Expanding Your Comfort Zone by Stepping Outside It

A Story of Rigel Vibi Ramadhan, Bangkit 2022 Graduate from Information Technology, Universitas Brawijaya

Imagine a world where shyness holds you back from your potential. Rigel Vibi Ramadhan (22), a young man from Probolinggo, Jawa Timur, once found himself trapped in this condition. However, college became his chance to shed his introverted persona. There, Rigel joined the Raion Community, forcing himself to engage in conversations and actively seeking opportunities to connect with his seniors, who previously became Bangkit students.

Bangkit is a life-changing program that became a catalyst for Rigel’s growth. Not only about coding, Rigel also unlocked his potential by fostering leadership qualities. However, Rigel's story didn't end with a successful graduation from Bangkit. It’s about the ripple effect he created. He transitioned from a participant to a mentor, sharing his knowledge and experiences with others.

Now, he works at Astra International as an Android Developer. So, how was Rigel’s extraordinary journey in college and Bangkit? Let's dive in!

Rigel’s Journey to Shed His Introverted Persona

Born in Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur, as the eldest of four, Rigel’s early years were marked by frequent relocations, taking him from Kediri to Malang and settling in Probolinggo. His family background played a significant role in shaping his interests. His father is a programmer at PLTU Paiton, Probolinggo, while his mother is a housewife pursuing a degree in informatics.
“I was always around computers from a young age,” Rigel recalled, “watching my father work and exploring the digital world on my own.”
Despite his early exposure, Rigel’s initial interest lay in graphic design, multimedia, and creative pursuits. It wasn’t until the end of high school, when he began researching university options that he delved into programming. Rigel’s personality, however, posed a unique challenge.
“I was always very quiet and shy. Throughout my school years, I was known as the one who spoke the least and kept to myself.”
This introverted nature made it difficult for him to socialize and engage with others, leading to feelings of discomfort and self-consciousness. Determined to overcome his limitations, Rigel embarked on a journey of self-transformation. By high school, he actively sought opportunities to break out of his shell, joining the journalism club.
“I pushed myself to interact with more people. I even became the leader of the journalism club at high school, but it did not end well.”
Rigel’s university days at Universitas Brawijaya in Malang marked a turning point in his personal and professional development. While pursuing a degree in Information Technology, he recognized the opportunity to change his introverted persona and embrace a more extroverted approach to life.
“College was a chance to reset my personality. From the first semester, I tried to talk more to people.”

“Overcoming Fears Can Lead Us to Positive Outcomes”

This self-imposed challenge led Rigel to seek opportunities to engage with others actively. He joined campus organizations, volunteered as a committee member, and even took on the role of a game programmer speaker. Despite initial hesitation, he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and embraced new experiences.

Until some of these connections from the Raion Community (mobile and game development community), Bintang Fathur Rahman, Yohannes Sibarani, and Brilian Ade Putra, Bangkit 2021 graduates, introduced Rigel to the Bangkit. Intrigued by the prospect of learning from industry experts and collaborating with peers, Rigel decided to apply.
“I was drawn to the fact that Bangkit is led by Google and partnered with Tokopedia and Traveloka. The positive feedback from my seniors further fueled my interest.”
Rigel's Bangkit experience was marked by both personal and professional growth. While the mentor program was still in its early stages, he found opportunities to engage with facilitators and participate in interactive sessions. He actively took part in study groups, weekly consultations, ILTs, and English sessions to improve his communication and interpersonal skills.

His efforts paid off. Rigel excelled in the Capstone Project, taking on the roles of project manager and Android developer while also designing the system. His team’s project, BahanbaKu, was selected for incubation, leading to further development and eventual publication on the Google Play Store.
“This experience was life-changing. It taught me that overcoming my fears and embracing challenges can lead to positive outcomes,” Rigel emphasized.
The soft skills training provided by Bangkit’s ILT (Instructor-led Training) sessions played a crucial role in Rigel’s transformation. He observed and incorporated the instructors’ engaging communication techniques into his interactions. He also gained many insights into how to be a great professional and leader.
“I paid close attention to how the instructors structured their presentations and delivered their content. I learned to use effective intonation, pauses, and emphasis to capture the audience’s attention.”

