Al Del Degan Hosts Navin Jetha
If you would like to listen to this episode, visit: https://rainforestalberta.podbean.com/e/e0140/
[00:00:00] Al Del Degan: Hey everybody. Welcome to the episode. on this episode, I have another InceptionU graduate. Her name is Navan Jetha, hi Navan thanks for joining me.
[00:00:08] Navin Jetha: Hi, Al, how are you?
[00:00:10] Al Del Degan: Good, thanks. Good. Thanks. It's so cool to have you here. I want to start out the show as I usually do, and you're a really, really fascinating person.
You've got a really, really cool background. And, I'd love to hear a little bit about your mini version of your life story. If you don't mind.
[00:00:28] Navin Jetha: A mini version. Okay. I was born in east Africa, Tanzania, and immigrated to Canada on 1978 or something like that. And, when I first came, it was a really foreign country, right.
Like, I mean, here, I've never seen snow before. Right. So snow, when I first know what it was like, wow, this what's no looks like. And I was just, you know, so fascinated by it. well, when we, when we came to Canada, my parents immigrated for education. So education has been, very near and dear to my heart.
When, if there's an opportunity for education, I just, most of the time I've just gone for it, you know,
[00:01:09] Al Del Degan: They came here for your education or for, or because they're educators or maybe you could just clarify that?
[00:01:16] Navin Jetha: Yeah, my parents came here for our education because they didn't have any educational opportunities. Right. They were entrepreneurs, they were business people, they had businesses running.
And so that's why I also have this, a heart over that I want to business, you know, and, but at the same time, education is very, very important in our culture and it was very highly stressed upon us.
[00:01:46] Al Del Degan: That's pretty cool. That's actually really cool. So now you're here. What sort of a trail led you to, I guess being a health instructor and I think it's yoga.
Correct. And, and then from that you decided to all of a sudden pivot to, becoming a software developer. I'd love to hear how that all happened.
[00:02:06] Navin Jetha: Yeah, actually I started when I first, when I, when we came to Canada and then when it was time to go to university, I did take computer science. So I do have a bachelor of science in computer science, and I was hired by a major oil company right after graduation.
And for six years, I was, I was a systems analyst, a database administrator, technical writer. I had several roles. I played in that one position. So I did learn quite a bit, coming out of. that position, then what ended up happening is that, the company I was with merged with another company and some of us got laid off.
So during that time, this is, this is what happened. I took this, computer science. So I do have computer science background fast forward a few years. What ended up happening in the middle of all that is life happened in the middle of that. I had children, I went through a divorce and things happen.
And when I had little children and I got laid off, I, at that point, I decided, you know, what? It makes like the jobs that I was, they were available to me after that position were all twenty four seven on call and I had two little children and it just didn't make any sense as a. to work at a position where, I may not be able to commit completely a hundred percent.
Right. So what I ended up doing is open a day home and that worked out really well, you know, and I realized that I enjoyed running my own business. I enjoyed being home with my family. I enjoyed, I had the flexibility, you know, So that's, that's what I did. And then after that one day I was sitting around, sitting around.
I was, I was looking at a magazine, it was a guide, it was a recreation guide with the city of Calgary. And I was flipping over the pages to look for a swim classes for my kids to, to put them in the swim classes. And I saw an ad in there saying, looking for fitness leaders. And so I called it was fun. It was interesting because I called right away.
Right. In that moment I phoned one of the fitness centers and she said, yeah, we need fitness leaders and we need a water instructors. She said, can you start with that? I said, sure. So I started off as a water instructor and ended up teaching other things like group fitness. And I started teaching yoga then.
And I became very passionate about yoga.
[00:04:50] Al Del Degan: Yeah. Yoga is so amazing. Like, w I mean, people's lives have been transformed by just getting into yoga. That's amazing.
[00:04:58] Navin Jetha: Yeah. So I found that I, I learned so much from that. Just the, just the fact that I had to be in front of so many people in the at first when I started, I had so much anxiety.
Like I'm like, how am I going to teach? I had no problem remembering the routine or remembering what I had to teach. But as soon as I gone in front of people, it was like, oh my God, it's like, I kind of became paralyzed a couple of times, but then I broke through that. And that's when I really felt confident and I realized I can actually do this.
