Learner stories

Finding inspiration during lockdown in Nepal

Aabhusan Aryal, Student, Kathmandu, Nepal

Following a passion for computer science

Aabhusan is a computer engineering student from Kathmandu, Nepal. He discovered a love for technology at an early age. “I was into tech stuff ever since my dad got me a computer, when I was about 6 or 7 years old,” he told us. He’s 19 now. “Back then, I didn’t know much about coding and building apps. I thought building an app would be something like drag-and-drop.”

“I wanted to learn to code and build stuff, but I only knew HTML, so I couldn’t write any logic into my code.” He decided to follow his passion for coding at Tribhuvan University’s Pulchowk Engineering Campus in Nepal. Currently in his Freshman year, Aabhusan has been making his dream of programming a reality.

Like many students around the globe, COVID-19 has affected Aabhusan’s coursework. Exams were postponed and the country is in lockdown. But he hasn’t let that stop him from following his passion.

Finding a way to keep on learning

When the country of Nepal started their lockdown, Aabhusan didn’t want to stop learning. “We have a lot of free time now, so we can practice a lot of skills that we didn’t have time for before.”

He joined Codecademy Pro through a program that awarded 100,000 student scholarships earlier this year, so that he could keep building his skills in computer engineering. He built upon what he had already learned at school, picking up a brand new language — Python.

“I always used to think, ‘Once I get to college and learn a language, it’ll be very easy for me to pick up other languages because the concept is similar,’” he told us. And that’s what’s happened. Aabhusan learned C Programming during his freshman year at Pulchowk Engineering Campus. Thanks to that foundational knowledge, he told us, “It wasn’t very difficult for me to pick up Python because I knew most of the underlying concepts of programming.”

“Codecademy’s interactive interface was a great help and I found it much better than learning by watching videos or reading guides, because here I can actually code while I’m learning and there’s no hassle of switching between an IDE and browser.”

We wanted to test our knowledge and make something while learning.

Learning through building

Aabhusan and his friend Mohit both started the Computer Science Career Path at the same time. While making their way through the Path, they decided to build something of their own to put what they were learning to use. “We wanted to test our knowledge and make something while learning.”

With the pandemic on everyone’s minds, Aabhusan and his friend decided to build a resource about COVID-19 in Nepal. Together, they created Covid Nepal — a webapp aimed at providing the correct and up-to-date stats about the current coronavirus situation in Nepal. The webapp includes a lockdown countdown, a count of active and recovered cases, as well as a collection of free resources. It was created with Python and Flask.

What’s next? Aabhusan is continuing to learn and put his newfound knowledge to use in his personal projects. “Currently, I’m learning JavaScript and I’m planning to learn some JS modules so that I can make my personal blog even better.”