Back in 2007, Nikhil ‘Juno’ Belchada was a Science and IT grad student, going through the motions of casual rote learning. It was in his final year that he became fascinated with the possibilities of computer technology and took a stab at programming. During one class, he had a lightning-bolt moment where he deeply understood programming fundamentals. From this point, he plunged into the subject with greater interest, finished a distance masters and began to pursue a career in tech.
He began scripting Python on his second job, quite by chance. But something about the infinite possibilities of technology had stayed with him. In his own words, “I realized what I was doing with Python was nothing compared to what Python could do.” This urge to push boundaries landed him his next role at a start-up where he delved freely into the vast world of Python.
"Working at Market Pulse was anything but boring."
In late 2017, Nikhil interviewed with Market Pulse and immediately got an exciting onboarding task: to build a small micro service in Golang for the product app. He delivered this before his joining day and geared up for the next big task with curiosity and enthusiasm.
“On day one, I ditched all my old skills and began learning new tech from scratch”, says Nikhil. The problems they were solving with the product became the most rewarding part of Nikhil’s work. And this was just the beginning. In retrospect he realizes that in any other organization he would have stayed inside a Python-shaped box for years.
Nikhil recollects, “During my first year at Market Pulse, work was never stagnant or boring. I was using brand new tech every single day and that was really refreshing.” Shifting between Ruby, Golang and Devops, he learned about how various languages work, utilizing them for specific use case, system management, system monitoring, system high availability, and a bunch of other skills he’d never experienced before.
IT WASN’T JUST NEW TECHNOLOGY. IT WAS A BOLD NEW WAY TO SOLVE PROBLEMS.
As someone who loves drawing complex mind maps and goes trekking at least once a year, Nikhil thrives around challenges. He loved this dynamic environment of constant growth.
What was his greatest challenge? “One of the most exciting problems we tackled was building an alert and scanner feature. Most other companies would have jumped to the default mode of using familiar tech. But at Market Pulse we quit this comfort zone to evaluate various languages that could be used, not just the ones we knew how to write. This approach was a radical shift from what I had seen in other places. It wasn’t just new technology we were trying, but a bold new way to solve problems.”
This meant that they were willing to brave the waters of an entirely new language, learn it fast and use it right, with minimal mistakes. And that’s just what they did. “The verdict was out – we chose Elixir. This was a completely different paradigm, but the right man for the job.“, Nikhil explains.
It was a whole other challenge to actually learn Elixir. The way it is built is drastically different from other languages, plus there were just a handful of Elixir developers in India at the time. But Nikhil and the team were determined to crack it.
"I became a diversified developer and a diverse person."
Over the next year, Market Pulse focused heavily on Elixir, using it to build more services and create better solutions. This was clear proof of their contagious love for problem solving. Talking about how this ethos has reflected in his life, Nikhil says, “Through journeys like these, I have grown from writing a single language to real problem-solving using any number of suitable tools and languages.”
Nikhil recommends learning new tech via videos and tutorials from various people to absorb diverse perspectives of a single subject. Eventually, however, he believes it is best to invest in a good tech book. “I was never an avid reader. But thanks to the Market Pulse culture of constantly reinventing yourself, I am looking at books in a whole new way. In 2 years I’ve read a bunch of tech and self-help books. I find that I’m studying technology with greater depth than ever and managing my finances better. Now I aim to read at least 30 books a year.”
A newfound love for yoga is another example of this holistic shift in his life. “A day that doesn’t start with exercise, yoga and meditation, just feels wrong!”, he quips.
At Market Pulse, Nikhil has evolved into a diversified developer as well as a person of diverse interests. What are his plans for the future? “Never stop growing.”