And I, I fell in love with it. I said, I'm making an impact and changing people's lives. I'm bringing energy to the T to the group. I'm like, I felt so good. And I knew all the people that came from my, to my class felt amazing as well. So that's what kept me going there. Yeah. But then of course, pandemic hit.
Right? And then we all got laid off fitness center is shut down and I was like, well, what am I going to do? And, one of the students in my yoga class called me one day, she missed the class. Cause I was teaching a VR, virtual yoga class at the time she missed a class and she said, I missed your class. I'm so sorry, but I got a new job women in technology.
And she said, why, why don't you apply for one of these programs? I said, that's how I found out about EvolveU. Yeah. So I said, well, yeah, I'll apply for it. You know?
[00:06:34] Al Del Degan: That's great. So when you were in the, the InceptionU evolve program, what, what sort of, I mean, with, I actually either didn't know or forgot that you had a computer science background, but you must have, you know, the, the, the knowledge from the past must have came back fairly quickly.
even though the technology itself was probably fairly new compared to what you did in the past. How did you, how did you feel when you were first in, at the beginning of the program?
[00:07:01] Navin Jetha: Actually now that is completely opposite. And I, you know, what I, what I discovered. That I had a lot of fear coming back to computer science or, you know, a developer, especially developer.
I'll be honest with you, especially developer because, I struggled going through school. I struggle getting that degree and I remember we sat there for hours and hours programming and I wasn't alone. We were in a team together. We work together. Yet I remember those days. And, it was challenging. It was, I found it very, very challenging.
And when I look back, I realize it's just the way my brain works. I'm not very detailed oriented, but then when I came back to EvolveU and I gave it another shot, I said, well, you know, I'm sitting here anyways. The summer's going to pass. Whether I take the program or not. And I, I found the courage to start again and I said, I'm going to give it a shot.
This has, this has entered my life. Am I going to walk through this? Am I going to walk through the door or not? And I can do too much thinking about it, even though I'm an over-thinker, I didn't think too much about it. And I walked through the door and all my fears came back. Right. Because I had all this fears.
programming and developing. And I have these fears that I can't do it and my confidence, it was my confidence. And, well, you know, by project two, I actually felt like I can do this by project two. I could, I, I can actually say I can build a MERN stack. I was able to say that and,by project three, I really enjoyed the process, the agile methodology, you know in project three, we came every morning, spend like 15 minutes a day and we had this task to complete from the night before and it was done. It was actually done. And I'm like, when I first took the task, I would take off in the morning at 9:15, I would say, okay, I'm going to take this task on. In my mind is going off saying, well, how are you going to do this task?
[00:09:22] Navin Jetha: You have no clue how to do it? But there was a part of me that said, I'm just going to take it and do it anyways. You know? And then I would go away and ask for help, find somebody to help me. there were a lot of help out there in the cohort six and there were some cohort five, help. So I would look for help.
I didn't give up and I'd found by next morning I had the solution. I had some things done and I felt so good. I love the process because I felt like it was getting things done. my confidence was going up and I was starting to believe that I can actually be a developer again. So I kind of feel like I got a second chance at it.
and at the end, as we were completing the program, as we're coming to the end of it, I was again, in a bit of a dilemma, wondering, do I want to continue with development? Do I not want to continue with development? And, the reason that was happening in my mind was because I have such a strong passion for yoga and for fitness and for helping people and making an impact in the world.
[00:10:30] Navin Jetha: And I couldn't in that moment, in my mind, figuring out how I was going to do that with development. You know, I didn't know how to bring all the skills that I have learned and integrate it with tech in some way. Right. So I, I have decided I am starting a business and I am want to help. People with fitness, you know, help people with, their back pain, their posture, alignment, you know, maybe mini exercises that you need to do while you're a developer, you know, developing for 20 hours.
Because when I was sitting in EvolveU we would sit for so long developing. And I, and I realized I'm not used to that. I was constantly moving as a fitness leader, and now sitting here behind a computer in classes, developing too much sitting, you know, and my body was like, you're sitting for too long and I would have to take these little mini breaks.
