Developing an Interest in Linux
I don’t know whoever coined the slogan that ‘we learn from mistake’ or whoever claimed that guns do not go off accidentally must have had me in his mind. Most of the achievements in my life have been purely coincidental, though much hard work has been involved. In most instances, even though the learning curve may have been steep, I found that I learnt something new out of the blue. I’m talking about my journey to becoming a computer programmer. Coding is my thing today and my main source of livelihood, but I just stumbled upon programming accidentally.
It may not been accidental as such, but I never thought that I would one day be sitting beside a computer creating some codes just to get money to cater for my bills. I never fathomed that I would make any living by becoming a computer programmer no matter how much I loved playing around with computers. As a matter of facts, I’ve been around computers since I was 12. I used to play with my dad’s PC, but I did nothing much with it.
A Computer Blue Screen Error Which Changed my Perception about Operating Systems
Things changed one day while I was in my senior years in college. Prior to then, I had used Windows as the main operating system on a PC screen and I was quiet conversant with the Operating System (OS). However, it happened that I needed to purchase my own PC then so that I could be able to smoothly manage my school work and assignments.
We had agreed on the purchase with my parents and they gave me some money to take care of it. The money was sent while I was in college and since there was a friend who was going to town that weekend, I decide to save the transportation expenses and instead send him to buy the PC for me while he went to town that weekend.
I gave him the specifications as well as the cash needed and of he went. That evening, he arrived with the computer and I was so excited having at last owned one – it was a privilege if you could afford a computer in those days. I anxiously turned it on, but I was really shocked with its interface. It was not what I was expecting. Instead, the operating system was running on UNIX.
Of course I was upset; mad should be a better term. I didn’t have the necessary expertise to use such an OS. What complicated the matter was that during those days, it was a bit dear to buy a new Windows OS and there were few wrong versions to use. I even never had the extra cash to think of getting a new copy of the Windows OS. Then the thought of returning the PC to the seller seemed untenable since I didn’t know when I would go to town soon or the right person I would send to return the PC.
Having limited choices, I decided to stick by my PC and try to get the best of it. Sometimes, whenever I look back, I realize that this was one of the best decisions that I ever made. Obviously, the seer may have choice to pre-install the Linux OS because it was distributed free of charge as compared to the Windows OS. I didn’t love it because the interface of UNIX wasn’t user friendly and I found navigating through the various option in it quiet cumbersome.
Retiring Weak Systems and the Importance of a Strong Operating Environment
As days went by, I became accustomed to the interface and started using in more regularly. With time, I was getting better and loved the whole experience. The one day, as I was playing around with my PC, I realized something unique about how the UNIX system was operating. Probably, if you have used A Linux machine before, you will notice that it is not straightforward as Windows or Macs are. The system is very manual in most of the tasks that you do. For instance, if you right click and delete a file, you can easily learn what happens to that file. Simply, the OS helps you to learn how programs work.
This induced me to learn more about how various computer tasks work. Learning about how programs work means that you get to know what happens ‘behind the curtains’. My inquisitiveness led me to yearn to have a good understanding about the various command lines used in various tasks.
That’s how I stumbled in the world of computer programming. The experience that I gained was very valuable and it gave me a passion in computers that I initially never heard. I joined a programming class and by the time that I graduated from college, I was a better coder that I ever thought. I decided to further my studies in computers. Today, I have a good career in computers that I depend on for my livelihood.