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Down from the metal, up through the cloud and back to the UX

Down from the metal, up through the cloud and back to the UX

Why I code

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Chedim

Published on May 13, 2021

4 min read

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Well hello, stranger!

This — my first post both on chedim.com and hashnode.com — a personalized blogging service for devs that allows you to host your blog on your domain. And it just so happens that I was recently thinking about finding(building? :-D) some similar solution. And using such a service means that I'm not just promoting my domain, but also have the freedom to move my blog to any similar system (or just switch to Jekyll, which I'm using to build my more specialized blog about my hardware projects).

Freedom is good :-)

As it always happens, choosing a topic for your first post on a new platform is, arguably, the hardest part of blogging. So, I decided to first read some of the other first posts made by people on this platform. Many of the posts were about some kind of technology or development environment. But what inspired me the most was this first post by GirlThatLovesToCode in which she was kind enough to share with us her story of becoming a software engineer. I liked the personal touch of such a first post. Although I intend to publish only professional posts on this blog, it may be interesting for my future readers to discover something a little bit more personal about me than technical guides :)

And so, I decided to write my first post about why I code and what coding is for me today.

I was introduced into... no, I was infected with coding by a child book (of which title has been long forgotten) about robots and how they work that my grandfather bought for me when I was 9 years old. I remember being increasingly disappointed the more I was reading the book -- the robots in that book had nothing to do with any of the robots I saw before! They were dumb! They required being taught and warned about every little detail of such a simple task as going to the store! Even R2 is smarter than that...

But, as I said, I was already infected with the idea of coding. This dramatic difference between my childish expectations and reality would not leave me alone. Ever since I always wanted to make robots smarter.

Today I am a quarter-century older kid with the same goal and 15 years of experience in software development. I didn't get to build robots much, though :) Instead, I got to be one of the guys who build the Web. I worked on many interesting projects across different industries of two dramatically different societies that spent half of the 20th century arguing about whose economical ideology is better. I've built a unique hardware device and can brag about knowing how computers work down to the lowest physical levels. My interests shifted from computer science to mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. So, why do I continue to code and what do I think about coding?

The latest iteration of mobile keyboard I've built last month and used to type this post. The latest iteration of the mobile keyboard I've built last month and used to type this post.

I have a somewhat unusual view of coding. I believe that developers don't just write code but, by putting algorithms and logic down in the form of source code, they (quite literally) upload parts of their brains into a computer. This process happens 24/7 around the world. And our code is not just being "executed". Every instruction we put down results in a measurable and repeatable change in the physical world. Even if it's just a simple "Hello, world!", execution of an application results, at a minimum, in some movement of energy through electromagnetic fields. As we build the Web, our thoughts and knowledge connect and change that field. I believe that realizing this real physical aspect of our job is one of the most important steps of becoming a good coder.

I long believe that the Internet will if haven't already, become conscious. This thought, to be honest, is a scary one. So, why do I continue to code?

To make It better.

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