Wonder who’s the mastermind behind Sigma School’s Cloud Development Course? It’s none other than Arwin, a self-driven tech lead at Tapway, an AI-centric startup that leverages cloud to the fullest to provide cutting edge solutions to clients who need AI solutions to improve business outcomes.
He is also a freelancer who has worked with clients from all over the world such as the US, Denmark, and Japan to name a few. His freelance gigs range from tutoring to software development, not forgetting cool gigs like writing technical articles for ScoutAPM, an American company.
Curious to know more? Read on!
As a young kid, Arwin wasn’t really sure of what he wanted to do in life. Like many other kids growing up in an Asian family, he had this mindset that the only “good” options he should consider as a career are to become a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer.
After acing the national exam back in secondary school, Arwin was fortunate enough to have received the National Scholarship from Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) Malaysia, a highly prestigious scholarship which allowed him to attend any top university in the world under a full scholarship. He ended up majoring in biotechnology at University of California, Davis and at that time, around fall of 2016, he was still uncertain of what he wanted to do as a career.
At the end of his third year which was full of tough classes related to his major, he quickly realized that he was in much need of a mental reset as it became clearer that biotechnology was not for him. And the best place to do that to get a mental reset? Home. He booked a flight back to Malaysia and spent the whole summer of 2019 there. It was during this time when he chose to learn SQL for no reason at all. It was during that summer when he realized that he wanted to learn how to code more than ever.
If before he would shrug off his friends who jokingly told him to learn coding, he started taking their words more seriously, picking up languages for data science, R and Python. After returning to UC Davis, he quickly put his basic programming language knowledge to good use, taking up introductory programming classes. He also worked closely with a Bioinformatics PhD student, Keith Fraga, on a research project that involved Python, SQLite and Git. It was during this project that he discovered the power of programming; this allowed him to express his creativity in a way never imagined before.
Arwin just turned 26 years old in April this year. By that time he had already accumulated almost 2 years of professional experience at his first and (current) job. He joined Tapway just knowing how to use a single AWS service and he is now the Cloud and Data Lead. His notable achievement includes leading the development and completion of a real time queue counting solution currently running at IKEA JEM, Singapore. He heavily credits the opportunities that were presented to him by the company, but he is also aware that he took the initiative to self-learn new technologies that enabled the company to achieve so much.
On top of his full-time commitments, he would also need to stay on top of his freelance gigs, ensuring he maintains a top quality of service which helps him to retain existing clients while attracting new ones. The main gigs that mainly generate revenue for him are tutoring, software development, and technical writing. As a result of needing to juggle his full-time and freelance commitments, he would easily average 60-hour weeks.
The point is not that he works like crazy, but rather, he really loves what he does and would like to spread that mentality to others. The mentality that allows you to work without getting burned out if you truly love what you do. The mentality that allows you to learn what you love and make a living out of it.
When Arwin got to know from Deric that Sigma School was working on online courses that would disrupt universities, he knew he had to be a part of it. He believes that tech jobs are very much attainable without going through formal tertiary education due to three reasons.
First of all, tech is evolving at a faster pace than ever before. Talk about the many new technologies that have appeared in the last decade. The interesting part? A lot of these technologies are not taught in school. Front-end frameworks and cloud to name a few.
Secondly, universities or schools in general have a tendency to teach students more than they really need to know. In fact, they may not be teaching the essential skills to students not only for them to get a job, but to excel in their job once they have secured one.
Last but not least, companies are slowly dropping the requirements to have at least a Bachelor’s degree to get into tech. And one can always choose to complete courses on top of a Bachelor’s degree if they wish to. The most important thing is that candidates can showcase that they can solve problems by coding and apply that to real-life projects.
With that being said, Arwin aims to ensure that Sigma School’s Cloud Development Course is designed to maximize your chances of getting a job that requires cloud skills, especially AWS.
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