When I look back at my career and try to analyze the one thing that I can pick to be the secret of my success in career, it has to be that
I love my job!
I started programming in my high school and my story is actually very interesting! In the late 90s computer programming was not recognized as a very successful industry in Pakistan. In some of the more advanced countries, computer programmers were the most recognized and highly paid professionals but in my country, the field was not very mature. Normally people used to buy computers for surfing internet, playing games or watching movies at that time.
Using Microsoft Office was the max professional work people would normally do on their computers and software houses were few and unheard of! We had a teacher in our school’s computer lab that used to teach students how to use computers. We had one period in entire week of computer science in which we normally just played games in the lab.
Then in our higher classes we were told that we must learn how to use computer to do some office or professional work and that’s when our teacher tried to teach us MS-DOS
I used to hate DOS and just tried to memorize the various commands, unfortunately because our teacher was not very good, she made it all so much more hard for us to grab the concepts! She never even introduced us to the basic usage of computers (hey it was windows 98 time man) but she started with the commands to format partitions and then draw sectors on a floppy disk and commands for creating nested directories using DOS. I still remember that even though I tried very hard, I never could memorize the commands because I was being taught in a wrong manner.
So I decided that computer was not meant for me and just took Biology as my major. Some time later my mom forced me to attend a course in a computer college saying that it is the need of the day! The teacher that I found there, changed my entire life!
He made me fell in love with what we could do. I would just draw something in Paint or compose a document for my mom or maintain our daily expense sheet in Excel. These were all very small tasks but they helped me fall in love with a machine.
That’s when I started asking more valuable questions, such as how does computer actually work. How do they make these extremely useful software and that’s when some one told me that there are some aliens in this world called “Computer Programmers” that make these software! I ultimately learned that Linux and Windows were made in C++ and that if you have the skill, you can make your very own OS.
Well to cut a very long story short I fell in love with programming and that love made me strive and practice, even though I had minimal resources at my disposal. I have made some applications in C and C++ that I am proud of even now. When Windows XP was launched, I created the exact replica of its desktop with functional start menu. I coded each and every pixel of that interface and if you would click on the “Start” button even the “Start Menu” would pop up just like in XP. I did all that after learning C and C++ for only 3 months.
I used to code these small applications till 2 AM in the morning, I would get stuck with something and then think hours about my problem. Then I would go to sleep thinking about the same problem and many people laugh when I tell them that at 4 AM in the morning, sometimes I would figure out a solution while sleeping and would wake up, turn my computer on and start coding again. The excitement and thrill that I have experienced in that phase of my life was unbelievable. I wish I could feel it once more but the boundaries of our lives grow more high with us as we grow.
Computer programming became my love and it was this love that would help me stay up all night, thinking, working and not regretting it one bit! If you love your job, it will fuel you and you will never regret the decisions that you make. If you love your job, you will never care about what people say, what can be done or not. You will just always have a passion to explore new worlds. To go where no one has gone before.
When I meet people in my life who do not like programming. Who ended up in this field accidentally or were forced by someone. Who try to write code and try to learn it but keep on failing. I tell them that they should not waste themselves. Computer programming is not just about learning a language and how to write code. It is about creating something that no one has ever made before. It’s like painting, something that even if you teach someone, you cannot make him Picasso!
Some people might not agree but I am a very strong believer that in a fight of two, spirit can defeat skill! The spirit, comes from the love that we have in our hearts.
So next time you feel that you do not like what you have ended up in, consider once more if you want to go that lane? Life is short and doing a job that you do not love, is a lot of weight to carry! Do yourself a favour, get a job that you love and not only will you love your life more, you will end up a more successful person.