I was fascinated by computers ever since my friend introduced me to his computer.
He would show cool tricks like
- setting your picture as the boot image in windows (yeah)
- changing the folder icon
- applying themes and what not.
I was so impressed. I started pestering my parents to get me one. Finally they got me a computer and I started tinkering from the first day.
I think my curiosity of computers lead me decide my career. I wanted to be a software engineer, even though i knew nothing about being one.
In the first year of my Computer Science course, I was introduced to the C programming language. This was my interface to the world of programming.
The fact that you can write a bunch of text and the machine would execute them struck something in me. I could create a calculator that would give me 5 + 6 = 10. I felt in control.
From there on, I created all sorts of programs. Some programs from the textbook and some programs for fun.
“Why doesn’t everybody learn programming?”, I thought to myself. It was too awesome to be ignored.
Apparently, there was no one to share my excitement with. Maybe because I was an introvert or maybe I was in wrong place.
The following year, I learned high level concepts such as data structures and programming methodologies.
It was fun implementing these concepts in code.
I also learned how to use the internet to ask questions about programming. Got to know about the awesome stackoverflow community.
I started reading articles and watching videos about programming more often.
At the start of the next semester, I got a chance to participate in an annual hackathon called as Semicolons. It was my first experience of real world programming.
It was when I understood how the program, the database and user interface work together to create a something meaningful to the user. It was an eye opener.
In my final year, I got an opportunity to make our college’s attendance system online, which was still on papers.
I still remember the discussion, where our Dean expressed this problem where every professor had to manually enter the attendance and generate a report.
I immediately volunteered, even though I had little knowledge of how I’ll do it. I had never developed anything like that, but I was a little confident (internet ftw!).
Professors could now enter attendance on the mobile app, and automatic reports were generated. Students could also check their attendance online. I was pretty happy with it.
I had acquired a decent knowledge of making mobile and web apps. So, did a few freelancing projects and made some money.
My classmates would ask me very often, “Hey, where did you learn to make apps?”, and that got me thinking that everybody wanted to learn programming, but nobody wanted to solve problems.
My primary motivation was the problem, and I started learning anything that will help me solve it.
The hiring season started, and a number of employers conducted placement drives. I didn’t appear in any of them. I was still unsure of what kind of job I wanted to do.
I didn’t find any company where work would be interesting, until I found Frappé which is a story for another day.
Currently, I am working as a Software Developer at Frappé. It feels the right place to grow and learn.
My journey as a programmer has only begun!