Blink and You will Grow Up
Yesterday I was a child in front of a BBC bored with waiting for the tape to load the game picking up that manual and learning how to write my name in colorful chars (print chr$(141);chr$(136)”KAREN” was my Hello World).
Today somehow I’ve jumped, now everything seems like I’ve been there before, I’ve strangely become this middle aged woman in tech (not too old mind you) with ‘experience’.
Being a developer, well its the best profession in the world. I have control, total control. I’m a person that gets bored easily. When I found programming I knew almost instantly that this was my calling. Because the boundaries were my brain, what I could do. As an avid reader throughout my life I knew I could absorb knowledge, apply, add on my own thoughts, innovate essentially and I could break boundaries.
At 15 I had to run a utility to crunch down my program so that it would run. All the variables changed to be a/b/c etc as otherwise it couldnt sit in memory to execute. I wrote a booking system for a caravan park. Where I went wrong at that point was I should have known what an entrepreneur was, if only I’d jumped off and trusted me and my ideas I maybe would have had a totally different route in life.
But I don’t regret my decisions, those decisions to at times sacrifice work for my family, to decide to enjoy London life for 10 years whilst severely compromising the liver on occasion. To never work for a small firm as I wanted to be a ‘number’ and have the infrastructure to support me. That decision to never work for myself, because really only idiots work at weekends (if you don’t know me you won’t get this joke).
The developer journey is as fascinating as you can make it, you have to really really want to stretch yourself, to believe you can be a great dev and do that in ‘normal’ time I’d argue is impossible. And listen, I’m not a great dev, I’m okay, I don’t live and breathe it (though I would say I’ve probably written more code than most guys write in 3 lifetimes). Being a developer means you have to constantly be learning, you have to almost have a hunger for learning and re-inventing. You need to see a program like a surgeon sees a patient, that software lives and breathes, you have to know where to operate, when to operate, how to replace, when to give up, when to go bionic.
So my story. Well just do. Try it out, don’t be afraid. Take the small steps to write your name, be prepared to be wrong, but stay focused on what you want to be and be prepared for sacrifice. Then you will have quite possibly the best job in the world.
Here’s to developer life.