I got it! I’m very happy tonight. Why? Because my program worked. And also maybe because I’m a bit different from most of the people around me. Rather, I should say that I’m certainly more than a bit odd in the eyes of my friends and colleagues.
How else can I explain the joy that I get from computer programming, which is better known among professionals as coding? I spend hours staring at endless lines of code on my monitor. And this is not because I am required to do it by my profession. I have been enjoying coding since my school days. I would set myself tough problems (which, in retrospect, I now find to be quite easy actually) and would solve them by programming. Of course, at that time BASIC was the only language I knew, and I was blissfully unaware of any such things as coding standards and good programming practices. Then I met C and C++ in class XI. It was a love at first sight, and till date, I haven’t found another language that I could love more.
While my friends would spend their time playing games with their computer, I would happily spend hours coding, maybe designing my own games. This trend continued even during the four years of engineering. My friends had always told me that I was barmy, but they completely gave up on me after I told them on
So you can imagine my shock when on joining my first job in a software company, I was told that I wouldn’t need to do any programming. “Come on man! You are very lucky to get into Siebel at the very beginning of your career”, said my PM. On being told that I wanted to do coding, his reaction was, “Where will coding take you? Siebel configuration is the happening thing right now! Who would want to write lines and lines of code?” For those who don’t know, the idea is that I’ll click and drag and drop and put a check mark here or type a value there…and presto! The computer will generate the code. And to be honest, it does a pretty good job of it, too. A few of my clicks here and there causes the poor thing to write maybe a few hundred lines of code. And because it does it so fast, it can mess up more things in a second than I could unmess in a year. I love programming because I have the power to change small things and affect the output. Here, the computer changes what it thinks best. My friends envy me. They say their work is killing them. They hate coding from the bottom of their heart, and they are being forced to do it. I am lucky to have escaped coding. That is the irony called life.
So here I am…coding at my home. I don’t get time for programming during the week, so I try designing programs here on my home PC. And it’s such a program that worked a little while ago. That’s why I’m so happy. Maybe I’m odd. Maybe the others are right. Maybe I’m moving in the opposite direction. But I’m sure there are other people like me too. People for whom programming is life. People who write long programs to make tools like Siebel. People who are making themselves dispensable by writing programs that can write programs.
This post is dedicated to them.