To my fellow readers

Jul 6, 2011

First of all, I introduce myself to my fellow readers. I’m Fareez Ahamed, a person who was impressed by computers from when I was studying fifth standard (well children now are introduced to computers more early now-a-days than those days). ‘How this stuff works?!’ is always a quest for many when they are introduced to new things. I’m no exception to that when I saw what a computer can do at first. It was at our printing press long back when I was studying fifth. The first software that I remember is Adobe PageMaker 5.0, something dedicated to printing industry. It did far better than what a traditional printing technique with very large space and tons of lead typesets can do.

Days passed by and when I was studying 8th standard I had my first encounter with a programming language (obviously its ‘C’). I’m not sure whether I understood ‘What a computer language really is?’ at that time, but the programs such as odd or even and electric bill calculation program were impressive to me at that time. We had only one lab session with only two computers and 30 students, two were allowed to sit on a computer and others should stand around them. One of my close friends and I got those two seats luckily (Later we two are the only software engineers of our batch). I remember for sure that it was my first program, a ‘Hello World’, I never knew then that writing programs are going to be my life. At the end of that year I got a computer which turned out to be my best time pass, played all sorts of games, used all the software that were in it in almost one full year. I got a little bit bored, I felt it was a dead end, I asked myself ‘Have I tried all that my computer can do?!’, really not, I remembered the ‘C’, I took that small C book back, then a little bigger book of brother’s. As I had nothing more to do with my computer, I started reading those books as much as I can, but unfortunately I had no one who has a C compiler to get from to practice. ‘How can I read without practicing it?’, still I read hoping that I will get the C compiler in one day or other. When you are up for doing something especially learning, patience is the first thing you have to know. Say if you are reading from a book, you read the first page, still you don’t understand anything, would you have the courage to turn the next page and read it? (I really meant it to be courage). You have to do that! Read second, third, fourth and if even now you don’t understand anything, turn to first page and start reading again, I believe you will understand something than the previous iteration. If someone says I don’t understand pointers, then I will first ask ‘How many times you tried to understand it?’. I didn’t understand pointers for years, but I think I was the person to read ‘The pointer is a variable which contains the address of another variable’ and those pages of pointers in my book most number of times than any. Patience is surely a great tool for learning.

Later, I studied a course of Visual Basic 6.0 and one year later Java in two consecutive summer holidays which made me more comfortable with programming. But I’m proud to say that I learnt C, the mother of all languages for myself. Well, sometimes you are the best teacher for yourself, you can teach yourself something than no one can make you understand but only at the cost of determination and patience.

I waited for completion of my degree, to start doing something that I have always wished. One such wish is writing. As a software engineer you don’t have a chance to communicate with a large number of people, but it’s possible in writing. I’m dynamic. I have political, philosophical, religious views as much as my view about computer science. But I can never write about those things as freely as computer science. Computer science has only ‘1’ and ‘0’, ‘true’ and ‘false’, where we have the chance of proving what I’m telling is right which is never ever possible in any other topic.

Hence I will write anything here about computer science that I come across, experience which I think others should be let known. Please write to me your feedbacks, suggestions, doubts, or even if you want me to write about something you wish (fareez.ahamed@gmail.com). I limit myself here; otherwise this preface might turn into a blog itself.