How Did I Become a Software Developer

My birth name is “Viacheslav”, although due to different reasons I decided to go for Aidan (Check out the translation from different languages). I was born in the eastern part of Ukraine where Lugansk and Donetsk are located. When I was a kid along with my parents, I have moved to the capital of Ukraine named Kyiv. There I earned my bachelor diploma in the field you will hear later…

In my youth age, I have traveled across Ukraine and have met different people, have learned different views and enlarged my knowledge about my own culture and its history.

After when I turned 25 years old, I took the decision to move more than 600 kilometers away to the beautiful city named Vilnius, Lithuania.

But if we would look back at the young age, of course, I was all curious about the computers. And it’s exactly what I intend to write here.

I wasn’t that kind of kid, that was playing games day and night. Conversely, I was interested in learning how to install them and what is stored in the Windows directory. Looking very forward, I remember myself comparing game engines and learning how platformers are developed. – And wait a minute, why this is made that way?

Thus I recall countless Windows versions. My pure interest in the new environments. In learning something new. I remember my first experience with Linux Mandrake 7.1 in 2000’s, although I barely erased it and have spent a huge-huge amount of time figuring out what actually Ext2 is and why Windows doesn’t see my hard drive anymore. A few years later I have tried it once again… But this time, I tried to install RedHat 8.0 – it was my first successful experience I recall, I should thank intuitive Gnome Interface, Packaging System, and Documentation. Though for real, I started to use Linux when I turned 15 years old. I was so bored with all of these Windows instructions for MySQL, PHP, and Apache so I decided to head forward and gain some real experience with Gentoo Linux. I was hoping to get the fastest installation I could possibly reach with compiled version of the software especially for me, for my computer.

It makes sense to mention that my first programming language if you can say that, was Delphi. – Indeed. I have never developed anything complex with it. I have to admit it was somewhat primitive quiz applications. But at the same time, luckily then I learned how client-server application works. I remember I was all curious about how to write the trojans that can silently open a CD-ROM. Obviously, that was a most important thing for me that time.

Technically speaking, I was very inspired by Hackers. The Russian magazine called “Xakep” (The Hacker) and also by magazines that developers were passing to each other in the Fido network. I recall my pure interest to Kevin Mitnick figure, to w00w00 research group.

In short, later I was learning PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS I even have spent some time to learn fundamental aspects of OOP and C and many other things. But unexpectedly, I have remembered my six years old hobby of drawing parrots and ponies, and I decided that a great mission landed on my shoulders – I definitely must become a designer! – What? Yes, designer. Why? Because I thought I must gain some experience and learn how to design websites, not only to build them but find out how UI designers do that and how does it work?

Honestly? I think it was a bad idea, worst decision I have ever made. But as my mom said once – Look on the bright side. At least I haven’t lost my interest in technologies and already on the 2nd year I started to learn Ruby. The real interest I’ve got when I was all about to show my teacher in the class that Ruby might be a better alternative than PHP these days. I wanted to prove that it is reasonably easy and a lot faster to make a simple web-site with Rails. Even if it didn’t go well as I look back, I have made my first web application to sort the literature. I was so excited that I realized that I am not a designer anymore, but developer as I thought from the young age…

Of course now, when I gained some experience by working, reading literature, attending courses on Edx and Coursera along with Udacity it feels nicer, and I feel more comfortable. You learn on your own about the complexity of algorithms, and you can learn what Perceptron algorithm is and what the probability of getting heads and tails by computing all of this with R language. You can learn many things, just like Da Vinci did at his time by learning anatomy on the dead human bodies. But unfortunately at first you can’t step out of the bureaucracy so if it’s not extremely expensive to go to the University and study. – I dare you! You will become more valuable not only as a specialist as your mom claims, but it will be easier for you to dive in the world of unsolved problems and eventually maybe to solve one, or two or more. Life is much more exciting than just money… So with the power that I have, with the WordPress blog, I dare you to gain the education, – to study. To learn mathematics at school and to pass all exams successfully.

Well, and this is a short story about me and a piece of advice I can give you. I became a software engineer by studying everything on my own. I believe even after gaining University background my experience would be barely different. I still would invest time to learn Ruby or Python or any other dynamic programming language. But who knows… Nevertheless, what is important, the variety of things that I want to learn today would be much easier to do with an educational background in computer science. I bet it would help me to evolve and to become a better developer also. However now, instead of watching Netflix with my girlfriend, I have to study something which many of you, who gained the diploma already know…

Good luck my friend! If you have anything to add based on your experience, please be welcomed.

Thanks for reading, leave a comment below and share with us your experience!

Published by

Aidan Rudkovskyi

Software Engineer

9 thoughts on “How Did I Become a Software Developer”

  1. I think the curiosity that you have is much more valuable than a diploma.

    But just a suggestion: learning real C is underrated. It will earn you strong insight into any other high level language. It does not work the other way.

    1. Thanks it’s a pleasure to hear that.

      I definitely agree that it needs to learn C first to get more about the low level, and what is hidden behind the particular high-level implementation.

      Regarding diploma: Unfortunately, sometimes problems may appear at least in the process when you are applying for a work visa, it’s surely not the case for everyone. Besides, I have heard that you can replace it with the work experience, although the formula is 3 years of work experience to 1 year of study. However again, it’s different from country to country.

  2. I loved reading this, thank you for sharing your developer origin story. It makes me think about how I started in software. You’ve inspired me to write a post about how I did it myself.

  3. This is inspiring. I think I could relate to your story since I had similiar experience.

    I love writing letters since in high school. I didn’t know if writing was my passion, so I never thought it as an career option.

    I also interested in computer, but never had chance to go to a formal education, nor even a course. I learned by myself. Later on, when I was an IT writer, I was protested by a fellow reader from a university due to lack of college degree, fancy certificate, and other fancy stuffs. This.. was so embarrassing to me, but also carrying another wisdom that drove me into another (what I think) interesting writing niche: biography.

    Now I called my self a biographer with huge interests in photography, web design, and development. I learned basic HTML and CSS, and recently PHP and MySQL as well. Having so many interest make me difficult to choose and focus on.

    I’ve taken an online MBTI test several times and ended up with being an INFP. It describes me pretty well, but.. again, choosing one career path among anothers is not an easy task.

    I wonder if there’s another people ever had the same dilema as well.

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