Moving On

As I mentioned earlier, my career in medicine is now a thing of the past. Of course, I’m not yet ready to retire, so I’m building another career. This time it’s IT; software development, to be specific.

For people who know me well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Actually, when I told people who know me well about this decision, the word I heard from about everyone was “finally”. Computers and IT in general have been a huge part of my life for most of my life.

Funnily, for most of my life I haven’t seen it this way. I think that’s because of what my father said to me once, about 25 years ago, when I was still a schoolboy trying to figure out what to do with my life. Back then, I was good at two things: I spoke four languages (counting Russian), and I was a very advanced computer user. “I wouldn’t choose languages or computers for a profession,” he said, “for any educated person in the approaching era should by default be good at both, and that ought to put these professions in low demand.” He obviously got the last part wrong, but the sentiment resonated with me deeply. It still does — in part, I think, because I never felt I ever put any “real” effort in becoming good at these things.

Still, without being fully aware of it, I’ve been a computer geek. I still remember my ICQ number better than my parents’ home phone number. I was “the computer guy” in my school class, in my university dorm, and, later, wherever I worked. I have been using Linux for about 20 years. I’ve been running a server at home for ages, I’ve been running my own website for years, I’m running my own mail server now. Several years ago, I found bash scripting no longer sufficient for making computers do what I wanted them to do, so I taught myself Go and Git, and started taking part in a couple of open source projects.

It all felt natural to me, and if anything, the fact that everyone around me didn’t do the same puzzled me somewhat. After all, I’m not a real computer geek, am I? The real geeks are the people who ran BBSs back in the day, they program in assembler and C, they can read raw TCP traffic, they write their own device drivers, right? Right‽

Long story short, I’m accepting and embracing who I am, and making a career of what I enjoy doing. So far, it’s been going surprisingly well.

It took some effort, a fair amount of luck, and enormous amounts of backing and support from my wife, but eventually, I managed to get a part-time internship as a software developer. My six-months internship ended today, but about four months ago I was already told to expect a full-time job offer at the end, and I already knew I’d take it. Living a life and doing work hadn’t felt so good in years.

So here we are, I now work as a software developer at a top-tier cloud services provider1 in Russia. And it feels so good that, as I type this, I’m grinning like I’m the happiest person alive.

  1. I deliberately omit the name, as I intend to keep this website and this blog personal, and I’m neither authorized nor going to represent my employer here. It’s not a secret, of course, just ethics. ↩︎