Interview with HSBC Software Engineer – Oishi Poddar

  • Tell us about your background

I am born and brought up in the City of Joy-Kolkata, India. I finished my schooling there and went on to pursue my degree in computer science and engineering at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. I graduated last year and secured a job as a software engineer at HSBC Technology via campus placements and currently am based at their Pune office.

  • Why did you decide to Computer Science & Engineering tell us about your college time

Gadgets and computers always fascinated me. I was introduced to the word of coding and its many applications during my school years and it intrigued me enough to motivate me to pursue my undergraduate degree in computer science and engineering. At college, I found out that alongside courses, one needs to explore the vast expanding ocean of technology on our own. The courses do not always cover the recent advances in computer science and it is up to you to augment the theoretical knowledge and learn new areas in technology and apply them via internships, hackathons, competitions, etc.


  • Tell us about your journey after you completed your education

I joined HSBC Software Development after graduating from my Bachelors’s degree. The journey so far has been nothing short of amazing. I recently completed one year at the organization and I have been exposed to a lot of learning and networking. I was lucky to be able to attend the Global Graduate Induction Programme organized in London where I got the opportunity to meet and network with all the incoming graduates at HSBC. I also attended a one- month training program with all the global graduates from around the world where we learned about various emerging technologies and their use cases. As a young graduate, I am always encouraged to innovate and build new tools and services. My job focuses a lot on providing me with a variety of avenues to upskill through MOOCs, hackathons, and knowledge transfer sessions and workshops.

  • Tell us about your job search experience. What preparation did you do?

 A job search in the domain of CSE especially as a fresher requires good coding knowledge. Competitive coding practices on platforms such as InterviewBit, LeetCode, GeeksForGeeks, etc are a must. One should start preparing from their second last year of college if not earlier to be well versed with all the different data structures and algorithms. Alongside that, brushing up on core computer science courses like Database Management, Networking, OOP, DSA is required as questions are asked from these subjects both during interviews as well as written tests. Practice company-specific questions a week before the interview or written test. Verbal ability, logical reasoning, and aptitude questions can also be asked in the first round or two. IndiaBix is a good source to practice such questions. Some riddles have also been asked to me during interviews (refer to the GeeksForGeeks database).

Overall a good profile is also an important factor for a job search. Be involved in projects, internships, and build your skills. Finishing online courses might be a good way to start building your knowledge or skill in a new domain but nothing beats applying it on a real-world project. And don’t forget to show off these skills and projects on your CV, LinkedIn, and GitHub.

Last but not the least, communication is key. Being able to present yourself well might just take it or break it. So if your communication skills are weak, please work on it!

I know all of this sounds daunting at first, but start early and be steady in your practice and you have got this!


  •  Why did you decide to become a Software Engineer? What attracted you? Would you recommend other students?

 A software engineering job involves analytical and logical thinking, innovative spirit, a bit of creativity, and a whole lot of patience! It is very exciting to see your work reflect on your screen, other screens and being used by people all around the world. If you want to work on different challenges, build new products that have the capability to change people’s lives, I definitely recommend you to join this field.


  • What are the key challenges you face as a Software Engineer and how do you overcome these?

 A software engineering job makes me feel like a student nearly every day- without the pressure of exams, thank god. I need to learn to be relevant in my job and the learning spans various subjects as any system comprises databases, networks, and a lot of tools and technologies which I might not be familiar with. There are days when some code bugs are driving me crazy ( the debugger becomes your new best friend) or my project is just not getting built, but once I solve them ( there is a lot of resources online to help you solved StackOverFlow), it is interesting to see the entire amalgamation work together.


  • Do you think internships and live projects are important for a student, if yes, why?

 A hundred times yes! I cannot stress enough on the importance of exploring various domains in technology through projects and internships. Even if the internships are unpaid you should grab the opportunity since you will get a learn something new and network with people which just might help you land a paid position later. Aside from being an important addition to your CV, it will help you determine which subfield of computer science you like, or perhaps hate, and then help you to steer your career forward accordingly.


  • What inspires you in life and keeps you going?

 Pushing myself to be a better version of myself than what I previously was.

  • What is your idea of success or your mantra in life?

“Be the person you want to meet”

Think of your favorite role model and aspire to be like him/her. Once I achieve that and beyond, I would consider myself successful.


  • Other than work, what are your other areas of interest?

I found a new hobby in cooking thanks to the Covid-19 lockdown. I like trying to whip up dishes I find on the internet. I also like listening to e-books and playing badminton.

  • What are new skills are you learning or plan to learn?

 I am currently hooked on to the world of machine learning. The field does live up to its hype and I am exploring the various applications of this field through MOOCs and other projects.

  • What are the two most important tips you would advise our readers (students and professionals/entrepreneurs) from your experience to become successful?

 Learning does not stop after you start your job. Inculcate it as a daily part of your curriculum to remain relevant in the ever-evolving world of technology.

Also, I work best under pressure and most people tend to do so. Do not give up on opportunities if you are too scared that you cannot do or manage it. Of course, avoid burnout, and please exercise, eat, and sleep well! I also advise you to ask questions, even the silliest of doubts when you start out in your career. Nobody will judge you as they do not expect you to know everything.

  • Your favorite quote and book?

Quote: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Book- Sapiens-A brief history of Humankind

You can connect with Oishi Poddar here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *