TL;DR; windows XP + bat scripts + fascination about being able to make things yourself.

I was born and raised in a village. And the thing about living in a village is that you are free :) Among all the other freedoms you are also free to build your own solutions to various domestic problems, i.e. to build stuff. This is one of the things that fascinates me about living outside the city.

When I finally was old enough (and had the means to, i.e. a computer) to understand that programming is something that allows you to build your own solutions to computer problems, it got to me.

With win 3.1 I was still too fresh and too young. With win 95 I was more interested in playing with neighbours outdoors. With win 98 I was a bit too busy at school. But with win XP the time had come. I started writing automation solutions for windows administration using .bat scripts (.vbs was and still is somewhat repelling to me). I no longer needed to browse Russian forums and torrent sites to find a solution to a problem I had! That was amazing!!! [esp. when my Russian was very weak].

That was the time when I built my first sort-of-malware - a bat script downloading and installing Radmin server, uploading computer's IP and admin credentials to my FTP.

I loved it!

However, I'd stumbled upon may obstacles when writing with batch. I googled a lot and most of the solutions I found were in bash (something related to Linux, which was a spooky mystery to me back then). Eventually, I got my courage together and installed ubuntu. Boy was I sorry... Nothing was working. I was unable to even boot the thing! Not to mention the GUI...

Years later I tried again with ubuntu [7.10 I think.. or 7.04] on my Pavilion. Took me a looooot of attempts but I got there. I could finally boot it. A couple of weeks later I managed to even start the GUI! I could finally learn bash and enjoy the spectacular Compiz effects (that cube was amazing).

I got into bash and Linux for the next several years. And then I thought to myself - wait, I'm writing scripts that automate other programs. Wouldn't it be cool I I could write my own programs that did exactly what I wanted and did not need automation? It definitely would! I could write a program that would make sound work (meaning no more ALSA/PA headaches!), make graphics work on my hardware, make my USB audio card to be set to primary once connected and all the other amazing things! No more automation -- just a single program or all of that!

little did the naive me knew :)

I started with python. I didn't like that syntax from the beginning :/ those indentations...

Then I tried java. Bucky (thenewboston), who likes tuna sandwiches, on my phone all the free time I had. I didn't learn anything :/ Even tried some java 101 e-book. Nothing helped until I decided to write some simple project (nothing fancy - just some calculations for a friend who was studying architecture).

I loved it! It sounds weird, but I found Swing amazing too. With that layout manager where you have to manually position all the components :)

and then things happened and I quit my med studies and switched to programming. Passed my school exams I was missing to enter the IT college and started inhaling every bit of info about IT I could get my hands on (incl outside the college ofc).

A few more stepping stones, a few more irrelevant jobs to pay my bills in the city, and I got to where I am now.

  • 2
    Lovely story! Thanks for sharing
  • 1
    You were pursuing medicine?
  • 0
    @asgs yes. I quit after the 4th year
  • 1
    @netikras oh, man. You didn't like Medicine or you were too interested in computers to consider that?
  • 3
    @asgs both I guess. And the 3rd reason - as I had to skip a year for ${reasons} I was working in the operating room to pay my bills. The politics, the bureaucracy, the invisible streams deep down under the water I saw there... Oh my.

    The hell an MD has to live in day-to-day for pennies compared to what I'm getting now...

    And then there was this very interesting and promising field called IT I had on my plate at the same time.

    I did the math and cut my losses as early as I could :)

    That was a move made strictly based on calculations. Not once have I been sorry for my choice :) except for not making it sooner - I'd have saved looots of €s and years of my time.
  • 1
    @netikras that's fair enough
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