And maybe there was some heel raises or something by the microwave while my T's warming up or something, you know? And I'm like, okay, I should put this somewhere in a, in a, in a course, you know, and put it out there because I really believe that, whenever career we choose. Whatever path we choose in our lives. Our health will always have to be taken care of. Our bodies are always going to have to be taken care of. so I, I want to continue building my business as a side hustle. And at the same time, I would like to find a position in tech somewhere because I have more confidence now that I can do. after having gone through the EvolveU program and after having you wonderful facilitators, you know, rooting for us and saying, yeah, you can do this.
You know, and I think it's finally, I'm thinking in my brain that I can actually do this.
[00:12:31] Al Del Degan: That's cool. And you can probably take that one step further. And the, as, as you have the side hustle going anyways, the job you look for, you might be able to find something in a company that actually builds technology for fitness related, applications.
So that could be a kind of a really neat, merger of your background and your, and your new ideas. But that's, that's really, really fascinating. And, and I, and I like that. Out of the course, not only did you, did you get some education, but you also were able to sort of build some confidence. That's really telling that that's a lot of people don't realize that it's not just a tech course, that there's other, other aspects to it in ways of unlearning and ways of, of, you know, understanding information in a different way.
creative thinking, systems, thinking all those sorts of things. And then you take, the LifePath series to look into. Yourself. And I I've heard so many of the learners from the past cohorts say how some of those non-tech pieces were where some of the most important pieces in the, in the program. Do you want to speak to that a little bit?
[00:13:36] Navin Jetha: Yeah, absolutely. Like, I mean, oh, there's so much to say there, like it's not just tech, tech is just one part of it. I think a bigger portion of it is the,essential skills portion. Where we learned a lot about mindset and unlearning and like you say, creative thinking, systems learning and, yeah.
[00:14:01] Al Del Degan: Well do you think. You know, going forward, you had kind of mentioned that. Well, actually I think it may be was before we actually started recording, but you had mentioned something about you like working with people a lot. And so your, your career aspiration might include something along the lines of some sort of support position in tech.
And that that's one of the other things that, that that's really cool is as a human being, you build all these skills over the years. Those skills can be applied in so many different ways. And a lot of people get stuck on positions in companies and it's like, okay, well, there's a product manager and project manager.
I always get the two mixed up. And then you have, you know, business analysts, then you have software developer and then you have a QA engineer or whatever. there's also. Titles out there, but yet, if you look at what skillsets people have, they actually could easily transfer to a totally different, you know, area that they perhaps have never had the job title of, but they ended up excelling in that position because they have the skills and experience to make that position really successful.
And I suspect you're in that kind of a situation where, you know, you may not want to be at a keyboard writing code each day, but you do love being there. And you've already said you liked the teaching side of things and you, and you like to work, you do like technology, but you also like health and stuff.
And I could tell you, you know, in our industry, in the, in the technology kind of industry there's so many people sitting at desks all the time and, being able to have, you know, small little sort of activities that they can do to make sure that they keep the blood flowing and the joints lubricated while they're in, in that all the sitting at a desk situation that could be really valuable for people.
[00:15:51] Navin Jetha: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. there are so many opportunities out there, you know, with my job searching. I'm realizing there is then the opportunities are actually endless and our mindset, what ends up happening? What I'm realizing about me is I it's like I get stuck in this mindset thinking, oh, that's all that's available.
But really when I opened my mind up a little bit more, even just a little bit more, it doesn't have to be that much. I realized there are endless opportunities and. So, yeah. Sometimes I'm looking at these jobs and I go, yeah, I can do all these jobs, you know? And do I apply for all these jobs and yeah, I do want to talk to a customer or don't want to talk to somebody while I'm doing my job.
I really honestly don't want to sit behind a computer, having to code all day. I don't think that. Be good for my soul because I need to see people and I need to be around people, but there are so many endless opportunities where I can take a little bit of technical portion of technical that I have learned and bring it into another position.
So, yeah, you're right. A title of a job. It doesn't say too much about what I will be doing if I apply for a job. And so we must keep our minds open to what we're applying for. And, and, you might be doing a little bit of tech and maybe doing some business work or talking to people more, but tech is here in every area of life, you know?
So I think just getting any kind of technical education. is, is valuable right now at this point, because right now the, way Calgary's changing, forget the world, but Calgary's changing right now. I'm hearing that it is the Silicon valley of Canada. So, you know, you might as well get some tech education because every job that I've applied for so far, even if I'm not looking for a tech job, they require some technical skills.
