Welcome to the "CodeNewbie Community Spotlight" — a series where we interview an individual from our community and highlight all that they've accomplished. We can't wait to celebrate our CodeNewbie community in a new and different way each month!
Name: Rahat Chowdhury
Location: New York, USA
What got you into coding?
I used to be in customer support and made a career in that space. One thing I particularly enjoyed was responding to customers and letting them know our engineering friends have fixed a certain issue they were facing. Eventually I thought to myself "OK, I enjoy being the messenger of good news but I would much rather be doing the behind-the-scenes work to really make a better experience for folks." With that in my mind and a ton of support from my wife, I decided to enroll in a bootcamp (three years ago as of this posting).
What's your dream role?
I'm working on my dream role right now. My dream role is creating solutions that allow people better access to mental health resources. I started my own company, Whimser, to create that role for myself. It's not my full-time job right now but as I build up Whimser with my Co-founders and our team I'm hoping to get there eventually. Once I'm able to work full time on helping create more resources for better mental health I would consider that a win.
What made you decide to join a community as part of your coding journey?
The journey can get very lonely. Job rejections, imposter syndrome, general debugging frustrations, and the way tech does not support underrepresented groups can all be demoralizing. Having a community can help one navigate all of that. You can find others on similar journeys and learn together and support one another. I joined different communities online so I could feel that sense of belonging and not have to be alone on the journey. Thanks to this I've made lots of friendships that have helped me grow in my career.
"I was told that I would need to wait and learn a lot more before being able to successfully create a real product. I made it a point to myself to show people that an early career developer can create something real."
What is something you're particularly proud of?
I mentioned Whimser earlier, that is something I have been very proud of. When I initially began working on it, it was just a side project, something I mainly wanted to exist for myself. Slowly, I realized it would be helpful for others and I made the decision to take it further than anything else I have ever worked on. I was told that I would need to wait and learn a lot more before being able to successfully create a real product. I made it a point to show people that an early-career developer can create something real. I've now developed the team and have two Co-founders working with me and I am leading a team of five devs to build out Whimser. It's been a year since I started and now we're finally gearing up to release this to the app stores!
Tell us about a struggle you've overcome.
As an introvert, it's been a struggle figuring out how to talk to people and network. I still have trouble and come off as quiet in most situations but I've gotten a lot better at interacting with and making friends with folks in the tech space. It's easier to think about it as meeting and making new friends versus just networking. I've pushed myself to do more public speaking with talks, podcasts, and things like Twitter Spaces. I've gotten more and more comfortable with putting myself out there the way I used to do as a rapper.
What is one fun fact about you?
Just mentioned it but yes I used to rap and occasionally still dabble with it for myself. I have some not-so-great tracks up on Spotify and earn a few pennies on those streams once in a while. I wish to have even half the confidence I did putting those out into the world.
To read more about Rahat's coding journey, you can follow him here on CodeNewbie Community and DEV @rahat.
Top comments (2)
Nice profile. Congrats.
Whimser sounds interesting. I have not fully investigated Noom but I have read that it also uses CBT to effect change. Have you investigated how these two approaches are similar?
You also mentioned "mindfulness". Are you familiar with Jon Kabat Zinn? Excellent speaker and resource.
As they say in N.Z., Good On-Ya, ;))
Awesome profile. Sounds like you're doing some really great work, Rahat!