Teacher Feature: Rohit Dhand By: Lauren Girdler Rohit is a Senior Solution Architect working with Dynamic Management Systems, Vancouver and has been working in the tech space for more than 28 years. He worked as a Principal Program Manager for a big private university in India and was key contributor in designing three award winning Enterprise Applications before coming to Canada in 2015. His meticulous efforts led to the establishment of “VenturePact” (US Based) to provide technology support to the startup ideas emerging from Wharton School of Business, MIT, Stanford etc. He also acted as an official BETA Tester for Microsoft to test Office 2003 Family Product and Windows .NET Server. He has spoken at Microsoft’s Virtual TechEd and DreamSpark Yatra conferences. He has heaps of experience in guiding students for the Post Graduate Programs and mentoring thousands of students in their learning and projects. How did you originally get into coding? What was your first coding project? My first interaction with PC was in early 1990’s. I used to play PACMan as a kid. This interaction with the PC led me to learning programming languages like BASIC and FORTRAN. The interest grew more with time and I kept on learning other languages like C and C++. The first coding project that I took was to create a “Billing Application” for a small shop in India in C++. I was a paid a small amount for that. The application was a success and I got a couple of offers to write more software. This was the turning point in my life when I was sure that Computers and Programming was the career that I wanted to pursue. The passion still remains the same and my quest for learning has never stopped. What’s one cool non-development job you’ve done? I had the privilege to run a special skill-based courses for a big University in the evenings. Students would register in big numbers like 250-350 students per batch. It’s the most satisfying experience in my life as you can connect to 300 souls at the same time and inspire them. Beyond that I have done Product & Project Management for various organizations and helped them steering their teams. Where did you work before working at Lighthouse Labs? In my more than 28 years in technology, I had the opportunity to work with varied organizations. In India I have worked with Startups, big colleges and universities. In Canada I have worked with well-known large corporations for their software systems like Wells Fargo, 7-Eleven, TransCanada, WorkSafeBC, TEEKay Shipping etc. Why did you get into teaching? Tell us about your teaching philosophy. Coming from a family that have an education background, teaching comes naturally to me. When I started back in early 1990’s, there was no Google, YouTube, or other learning resources. I had to wait for mentors, books to learn concepts. Moreover, I felt with few teachers that they were not able to express their knowledge in the right context. This eventually led me to take teaching as my hobby and then inculcate it as my profession. My philosophy of teaching is to create a sense of inquisitiveness in the students so that they tend to learn new, always. I focus heavily on the “Basic Concepts and Techniques” that form the building blocks of any language. To my mind if you are not aware of the basic concepts, you are losing on the big picture and it won’t eventually help you in the long run. What made you decide to become a mentor and instructor at Lighthouse Labs? Teaching is in my blood and is my passion. My father retired as a Principal of a big college in India and I have seen his teaching style. When I came to Canada in 2015, I was lucky to get a job as a Senior Technology Consultant in 10 days, but I was missing my teaching instincts. This led to Lighthouse Labs. Though I am a Microsoft Technologist, my passion and instinct helped me to go through the concepts and then eventually started mentoring at Lighthouse Labs. What do you enjoy doing outside of teaching and coding? I love travelling, exploring new places, meditating, and listening to music that is rhythmic. I am a great fan of watching documentaries like “How Universe works?”, “What is Time and Space?” What is the most rewarding part about teaching at Lighthouse Labs? I have a firm belief that “Teaching” is the only line in the world where you get feedback immediately. It’s one of the best feelings when you move out of Lighthouse Labs that you were able to inspire students today and to my mind it’s one of the most rewarding aspects. Are you working on any side projects right now? Currently I am working on a couple of projects. The first one is related to Business Intelligence for a large organization in India. They want to utilize their big data for the decision-making process. We are designing the data model, setting up the OLAP environment, and even using .NET ML (Machine Learning) for forecasting and projections. Another project that I am currently working is a Business Application using “Micro Services” on “Azure Service Fabric”. This is one of the project’s where we are extensively utilizing cloud services and moving to the Micro, Cognitive services environment. This is a total deviation from writing monolithic kind of applications. What’s one thing students should know about you before coming to Lighthouse Labs? With a diverse experience of more than 20 years that includes designing Enterprise Class Applications, Working with Startups, Teaching (Formal and Informal Education), I want to make sure that I pass every iota of knowledge back to the aspiring developers and learners. I can help any student who has flare, zeal, and inquisitive nature to learn more than merely following the curriculum. What is your advice for aspiring developers? Three P’s: Patience, Perseverance, and Persistence are the key factors that have shaped my life and career. Being a graduate in Accounting, I shifted my field to Computer Science and did my Master’s. It was challenging and overwhelming, but the “P’s” kept me moving on to create a place for myself. These three P’s are going to do wonders for you if you inculcate them in your life. Another thing that I normally ask every aspiring developer is to remember two things: 1) Everyone has its own learning curve, so follow that. 2) Learn the concepts rather than a language. We normally learn how to drive a car rather than learning “Mercedes”, “Audi” etc. On the same lines, please learn programming concepts that can be applied to any programming language. This ensures that even if the technology changes, you are able to adapt and respond quickly. What has been your most memorable moment at Lighthouse Labs so far? The most memorable moment is the token of regards and love that I get from the aspiring developers once they complete their program. The love and warmth that you receive is something that takes you to cloud nine. It ensures that you always deliver more than the regular curriculum and you are able to inspire students.