Backed by marquee investors like Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global, InterviewBit, the parent company of Scaler, is on a growth trajectory that seems to be in no mood to stop.
In the year of the pandemic, when job losses shot up and the economy went the opposite direction, an ed-tech company was quietly seeing a placement record like no other. Scaler Academy, a program that began two years ago, has already seen over 1,500 software engineers upskill themselves and getting placed at some of the best product-based tech companies.
The startup, six years into the game, and two since it truly moved into upskilling, is essentially built for software engineers who want to master Data Structures and Algorithms, Problem Solving and System Design, with a firm focus on building world-class products that solve everyday problems.
As we took a deep dive into what the company is really up to and what the program is all about, there were some interesting findings. Read along our complete Scaler Academy review to learn more.
For most, if not all, startups to succeed, it is incredibly important to have a strong foundation. And as is the case, the founders lay that foundation. In the case of InterviewBit, this is a no-brainer.
Abhimanyu Saxena and Anshuman Singh, the two co-founders of Scaler were batchmates at IIIT Hyderabad, a college well-known for its stellar computer science education. Both of them ended up with jobs that had them leading the charge at some of the hottest companies of those times in the United States.
While Abhimanyu was the engineering team lead at Fab.com, which was then a fashion e-commerce startup valued at over a billion dollars, Anshuman was busy working closely with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, building and leading what eventually became Messenger.
But both of them were bitten by the proverbial entrepreneurial bug when they saw how tech education was lagging behind in most engineering colleges. The gap between what the industry needed and what the colleges had to offer was too wide, and after a fair amount of research and deliberation, they left their cushy jobs to start InterviewBit.
A self-preparation platform, InterviewBit was established with the motive of helping software engineers practice coding problems in a gamified manner. With time, a lot of companies started driving their hirings through the platform and some interesting things came up to the founders’ notice.
Most of the folks who were getting placed at the top companies had one thing in common: they all had a mentor-like figure in their lives, be it through their siblings or a distant relative, who was already at one such company and was guiding them through the process.
That brought about the birth of the program that effectively makes the best software engineers in the country.
Scaler Academy Review
As mentioned previously, we took a deep dive into the program features and what each of them mean to students and alumni.
Structured, Industry-Relevant Curriculum
By its own admission, the curriculum of the program is vetted by top tech leaders and reverse engineered to be relevant to the needs of today.
Be it thorough coverage of Data Structures and Algorithms, or helping someone get better at Problem Solving, the curriculum is structured meticulously. Even System Design, which happens to be a major area of concern for many, seems to have been well covered.
But even if we were to not take things at face value, there are hundreds of student testimonials that say the same and more. “The course curriculum is superbly curated. Both from a learning perspective as well as if you just want to prepare for interviews, they cover it all to make you a more skilled coder,” says Scaler Academy alumni Sunny Singh Yadav.
Experienced Teaching Army
The curriculum is complemented by teachers who are all well aware of what it takes to build world-class products, having done so themselves in the past.
In his review of the program, Piyush Singh writes, “Scaler gives you the best of instructors and the questions you solve all come in handy and relevant when you eventually sit for interviews.” Originally from a tier-III college, Piyush managed to interview at the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs while bagging offers from two of them.
Remember the learning that the founders had at InterviewBit? This feature came from exactly that. With mentors who are current professionals at aspiration product-based tech companies, the learners get a taste of not just relevant knowledge but also a sense of direction in their careers.
Take the example of Prateek Saini, who, despite being able to get to product companies by himself, decided to enroll into Scaler Academy because he wanted to strengthen his weak areas and build a solid foundation that he could build on.
“My mentor, Piyush, helped me with everything that needed fine-tuning. Be it via mock interviews or correcting my resume, he was there for help. Even today, I am in touch with him and it is a great relationship,” says Prateek, who currently works at LambdaTest.
Easy Doubt Resolution
How important is doubt resolution when it comes to practicing coding problems? As it turns out, very. Another feature of the program, doubt resolution is a fairly accessible thing for all Scaler Academy learners.
As the Noogler Anshul Jain puts in her review, “one of the best things was that I could find help very quickly. We have to merely raise a help request, and within ten minutes, we receive assistance. Right from my teaching instructors to my peers at Scaler, I found everyone helpful and approachable.”
Apart from expert teaching assistants with excellent problem-solving skills, learners have the opportunity to tap into the community of thousands of current and former students when in doubt. How about that?
A significant advantage of the Scaler Academy program is the career support that all learners receive. A dedicated team takes care of this aspect, ensuring that opportunities arrive if and when the learner has done what the program asked him/her to.
As an early alumnus, Mohini Bansal had this to say in her concluding remarks: “My genuine recommendation is to give your 100 per cent to the course, you will never be disappointed by the results. Just enjoy your hard work.”
With a network of hiring partners and stellar alumni, the program helps with opportunities and hand-holds learners throughout the entire process through resume reviews and scheduling of relevant mock interviews, among other things.
Well, then, those were some of the features that really stood out to us during our research, with a fair amount of real testimonials driving us to the conclusion that it all truly, seamlessly comes together into a giant whole. One of the other salient features, considering the program is for working professionals, is its flexibility. Apart from recorded lectures and the freedom to choose class timings, one can also change batches in case of a personal or professional emergency.
Recent numbers released by the company paint a fairly rosy picture of where the future really lies. Apart from boasting an average CTC of INR 22.5 lakhs per annum for those with 3-7 years of experience, Amazon hired more from Scaler Academy last year than all IITs combined.
Are these numbers enough? By their own admission, they are only beginning to scratch the surface.
We believe so too.