I first saw and touched a computer when I completed my graduation, that was when I was 19. I was thinking what I should do after graduation.. then my father suggested computers. My mother backed it as well ,she was scared that if I sat idle in the house I would literally eat her brains out.
I joined an institute where they taught the basic fundamentals of computer and teach software languages. The institute had lot of DOS machines 286 or 386. I took up a course where the instructors were going to teach me DOS, BASIC, COBOL, LOTUS 1-2-3, WORDSTAR, dBASE III+. All these names sounded like alien to me. All other students who joined the course were as enthusiastic as me. Eager to touch the keyboard.. type something on it and watch the wonders created on screen ! Our sir was a skeptic. He thought that we might misuse the keyboards in our enthusiasm, he closely watched each and every movement that we made in the lab. He told.. do not press the keyboard hard.. sometimes computer may explode if the keys are pressed too hard !!' and we believed him !
After completing this course, I knew how to use a computer. During the early nineties, many students, while doing their college studies completed type course as well. I did the same thing too. Not only that, I even completed higher level type course also, and from then on I never a problem using the keyboard. With my science degree and first computer certificate, I got a data entry job in a scientific software firm. It was more than I wanted. Somewhere around this time ,a software teaching institute called APTECH announced Software Engineering Course and conducted an entrance exam in our city. I wrote that exam and got admission into that course, this time to learn UNIX, C, LAN, ORACLE 6, SAD
Though my whole education was in English Medium, I had difficulty talking English. In APTECH, English was mandatory. I was feeling sooo inferior even to ask doubts. Thanks to my graduation class-mate Murthy who was our instructor there, I was able to overcome these difficulties. His down-to-earth approach made me feel free and I slowly started expressing myself. By the end of this course, I was very much disappointed . It did not turn out to be as I expected. Their teaching equipment, staff everything was good but the courses I opted were not popular at that time.
Then I joined a firm called UNICS, dealer for WIPRO-ACER computers in our city. I did little FOX PRO and looked into codes in COBOL. I understood how software was build and I understood the hardware of a computer. When I joined this firm, they were selling 386 - 486 Super Genius machines. These machines were around 70 - 80K Indian Rupees. Well as we all know, later on came Pentium processor. It was a robust season for the computer firms with technology racing ahead and they were making a profit by selling their computers to big companies and in general to the consumers.
At UNICS, I understood what protocols like TCP/IP, FTP.. are, I worked with different printers.. DOT MATRIX to LASER, Scanners, APPLE Mac, Hubs literally anything and everything new in computers then. Our marketing Executive Mr.Kishore used to explain me patiently about the technology involved, which part in the computer does what.. etc., He had this great fascination for new technology and this ignited the same fervor in me. Thanks to Rolls Royce Industrial Power (I) Ltd. who gave our company orders for many of the latest goodies. Some of the hardware and software installations that our hardware engineers did for them are the first of a kind in Andhra Pradesh and it was a tough job, but they did it ! Many of our engineers got great offers from that company . I am honored to have worked along with gems like T.S.N.Murthy, V.Srinivas, SubbaRao etc., I now feel sorry for not trying to learn even little bit about installing hardware . Many of the hardware engineers there asked me to learn so that I can install small things and they even offered to teach me too ! But I did not take that
After this, I joined PentaSoft to learn AS/400. I wanted to beef up my resume with all these fancy technologies I was learning. AS/400 was hot those days ,so, I learnt that too. Our instructors were new to AS/400. Every day, they used to experiment on us their knowhow. By then, I knew my strengths. I was fast in programming. I had basic analytical sense to understand and solve a problem. I developed few applications using AS/400. I learned COBOL, CL, QUERY, DB2. But still there was that feeling that I could do more.. and what I was doing was not my destiny!
Soon I found my real challenge.. JAVA !! I loved programming in JAVA. I did not know C++ which was a pre-requisite in many institutes in Hyderabad to learn JAVA. I knew C but I was not that strong in programming in C. Every thing about this software intrigued me. I wanted to write the perfect code in JAVA and to some extent I succeeded. My passion for JAVA was so much that I was like breathing.. eating.. drinking JAVA. I spent all my available spare time between my work & programming in JAVA. During that period, I learned ASP by reading books and from my hostel roommate. We both had a pact..I would teach her JAVA and she would in turn teach me ASP. I did not teach her anything.. but I learned ASP from her. Thanks Latha!!!
I came to Canada. Money is the first thing you need when you have to survive in a foreign country. I was working for this company and they were always using new technologies. I was asked to do program using ColdFusion. I was ready to take up this new challenge. I said yes.. told them that I could do the job. I found ColdFusion very easy. I liked it's simplicity. I was fortunate to get good projects to on work using ColdFusion. My superiors always wondered at the ease with which I coded in ColdFusion. Though I was successful in learning ColdFusion.. my soul aim was to work on JAVA. So, to satisfy my urge.. I started teaching JAVA. But ,of course I wanted those extra bucks too ! I was envious when some of my students got jobs in JAVA and look at me I was working on something else totally different.
Technology is something that evolves everyday. There is no guarantee for your job unless you change and learn rapidly otherwise you will be left behind. Our company changed its strategies. They wanted to focus on PHP.. another server side scripting language. I tried my hands on mySQL to use with PHP. Currently, I am working on PHP and I enjoy programming in it. I am amazed the way PHP does wonders with simple code. I did not know PERL. For some reason.. this and CGI are the two things.. I never learnt.
Today I am very happy when I look back. I am ready to take up new challenges.. learn new technologies.. I am not scared of the possibility of the technology that I am currently working on losing it's popularity. I can adapt myself to any new technologies as and when they come. WAP is something that fascinates me.. May be I will work on that soon !