If you love something, vow to never touch it again and see what happens
A tale of falling in and out of love with my passion
Back in high school, everyone thought I was going to come out with a computer science degree. Instead, I finished with a set of arts and business degrees. I tried taking computer science classes but they were just not my thing. In fact, I hated it so much that I vowed to never touch code ever again.
Yet, I gravitated back to it. I tinkered and experimented. I created and coded until I accidentally landed a job as a junior developer for a transport startup. Initially, I was supposed to be in marketing.
The rise and fall out of love
I was too young and naive to understand my calling but my boss knew better. He could see the passion and my slight obsession to learn. I was driven but not enough to sit through a traditional programming class.
I ended up rebuilding the entire front end for the mobile app over 6 months of pitching and coding. I made interfaces and connected them to APIs. I did a bunch of things that no longer exists now. I led projects. I organized teams. I was the driving force behind 90% of everything code related.
From the time I started my job to the day I lost my job due to closure, the company morphed and changed. There was a constant cycle of senior management and no concrete decisions were ever made. We always had to wait for someone. With every change in management, projects stopped moving and I started to spend more time attending to drama than actual coding.
The hours quickly followed me home and I lost the pockets of time usually dedicated to side projects. I began to hate my first love with a great passion. I mixed and melted my frustrations and lack of learning with the issues I faced at work.
When it all culminated with a phone call from HR and the finance manager explaining the decision to shut down the company, I made the same vow I did 5 years ago.
I vowed to never touch a line of code ever again.
The hiatus and missing my first love
I initially went searching around for something else to do with my time. I’ve always gravitated towards entrepreneurship but didn’t quite understood what that meant.
I attempted reselling. I attempted dropshipping. I attempted everything under the sun that promised to make me a million dollars. But as the days rolled by and the bank account rolling down, I began to miss the act of coding.
It’s was a strange kind of yearning — the kind that sat in the corner waiting patiently to be acknowledged. I could see it out of the corner of my eyes, staring at me like a smart black cat sitting on a wall.
It was in November that I caved — 4 months after the decision to never code again.
It started with an idea and that idea needed a core skill I have in order to make it a reality. I needed to code.
Tracking on Twitter
I posted my decision to start coding again on Twitter.
No one I knew saw it except my old manager. During my time working with him, he was sort of like my mentor. The man had a habit of keeping an eye out for what I was up to.
His status likes turned into silent cheers of encouragement.
I worked on the project every night after the child went to sleep. It didn’t take me long to rekindle the love I have towards problem-solving, of seeing the entire system come together. I felt like Tony Stark visualizing some crazy complicated schematic.
Over the new years, I coded. Now with the end project in sight, I feel excited.
It’s been years since I’ve completed something from scratch. It’s been years since I’ve been able to call a project my own. Now with the first part nearly completed, I feel a sense of anticipation and joy.
The thing with work projects is that I had no ownership over anything. I sold my time for money. But this project — this is my baby. It is my pure and beautiful baby, untainted by external micromanagement and office politics. I am in charge of its destiny and quality — and that’s something work never lets me do.
There’s something special about creating something from scratch. It’s a mixed bag of happy feel good feelings. There’s something even more special about it when you know it’s yours.
Happy feelings only
While the project is not quite finished yet, I’ve never felt more passionate in the past 5 years about something.
It’s sort of like that old, overused saying — if you love something, let it go.
Or in my case, vow to never touch it again.
Yet, here I am.