Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Me and OSS 1: A Seven Years Itch

OSS stands for Open Source Software for those of you unaware about what was OSS stands for. This is a semi-autobiographical blog contents that spans over the last seven / eight years of my life.

My first acquaintance with the world of computing and programming was of course on my very first day at the Faculty of Computer Science, University of Indonesia. I was as excited as a kid who went into a candy store, and permitted to grab anything. It would seem at the moment, that i've been given a key that opens a door so tremendously opened to a brand new world of excites, of funs, which are all free to be explored and found and conquered. Alas, it took me almost eight years to really step into that door.

I was generally known as a smart kid when i was still a brat grown to a mere adolescence in a small-small city. During that time, i get used to a whole lot of compliments from my families, friends, even strangers. Some even say that i had a genius trait in my blood. Looking back at the time, i was so ashamed about those compliments and my lack of subtlety upon receiving them. On a bright side, it taught me a valuable lessons which most likely than not, i'd apply to my kids later on. Never. Never give them too much compliments.

Like i said, i get used to compliments the whole time, that i thought life would like a walk in a park. Easy. I go to good college, graduated with honors, notice the plural, admitting to a huge multi-national company, and retired rich. That's life as i'd imagined before i went to college, before i went into a big city, before everything falls apart.

I couldn't escape quickly enough from my past. That's a mistake in my part. Huge mistake. I told you before, it took me seven whole years to finally realize that i was not as good as i thought i am. Back to where i wrote my first computer program in Java, i thought, hey, if programming was this easy, i shouldn't give much effort to it. Wrong! Well, in my defense, i hadn't sure whether to pursue and build dreams based on computer science, pure mathematic sciences (which my ONLY favorite subject in High School), or something more absurd, such as being a writer, or a film-director. I hadn't sure of anything back then. Which turns out that i tried to learn so many. The result? i knew A of anything, more subjects than my peers, but what i had wrong was that some of my peers, they knew A-Z of one single peculiar thing, thus made them specialized. And look where they are right now. Surely, higher than i am. This whole not knowing to do are what would kept me at bay.

I graduated, not on time, but not too shabby, still, not on time. Five years to be exact. I got to work at my campus, doing a crappy things with PHP. I never liked PHP, and i despised it even more right now. It's just a plain hate, and in my opinion, one doesn't need a reason to hate something (or someone). I just hate them. But, life was easy at the time. It's like robbing your campus blindly. That's how it's like. I got paid for doing small things. Fortunately, i don't get paid much anyway. I'm working there for a little more than two years. Oh, how i wish i had that time back in my laps again. That two years of idling should get me more knowledges, but not. I knew about some of the hot frameworks at the time, i learned Flash even though i was no designer, learned Ruby, Ajax, and many more. But like i said, i learn A of anything, and never get into the B.

The fact is, there is a small thing that kept me at the campus. Nobody knows about it. The only person who knew about it was my girlfriend. And i wish to keep it that way. Because it's so goddamn embarrassing. It's suffice for you to know that during that two years at the campus, i hadn't sent any application letters, either it's for a job or a scholarship. It's because of that small thing. No plural here. Just a small thing.

And then came a sudden realization. The project of which i am working at the campus was finished. That leave me jobless, and jobless means of course, no money.

A couple of months later, a friend recommend me to a certain software consulting company based on Java. And that's where slowly but surely, i've decided my path, and ultimately, step into the door of which i already had the key the whole time.

To be continued...

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