From Teaching French to Cloud Computing: A path that Khushaboo Khudia chartered with learning
It was in middle school that Khushaboo had last studied technology. She graduated in Business Administration and learned French alongside. She loved the French language and took up teaching it in schools and to professionals. After 1.5 years of teaching French, she asked herself “What next?”. The answer surprised her as much as it would surprise you. Read on…
Her brother asked her to try cloud computing because of the accelerated adoption of cloud technology by businesses around the world. Her brother further lured her with the idea of using French as a means to practice coding and cloud advisory for global clients. And that sealed the deal for Khushaboo.
She turned to self learning and cleared the structured interview process at MediaAgility, joining in as a Cloud Engineer. Currently, she provisions and manages infrastructure with focus on automation. She has earned 7 cloud and engineering certifications: Google Cloud certified Professional Cloud Security Engineer, Google Cloud certified Professional Cloud Architect, Google Cloud certified Associate Cloud Engineer, AWS certified Developer – Associate, AWS certified SysOps Administrator – Associate, AWS certified Cloud Practitioner, and HashiCorp certified Terraform Associate. And she also runs a YouTube channel with her brother called OliveTech to post tutorial videos on various topics like Google Workspace, Terraform, and Google Cloud.
In a candid chat, she shared her journey from being a non-engineering professional to cloud computing.
What was the moment of truth?
My family knows how to drive, motivate, guide, and support me. So, when I was exploring what I should be doing next, my brother suggested cloud computing. I started small by learning HTML and CSS. That was around the time when my brother was getting married, so I built a website for their wedding as a personal project.
I also had to stay with my brother in Mysore, India, due to personal work for some time. Before he would go to work, he would hand me some books and courses for me to go through during the day. And in the evening when he came back, he would clarify my doubts as if I were a toddler trying to learn alphabets. He would paint vivid images of how cloud transmits information across the globe.
In fact, I felt like a toddler just starting to learn, because in the beginning the technical words and the sentences didn’t make any sense to me. I had to research and understand everything from scratch.
How did you realize Cloud computing is what you want to do?
I gave my first AWS certification and cracked it in my second attempt within 4-5 months of starting out. However, I felt, even though I know the answers but I lack the understanding of how things happen in the background. When I completed my first Google Cloud certification, I could take a breather because I felt confident about what I was doing and everything started to make more sense to me.
I somehow knew this was the path for me. I am very new to the IT industry and everything that we can do in Cloud Computing is so fascinating. Just a random example, I recently started using a new monitor along with my laptop. I learned that you can transfer a screen from one physical device to another by simply clicking on the window and dragging it to the monitor. It was so fascinating and throughout the day I showed it to almost everyone at my home, I video-called my brother to show it to him. The opportunities are just endless.
Also, in Cloud Computing you can keep updating yourself. Even if you study your entire life and practice it, you will still be left with something to learn, because this field is evolving continuously. I am not much for a monotonous life and I always want to learn something new. That is why I felt this is a good fit for me.
Since then, I have been restlessly and tirelessly working on cloud computing. Those months of preparation has made me confident that this is something I will keep enjoying all my life.
You truly have embraced the spirit of #LifelongLearning. How has MediaAgility been helping you with that?
I am just very fortunate to be working at MediaAgility. It is very rare that leaders motivate and appreciate what you do. And here I got that from the very beginning.
Just one week into the system, the Director of AI/ML walked up to my desk to congratulate me on my certifications and on my YouTube videos. I didn’t find anything remarkable in making videos and couldn’t understand whether it even required this gesture from a leader. So, I asked my coach and he also reassured me that I am doing something that many engineers don’t do, hence it is appreciable.
In another incident, I was working with an experienced engineer on developing scripts for three cloud platforms. While we worked on Google Cloud, my colleague observed I can handle the project alone and asked me to take the ownership. Healthy team spirit at MediaAgility ensured that my colleagues would always help me solve challenges whenever required.
What has been the highlight of your journey so far?
I have a fairly good LinkedIn network. So, when I got stuck with a few doubts in a project, I reached out to my network asking for suggestions. It led to a call with an expert from the US and almost 2-3 hours of 100% technical discussion. It boosted my confidence a lot because not just an expert was helping me, but it showed me that I have matured enough in this field to have a one-on-one discussion like any other engineer out there.
Any tips or advice for those who wish to start with cloud computing afresh?
Sure. I also did a post on LinkedIn for those who are evaluating cloud computing in their twenties.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you will need to be very persistent in your journey. You will want to give up and try something new. But, new things need some time. My brother says your brain is like a machine and it needs time to grasp the concepts.
Even after doing the certifications, I couldn’t completely comprehend the questions my brother would ask me. But you shouldn’t lose hope if that happens, because that comes with time and experience. Certifications don’t mean you know everything. Studying and doing things practically are both important and very different things. Almost every course has many practise labs, you should do them several times.
Also, learn Linux and Bash scripting. These are needed in several projects and knowing this will help you; we generally tend to not focus much on them as they are basics.
Want to write your own growth story with motivated and agile engineers? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.