Getting Google Certification in Android Path

Fueled by his newfound confidence and a thirst for knowledge, Rigel aimed for the bigger fish. His passion led him to the Associate Android Developer (AAD) Certification Exam, a global test for skills that an entry-level Android developer should have as they begin their career. This memory brings him back to Dicoding’s Android learning path.
“Dicoding's modules covered everything I needed to know to become a successful Android developer. From fundamentals to advanced concepts, the platform provided me with the necessary skills and knowledge.”
He particularly valued the submission-based approach, which allowed him to receive reviewer feedback and refine his skills. “The feedback was invaluable in helping me identify areas for improvement,” Rigel acknowledged.

The “Associate Android Developer Exam Simulation” class was another highlight of his Dicoding journey. The excitement of preparing for the Google certification stimulated his motivation, and he found the practice sessions particularly beneficial.
“The class was spot-on. I even encountered a question during the actual AAD exam that was identical to one of the practice exercises."
To this day, Rigel continues to rely on Dicoding as a reference source for advanced Android concepts and techniques. He attributes his success in the industry to the platform’s comprehensive and well-structured content.
"Dicoding has been an indispensable tool in my professional development. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to learn and excel in Android development.”

Embarking New Journey in Astra International

Rigel's involvement with Bangkit extended beyond his participation as a program attendee. His gratitude for the program's impact on his career led him to become a mentor and later an instructor, sharing his knowledge and experience with subsequent batches.
“Bangkit played a pivotal role in my career trajectory. It directly led to my job at Astra and even served as my thesis topic.”
His proactive approach to job hunting began in January 2023, six months before graduation. In June, he applied to his current company and secured the position a month before graduation. The interview process highlighted the value of Rigel's Bangkit experience. His involvement in the incubated project, including its machine learning integration, became a central talking point.
“Without Bangkit, the interview would have been a different story. The questions focused heavily on the project, and I was able to explain my contributions and the challenges I faced confidently.”
Rigel’s prior exposure to Dicoding proved invaluable during the interview. The platform’s comprehensive Android curriculum gave him a solid foundation to tackle the technical questions.
“I felt confident answering Android-related questions. Dicoding equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skills.”
Following a live coding session, Rigel received the news of acceptance within a week. He joined Astra as an Android developer in mid-August, embarking on his professional journey.
“My daily work involves developing Android apps in a Scrum environment. I attend daily check-ins, work on active tasks, address bugs, collaborate with colleagues via Teams, develop features, create documentation, and Bangkit’s ILT preparations.”
While his mentor role at Bangkit was more demanding, requiring weekly and daily interactions, his current instructor position offers a more flexible schedule.

“Work Harder Than the Hard Workers”

Rigel’s journey from an introverted student to a successful Android developer and mentor is a source of inspiration and valuable insights for aspiring individuals. His experiences and reflections offer a blend of motivation and practical advice, emphasizing the importance of personal growth, continuous learning, and embracing challenges.

Now, his primary motivation stems from his gratitude towards his parents and their sacrifices in providing him with a better life. He feels responsible for excelling in his career and contributing to the family's well-being.
“I have no excuse not to give my best. Seeing my parents struggle and work hard to provide for my family inspires me to push my limits and achieve success.”
He also expresses concern about the growing trend of individuals lacking responsibility towards their parents and education. Having witnessed his parents’ challenges, he appreciates the opportunities he has and encourages others to do the same.
“College is a privilege not everyone has. I admire those who actively seek opportunities for improvement, especially through programs like Bangkit,” he emphasizes.
Rigel’s experiences have led him to two key takeaways that can guide others on their journey of personal and professional growth. He has some tips for everyone who wants to follow his path:

#1 Expand Your Comfort Zone

Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is crucial for unlocking hidden potential and expanding personal boundaries. Venturing into unfamiliar territory can help individuals gain new perspectives, develop resilience, and discover untapped strengths.
“Getting out of your comfort zone expands your comfort zone. It exposes you to new possibilities and allows you to grow in ways you never thought possible.”

#2 Work Harder than the Hard Workers

Nowadays, IT-related jobs are in high demand and also competitive. Success in the competitive job market demands dedication and a willingness to go the extra mile. Rigel encourages individuals to outwork their peers and continuously strive for excellence.
“Work harder than the hard workers. Set high standards for yourself and relentlessly pursue your goals,” Rigel advises.

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