I have loved computers since I first rammed my tubby fingers on the keyboard. The visual display and the output in cognition to my input was magical.
Then I was introduced to the gaming and animations industry and I became an instant fan. I started playing them for hundreds of hours a month. The emotions that the simple yet effective small animations was able to create in me was powerful. Soon it became me and my friends’ hobby who with me were discovering this new advanced technology. One hour of match together in Counter Strike 1.6 or Call of Duty suddenly became the most enriching experience of the day’s hangout with them. I was always inquisitive about how the thing worked. How are they able to give us such an experience? How is the web and all other applications working? What happens if I click this button? What happens if I do this? What happens if I do that?
So my curiosity, instead of killing me, drove me to pursue Engineering after my intermediate in Computer Science branch. The reality hit, all that looks good is not actually is. I realized the teaching and learning standards at the state colleges has fallen as gravity pulls a free-falling object towards the ground. The courses were messed up, the syllabus was full of theory and no hands on, the whole system needed serious revamping as in from the Stone Age era to the Modern Age era, and both the teachers and students had no clue of what they were doing except for the management which was the constant here, making stacks of money from our college fees. But all these things weren’t enough to kill the undying curiosity in me towards the subject, so I kept slogging and the placement season arrived, with no companies coming to recruit in my sorry college. So I appeared for the final semester examination and packed my bags for Bangalore, the IT city of India, like other thousands of graduates. I came Bangalore with a purpose, to get a job, to support my family, to start answering the call of my responsibilities but the bigger picture was to still pursue my love and curiosity towards computer software. The life at Bangalore was quite difficult and defeating, it wasn’t easy to be standout in a city swarming with other similar curious computer people. For almost a month I was just lost, reaching the interviews to find out that the post had just got filled, vacancies getting over, and recession crawling up. Then the curiosity in me took over and I applied to a rather small startup which had never hired a fresher ever, all the folks there were minimum 5+ years’ experience in the industry. They put me through seven contiguous rounds of interviews and decided to break their company’s taboo and hire me as the first fresher, but there was a catch, they asked me to work for free the first month after which they would start paying me small in the beginning and increase it every three months. Choosing to work there was a difficult decision since I had to pay for and manage my own expenses at least in this expensive metropolitan city and also try and contribute some money back home as early as I could. I joined it and day by day many interview calls came (all on weekdays) but I wasn’t able to attend any of those since I was working full time, trying to gather as much as I could from the pool of senior computer stags. After a month of gratis work for them, I accepted an offer from a different nascent startup with a mere 6 employees but with ample learning potential, enormous work pressure since I was only full-time programmer in that company and modest salary.
The life here too was full of difficulties, screaming head-aches, hell raging shouting from the manager, unaccounted overtime work, and a lot of code bugs. But in all this struggle lied my happiness – the end product, the key, the truth, the whatever, which was I was still doing what I set out to pursue in my adolescence, though not so rosily, yet I was doing what I liked, which made me realize that a person is on the right path in his/her life when all the struggles actually makes you optimistic and not upset. I’d like to cite a paragraph from Fred Brooks’s book The Mythical Man-Month which describes it extremely well.
All programmers are optimists. Perhaps this modern sorcery especially attracts those who believe in happy endings and fairy godmothers. Perhaps the hundreds of nitty frustrations drive away all but those who habitually focus on the end goal. Perhaps it is merely that computers are young, programmers are younger, and the young are always optimists. But however the selection process works, the result is indisputable: “This time it will surely run,” or “I just found the last bug”.
Now I am under training at world’s largest corporate university i.e. Infosys (India-based Information Technology behemoth) Mysore campus and the struggle rages on.
^Song of the day: “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
^If you’re searching for accomodation in major Indian cities try these guys: https://housing.com/lookup.
^Had my first Foundation Programme examination today at Infosys Mysore, looking forward to the weekend to relax.
^It’s Holi – the festival of colours here in India today, so wish all of you my dear readers a very joyous Holi, may your life be as colourful as the colours of this vibrant festival.
^Until next time, rage on. 😉