I am not sure how and when this happened. But I think the inflection point came when I decided to give interviews this year(2023) to check where I stand. So, first thing as usual was to update my resume. When doing that, I was so embarrassed to call my self a Full Stack .NET Developer. I have never felt that before. I was just proud that I could build applications from scratch, front to back entirely by myself(irrespective of the tech used). But how did this feeling pop up suddenly ??? No clue. I have now a decade of experience building web apps in .Net and C#, but I did not start with them. May be the feeling of giving up on the languages I learnt previously and looking at the importance given to them kicked me up ?? Or some gaps in my knowledge questioned my choice of continuing with .Net and not exploring anything else ??? Lets trace back.
First programming language I ever learnt was BASIC, and then LOGO in seventh standard. I was just plain flabbergasted by how the languages worked. We were taught these in school. We used to hardly get one hour of computer time with 3 other kids in a week. We used to maximize by drawing weird shapes say, spectacles to tease a girl with spectacles and then have a laugh and then forget about it. But the experience stayed with me. Then I had to move to a small town to join 8th standard and our school didn't have a computer course included in the curriculum. Naturally I felt the need to join a training institute outside school. But everywhere I went, they said they were teaching only C and to learn C it was mandatory to complete at least tenth standard. I was so disappointed. Once I completed tenth, I joined the infamous Narayana for Intermediate in another city, where life is totally different. I forgot about computers for another two years.
Finally I moved to Hyderabad and then during the holidays, I enrolled in a C programming course finally. I was so excited. I didn't miss a class. I pestered my dad to buy me a computer and alas I got one. Within a month, I even made a chess program for two players by myself and that's it. I joined college and life took another turn. Even though I was learning about computers, I lost the interest to practice. I found other interests like girls, beer, porn and torrents(pirated international movies) and forgot my first love i.e. computers and screwed up (in hindsight). I didn't know about it then. As far as I felt, I was having "fun". We had to learn C++ in our second year to implement data structures, Even though the concepts were similar to C, somehow DSA scared me a little. I also learnt about Linux during college. That was a revelation. I couldn't imagine there could be another Operating System other than windows. Lot of students at that time, didn't know the value of FOSS, coz even the paid software was coming for free anyways, those days people bought a computer (btw I didn't even know you could build a PC by yourself at that time) usually at CTC Secunderabad. The person would install Windows OS for free (pirated) and we would never even know it that it is pirated. This was the norm. I had no clue that there is a price for software too. I thought software comes free with the hardware you bought. Anyways back to Linux, we even had unix lab, where we used to prank our class girls by deleting the assignment saved by them right when the teacher was about to inspect. Our lab assistants / teachers thought we were harmless, so they used to ask us to save our assignments in a folder by our batch name and file name as the roll number. How innocent were the lab assistants ???
These were also the days when social media was booming, we played with orkut, got bored of it and joined in facebook. Learn't about how it was developed in php by a harvard student, the social network movie was not out yet, but we knew. After college, got a job in Infosys. Infy was famous among freshers for it's hardcore yet enjoyable training program which could last anywhere between 3 to 6 months. We were lucky that it was for six months since the year I passed out i.e. 2009, recession was on song. I didn't have a clue what recession was about. I was simply in my own world riding bicycles in the gorgeous Infosys Mysore campus. Infy's believed that it didn't believe much in India's college technical training abilities. So, it simply tested for aptitude and decided to teach tech by itself. So, we got to revise, UNIX, C, C++, Java in our first leg of the training. It was refreshing to say the least. Once we passed the test for first leg, we were picked for specialization randomly. I got thrown into the Microsoft world. That's when I started with .Net and C#.
After all the technologies I was familiar with during the course of my school and college, ultimately the stuff I learnt for job got stuck and then never left until I decided that I needed a website for writing a blog. That's when the harsh reality of how scarcely the Microsoft tech stack is supported outside the corporate world hit me. Don't even talk about how expensive it is, forget deploying the website, it is so expensive even to start writing the code starting from the Visual Studio IDE, a windows server and add SQL Server to the mix, it costs so much. Yeah, I know there is a community edition, but I was by then a slave of VS Pro. I was happy solving other's problems, but the reality dawned when I decided to solve my own problems.
Here we shall pause and comeback to see how I fell in love with technology at second sight.