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The man who heads Coder’s Group

Gaurav Rawal himself describes his life as a rollercoaster ride. He should know. From a shy, introvert boy to an influencer who heads a developers’ group called Coders, Rawal has been climbing every success ladder. Of course, there were hiccups, but Gaurav was unrattled. He attributes much of his success to communities and networking.

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Read all about his fascinating journey. If you are looking for inspiration, look no further.

Everyone has a journey behind where they are standing right now, a journey with more ups and few downs, a story of rising after a fall, a miracle behind turning dreams into reality. I have a story as well of what I am right now: a tech speaker, mentor, judge, community head, open-source developer and various other roles that I play as I unveil every new chapter of my life.

So I divided my life story into five parts, which are five important stages of my life which led me to be what I am.

Oh! By the way, before starting my life journey let me introduce myself. I am Gaurav Rawal, popularly know iamgrawal, known as the founder of developers group on WhatsApp named “Coders”.

Phase 1: Inspiration Stage

From childhood, I was a keen observer and also was fond of computers & gadgets. I remember those days I used to ask my computer teacher to lend me higher class computer books and practice-making webpages by going to the internet cafe since I didn’t have a PC at my home. Many times, I also went to my mom’s office to do some development and explore what’s in the world of computers. I even had been scolded by mom, but my spirit for exploring the computer didn’t fade.

Phase 2: Learning Stage

Seeing my interest in computers I decided to pursue engineering. When I started college, I had no clue what was more in this coding & development world since I was totally into preparing for engineering entrance exams during my high schooling. I got to know about developer events during my first-semester exams when I got to know that my room-mate Jashan Preet Singh was going to an event organized by Google India where Sundar Pichai was the chief guest. After that, I started applying for every event in Delhi/NCR. Initially, I was not able to get any invites so got to know that I need to make my profile strong enough to get selected for events.

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I started brushing my basics and started making projects, and eventually, I started getting invites where I got to know that there was a lot to explore. Till the end of my first year, I learnt a pretty decent amount of front-end development that I landed in an internship in a budding startup named HojaoFit Wellness, which was an aggregator providing gym and fitness services just like Fitpass. Unfortunately, Hojaofit could not survive in the competitive market and got dissolved, but I learnt a lot of skills on both the development and management side.

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Phase 3: Community & Growth Stage

Until my first half of the second year of my college, I only got a handful of invites to the events but was happy with my progress from being a novice to a good developer. One day I got to know about the developer event being organised by GDG New Delhi, where I met Arpan Garg. He is a humble and super helpful person willing to do anything for the community, personally I have never seen anyone going unhappy after meeting him also never seen him angry. He is an inspiration for me, who introduced me to the community and mentored me at every stage of my life. I started volunteering every event of GDG New Delhi, many times I travelled from my hometown, Karnal (mostly 200-250 km away from the event’s location), especially for the event. The best part of going to events was the swags that you get that make you feel that you are a part of it. Eventually, I started engaging myself with a lot of communities to learn and grow with them, many of them were from my college.

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Talking with many people and learning various changed my personality from being an introvert to an extrovert, my confidence boosted up. I started attending hackathons and other competitions as well, winning some and losing many but learning something new every time. Hackathons taught me how to think like an entrepreneur, how to build a product in a limited time using limited resources, how to pitch myself in front of investors, how to work continuously. Most importantly how to think of ways to help society. An advice to all the hackathon goers, please don’t back off from the competition even if your product is not built up, you should pitch your idea, and that matters the most. In one hackathon what happened to me was my team-mates backed off and the only person left from the team was me, and I was determined to be there till the end and pitch the idea to investors.

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Fast-forwarding my college years, I stayed associated with various societies and communities eventually became Chairman of IIPC (Industry Institute Partnership Cell), GTBIT’s e-cell, managing team member of GDG New Delhi and core member of various societies. Also got many chances to do internships (did a total of five internships) due to connections with professionals through communities. Of all the internships, there was one senior common in some of my internships, named Asif Ansari, who is another person whom I always aspire to become. He is a master in JavaScript, really cool mentor, medium author and never steps back from taking any initiatives helping others to grow. With him, I started giving talks and taking workshops.

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Phase 4: Mentorship & Leadership Stage

Having seen me attending events, wearing some developer T-shirts and carrying cool swags made my friends reach out to me and asking to update about the various events happening around, that’s how ‘Coders’, a developers group on WhatsApp, was born. I started devising ways to keep the audience engaged, so I started putting tech updates to the group and maintaining the code of conduct in the community. While maintaining the community, there have been many times when I have to be rude, but I always try to tell them politely and set an example for others since, after all, it is the benefit of the community runs smoothly and grows. Also, after doing internships and experimenting out with myself to choose the career path for me, I gained enough skills and confidence to mentor others to help them see their career path and help them develop skills. I started giving talks and sessions and also organising developer events mainly in IIPC, GDG New Delhi. The biggest event, of course, was organising Devfest for GDG New Delhi which is the yearly developer event of GDG, with 1,400+ attendees, 50+ speakers, 8+2 tracks happening, 100+ volunteers, months-long planning and endless sleepless nights. Also, I have been invited to judge and mentor in the hackathon as well.

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Phase 5: Professional Life: Intro

My informal introduction into professional life happened when I landed my first internship, but the formal introduction to professional was given when I joined Unilodgers after my graduation. Getting a job/internship is not tough if you have the capabilities and clear with the basics, but working, meeting expectations is the tough part. It becomes tougher when you are doing community work as well, but it is fun if you have the spirit, so always keep the spirits high. To keep myself motivated I always try to have an inspiration, mainly a higher or better of myself, which I strive to become.

CONCLUSION

It takes a lot of effort to light a lamp (in this case A community ) and a lot of care to keep it glowing. Many people ask me, Why I contribute? Why I give time to the communities around? A simple answer to that, community learning has been the key to my holistic development because here you know deep down that you belong to, something bigger than yourself, something that would always be there to support you, something that will help you stay on the ground and keep running even when you doubt yourself and your skills. I couldn't have developed myself without the support of each person in the community who helped me know how to climb the ladder of career success. Helping someone in a community helps you grow too because we are here to Learn Together, Contribute Together, Grow Together. It is the one that would be there always helping you to grow without passing any judgment. Let's spread the light of knowledge in the communities you are part of. Don't do it for recognition, positions or filling your experience section, do it because it's the right thing to do.

Hope my story inspires you. Also, I am planning to host an event for Coders community soon, any suggestion on what should my event be? Do write it in the comments, I would love to hear it.

Life has always been a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs, together with helping out to make it an adventurous ride, just fasten your seatbelt and enjoy every moment of this ride.

If you wish so, you can contact me, I am everywhere on the internet with the name iamgrawal.
If interested to join Coders, follow this link: Click here
Plus sharing Asif’s medium profile: Click here

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