34-year-old Noida-based techie Akash Mishra did just that. “Cooking was my hobby and sparked my interest in hotel management,” he says. As part of his food production course at the Institute of Hotel Management at Gwalior, he had to do a six-month internship at a hotel. But a hotel kitchen can be like a pressure cooker and soon he realised it was not his cup of tea.
And he had absolutely no clue what life was cooking for him, till his father asked him to reconsider his decision and study engineering, where he met his nemesis – maths.
“I chose computer science because I thought it wouldn’t require much maths, but it chased me down. It took me three attempts to clear my M2 in engineering,” he says sheepishly.
But engineering is also where he found his mojo. “I was usually at the bottom of the class. But I completed my engineering from LNCT Bhopal and got a job in 2011 at Rs 6,000 a month as a junior programmer in a Noida company,” he says.
My goal is to become the CTO of a company, and thanks to what I have learnt, I’m confident it’s a dream I can achieve
Akash Mishra, technical lead, Dazeworks
But he quit soon because he could see the opportunities in that company were limited. That’s when he discovered the world of Salesforce and in less than a month snagged a job as Salesforce developer at an IT company in Bhopal. “Salesforce was a booming technology and helped me get my second job at four times the salary my first job offered,” he says. A year and a half later, he joined another Noida company. Here he started exploring the opportunities offered by Salesforce Trailhead, a learning platform. That not only got him a break as a senior Salesforce developer at US-based Iron Systems, but also accelerated his career.
Today, he works as a technical lead at Dazeworks, a platinum Salesforce consulting and implementation partner.
“Trailhead is free and so easy to learn. Today, I am handling over seven projects and even worked on one of the largest projects for my company developing applications for airline partners,” he says.
Mishra believes tech can really change lives. “If a below average person like me can move from zero to hero, anyone can achieve anything,” he says.