To be fair, most people we have profiled on Techie Tuesdays in the past have been gifted individuals. Most had access to a computer and have been coding since a very young age. Their level of understanding is deep and spans across various programming languages.
But you can count such people on your fingers. There are thousands of engineers out there doing cool stuff without graduating to those elusive levels of expertise. Today’s Techie Tuesday is one such unsung heroes, who’s proved time and again that: “You don’t have to be gifted to do great things.”
6 years of work experience, 6 years of coding
Sathya admits he never did any great things on a computer as a kid. He says, “I think the biggest thing I ever did was, I kept deleting files to make more space on my computer and one fine day it refused to switch on. That was possibly the only significant thing I did as a kid with a computer!” But this inculcated in Sathya the habit to learn, it taught him the importance of reading and learning about something before doing it.
Like many others Sathya did a course on Oracle DB after college, and then joined 3i software to work on Oracle technologies. “Databases are the most logical part of a computer program. It’s like a very efficient notepad, which has a lot of functionality.” Since then, Sathya has worked at Logica and is now a consultant at Logica's parent company, the CGI group.
While Sathya is adept at many other programming languages, he still calls himself a database guy. He says, “Even today, I will not claim I know other software languages, because honestly, I don’t! My career in the software industry is about 6 years old and that’s also the time that I’ve been coding as well.”
Do what you like and do it well
“As clichéd as this might sound, I think the only way to succeed in the software industry is to do what you like and do what you're good at. A couple of years ago, there was this craze of being a web developer. And I'll be honest, even I tried my hand at it. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was quite miserable at it! I can't do design to save my life!” said Sathya as an advice to budding software engineers. “It is good to try out new things, but know what your strengths are and back them.”
Today a lot of kids approach him for advice on how to become a software engineer. “If they really wanted to become software engineers, they wouldn't be asking me that. Do it only if you really like it,” advices Sathya.
Just an ordinary guy who likes to help
When asked about his work with the Super User Forum, he says he first went there to check out stack overflow and found it was really complicated. “To get to that place, I wanted to start at a more basic level and the Super User Forum was the place for me. As I learnt more, I also started to contribute more. I really like helping people,” says Sathya. He also conducts the Bangalore chapter of the worlds largest un-conference, BarCamp.
When I ask him what was the coolest software thing that he has done, he said: “Nothing comes to mind really! I do a lot of everyday things at work which is cool, but I really can't think of anything now! “I'm just an ordinary guy who likes to learn and help,” he concluded.
So like we said, you don't have to be gifted to do great things.
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