Any fellow software engineers here?

Just curious if there are any SWEs or DevOps engineers here. I love coding, been coding since I was 12 years old. Started out by making video game hacks back then, coding ended up turning into my career because of that! :smiley:

Unfortunately, cocaine took over my life until about a week ago because I felt like I could accomplish so much more work in a day by railing lines at my desk while doing my work. But I realize that the idea of cocaine giving me more energy to do things was actually a lie that my addict brain would tell me, since whatever energy and focus I initially got from cocaine must eventually crash.

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I’ve dabbled in some scripting with Javascript, VB/VBS, PHP, SQL. Started just for fun, making little programs that didn’t exist at the time. I made a mutiplayer game and some other little games. Later, used my skills to build tools for work and did some freelance work. Eventually, built webbased dashboards and even a product recommendation engine that I almost got a patent for.

I enjoy creating things, challenging myself and trying to do things that seem impossible, especially related to work and automation.

I feel I’ve done well for being self taught and no formal education!

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AYYY NICE!!! I’m self-taught as well :smiley: Glad to see another software engineer here!

I do mainly Python nowadays, but I also know C, C++, C#, SQL, JavaScript, Java, x86 Assembly, and more that I’m probably forgetting!!!

I especially know Java really well, like all the way down to bytecode because of my history in developing Minecraft hacks, and RuneScape bots and cracking all kinds of Java applications lol. I could manually compile a classfile with a hex editor if you gave me a list of JVM opcodes and a classfile structure reference and like a month :joy_cat: I am the slowest Java compiler ever, but a human Java compiler :DDD

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I’ve been wanting to dive into python, seems to be a desired skill these days.

I’d also like to get good at R. I’ve played around with it in the past, but didn’t really jave robust data sets to really unleash it’s potential. That is different now. :star_struck:

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My love has been and still is Gamedev. I started with Basic and Logo as a kid, got into Java and C# for OOP, dabbled with SQL for databases, then ASP, PHP and Javascript for the whole web craze, digged Python, and my current love is the Godot Engine with mainly gdscript.

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Have loved coding since around the same age as you, but into computers my whole life basically. When I was 4 (i.e. old enough to read and understand enough command line words) one of my favourite things was to format floppy disks for my dad in DOS. He gave me a batch file to run, a box of floppies (he needed them in bulk quantities for work), and I’d spend a couple hours having the time of my life.

Earned enough money delivering newspapers to buy my own computer by the time I was 13. That allowed me to learn coding (I could only use the family computer 2 hours/week) when I wanted to, and it gave me the freedom to experiment with operating systems too. I borrowed books on programming and OSes from the public library and just went nuts. I taught myself Java, C when I got hold of my own copy of K&R. I installed and ran Solaris, BSD, and various Linux flavours (Slackware, Fedora Core, Linux From Scratch, and others) to get a feel for them and understand how they worked.

One of my first programs I wrote was in Java, and it was a conversation bot. AI was mostly the realm of academics and science fiction and not at all on my radar in middle school, so it was based entirely on heuristics, and wasn’t that impressive, but it was fun! Though not my intention, it seemed to impress the girl I was interested in so that was a bonus :joy:

I did freelance web development for income and to get some experience learning business side stuff. I never enjoyed it that much because it was a different set of problems than the kind I liked solving, but I valued the experience and skill development so it was still rewarding. Those skills in networking, communication, negotiating, etc. still help me to this day.

University fed the part of me I wanted to feed – the theoretical, analytical side. So I learned a lot of computer science and not much software engineering, but that was fine because employers still value that degree as well. In university a lot of things went sideways for me (though not the academics itself) and I ended up dropping out, but continuing to work in the industry. More freelancing, plus joining a studio here and a gig there and a studio over there, that kind of thing.

These days I continue to do my own thing. I have so many disparate interests it’s hard to stay focused on one project, but it’s nevertheless one of my favourite things to do with my spare time. It would just be dumb trying to count the number of languages and frameworks I’ve used at this point, there are so many and they lie on a spectrum from “accomplished” down to “I have the specification open in another tab” :smile: I just pick the tool that seems to make the most sense, and go for it.

These days I’m pivoting my career more towards cyber security. It’s another one of my interests, but I also want to do what I can to close the labour gap there as a societal concern. Grasping the scope of threat, state of current defenses, and future outlook… it nearly makes me ill to think about. But I’m not here to send anyone into a panic today :sweat_smile:

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Yoo definitely get into cybersecurity, everyone I know in that field makes BANK!!!

And yeah, I definitely feel you with the focusing on one project at a time thing haha. A lot of people have that issue where they get in that cycle of start project → work on it → get bored of the old one and start a new project, leaving the old one unfinished. I’m like that as well lol :smile_cat:

Longest running project I ever did was probably my Minecraft hack, which I developed from 13 years old until like 20 years old. But the code base has been rewritten several times, and it’s still kinda ugly because I haven’t worked on it in a while. It’s an open-source project btw, but I’m too embarrassed of its code to link it here lol :flushed:

I should’ve released the game hacks I made back then, because they were actually pretty good even compared to other people’s game hacks. I had a lot of exploits I found in Minecraft especially that nobody knew about. But sadly, I never released my hack because I wasn’t confident in myself and some dickhead in the Minecraft hacking scene back then was putting me down being like “why would you ever release such a shitty looking hack, it’ll never succeed”. I shouldn’t have taken his comment to heart back then but too late now :crying_cat_face:

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I have the same kind of apprehension when it comes to exposing myself to the coding community at large. There’s a certain minority that seems so eager to find something to criticize about every project, and do it publicly, in a way that makes them look good to their peers at the cost of making the creator look incompetent to the same. I can accept good-faith criticism, but I’m not going to lay down my work as a carpet for someone’s ego to trod upon.

At one point I just stopped sharing my own code entirely, except at work, or contributions to open source projects. I left Stack Overflow as well. It’s a valuable resource, but it’s more work trying to brace myself for the potential reactions to asking a question or offering an answer, than to just keep to myself and teach myself.

I even get stuck on a regular basis just coding on my own, because of this. I feel like things need to be perfect in case someone ever looks at it. I can’t just write good code and revise it later as appropriate. I literally can’t move on because I’ve internalized this intolerance for imperfection that I’ve absorbed from the community.

To be clear, this hindrance comes from me. It’s anxiety. No one is actually stopping me from doing what I need to do. I’m just frustrated that people have so little regard for the damage they can do with their behaviour, creating such an intimidating environment, the extent to which it feeds what people already struggle with.

Hopefully I’ll keep making progress with my anxiety issues, and one day move past this. At least now that’s a possibility… anxiety issues only ever get worse with time when alcohol is involved.

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