I was sitting at my office desk as usual, besides the window enjoying the cool breeze of post 6 pm friday evening of a summer day, 7 floors in the sky, at our office. We’re now 2 regulars in the office, and while it does get a little boring at times, there are also times when I appreciate the silence, the sound of wind through the little window on my left, the occasional rattling of helicopters passing by. That desk and that window are really interesting, my gateway to a different world where I just sit 15 minutes at a stretch staring at a distant building, the lights on its terrace blinking harmoniously. The occasional helicopter, and the people inside of it. Where must they be heading? Are they appreciating the fact that they’re inside that bird that countless individuals like me adore from the ground. I don’t know.
And just like that, I get to think about my own self. My thoughts four and a half years ago, in the first year of my college. There was so much excitement of getting into computers formally, finally. Now I could actually read interesting stuff off the Internet all day long and call it studying, without raising my mum’s eyebrows. I had a friend with whom I could share my technical side, which wasn’t much then, to be honest. Programming was the new thing and we knew we needed to learn this wizardry. Why and how we never thought of. There wasn’t a lot of knowledge within, not even speaking of wisdom, startups were unheard of, and life’s goals were defined in terms of what to learn next and ‘let’s see if we can solve this interesting puzzle with code’. It just was this raw energy that we had then, a kind of purity towards learning, the way opposite magnetic poles attract; no stray intentions.
It always brings a smile on my face thinking of those days. That purity towards the thing that you love, not asking why or if it will help me figure things out in the ‘big picture’ or will it look good on my portfolio, just that desire to go do it, to learn that absurd thing that has been obsolete for half a decade; why, because why not. I clearly, very clearly remember the happiness I felt after learning enough C to write basic programs, enough Python to flaunt my first ‘full stack’ web application. I learnt much later what full stack was, and even later that it was a job title. It was nice being able to make those things. We did whatever we thought was cool at that moment, anything that would tickle our curiosity.
In the midst of all of this, there was always a question I remember asking myself and my friend: ‘Hum developers kab banenge?’ All we knew was that a ‘software developer’ gets paid to do the kind of things that we do as hobbies. We had seen in total one software developer by then. He was Asa Dotzler from Mozilla. He was a nice person, but then we saw him as God because he could write code, you know. We kept on asking the question, but then sometime later, we stopped. Life got busy, everyone dashed towards their personal goals, the bigger picture and all that adulthood stuff. Suddenly, all of us were identified as developers, got hired as software engineers and started working for a monthly paycheck.
We were there before we even knew we were, and things aren’t much different on this side of the fence. Only now, you have to work whether or not you feel like working, your hobbies come in secondary to your professional goals and your life starts to revolve around this weird hierarchy of going from bottom of this growth ladder towards the top, occasionally changing the ladder. I guess that was all part of the package that we never bothered to explore properly. Or perhaps all of this is the optional bit that we took because everyone else was taking it, and maybe, with some courage we can get rid of this extra weight slowing us down and be those balls of raw energy that we were in college, being the ‘developers’ that we always wanted to be. I don’t know which one it is, but I guess we’ll eventually find out.
Thank you for reading.
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