Someone asked me a really good question a month ago; one that I thought I had the answer to. Plainly put, it was just this:
Where do you see yourself in the future professionally?
It’s not that simple of a question but it’s something you think your average young adult might have some idea of what the answer would be. I couldn’t think of an answer off the top of my head. I quickly thought of what I’ve spent my time currently doing, what I like doing and what I can see myself doing for a longer period of time (but not for the rest of my life). I’m quite the enthusiast for all things artificial intelligence related, but it’s more so on the side of improving human-computer interactions. Despite my lack of a collegiate education, I have a working knowledge of computer theory and picked up calculus thanks to MIT OCW. Of course, there’s a ceiling that I’m starting to see and it’s (and the ever-endearing encouragement of family and friends) leading me to go towards the academic route for more training into the fields of study that I think I’ll need to continue my endeavors. It’s going to be heavily math-based and I don’t know if I’m ready for it just yet so venturing into it will be fun. When I say academia, I don’t necessarily mean higher education. I might take up private tutoring and have concepts taught that way. I’m not too big of a fan of taking up debt from institutions that can only ensure you get a really expensive receipt.
I don’t know how to have this chat with myself so I’ve (quasi) documented it. I’ve already written a bit about how and kind of why I began programming but it doesn’t really explain why I should continue. I’ve also had moments where I felt like I should stop programming altogether and consider a different career path 1 and in some cases where the industry did shun me. I had doubts about continuing as a programmer. But I still spend at least three hours of every waking day working on some particular project. Why? Because I like doing it.
I like having the ability to make something out of nothing. I’m an enthusiast for art and in its own regard, programming is a form of art; the molding and crafting of idealistic models into something digitally tangible2, something that other people can use, enjoy and extend3.