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aravindasiva
aravindasiva

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Journey of a dyslexic programmer ? What is it like ?

Ever since I was a little kid I always knew that there was an issue with my reading, writing and spelling, but never knew what it was. I always thought I was one of those different kids.

As I grew up in India, schools didn't really have anything special for dsylexic kids. Well, it wasn't really the school's mistake since most of the folks in the community had no idea what is Learning Disorder or any type of disorder at all.

I was called names "trouble maker", "he is trouble", "Lazy", etc., (names are translated to English XD). As a kid it didn't bother me, rather I thought it was cool for some reason.

During my primary and High school years, there was at least 2 Parent-Teacher meetings where your parent and your teacher discuss about you and your Half-yearly performance with a report card.

Every year at least one of the teacher says the same phrase to my parents:

"I know he is very smart. But seems like he doesn't want to write and show that on paper."

School to dyslexic kids

By time hearing this phrase from teachers started to annoy me as I wasn't doing that on purpose. Started to wonder and ask myself "Why me?"

This phrase started when I was in pre-school where I didn't want to recite a poem or a Rhyme (which was subject called "Recitation"), I was standing in front of the whole class and din't spill a word out of my mouth. So, the teacher called my mum and said "He did not utter a single word from his mouth, regardless I am going to pass him because I know he knows the poem/Rhyme". I have no recollection of this incident whatsoever since I was 5 years old then. But Hey, Thanks to my mum.

Time to read out loud

If you are from an Indian middle class family, You already know that excelling in academics is important for your family, family friends, relatives, your father's friends, your dog, your dog's friends, your dead fish, you get the point XD.

So, as a kid, you are under constant pressure to get good marks. So you get into a good school, good university, good job, good life, etc., the race never ends.

I struggled with letters, numbers, left and right. I still find myself using fingers to count things, confusing left and right. The normal education system was not quite enough for me. I started to use my own ways to cope with academics and I found myself doing a little bit better in exams even though it did not reflect on my report card, I found it easier than before since I adapted my own strategies to learn and write.

Since everything is an image in my head I was drawn towards solving problems, puzzles and arts and patterns. On the other hand, I cannot have an image for numbers or words in my head which didn't make sense.

For example: You say "John Doe has an apple in his hand",
here I can picture John doe, if I already knew him, I can picture an apple, and I can picture a human hand and when you put everything as a picture you have a dashing John doe with a white shirt and blue jean with a red apple in his a hand. Can you see it?

I used to play loads of games everyday in my teenage, and you know how parents fell about their son playing violent games filled with killing, more killing, sex. I wouldn't be surprised if they thought I am spawn of some underworld demon. So my parents were against extensive gaming. So, I went out 9 am in the morning to play games in game center (remember those places, How time flies) and come back home 9 pm (I had my meals in middle, stop judging me now XD). And yes, I lied about where I am going.

Now you know mum and dad, if you are reading this. Sorry πŸ€”?

Most of the games got this classic chasing scene where you chase the bad guy with a NPC or getting chased by the bad guy, and the NPC sitting with you in car or a horse starts giving you directions like 'take right now', 'take hard left'. ahhhhh...and I am so confident I take the wrong right and yeah, I had to replay the whole freaking mission because I took a right instead of left, I have tried to kill the NPC character, but lucky him, he can't take damage.

you said left, Okay right

"I am so good at eating, So I must be a good chef"

Yeah, That's my thought process and decided to make games with game engines. Well in my defense I made some pretty decent games.

Also, learned a valuable lesson to stick with just what I am good at.

So, I decided to join computer science and explore the world of computers and internet. I had a huge rush when I created my first "Hello world" in my university Computer science lab. I just wanted to know more about how does computer does these things. I had so many questions. I must thank those handful of teachers who believed in me even though I was lot of trouble πŸ˜‡.

At the same time, it was difficult for me to type code with basic text editor like notepad++ or something similar where I didn't have syntax highlighting, auto complete, peek definitions, type checking and all those goodies modern IDE provides today. Or at least I didn't know.

Even with modern IDE available today with all the plugin, I was able to develop something good, But I found myself easily get lost in it. So I started creating a mind map for my projects (mind map in my actual mind) So, every time I see a block of code or a function I can visualize which box it belongs to and how it is connected with other boxes. This greatly helped me with keeping track and remembering them. I also stared writing notes and drawings of what's in my head So, I can go back and look at it.

MindMap?

Today I do Web development, API, and even 3d model integration. How time flies!!. I have decided to try and make mistakes. adapt from my mistakes and make new ones. Dyslexia doesn't mean you cannot code. I think dyslexia is rather helpful to visualize your project which makes it better. Coding just becomes a design in your head, In fact Dyslexia was helping it.

Nowadays Modern code editors lets you bring your own font, Code editor theme matters too, Play with it until you find the right one for you.

Use plugins to visualize your indentation, I use indent-rainbow in VSCode

Getting lost with brackets ? Use Bracket pair colorizer

With or without dyslexia, or whatever level you are on, Take a step and make mistakes. Dyslexic? Well, it will help you a lot.



If you have made it to the end of the post I took too long to write, Congratz πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰



Never in my life thought I would write such a long post. Kindly avoid my mistakes in this post πŸ˜… Can't read such a big post again πŸ˜… But, Hey! Well done to you πŸ₯³

This is my first long blog post and thank you for your time reading it ✌🏼
Your comments are very welcome here.

Top comments (9)

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wdcunha profile image
Wellington Cunha

Hey my friend, I don't what exctly to say, but I identify with your story, maybe I'm dyslexic but never diagnosed as it, and I read all your article, so congrats really to overcome all this obstacles!!!!
I'm glad I've know you.
Best wishes!

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garethd85 profile image
Gareth Davies

great blog, enjoyed reading it.

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aravindasiva profile image
aravindasiva

Glad you enjoyed it πŸ€—

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

This a nice article especially on your story.

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aravindasiva profile image
aravindasiva

πŸ˜‡

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hariharanjaganathan profile image
HariharanJaganathan

Blog is great like a pizza . Memes are its toppings :-D

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aravindasiva profile image
aravindasiva

Bon AppΓ©tit :)

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bharan_366d8a183c profile image
Bharani Dharan

I can hear your voice when i reading this πŸ€“

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aravindasiva profile image
aravindasiva

Hello Mic Test 1 2 3 !!

Can you hear me now ? XD

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