I’m a developer and I think I do a good job. I always give the best I can and strive for perfection where I can and constantly research and try to learn how to accomplish that. Information is what I am addicted to, specifically the kind that might help me move forward in my field. I do this now professionally for more than 7 years. Let me tell you about the, sometimes hard, way I took.
I became interested in computer when we got a C64. That simple little command RUN fascinated me. The whole concept still fascinates me. I loved that blue screen displaying simple interfaces like GEOS or letting us drive around with a Hotwheels car and repainting them over and over again. (I still get the purpose of that game). A few years later I got my first “Computer”, a VTech Genius Leader 5000. It is a computer with a three line display with a couple of educational games on it, including a BASCI editor & interpreter (Yes, I consider it educational). So, I started learning how to write programs in BASIC. A little while we also got an old IBM computer with an Intel 386 processor, 100MB HD, 8MB RAM etc. It was not the best for it’s time, but enough to boot and reinstall Windows 95. From that point on it wasn’t easy to get me away from a screen. And when we got a, for that time “modern”, computer and internet I published my first website on GeoCities.
This was the first time the web grabbed my attention as a platform to work with and on. I researched stuff on HTML & CSS and asked friends I knew were doing the same thing about their learnings. One day the brother of a friend of mine, Simon Dorner, was holding a book in his hand Eric Meyer’s “CSS: The Definitive Guide”, while trying out the stuff on his Power Mac G4 switching between Mozilla and BBEdit. When I showed interested in what he did, he started teaching me. He showed me that table-less layouts are better, he told me about web standards and the whole purpose behind it. I learned a lot from him and I am still thankful for that.
This is how I got into becoming a Web Developer.
School was secondary to me. I didn’t feel comfortable there. I was more comfortable trying to figure out how I could get my computer doing the work for me. I was good in what I wanted to be good in and in topics I was interested in. I could score a good grade when I wanted or needed to. I kept going with motivation barely existing. I felt it was necessary to become a professional in technology. When I was 19 I had enough, I wanted to do what I loved for living. So, I worked as a freelancer doing various jobs for different clients, after a while I realized I am not an accountant. I just wanted to be a developer. I started looking for an employment. After a few months a company hired me as a Front-End Developer. I found myself with a steady income, I moved out of my parents place etc. I was happy, because I had what I felt was my dream job. Since then I switched jobs five times. I worked at companies that had a product or a normal agency, or a mixture. I enjoyed working at all of them!
In all that time I never stopped learning. I never stopped failing. And believe me you will fail a lot. Your head will hit the desk more times than you want, because you forgot that fucking semi-colon. But all that failing kept me going and still does. I never wanted to go to college, because I knew it was not an environment for me to learn. I want to learn what interests me, what I know I will need the next day.
I don’t think that there is one way to reach a goal. I don’t feel that school, college and internship is necessarily the way to go for everybody. In my opinion if someone has a dream, she or he can reach that. And they should choose the way they feel is right for them. And if they love what they do, they will be the best in their field.
I support anyone who gets interested in what I do and how to do it. If somebody comes up to me and asks “Can you explain this to me?”, it makes me happy and I will drop everything and do my best to teach. And trust me if you want to do something, there is always a way. I had a lot of pitfalls, but you have to get up and keep going, always, because you will get more than you ever thought before.