How A Security Guard At Zoho Learnt Coding At Night And Became A Programmer At The Company

As far as career progressions go, it doesn’t get much better than this.

A security guard at Zoho, the Chennai-based SaaS corporation, has worked his way up to become a programmer at the company. Abdul Alim, who is currently employed as a Member of Technical Staff at Zoho, shared the story of how he’s started off at the company as a security guard 8 years ago.

“In 2013, With just 1000 rupees, I left my home, spent 800 on a train ticket,” says Alim, who was a resident of Assam. “After roaming for 2 months on the streets, finally found a job at a security desk. One day, one of the senior employees of the company, asked my name and said – Alim, I can see something in your eyes (sounds filmy I know),” he recounts.

“He asked me about my studies and my computer knowledge. In school I learned a little bit of HTML. Then he asked me If I want to learn more, and this is how my learning began. Since every day after completing my 12 hours security shift, I went to the senior and learned. About after eight months, I created a small app. An app that takes the user input and visualizes it. The senior employee showed the app to his manager and he liked it. He asked if it is possible to interview me,” he says.

“I thought I will not be interviewed ever because I did not go to any college and studied only will 10th,” he says. But as it turned out, Zoho didn’t particularly care if Alim had a college degree. “My mentor told me that at Zoho, you don’t need a college degree, What matters here is you and your skills. And the day came, gave the interview and ..passed it,” he writes.

Alim also paid tribute to the employee who’d taught him at night all those years ago. “I want to thank Shibu Alexis for all the knowledge and lessons. and Zoho Corporation for allowing me to prove myself,” he wrote. “And on the final note, It is never too late to start learning.”