From Hobby To Career: How Freelancing For Small Business Led To The Big Break

From Hobby To Career: How Freelancing For Small Business Led To The Big Break

December 21, 2023

“In high school, I thought it would be cool to learn about programming, so I took additional technology classes and built websites and a few programs in Python.”  

What may have seemed like a tiny spark of interest for Vishal Prakash years ago has lead him a career as a software developer.

Vishal, who recently graduated from Mission Ready’s Advanced Software Developer accelerator, says that furthering his education in technology helped him align his career with his passion.  

We caught up with Vishal to hear about his journey over the last year.

When did you first become interested in tech?

I’ve always been interested in technology but I chose to take a different path when I went to university—I qualified with a double major bachelor’s degree in sociology and film at the University of Auckland. I continued to hold onto my interest in tech as I freelanced in university, creating basic websites for small businesses. It was a hobby for me and I immensely enjoyed the process of building creative websites, which is also partially why I studied film.

How did you come to hear about Mission Ready?  

Upon completing my degree, I started working as a door-to-door sales consultant after the pandemic. Unfortunately, finding a job in my area of qualification was challenging. But then, I came across a Mission Ready informational pop-up kiosk, and my interest was renewed. So, I went back home, researched, and was ready to take this course.  

Why did you choose Mission Ready?

The information and professionalism of the website was very impressive. After more research I found Mission Ready was a leader in technology education. I knew I wanted to advance my knowledge with a provider that offered quality education and hands-on industry experience. The 19-week Level 6 Advanced Software Developer course sparked by interest.  

What was the interview process like?

I thought the interview went well but I felt like I wasn’t going to make the cut because I wasn’t confident enough. But clearly I was wrong. I was later told by the recruiter I had all the required prerequistes and passion to study with Mission Ready. Also, my film creativity wove well into the skills needed to build and design applications. It was rewarding to see how my interests and hobbies aligned and translated into a possible career avenue.

How would you describe your 19 weeks of education at Mission Ready?

It was definitely intense and overwhelming in the beginning when the concepts were new. But over time I found a rhythm of learning, and began to apply these new skills and accumulated knowledge. I found the support I received from my mentor at Mission Ready also played a vital role in helping me achieve my goals. Let’s say it’s very intense, but by the end, you feel accomplished!

What was a highlight for you at Mission Ready?

App development. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a creative person and the process of planning, developing, designing and finally building apps I found the most enjoyable.

What advice would you give to interested candidates?

Be open to the content. I found keeping an open mind through the unfamiliar phases was very helpful. To succeed at Mission Ready you also need to persevere and stop to enjoy the knowledge you’re obtaining.  

The other important factor is to maintain communication with other candidates. Try to collaborate where possible because a support system will help a lot.

What does your current career path look like?

I’m currently employed as a front-end developer for Foodstuffs North Island and am enjoying the tech industry.