So I'm just keeping an open mind as to, what kind of position, that I will land I'm being open-minded it will be my first junior tech position after so many years of being away. I consider myself going back to junior level and I'm okay with that. I know we're okay with that. And I'm okay to start, at that point.
yeah. And. yeah, just keeping an open mind, I think is very, very important when you're job searching.
[00:18:28] Al Del Degan: Cool. So if a potential employer just happened to be listening to this podcast and listening to you talk what's what sort of thing would you like them to know about, well, you specifically, but also about the people that have taken these, you know, we call them bootcamp programs, kind of, what sort of message would you like to pass along to them?
I would like to let them know that the people who finished the EvolveU program are very, very capable of learning and getting the work done because we have been trained to get the work done. I mean, we've been trained to get the work done the next day. We use the Trello system. We use the agile methodology.
We have the EvolveU program has taught us so much more than just technology. We have learned the business process. We have learned the technology. I can't imagine the person who is not graduated from EvolveU. I can't imagine that person not being able to. Do well in any company that they get hired in, right?
[00:19:45] Navin Jetha: Because they have the background, they have the knowledge, they have the skills, they have the support.
[00:19:52] Al Del Degan: That's a that's actually, that's actually a really good. Yeah. Yeah. That's a really good point. one of the things that you had said there about the support every time, a new cohort of learners graduates from the program, they don't just disappear off the face of the earth.
They usually hang around and help the next cohort and they end up, we have an alumni process where people can stay together and get to know other people from the other cohorts. And so there's that sort of, you have sort of an instant network and an instant support framework for,your future career.
What would you like to tell someone who's kind of on the fence? Not really sure if going down the bootcamp road is, a good idea or not. What would you say to them?
[00:20:38] Navin Jetha: I would say go for it. I would totally say go for it because even if you feel like you've never done any tech before, or you're sitting on the fence and your mind is telling you.
Things, you know, listen to your gut feeling because listen to your guts because you've got will not lie to you. And most likely it's going to say, go for it because the world is changing. Technology is everywhere. It's in every part of life now. So taking a course like this, a bootcamp course is invaluable at this point, at this stage in, the development of the world anywhere you would be totally an asset to any resume.
[00:21:27] Al Del Degan: Excellent. I like it. ha ha ha ha
[00:21:29] Navin Jetha: Don't you believe that Al?
[00:21:33] Al Del Degan: Totally do absolutely. 100%. you know, there's a sort of two camps. There's, there's people who say no to everything and then they feel like they're, they're getting their life back because they're not, not always, you know, in the middle of something all the time. And then there's the other side of the people where they feel like their life has changed so much by saying yes to everything. I mean, that's a little extreme. I mean, obviously there's a happy middle, but I think people should take on challenges and things that scare them. I think they should say yes more often than, they say no .
You have more regrets for things that you didn't do than the things that you did do. so, you know, always sitting around wishing you would have done something is a horrible way to live your life. So sometimes you should just give it a shot and go for it. Like you said, go for it.
[00:22:18] Navin Jetha: I would totally say go forward because otherwise you will live in your comfort zone and. To know that you are not in your comfort zone is to actually go out there, take a risk, put yourself out there. And that's one of the things I learned from the EvolveU program is to take a risk, is to put myself out there.
And one of the things I really, really got was that not to be afraid to put myself out there, it doesn't matter whether I'm going to do a tech field or not a tech field. But just to get one thing just to even have gotten one thing. And if that was, if I only got one thing out of EvolveU and if it was, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, that would be enough to have taken that program if I got nothing else out of it, but I got so much more than that.
So I am so glad I said yes.
[00:23:18] Al Del Degan: That's great. I love that. Well, I, on that, I think that's an absolutely perfect note to, to end the show. And, I would really, really like to say, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I wish you all the best and anybody. Who's, who's looking to hire somebody in the, you know, to, in a technical person that can be involved with customers and has the kind of background and energy that you have. I think they, they should totally be contacting you. And on that note, we will have your LinkedIn profile in the show notes and in case anyone does want to talk to you and, yeah. Thanks for being here.
[00:23:56] Navin Jetha: It was fun. It was fun.
[00:23:59] Al Del Degan: Of course it was always is.
[00:24:00] Navin Jetha: Thank you.
[00:24:01] Al Del Degan: Have a wonderful day.