Instructor Spotlight: Danyal Khalid
Danyal is a professional software engineer who enjoys building lego sets, playing video games, mountain biking, and most importantly, giving back to others by sharing his knowledge as a teacher.
Danyal has a wide array of experience in the software development industry working with various technologies for the past 15 years. When he started his career, Danyal landed a job working with PepsiCo in Dallas, TX. He later moved to Cincinnati to work for Cintas for a brief period of time before relocating again to Bentonville, AR to accept a position with Walmart where he spent almost half of his career in the Walmart Technology Division.
In 2018, he decided to move to the sunny Phoenix valley where he worked for USAA for a little over a year before being recruited to join a local CRM company named Keap (formerly known as Infusionsoft) located in Chandler, AZ, where he now resides as a Senior Software Engineer.
Danyal has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. He is originally from Karachi, Pakistan. Teaching runs in his family and he has had opportunities to teach throughout his life. For the past couple of years, he has had the experience to teach full stack software development at other bootcamps, and is excited to teach at Promineo Tech.
We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Danyal and are excited to share some of his answers below about why he loves programming, teaching, and what advice he'd give to anyone working to break into the industry as a software developer.
How did you get into software development?
By chance. I was trying to get into a different engineering program, and computer science was my second choice. As luck might have it, I ended up getting accepted into the computer science program instead of my first choice. From there my journey into software development began.
Why do you love software development?
This is like asking a painter why they like painting, an author why they like writing or a musician why they like composing songs. It’s the love of creation that attracts me to software development, just like many other programmers. The thrill and excitement of creating a solution gives a sense of achievement, which is very addicting. You go back for more. That is why I love programming.
How did you get into teaching?
Teaching has been in my blood. My grandmother was a teacher who ran a private school, and then, later on, did private tutoring classes. I was quite young at that time. When she passed away, my eldest Aunt took up the mantle. After a few years, my sister and I transitioned from being her students to TAs. We used to get assigned to help students in lower grades. She passed away a couple of years ago due to breast cancer. My Aunt was a woman of substance who instilled the philosophy of teaching in us. She showed us that teaching goes beyond money and requires a lot of patience and sacrifice. The end result of helping someone become successful is what makes it all worth it. Today, just not I but both my younger sisters are teachers as well in their respective fields.
Why do you love teaching?
I’m very passionate about teaching. I meet great people who are trying to achieve difficult goals, and I want to help them. I strongly believe that knowledge is never lost by sharing it, instead, it grows. A teacher will always have an influence in the person’s life, and I want to have that positive influence. If I can help someone achieve their goals, and become successful, the satisfaction of knowing that makes teaching worth it.
What do you feel is the hardest thing about learning to program?
My code works, and I don’t know why. My code doesn’t work, and I don’t know why. This is the most frustrating and difficult part of learning to program. Programming is an art, and you need to be patient about it. Have a curious mind! Ask WHY? Or WHY NOT? A lot of new programmers tend to take things as they are. There is always a reason why something is working a certain way. Knowing that WHY is the most difficult thing about programming.
What do you believe is the most important thing a student can do when learning to program?
Practice, practice, and practice. If you want to become a good programmer, you need to practice that skill. Do the class activities over and over again, until you know exactly what each line of code means. Delete the program and start over again. Once you have the logic, you’ll be able to write the solution in different ways. You will see that you can now come up with better ways to write the same program. Practice is key. There are no shortcuts to learning to code.
What advice would you give students about to go through a bootcamp?
Students ask me if they should spend time on re-doing class activities, homework assignments, projects or career services. My answer? ALL of the above. But there are only so many hours in a day! My advice? Learn to manage your time. Students who are not organized in managing their time, soon find themselves completely lost. Bootcamp is a very fast-paced program. There is a LOT of information that you’re expected to digest in a short amount of time. You have to be constantly on your toes to ensure that you don’t get left behind. If you want to be successful in a bootcamp program, it is very important that you prioritize and manage your time extremely well. Have a well-defined schedule of how many hours you are going to spend on what activity.
What’s your favorite software development project you’ve ever worked on?
This is like asking a parent which one of your kids you like the most. Every project that I’ve worked on is special in their own way. Each one has helped me grow as a software engineer and provided me a learning opportunity. So, like every parent, I love all my babies.
What are your hobbies outside of software development?
I love to play video games even though my list of unplayed games is growing by a lot. Most recently I completed building the lego set of Saturn V. On weekends I try to go mountain biking.
Why did you decide to teach at Promineo Tech?
There are many different bootcamps that are being offered all over the Valley. What I look for is the program management who is as passionate as I am in helping students. I want to work with people who do not treat students as a number or who are not serious about each student’s goal. Every student who chooses to attend any bootcamp is trying to change their lives. I take that goal very seriously. At Promineo Tech I found people who share the same vision. They know and understand what is on the line for every student who attends their class. Most of all, they are as passionate about teaching as I am. That says a lot for a bootcamp institution.
Students are welcome to connect with Danyal on LinkedIn!
Interested in changing careers and becoming a software developer? Learn more about Promineo Tech's programs and how we help students make this transition through affordable, low-risk technology education: https://promineotech.com/coding-for-adults