And one of my friends who wanted to see the recently established campus of a fancy private school, took a bunch of us in his car and we basically had a group trip to get to know the place.
I will forever be grateful with my friend for that trip on his car. Not only was a really good time with my friends, but it made me curious about just having the possibility to study there!
This was a really expensive place to study at. Tuition fees were waaaaay waaaaaay waaaaaay beyond my family's financial capabilities. It was certainly a long shot, but being nudged by my friend to take the test and see if I could score a scholarship there, I tried.
So there I was, after my parents agreed to a plan, and taking up a credit with the school, I would become an Engineer there...
Stuff wasn't really easy during the first 2 years. I lived pretty far away from school and being there early, doing homework and trying to do some extracurricular activities was kind of draining. I wasn't the brightest, nor was I the one with the highest quality of assignments being turned in. And this wasn't easy to swallow. I wasn't used to "not being able to deliver".
At that time I was also pretty active into the LDS Church, and I was at an age at which you turn into a Missionary and get sent for 24 months to serve. So I did.
I spent 24 of the most fantastic months of my life in the Boise, Idaho area. I am no longer an active member of the Church, but that is another story I guess 😬.
So I came back, the school took me in again and we started our credit once more. This time though, something was different:
For starters, I felt like I was a tiny bit more mature, and I think the Mission actually helped a little with my classes and study habits.
On the other hand was this agreement with my dad's employer. The company would pay for part of my tuition fees and I would basically be an intern with them as long as I was a student.
So now I was 2 years older, basically had a part time job and was a full time student. I learned so much from the people I worked with in there. I was part of the IT team (yeah, including the whole "have you tried turning it off and on again?" 😅).
But I also really liked programming, and expressed that to my boss. So he tasked me with a change on their in-house kind of ERP system they had built from scratch in PHP. I did that one and got another assignment, then another more difficult one... and so on and so forth.
I started rewriting parts of the system little by little and learning a ton of stuff while doing so (like just how difficult it was to keep the browser compatibility on the UI if you were targeting IE6, Chrome and Firefox at the time shivers).
VCS was not implemented in there, but I had learned about SVN on a side project I was also working at the time so I pitched it and we started using it! This was a huge win for me at the time, and felt so nice to be able to improve the development of their system even if by a little bit.
A lot of other stuff was going on in there and I learned about creating computer images to speed up the set up of new machines for the staff, a little bit of Active Directory configurations, giving remote support, windows server configs... good times indeed.