is quick to recommend the program to anyone and everyone who comes seeking guidance.

But content can only go a certain distance, what is important is how it is imparted, according to him. And he feels that the instructors ensure that they only give the best to the learners.

Yash Sarda, who was the first engineer in his family, feels the same way about the curriculum and teaching that makes the Scaler Academy program.

“For me, personally, the best thing that Scaler Academy did was provide a structure to follow when it came to learning what I needed to succeed at the highest level. I have always been eager to learn but with this course, the opportunity was to put things in perspective and fill the necessary gaps at the right time,” says Sarda who had little idea about what to pursue when he was in high school.

But ultimately, one has to focus on the learning that the program has rather than just thinking about landing a job at a top company, according to him.

“I started solving problems daily, worked hard to try and stay among the top scorers in my batch but it was never because I thought topping would help me land a great job. It was because I had begun to enjoy the process. I always knew it would come in handy someday.”

And boy it did! He landed offers from Ajio and Credit Suisse, of which he chose the latter, and for a boy from a small town who was clueless about his career a few years earlier, it was an achievement that really changed his life.

Apart from the curriculum, army of teachers and personal mentorship, is there anything else that makes Scaler Academy special?

Network of Peers and Stellar Alumni

The peer group, says Ajay Chavda, another alumnus of the program who works at tech giant Amazon. “I found a like-minded and intelligent peer group at Scaler.”

Anyone who joins the program gets access to not only the placement support team that works hard with hiring partners, but also a network of current and former learners who have benefitted or are benefitting from the same.

“The peer community was so vibrant that any of us could seek help for whatever problems we had. Whenever we were solving problems and had a doubt, we could just visit the Scaler Chat, post it and all our batchmates would pitch in. The overall experience with the peer group was pretty great,” says Ajay who is all praises whenever asked about the program by his juniors.

What such a community also does is increase the level of competitiveness, thereby pushing you to work harder every day, something that Tarun Reddy, SDE at had to say in his Scaler Academy review.