In my engineering college, I was majoring in Electrical Eng. I was passionate about it. Massive machines, generators, transformers fascinated me & they still do, to this day.
I used to have lot of ideas, but couldn't do much as the barrier to entry is very high. You need to purchase the components, try them out, and this is true only for electronic related stuff. In electrical all you can do is, run simulations. There was less documentation and guidance online.
After graduating, I had 1 year time before I joined my 1st company. I got selected in an IT company as part of campus placement. I was not very keen on joining it, instead I was going to apply for post graduation or specialised programs in electrical engineering.
One day my brother came to me and said, why don't you give coding a shot? Anyway you have a job in IT, see if you like it. I was hesitant, but he had a point. So I decided to give it a try.
It's not that I was not interested in computers. At that point when I looked back, I remember ordering a free ubuntu disc and installing it on my PC. Back then they used to ship them for free. I got mine from some other country for free. I used to install cracked versions of games for myself and for my friends. Some of them used to call me and ask for help ? (They used to call me on landline phone. At that time mobile phones had just started). There was some interest, but I didn't take it seriously then.
I didn't know where to start. So I decided to start looking for answers to my burning questions. My first one was "How does the internet work?" We had a subject on networking in my college and when I heard about packets, I couldn't understand how all that worked.
I went down the rabbit hole of finding the answer and eventually understood it. But it was in theory. In practice I didn't understand how does someone write code to do all of that.
There started my coding journey ?
Initially I coded a bit in C & C++. Then I picked up Python and liked it instantly. Turning an idea to code was much easier in Python than any other language I tried before.
This is the point where I started liking to code. Bringing ideas to reality is quick and accessible. I used to build small projects like automated mail forwarding, based on the subject of the email etc. It's very rewarding to learn new concepts & techniques.
6 months of learning Python and dabbling a bit with algorithms was all fun. But till that point, I didn't know how to make something useful that people would use.
After a little bit of searching, I came across web development. My journey started there. I started working on a side project (Back in 2015, you can check it out here). I was the typical developer, adding features & doing bug fixes for myself.
To this day, I still continue working on side projects. Haven't made any money from them yet ?, but I do it for the joy of coding. Am I disappointed? A bit, but I am more satisfied and happy that I am getting to code every day.
I am getting out of my comfort zone slowly, let's see what the future holds for me. I am in no rush, I want to enjoy and have fun along the way.
I prefer to be the one who finished somewhere in the middle, but has a smile on their face on the finish line than the person who came first and suffered the entire journey.