My Career as a Coder
For me, programming and coding were always about shaping things and making them better. It was also about creating things when there was nothing before, a process similar to making art. Every coder begins with a blank screen, an open code editor where only the text marker flashes rhythmically. Here, the real magic of the computer science begins. The same coder, using fingers and his mind, begins to enter his or her first lines of code.
As time goes by, so do the lines multiply, become longer and more complex. Previous lines begin to intertwine using digital connections with one another, creating blocks of logical patterns, commands and junctions. A complete world begins to shape and grow, it attains functions and commands which can be executed either on the local computer or online, but in any case, the code starts to work. When the code is finished, the creation he or she made is ready to start working and bring something where there was nothing.
While I was always a computer guy, this revelation about coding really dawned upon me when I entered college. Before that, I was not sure what I wanted to do, mainly because of my broad interests. But, thanks to Herb, my roommate, who was a die-hard coder, I started taking classes about basic computer science. At first, things were pretty dull, with plenty of talk about mathematics and logic. I kept up, but it was not really the thing I was looking for.
But Herb insisted that the best is yet to come. As I plowed through the class, I got a copy of the C# programming manual. It was one of those books that are truly for people who do not know anything about programming, so I began to play around with the same software and the book. A lot of my friends, including Herb, thought it was funny that I was trying to learn to program using a relatively old book, but for me, it was almost a challenge. They thought I could not do it, but I thought otherwise.
Six months later, I was neck-deep in coding and programming of all sorts. I fully grasped C# and started exploring other domains using fingers and my intellect. The software guild helped me a lot with my process of learning, especially thanks to the aid of all the members of the same community. They also provided me with support and encouragement which made excelling something that was expected at every moment. I relished in that environment, both thanks to the guild but also my ambitions. However, the ultimate thing about coding for me was that when I started to work on something, I became completely possessed with it.
Time could pass in a way that would allow me to think that I was working for two hours instead of 12. I called this my zone and it allowed me to become a fully-fledged coder faster than anyone on the campus. Back then, when I would start to code, I had a laser focus and nothing could hamper me. I understood commands and variations almost instantly like it was made exactly for my brain. Herb was so impressed with my advancement that he proposed that we begin to work on a small project together when we were almost out of college.
Naturally, I said yes and we started developing small and specialized software that retail businesses could use to calculate what stocks should be increased and what decreased. A part neural network that can learn through the businesses’ database, but also a part a complex algorithm that scans other similar businesses online and corrects the first calculation, the software soon began to take shape.
We finished school and even rented a small office, along with a couple of other friends from the software guild that came on board later on. Together, we worked day and night, sometimes living on coffee and chocolate, which was the times I enjoyed the most, even though I got a bit of a coder’s belly, as we used to call it.
A year and a half later, a big company invested $10 million in our digital software solution. Today, it is sold all over the world and Herb’s and my company is worth several times the initial investment. It was created completely using fingers and minds, nothing more. I was just a small coder but my will and my drive allowed me to take my talents to a place where success on a massive scale could be attained. I still create something where there was nothing, and this provides me with endless amounts of joy every day.