From Professor to Senior Web Developer: How Coding Got Minal Karani Back in the Game
With a bachelor’s and master’s in engineering, Minal Karani spent six years as a professor in west India. Then one day Minal and her husband decided to move to the United States. They chose New York.
Minal had always loved coding, but she knew she needed a refresher, after being a full-time mother for four years.
After going through the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp syllabus and consulting with her husband, she felt empowered to sign up. “The course content looked nice and demanding,” she said, adding that the six-month, part-time time frame was perfect.
Balancing coding with parenting
“I struggled initially because I was a stay-at-home mom. My daughter was not used to my absence—she is used to having me with her,” Minal said, adding that her daughter had a particularly hard time adjusting to her coding schedule at night and on Saturdays.
Ultimately, Minal would code during the day—and spend evenings with her daughter. On bootcamp days, her husband looked after her daughter. Coordinating with your partner is crucial, she said.
Apps for listening, budgeting, and house hunting
For Minal’s first group project, she teamed up with two other students to build an application called SoundWave, which helped users find songs. “Users can select and play tracks, and search for playlists by artist and by specific lyrics,” she said.
For Minal’s second group project, her team developed an app that enabled users to add and view expenses on a daily basis. They named it Bet.
“After users log in, the app can even display a dashboard with their expenses in graph form over a particular period,” she said, adding that you can choose to view and search by details like amount, location, and payment mode.
For her third and final project, Minal and her team used the Google Maps API to build an app called HomeMaven. Users can enter the exact address of any home that’s for sale—and get details. “You can find the price for that property, schools in that area, total square feet, what county it’s in, etc,” she said.
HomeMaven is also searchable by ZIP code, Minal said, adding that for extra convenience, the app can save properties for account holders.
Landing that coveted role
Minal practiced her new skills. “Until you get a job, you should keep coding—otherwise you will forget,” she said.
She also took her student success manager’s advice to heart: she talked to people. She went out and made contacts, connected with people on LinkedIn, and let the world know that she was looking for a job, she said.
The coding bootcamp opened some impressive doors for Minal, and she secured a position as a senior web developer—even before graduating. “I was really worried about how it will go, but it was smooth for me,” she said, “This bootcamp really helped me with that.”