HOUSE HELP TO APP DE­VEL­OPER

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Sunday Special - Class X iOS de­vel­oper with Im­pact, Mum­bai

Akash Nau­tiyal

Twenty-four-year-old Akash Nau­tiyal makes apps for Ap­ple phones and earns about Rs 80,000 per month. But his fam­ily back home in Man­pur vil­lage, in Ut­tarkashi district, still doesn’t know what he does to earn a liv­ing. “They think I make some ‘game-vame’ for phones, ba­si­cally time-pass,” says Nau­tiyal, who picked up cod­ing skills while work­ing as do­mes­tic help for a group of IITians in Mum­bai.

“My fa­ther used to be a con­sta­ble driver in As­sam Po­lice and was posted in Delhi. My mother is a house­wife. They were keen that I get an ed­u­ca­tion,” says Nau­tiyal. They en­rolled him in a pri­vate school in Dehradun and found him a place on rent. Once when he was short on cash, he used up his fee money to make rent. The school sus­pended him, and

Nau­tiyal ended up as a 10th class dropout.

De­cid­ing that his gui­tar skills might help him make a ca­reer in mu­sic, t he youth headed to Mum­bai. To keep him­self fed and clothed, he started do­ing house work for a group of young en­trepreneur­s who had just founded Hous­ing.com.

One day, Sne­hil Bak­shi from Hous­ing saw Nau­tiyal try­ing to make a web­site for an NGO in his vil­lage. “They told me that I could learn to code and taught me the ba­sics. Then I got in­ter­ested and started study­ing it on my own. Now, I know lan­guages like Swift, Javascript, Ob­jec­tive C, CSS, HTML, and frame­works (a plat­form for de­vel­op­ing ap­pli­ca­tions) like Re­act, Re­act Na­tive and An­gu­lar.” Im­pact founder Ishan Nad­karni dis­cov­ered Akash at this cod­ing pad and hired him for his s t ar t up t hat was de­vel­op­ing I mpact, a fit­ness+kind­ness app.

Nau­tiyal now also runs an NGO in his vil­lage that teaches ba­sics of cod­ing and mu­sic to 20 lo­cal chil­dren. He also man­aged to save enough to fin­ish ren­o­vat­ing his vil­lage home af­ter his fa­ther’s death. “The area is on the char dham ya­tra route so I have con­verted our home into an AirBnB,” says Nau­tiyal. Even­tu­ally, he hopes to start his own soft­ware busi­ness and hire peo­ple from his vil­lage and train them as coders.

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