Have you ever met someone who learned coding on their own? Yes, there are a handful of such people.
But you would not meet many who learned, inspired, and eventually created a platform for others to learn coding. Jhankar Mahbub is one of them.
He has created a platform titled 'Programming Hero', where one can learn coding and web development using the Programming Hero app and website.
Jhankar completed his graduation from the Industrial and Production Engineering Department at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) and then went to Minnesota for higher studies in the same subject.
There, he worked on a project as a part of his internship. Even though he was from a different field, he was cooperating with the software engineering team too.
"I remember how my commands were being executed through coding. This mesmerised me, and I discovered my interest in programming. So, after doing a little research, I decided to change my track. Instantly, I applied for an MS in Software Engineering. But my decision was not convincing enough for the faculty to allow me to pursue this degree. I had to wait six months to convince them. In the end, my immense interest and persistent attitude made them change their decision and accept my application," said Jhankar, explaining how he achieved his degree.
Jhankar got an on-condition enrolment, which meant he had to pass the first semester with a good grade. Without thinking twice, he grabbed the opportunity.
Though he carefully chose courses that did not need much knowledge of coding and tried heart and soul, he failed.
"In my journey, what all my course teachers noticed was my enthusiasm. Hence, I got some excellent feedback from them and got a chance to continue my degree," he added.
He decided to share the spirit and created an online platform titled 'Habluder Addakhana,' for Bangladeshi people where he taught programming.
But it did not flourish much because people do not find interest in learning programming from books. However, that platform is still active and going at its own pace.
Jhankar also wrote two books on programming to share his knowledge. Simultaneously, he kept arranging tech talks and meet-ups on different topics to learn, discuss, and develop a network with like-minded people in Minnesota.
In 2017, he decided to initiate a start-up on his own. Though he had a passion for programming and teaching, he focused on most-talked about things like Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Jhankar kept creating and changing prototypes of his start-up but could not come up with one specific idea to start his journey.
"One day, I was on a train with a guy in Minnesota. Usually, I share my ideas with random people to see how they feel about them. So, that day I was sharing my prototype of start-up and also shared my dilemma with him. Suddenly, he asked me what I had done in the past few years. When I shared, I realised I was mostly engaged in teaching and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A stranger made me realise that I was missing out on my passion," said Jhankar.
Eventually, he decided to stick to teaching and created Programming Hero. He launched it English targeting international students.
Later, Jhankar decided to use his already built platform and fame in Bangladesh and launched it here in Bangla too. It started its journey in Bangladesh just before the pandemic hit.
Unlike others, the pandemic boosted its growth. The app has been downloaded around 1 million times worldwide and got 4.8 stars in Google Play Store.
One can learn only web development on the website, but in the app, programming is taught with a fun game.
The web development course has a well-developed curriculum that is conducted by expert mentors.
This course is available at Tk5,500, but currently a Tk1,000 discount is going on considering the pandemic.
Currently the third batch is going on, and the fourth batch is about to start.
Approximately 5,500 students have enrolled in the course till date, but only 33% of them completed it.
"Clearly, I am not satisfied with the number. Our goal is not how many students have been enrolled, rather, we focus on how many can secure a job after completing the course," voiced Jhankar.
Usually, Programming Hero solves any queries of students within 24 hours.
Slowly but surely, Jhankar is achieving his goal. Programming Hero's students are getting jobs in both national and international markets. Many of them are getting exposure on global platforms.
"Its courses are designed in a disciplined way. Along with providing pre-recorded classes, it has a strong support system for students. Plenty of good-quality content is indeed available on the internet, but none have such an interactive platform. I knew about the things of programming, but I did not know its dimensional implications. So, I was lagging in job interviews. Its rigorous job interview class has thankfully solved my issue," shared Abu Saleh Faysal with us. He is currently working from Bangladesh in AITRADE, Inc, USA, as a full-time software engineer.
Jhankar suggested that future programmers should spend a solid six to 10 hours learning coding persistently for a minimum of three and half months.
He shared that each year around 20,000 students graduate from CSE, but only 20% get involved in the job market.
Programming Hero has seen that around 50% of their students are from CSE background. The reason behind this demand is our backdated curriculum, Jhakar believes.
But this huge number cannot be ignored and needs to be engaged in the market too. "We want them to be engaged in full-time jobs because globally, small to medium companies are hiring from different countries to make things cost-effective. I want people to learn coding by heart because it is fun. It is not mandatory to learn it from Programming Hero. I want them to explore this field globally," he explained his motive.
To pursue his dream and passion, he works for Programming Hero 60 hours a week, simultaneously with his full-time job.
"I have tried to be a singer, an athlete, a comedian, and whatnot, but I terribly failed in all of them! What stayed with me was my passion for teaching and love for coding. Now, I am working on both. Let us see what happens in the future," said Jhankar enthusiastically.