I have always been fascinated by technology, about the things one can do with the right set of equipment. I think my fascination started when I was around 7 years old.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.— Arthur C. Clarke
Our family had recently got a computer. It was an Olivetti. I don't remember the actual model but I remember me and my brother was having a lot of fun playing games on it.
It was magical. I wasn't so curious about how it worked, I just knew it did and we had a wonderful time with it. That was all that mattered to me. Besides, if I would have taken it apart to see what made it work, at the age of 7, I don't think my father would've been too happy about it.
So my starting point with technology was not by the "disassembling to see how it works" approach, it was by the fact of how it could be used. After that, my youth was filled with technology. I learned how I could capture songs from the radio to my casette tapes, edit them and create own mixtapes that I could listen to in my walkman. I realized that if I had two VHS players, I could copy the content from one of the tapes to the other.
It was exciting times. I loved to experiment with technology and see what kind of results I could come up with. There was no one else there to teach me, I just learned driven by my own curiosity.
Things aren't always as they seem
Fast forwarding to when I was 16 and were studying Media Production in High school. The Internet had become a pretty big thing at that time. It was fascinating, but I couldn't really tell how it all worked. To create a website, I figured, surely required some kind of special software that I couldn't afford.
I wasn't interested of investigating more in it because I was focused on other stuff at the time. That changed when I came aware of that we were gonna have a course in school about it. For the first time, I was about to get my hands on this amazing software to create for the web.
The day my world turned
At the day we had our first lesson I was so excited that I could barely stand up. I was fidgeting on my hands like a little kid sitting outside of the classroom, just waiting to get in and start the new adventure.
I had fantasized about what the software was like. It must surely be really expensive. It can only be bigger organizations and certain schools that have this kind of software. I had tried out Photoshop earlier, but Photoshop was only for creating non-interactive graphics. This must be something more advanced and more complex than that.
My head was about to explode with all my thoughts. I just wanted to get in to the classroom and dive head down into the advanced high tech application. When my teacher finally opened the door I bolted for the closest computer. I searched for a new program, some with a cool name like "Professional Website Creator 2.0" and with a shiny nice looking icon. I didn't find it.
I asked my teacher, who had came up to me at this point, where it was and if he hadn't installed it yet. That was the moment he opened Notepad and said "This is it". I didn't take him seriously. First I was just quiet and then I started laughing at him. "That was a good joke", I told him, "Now show me the real stuff". "No, this is it" he said again patiently and started typing.
He wrote some things I didn't understand (HTML) in the file, saved it and opened it in the browser. What I saw made for one of the biggest turning points in my life. All of a sudden I realized it required no fancy software. I had made up all sort of craziness of how complicated it was to create for the web. But this was plain simplicity. I was enlightened. Since that day I was devoted to learn coding.
Code, for me, is in itself pure simplicity, just text structured in a way that makes sense. Perfectly beautiful. Until this day, nothing excites me more than writing HTML/CSS. HTML is the rock solid foundation, the wireframe, the structured content. CSS is the layout, the colors, the interaction. Bring them together and true magic appears. A visual representation in a form that a real human being can interact with. I may not be Harry Potter but I feel like a true wizard. Every day.