How I ended up as web developer: The beginning


It's started on 1997, when I was still on elementary school. This is the first time, as I remembered, I used a personal computer for the first time. It's one of my elementary school program: every child there should be introduced to a personal computer.

I still remember it very well. The PC had huge monitor, huge CPU, with mouse and keyboard. Of course, no internet for us. We were divided into teams, each team had two members. Each team had access to one PC which means I shared the PC with my friend.

We're being taught how to operate MS-DOS. Though later I know that MS-DOS is underlying component for the Windows 95.

There is nothing fancy. At first, we're being taught about which one is monitor, which one is keyboard, which one is mouse, which one is CPU. How each of them work to support the other ones, in a way that's easily undersand by fourth grader children.

The next thing we learned, is how to login to that DOS with some simple commands. Once we correctly inputed those commands, we'll see the graphical interface of Windows 95. At this point, I still have no idea what are the meaning behind those commands. I only knows if I follow the instructions and type those commands, I'll get the Windows 95 screen.

Once we're on Windows 95 screen, our teacher will ask us to open a game (yes, a game). But it was an educational game for child which needs us to think. I also need to work together with my friend, whom I shared the PC, to solve the game on the given time (think of it as a pair programming nowadays, lol)

Fast forward to 2001, when I was in junior high school. Since the school is owned by the same foundation as my elementary school, I also got to attend the computer course during my junior high school.

Don't think of it as a programming course. It's just some basic techniques to learn about Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, running on the Windows 98 and Windows 2000. Though when learning the Excel, we do learn some formulas.

Continue to 2004, when my late father bought me a PC for myself. This time, I was on senior high school. The PC I got was powered by Pentium 4 processor from Intel with Gigabyte motherboard, along with CRT monitor, similar like this one.

The PC is pre installed with Windows 98 though one or two years later, I decided to upgrade it to Windows XP.

This because Windows 98 was unable to read a USB disk. Google is not yet that popular like today and I had no internet access at home during this time.

I don't do the upgrade by myself. I asked my father to call the technician from the shop he bought the PC to come, and do the upgrade.

Because of that PC, I got some interests on things related to personal computer. I started to buy and install some popular PC games on that era: Battle Realms by Liquid Entertainment, Red Alerts and other CnC series by Westwood Studios, Need for Speed series by Electronic Arts, and others.

Still on the same year, 2004, my late father also bought me a mobile phone. The phone's manufacture is Siemens. It's a Seimens M55.

It's one the fanciest mobile phones on that year (lol), powered by GPRS, had capability (though it's very limited) to access the internet using a browser which only supports WAP protocol. It also can send image and other multi-media files using MMS. It's more sophisticated compared to the Nokia 3310, which is the most popular mobile phone during the time.

I still don't have chance to access internet on a PC until 2006, when a close friend of mine asked me to accompany him to visit an internet cafe. 

It's nearly the last year on senior high school, when I started to know:

  • how IRC works
  • how to use Yahoo! Messenger
  • how to access and set up a site on Yahoo! Geocities,
  • how to get online with AIM 
  • how to create a blog on blogspot
  • how to sign up an account on Friendster. (yes, Friendster)
  • how I set up some HTML and stylesheets, combine with some Javascripts to have a cool and animating Friendster comment and profile. Though I don't have idea how those weird codes actually work. Really.
  • how I access internet search engine: Yahoo!
  • how I got an e-mail from this Yahoo! site.
  • how I create a presentation using Microsoft Powerpoint

The encounter with the internet cafe, had raised my curiosity about the internet and the technology behind it. Especially about the HTML web page.

It's the time that I decided to continue to take majoring in Computer Science on university. Although it was not easy because my parents expects me to become a doctor, instead of a software developer (we called it "programmer" at that time).

This is very common because most of people had no idea what kind of jobs for those "programmer". They're even not sure if there's such job for programmer, or you can make a living by working as "programmer".

Thanks to them, finally they understand, and allow me to pursue my interest in software engineering by taking majoring in Computer Science. 

To be continue...