From Maths Teaching Aspirations to Tech Enthusiasm

Success Story · Early Careers Programme · Keshal Desai

Name: Keshal Desai
Location: Adaptive New York
Background: Degree in Mathematics from Sacred Heart University
Current Role: Adaptive Full-Stack Developer and Engineering Manager

Pursuing a career that you are passionate about is not a given. Despite being one of life’s most important decisions, quite often, career choices are made based on snap perceptions of stability, progression and pay. Rather than exploring routes that others expect of you, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on areas that spark your personal curiosity before making a final decision.

My Beginnings: From Teaching to Computer Science

In my case, my ambitions evolved over time. Initially, I aspired to become a maths teacher and began my university studies with that aim. However, I soon shifted my major to biochemistry with intentions of pursuing pre-med. Considering the stiff competition to gain admission to a top medical school, I thought it was best to have a contingency plan and turned to computer science.

I had always been captivated by computers, fascinated by their intricacies and driven to unravel their complexities. I didn’t have access to programming courses growing up, so I decided to start attending free online courses after college to build a knowledge base, mostly focusing on front-end development.

Bumping into Adaptive and their Early Careers Programme

Having reached a solid level of proficiency, I started applying for entry-level developer roles. By chance, someone I knew was working at Adaptive and they told me about Adaptive’s Early Careers Programme (ECP), specifically designed to nurture early talent, including promising students and aspiring fintech developers. It was perfect for me, so I sent my application, and days later, I was called for an interview.

During my interview, I could tell that the firm’s culture and values aligned with mine. At the time, the NYC office was in its infancy, and the prospect of being a part of a venture still in its early stages where I could play a role in shaping its growth was exciting. It was also clear that the firm provided its staff with opportunities to demonstrate capabilities whilst providing valuable guidance and support – expediting growth and development at the firm.

My Journey at Adaptive's Early Careers Programme

I was accepted to the programme and started my journey with Adaptive in May 2018. Very quickly, I was gaining hands-on experience, as well as developing practical skills from shadowing and supporting senior staff on real-life projects, including back-end developers and UI/UX designers. The work was challenging but incredibly stimulating. Experienced developers were very supportive and encouraged me to embrace the challenges, develop a critical mindset and continuously strengthen my skillset.

A vibrant, growing career at Adaptive

The knowledge I had acquired before joining Adaptive from my independent learning contributed to my quick progression, and within six months, I was a junior developer, initially focusing on front-end development before exploring back-end development. Today, I’m a full-stack web developer.

As part of my new role, I manage a small cohort of junior staff, mentoring them and providing guidance for their self-development. Five years in, I can honestly say that I’ve reached the goal I had set for myself and now have new aspirations, including becoming a delivery lead for client projects. The opportunities for personal development and progression through Adaptive ECP are vast, and I’d recommend it to any ambitious developers looking to push themselves and carve a career in a vibrant industry.

The Early Careers Programme served as a pivotal foundation for my career, leveraging Adaptive's robust support to amplify my skills, positioning me to excel in the industry.


Keshal Desai

Full Stack Developer and Engineering Manager,


Would you like to read more experiences?
Read Cindy's blog post: From a maths graduate to a full stack developer.

Read it here


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