Security guard in software firm gets hired as tech officer; completes eight years in new role

“It is never too late to start learning” — the penultimate lesson learned by a man who worked as a security officer in a company and was later hired to be part of their technical team. Abdul Alim, now member of the technical team at Zoho Corporation that specialises in software development, cloud computing, and web-based business tools, said he never thought that he would ever be interviewed for a job because he did not have higher education.

Alim, a resident of Assam, said in a LinkedIn post that he left his home in 2013 with Rs 1,000 in his pocket. Out of that, he spent Rs 800 on a train ticket. He said he roamed the streets for two months before he was given a job at the security desk in Zoho’s office in Chennai.

He said that one day a senior employee asked him about his education and his knowledge of computers. “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,” said Alim in the post.

Alim said that after completing his shift of 12 hours, he would go to the senior and learn about computers. He said that he made a small app after about eight months. The app would take the user’s input and visualise it. The senior employee showed the app to his manager, who liked it. He then wanted to know if it would be possible to interview Alim.

“I thought I would not be interviewed ever because I did not go to any college and studied only till 10th grade. He said that in Zoho you don’t need a college degree, what matters here is you and your skills (sic),” said Alim, adding that he cleared the interview.

Alim said he has been with Zoho Corporation for eight years now. He took to the site to thank Shibu Alexis, the senior employee. “And on the final note, It is never too late to start learning,” he said. In a follow-up post, he said, “I wanted to write more. But due to the character limit in LinkedIn, I had to shorten the post. And I am sorry for my poor English, I was in a different medium in the school (Assamese). And English was a bouncer subject for me. Thank you everyone one for your kind words (sic).”