If you ask the 6 year old me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would answer “A hacker! So that I can rob a bank remotely!”
Yeah, I blame those tv shows…
Growing up, I did nothing special in computer related stuff though. I wasn’t one of those 11 years old hacker. Just had your average class using a computer, with those floppy disks. Oh God, that makes me sound so old!
When I got into high school, I grew some interest in politics. Indonesia was undergoing a major political transition from Soeharto to a new president so there were so many things happening. I remember asking my teacher what she’d think and she answered “Somebody will probably shoot you!”
My desire for politics didn’t last long though, maybe because I read newspaper and watched news too much. My parents are both politicians, I saw how some other politicians act around them. I didn’t like what I saw. The news in politics revolved around politicians backstabbing each other, making statement A today, and proudly saying the opposite of A the next day. They just lied to each other. I did ‘t like what I heard. I lost my interest soon after, that kind of environment would make me miserable. Working with people that you can’t rely on cause they’d flip at any moment??? oh man.. Spare me from those. I love my country, but surely there’s another way to serve?
Nearing the end of high school, came another crossroad. I was offered a full scholarship in England for Chemistry major by a university there. I was particularly interested in organic chemistry, so it was a tempting offer.
But I chose Computer Science, despite the scholarship and the fact I bombed calculus. My teacher made this unforgettable disbelief expression when I told her. “You aced chemistry! You failed calculus!” was her mantra. I was convinced that I have real passion and love for computers, that would help me to overcome any obstacle that might come my way.
Listen to your teacher when she has a mantra.
I knew I was doomed at the end of the 2nd semester. I was hopeless in calculus, algorithm and discrete math. What else could happen? I always ended up in tears (literally) doing my programming assignments. I didn’t want to give up though, surely these were those obstacles that I talked about when I was in high school? Nope.
I toughed it out for 3 more semesters, but it was time to face the harsh reality. No way I would survive as a programmer.
I left to pursue another major, giving my teacher the chance to say “I told you so!”. I still insisted on doing something computer related though, so I got into Information System. I learned most aspects of software development, like project management, network maintenance, system design, even software testing. All the beauty of Software Development Life Cycle except for programming. It was perfect.
I don’t regret my time spent in Computer Science though, becuase it gave me a clearer idea of what I wanted and not wanted to do. I had a better idea on where to go after I experienced that failure. It’s a lesson that I still hold true until now, keep movingg forward and do your best. If you do those, paths will open up when you get stuck.
My first job was a Project Manager for an internet banking company, with several high profile national and international banks. Remember my 6 year old goal?
Yeah.. That scared me too.
So, I am not a hacker and I never robbed a bank, but I think the 6 year old me would be fine with where I am. My goal now is simpler and more ethical. I want to help people using skills that I’m good at and things that I am passionate about. I still have no interest in politics, but I am confident that I can make a difference using technology to improve things. And that is how I plan to serve my country.
This post is inspired by Daily Prompt – DailyPost WordPress