Q&A: Tilak Patel, Software Engineer
Reading Time: 4 mins
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, and I've been living here for the past 11 years. I attended Georgia Tech and graduated with a degree in CS. In my free time I love to play basketball and read. I enjoy learning and working on side projects, such as building apps, to engage my mind.
What is your role at Six Vertical?
I'm a software engineer and full-stack software consultant; my duties include developing e-commerce applications for our clients using Angular, Salesforce and APTTUS.
What got you interested in the software development field?
It's actually a cool story. I never coded, but I was tinkering with computers ever since I was in middle school.
The day before my college orientation, I had to select my classes, and I had put my major down as computer engineering. When I was looking at the classes I would have to take, I realized I would have to take electrical engineering classes and physics classes that dealt with electricity and magnetism. I didn't feel that was the right fit.
So then I looked up other majors that would fit into computers, and I came across computer science. I took an intro-level class in Python, and that got me hooked on coding and kicked off my passion.
What's your favorite thing to develop?
I like to work on things that help solve monotonous problems. I developed an app back in college; it was just a bunch of scripts to help me manage different things. I could set a timer for specific things by just typing a simple command on my computer.
I also solved a split-screen issue on my Mac. On Macs you can't snap the windows for a split screen unless you buy an application or find a free one. So I coded something to help me do that. I enjoy developing features to help automate things and make life easier.
What is the most valuable thing you've learned so far in your career?
Work hard, don't stress out as much and ask for help when needed. That's kind of cliché, but just do your best. My guru, Mahant Swami Maharaj, taught me to "do the best and leave the rest." So in whatever you do at work or in your personal life, just do your best and forget about the rest.
Sometimes you may fail, and it's OK to fail. It's not the end of the world. And when you do fail or when you're stuck, seek help. There's nothing wrong in asking others for help because people are always there to help you out.
What have you learned during your first week on the team?
My team member Forrest Murray has been teaching me about Salesforce and APTTUS integrations. I'm also learning more about how the e-commerce world works and how to build e-commerce platforms with Salesforce integrations.
What do you look forward to most about working with Six Vertical?
Just having the opportunity work with brilliant people and having the opportunity to work on software that can impact multinationals on a big scale. By a big scale, I mean moving millions of dollars. You're helping companies with e-commerce. You're helping companies sell their products on a platform. That's what Six Vertical allows me to do: work on projects that have a huge impact for our clients.
What are some skills you hope to improve over the next six months?
On the technical side, I want to gain more in-depth knowledge about Angular and learn more about Salesforce, machine learning and AI and figure out how to integrate those concepts within our application.
On the interpersonal side, I want to learn how to communicate and be open with our clients. I want to provide insight into and explain what I've been working on and how I can help them.
What advice do you have for fellow software engineers who are just starting out in the career field?
Always be coding. Even if you don't have internships or if you're fresh out of college, just try to learn as much as you can. There are a bunch of websites out there like freeCodeCamp where you can work on open source projects. GitHub is another great source where you can look at different open-source projects, and you can poke around the code and learn from it.
Try to figure out your niche. What do you enjoy working on? Do you enjoy working on the front end? Do you enjoy working on the back end? Or do you want to do full stack? Whatever it is, figure it out, dig deeper and learn as much as you can.
Doesn't matter if you don't have any experience. Build a portfolio of different applications and projects that you worked on yourself or with friends. But always, always code because that will make you stand out.
At the end of day, it's not really about your GPA. It's more about what you can do and what you can show. Work on apps, just code and just keep learning. Be hungry.
About the Author
Shaelynn Miller is Six Vertical’s Content Marketing Coordinator. She appreciates everything she’s learned throughout her career journey, starting from pursuing two internships to earning her bachelor’s degree to today as a member of the Six Vertical team. When she’s not writing and marketing, she’s playing with her dog, walking in the park or baking.