The first time I touched a keyboard was in school, we were all given one chance to play a video game, and when the prince dies in the game, hand over the keyboard to the next Student in line. I just played it once and as it was an optional class I never went back to that room.
Later in high school, I enrolled in a crash course on Microsoft Office. It was fun for the first couple of days but then I was bored to death. How much can you tolerate MS Office right?
Later I got my bachelor's in Technology and got a job in MNC. That’s the first time I got a computer all for myself. Rookie life is not so exciting in the big service-based IT industry, for two years I stayed with the same firm and learned close to nothing.
After switching to a new firm, I could finally afford to buy a laptop and got an internet dongle.
Then started the process of learning — a tough one for sure, more so because I was afraid I was already late in the game. People of my experience, who had computer exposure from the school were way ahead of me.
After having committed a few embarrassing mistakes at work, I finally started to understand the concepts of Java and how to use them effectively. Slowly but steadily I got better at work.
Once while working on a project I realized we were running way too many scripts to insert data from an excel to a database. The task was manual so it was not just boring but also error-prone. So I developed an application that would read data from the excel sheet, validate the data and log the duplicate entries. It was a simple application developed to save us time but later people from outside our team also started using the same app.
That was the first time I realized the power of programming. If a simple app can create a positive impact on a multi-location project team then programming has the power to solve many more issues in the world. Since that day I have worked on many side projects at work (sometimes a utility tool other times it would be a proof of concept).
Sooner or later you will reach a point at work where the work is not challenging enough or exciting enough and that’s ok. It’s not up to your employer to always throw exciting or fun projects your way but yours.
So I started working on these mini-projects that would help me learn and understand new technologies and keep my spirits high. Not only do I get to build stuff this way but also get to write and document them in blogs and build my Github profile as well.
So even though programming was not something I was always passionate about, I’m happy to have discovered this and become an accidental programmer.