I was that kid who played with a toy for a few minutes and then tore it apart to see what was underneath. Then tried to rebuild. I was always curious to know how things happen. I was always so eager to create.
I was that little kid running around and gravitating towards stories. I read them. I wrote them. I told them. I always thought my destiny was to be a writer and that was all I wanted to be. Then I discovered blogging back in 2011 during my first year of college and it felt even more true.
Blogging exposed me to websites and more importantly, code. That’s when the unexpected click happened. I loved it. I loved it because code allowed me to express myself. It allowed me to create and have an impact at the same time and I’ve never looked back since.
How It all started
A 16 years old kid browsing Facebook and trying to reflect how much his life sucked in comparison to everyone else. I stumbled across an ad that says make “$100 per day from Google Adsense”. I clicked. I had so many questions.
Can you really make money online? How does that work? How do you get paid? How do you build websites? What’s blogging? and dozens more. I started looking for answers one after the other and I was hooked. I created a blog on Google’s blogging service Blogspot and started publishing about Pro Wrestling.
That was my introduction to working online and a taste of things you could build. I was consistently publishing on my blog but it wasn’t growing and search engine traffic was pretty much non-existent. I still kept on going as I read that eventually, users will show up. How naive was that! I kept publishing anyways until 2013-14.
Finally, I moved to WordPress. It was like a whole new world. There were tons of themes and plugins to make customizations and that’s when I had another question. How do these people make these things? How does WordPress know what to display when a certain URL is visited? And most importantly, how do I make these changes myself?
So I started digging into theme editor. I was overwhelmed by what I saw. What are these dollar signs doing here? What is a function? Why are there so many semicolons and underscores? That introduced me to programming and PHP. I stopped blogging after a while and was fully immersed in learning how to build web pages using PHP and got my first job 6 months after that.
How I got my first job @ClipBucket
I was still in college. I had no experience, no portfolio, no references, and quite frankly, not any decent development skills. I had one thing though. I had the drive to figure things out. I didn’t want a job because I was more interested in building something of my own. I was really interested in making video websites and landed on a video-sharing script called ClipBucket. I started hacking with it soon enough started to run into issues of all kinds. The support team at that point was lackluster and it was super frustrating to go back and forth. I had poured many hours into this video-sharing website project but I wasn’t really moving ahead. One day I got an idea.
What if I go work for them for 6 months? I can learn all that I need to learn and then I can leave and do my own thing. But how will I get a job there? I found ClipBucket’s founder online and sent him a very detailed message on Facebook explaining my what I wanted to do and my desire to learn. He said yes and I was in. I had so much drive and commitment to learn that I was promoted to Lead Developer of ClipBucket and later Project Manager within the span of my two years there.
Why I left ClipBucket
I had been with the company for a while. I knew all the tech. I knew all their processes. I knew everything about my job. And That was kind of boring. I didn’t find my work challenging enough so I started looking for other opportunities.
I later started working with VinAudit and have spent 4.5 years with them.
Why I left Vinaudit
The same reason. There aren’t many challenges. I don’t feel like I’m growing as a developer. My skills aren’t updating. I want to look for greener grass. A place that has ample opportunities to learn and grow. A place where I feel like I’m building something that matters, where my contributions have an impact, where people are more important than any tech, where I’m always growing.
My developer psychology
Solve problems. I don’t use languages or frameworks because the crowd is rushing towards them. I keep an eye on them for sure but I don’t drop everything I’ve mastered to pick up that new thing. I believe in shipping code that requires the least amount of maintenance moving forward. That is best done when having a full understanding of your tools. Programming languages, frameworks, and tools take time to learn. What you build and the problems you solve are the most important things.
However, I do realize the importance of knowing other options. This gives me the ability to decide the best tools for the job. Hence, I keep tasting new tools and technologies here and there and try to understand their place and best use cases. But my main goal always stays the same. Solve problems. Get things done. Move forward.