Sheetal Srikumar Has Spent Her Whole Life Learning—With a Baby on the Way, She’s Realizing it’s Time to Teach

Sheetal Bangalore Srikumar considers herself a lifelong learner. Her inquiring mind has always guided her decisions, and it is what eventually drew her toward a life-changing boot camp experience.

For many years prior to boot camp, Sheetal worked as a quality assurance and automation engineer. She was quite content with her work manually testing software and working alongside developers who created automated testing programs. She became increasingly fascinated by the complexity of coding and software development.

“Working with developers so closely is what really created my interest,” Sheetal said. I wanted to know how these programs we were testing—the front end and the back end—really worked.”

Spurred on by her curiosity surrounding front-end and back-end development, Sheetal enrolled in the UC San Diego Coding Boot Camp.

Learning the basics

As her boot camp start date rolled around, Sheetal could hardly contain her excitement. She was immediately impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of her boot camp instructors.

“If I had tutors like that seven years back when I was just starting out, I would have been a developer a long time ago,” Sheetal said.

Observing her classmates further impressed Sheetal and convinced her that she had made the right choice. She was part of a diverse group from various technical backgrounds. Even the students with less technical experience seemed to get along in the boot camp just fine thanks to great instructors and peers. 

Sheetal worked her way through the early days of boot camp, encouraged by her instructors and close friends.

Building up and branching out

The boot camp project Sheetal was most proud of was the third and final project, which involved artificial intelligence and face-recognition software packaged into a smartphone app—a lofty project for a boot camp team.

The challenge of tackling a project with this scope wasn’t lost on Sheetal and her teammates.

“With just three people on our team, everyone had to pitch in and give it their all,” Sheetal said. “We knew it would be tough going in. Luckily, everybody attacked the project with full effort.”

While Sheetal and her classmates focused on their projects as the three-month boot camp came to a close, they were also simultaneously on the job hunt. Using their newfound skills to apply for jobs after completion kept the students even busier.

For Sheetal, the career services team was an invaluable resource. The counselors helped best advertise her skills, which landed Sheetal a healthy amount of offers for developer positions.

Looking ahead

Sheetal’s drive for learning has taught her so many valuable skills across the span of her lifetime. Soon Sheetal will be imparting those life skills to someone very close to her—she’s due to give birth to her first child this fall.

As her pregnancy progresses, Sheetal now sees her responsibilities at work from a whole new perspective.

“Any time something goes wrong at work, I have knowledge of the development process to lean back on,” Sheetal said. “It has made me significantly better at my job. People come up to me and tell me I am such a skilled QA and I just laugh—it was all boot camp!”

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