It started with an advert

I’ve never been interested in computers.

Actually this isn’t true. I was always interested in computers. Aren’t we all at some level? But pushing past the basic skills of an average user never occured to me. I always thought that anything further was akin to that professional bubble that us commoners wouldn’t understand.

But then I started to play video games and I soon realized you can’t penetrate pc gaming properly without having knowledge in IT. Boy was I was intimidated by this discipline! I couldn’t make head nor tail of certain things and bumped around a lot. Thank heavens I wasn’t completely alone. My friend, Emir, figures largely in this whole journey; if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have gotten into gaming in the first place.

And so it began with me feeling around, trying to expand my knowledge without having any real goal or direction. At every step once I learned something I felt this incredible rush of happiness. That served to push me further into the field.

And then I saw this news article while browsing the tech pages on Facebook. It was about the advert featuring Isis Anchalee who was challenged as a programmer because she didn’t look like one. This launched the social media campaign lead by the #ilooklikeanengineer hashtag.

Words really can’t express what I felt as I browsed through the many pics posted with the hashtag. I really honestly don’t know. It wasn’t that I was suddenly inspired or magically believed that I could fit in or I would want to fit in with those women. I guess I was simply fascinated by this aspect of life that was strange to me. I admired the way women presented themselves as a legitimate force in this field and I began to look into it.

What do they do? What are they speaking out about? Why is it important?

These are the questions I asked Google.

I was still feeling around in the dark when I bumped into coding at almost exactly the same time I was reading about this movement so I decided to look it up. Try my hand at it.

I was more scared of programming than IT as it’s been talked about in my circles as the big bad of careers. That it’s notoriously hard to master. I had negligible experience with Pascal and it sunk the fear in me from early in my high school years. So I was almost trembling when I fired up sublime and started punching some basic html.

And something lit up inside me.

I fell totally in love with the freedom this presented me with. I loved everything about it. The idea of creating something with the sky being your limit is age old but coding provides you with this surge of satisfaction from the almost immediate output generated from your effort.

Now I’m still in the noob state of learning code but I have no plans of going back because if I’m so happy with the fundamental level it can only get better. And I firmly believe that.