We are human beings! As humans, we get to create things! Awe-inspiring things! What sets us apart from the rest of the species that we share the Earth with, is this great gift. It seems like anything we can imagine, we can create. Amazing! The world is full of dreamers and creators. Put them together and quite frankly, magic happens. From architecture to art, music to computers. We stick our antennae up into the ether and connect with something we can’t explain. Somehow we process that signal and transmit it out into the world. The things that we come up with are astonishing! Of course, some of those things are only possible with the tools we are given.
If you were born a hundred years ago, it would be impossible to write any type of software program. Maybe there were a few people around with advanced antenna that received signals for something like that back then, but there was no way to output that signal to the world in which they were born. It would have been considered science fiction. Well we are now living in that science fiction; and it is no longer fiction. Technology has quantum leaped humanity into unexplored territory; the timing could not have been better. You can say that technology (the industrial revolution, which made technology possible) has caused the crisis we face with global warming. The two are almost mimicking each other in their exponential growth. There is a race going on. A race for survival. Surely we can’t keep doing what we are doing and expect the same result. That, my friend, is the definition of insanity.
Speaking of insanity, when I was around four years old I realized that I had my very own personal jukebox in my head. There always seemed to be a song being played that only I could hear. When I realized these songs were not songs that I actually heard before, but something coming through my own personal antenna, I knew that other people should hear them too. What fun is it to keep these things to oneself? We are taught at an early age to share. So I decided that this was my reason for being on planet Earth. My burning desire. My passion. What is life for other than living for your passions.
What I’ve learned since is that not all passions are easy to live out, in monetary terms. With the subjective nature of the arts, there are so many moving parts that have to come together at just the right time to work out. I also learned (among many other things I hope) another thing: you can have more than one passion. If you’ve forgotten what your passions are or never thought you had any, a good place to look is your childhood. I always liked solving problems; from puzzles to building things. As soon as I got a new toy I would find the screws and take it apart. My Millennium Falcon and X-wing Fighters could testify.
When I first heard about coding bootcamps, they intrigued me. I never considered software development as a career. I’ve had computers around me most of my life, but I was always a mere user, never looking under the hood to see how all the magic happened (pretty much like my car – sure I can drive it, but I don’t have a clue how the engine is running). I still remember coming home to see my dad setting up our first one.
It was an Atari 800. Yep, that Atari. They were more than just a gaming console. Fast forward 30 or so years, I started reading about all of these people changing their lives by learning to code. I immediately started to use the vast resources on the internet to see if this was something I could get into. To my great surprise, I loved it. Which is no surprise if you think about it. Music is all about taking the abstract and reifying it into an audible form. Where as coding is all about getting comfortable in the abstract – levels and levels deep in abstractions. The inspiration I get by the amazing things people are doing with it is infecting everything I do. There is a mountain of things that I have to learn, and it seems the learning will never stop. Now I sit looking up at this steep mountain. With my hiking shoes tied tight, I am ready to climb. One step at a time with humility and awe.
I do believe that technology will be key to saving our collective asses. I hope to be a part of the solution.