How I got into software development

Published on Dec 10, 2018

Sigmund Freud says in his book "A Life in Psychoanalysis" that the child is the father of the man, meaning that our habits from childhood end up defining us to some extent in our adult life. This could not be more true in my case. My parents, my brother and I used to go on vacation in a van traveling around Spain and Portugal.

For as long as I can remember, I am a slow traveler, and a nomad at heart.

My brother and I always loved playing video games (Game Boy Advance + Playstation 2).

Travels and video games fueled my imagination. When I was not playing video games, I would either be drawing, playing with Playmobil, watching anime or inventing adventure stories inspired by my favorite characters. I wrote short stories too, mainly while I was traveling.

At 12 or 13, I discovered play-by-post role-playing games, "an online text-based role-playing game in which players interact with each other and a predefined environment via text". The environment would be revolving around manga (Naruto or One Piece). Once in a while you had to log in a phpBB forum and write about what is happening in your character's life. You could either choose a character that already existed in the predefined universe or invent a new one. Moderators would judge your text and decide whether or not your character could gain new powers or abilities.

I was quite fed up with those moderators judging me, so I decided to setup my own forum with some other online "friends". I learnt about Photoshop, forum engines. I learnt that marketing is hard: BOOM, 0 user. But now I was hooked on making stuff online.

I wondered why my phpBB forum was not looking as good as some other forums, and I came to understand that there are many forum engines. Those engines are written in something called "programming languages". I looked it up and ended up learning about HTML, CSS, C and PHP. I couldn't actually launch a damn thing, but I was introduced to many programming concepts: what is a server, what is a loop, what is a pointer, how to draw a colorful box from my browser etc.


I would take notes and read them again. I wanted to become a software engineer. I graduated from high school with top grades, got into engineering school, launched my first bad product, and graduated from telecom engineering in March this year. 

It's been twelve years since I joined this forgotten online RPG forum. I am 24 and building a new publishing platform called 200 Words a Day now.