STUDENT PROFILE: HANU

HANU PRATEEK KUNDURU

AGE: 27
HOMETOWN: Hyderabad, India
INTERESTS: Entrepreneurship, technology, coding, learning new languages, reading and anything to do with problem solving and building new products & solutions.

What did you do before 42?

Before 42, I was running a technology startup called TAKE ZERO in India. I was the CTO/Co-Founder working on technology, business development and building & managing a tech team. This was my third startup in a period of 6 years where I have held various roles from business development and strategy to technology. By the time I was running TAKE ZERO, I shifted into a more technology solutions architect role where I had to teach myself to code. My exiting the company and taking a break brought me to 42.

Academically, I have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from BITS Pilani, India, and an MBA with a double major in Finance & Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management in Ranchi, India. I have also been a fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I have worked with organizations like TED, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CitiBank in my various non-technical avatars.

Why did you choose to join 42?

I was in the US on vacation when I read a TechCrunch article on 42 and its unique pedagogical style. Having a history with programming where I was teaching myself how to code and understanding the fundamental aspects of computer engineering, I was really intrigued about having a new learning experience in an environment where I could learn and share knowledge with my peers in a place like 42. I spent a month in the piscine learning about UNIX and C and computer programming in general and it got me hooked which made me I decide to join the program full-time last year.

Did you know how to code before coming here?

Yes. For about a year and a half prior to joining 42 I had to manage a team of developers which kind of forced me to figure out how to code and teach myself web and mobile concepts, but apart from a little bit of low level programming for electronics I did during my undergrad, I had no formal education in programming.

Do you remember your first day at 42?

I think my first day was even before the start of the piscine, when I was checking into the dorms. We had about 300 new people here for the piscine, everyone was living in the dorms then because we didn’t have full-time students yet. I remember meeting so many new people with various backgrounds and experiences. But everyone was here to learn. Different people with different motivations on why they want to code or program, and getting to know them and learning from them was an enlightening experience on my first day.

What do you like about 42 academics?

42 is very different because we don’t have any teachers. It is very similar to how we build technology solutions and products in the real world. It is how you learn programming concepts the way you would on a job or live project. You are given an end goal and you are forced to learn and think about everything required to get to that solution. Especially in programming you can never actually know what the problems during the process are going to be, so you need to be quick enough to find help, brainstorm and search online. A lot of these things you wouldn’t normally learn in a normal university but 42 trains you for these situations. The whole learning system is very different from traditional models.

What are the best parts of learning at 42?

The peers are definitely the best part, everyone is on the same boat. You are learning from your friends and peers, and you are solving another student’s problem and they are helping you solve yours. Rather than compete, you cooperate: you are not just competing for marks or grades, you are collaborating with other people and growing with them. That is the best part of our learning.

Who are your sources of support at 42?

My peers, and my friends. Everyone who is also going through the same process with me in 42.

Describe 42 community.

Honestly, I love the diversity. There are so many different kinds of people. Since 42 is a free school, it is open to people from varied and diverse backgrounds with a common purpose. We have a very engaged community. We want to help out the school and grow as a community in general, like-minded people who want to learn and grow. That is the best part of our community.

What activities are you involved in in 42?

Right now, a lot of things. Apart from being a cadet, I am also a part of the “bocal”, where I am part of the pedagogy and DevOps team, making sure all the systems, servers are running and network is up. Apart from that, we are trying to push the hardware club. There are different projects going on there, so that we have an approach where 42 is not just software programming, but also a place where people start integrating programming with more physical hardware projects. I also regularly take part in the Moonlight club meetings where we pitch our ideas and try to get feedback from other members of the community.

What is your dream job or your long-term career goals?

My dream job is where the learning doesn’t stop, where I am not just doing the same things every day, where we are constantly growing and doing new things and building on top of what people have already established in the past.

What is your most inspiring education quote?

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do you will never cease to grow.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo

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