Thanks for the lengthy explanation Mario! It's a far cry from those who just say "just do what you love"..
I realise i typed out the above answer 2 months ago and didnt click "Post". Kudos to hashnode for keeping the draft here since then!
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I became a programmer because it was interesting, fun and was a natural progression from building computers and screwing around.
I was never and still am not a book student. I can't sit in a class, listen to a teacher and learn something. I have to sit down and start doing it myself. I tried going back to college years after high school and no - not for me. So - dentist, lawyer, doctor, architect, etc... were all out.
I've stayed a programmer because I still find it to be fun to build stuff. We had an idea for a new startup last week that I thought was great and as such, have been basically binge programming (14+ hours a day) to get it built. That's the stuff I love. Taking the simplest of ideas and just running with it, adding features, building it as I see fit and see where it goes. Thinking up new ideas for a better experience to make more money. Planning what we need now to justify the cost vs what should wait till later to architecting the system to building it from scratch. I often tell people now who ask - I don't build websites; I build companies. This idea - it was literally 3 sentences sent to me in a text message as something we could use for our events. I took that and will now build an entire startup / company. You can't do that as a lawyer or otherwise.
And it beats anything else I could do without a degree - I love cars and working on mine, but being a mechanic isn't a glamorous job (no offense to anyone). I love remodeling my house but again, construction isn't for me.
We programmers are still pretty new to the world. You ask someone what they do and they say dentist and we have a general pretty good idea what they do. You ask someone what they do and they say programmer and they look at you like you have 3 eyes and 5 arms. A programming asking it - ok, what kind of programming? Web? App? Windows? MacOS? React? PHP? etc... but to everyone else - it's like we live on a different planet and they haven't the slightest idea how we do what we do or why, haha.
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For me it all started with typing stuff on a computer and then the computer did the stuff I told it to do and I could see the results. I thought that was really cool and fun and still do.
I'm able to make virtually whatever I can imagine and it's a rewarding feeling when I am able to make something that is useful.
When I was 3 or 4 years old, my dad used to take me to his office and let me play games on his PC. Windows 95. Floppy disks. A custom built CRT TV based monitor. A ball mouse. You name it. By the time I was 10, I used to tell him that dad, I want to be a "computer engineer".
Then by age 16 , I felt like I could have a future in photography. During my college time, at age 19, I felt like I wanted to be a drummer/percussionist.
Throughout this time one thing was constant - my love for tech. I wanted to create software. I had been into this for way too long, and I had indeed taken up IT engineering as my major in college.
When I was 20, in third year of college, I was ready to give all that up for a consultancy job eventually when I happened to intern at Shippable. That was the point when my goals became clear to me. Be a developer. Always be a developer. But continue loving what you do, and stay updated towards the latest tech. Spend the money you earn on your passions. I am working for Hashnode today and that makes me super happy.
Hence, Software Engineer, Photographer, Percussionist, Software Engineer.