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Shahnawaz Khokhar
Shahnawaz Khokhar

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My journey to Python and Chipy

My father encouraged me to pursue computer programming when I was 9 years old. He was a seasoned entrepreneur with several battle scars from failed businesses. I remember seeing the him go through those terrible falls and great ebbs of success but he was always happy. It was when he got very sick that I found python and an interest in robotics.

My nature for programming has been a part of me since childhood when my father took me to my first computer class. I just never followed it. I learned touch typing on a Leading edge computer on DOS. I remember typing commands as my father would read them out from "DOS for Dummies". After I graduated high school my father encouraged me to take an intro to computer science class at the University of Chicago, where I personally wanted to take Arabic. Although I took his advice I didn't see the value until I took the class.

I did not realize until I had my own children how much thought and wisdom went into the guidance he was giving me. He had seen a strength in me and was trying to help me realize it on my own. It took me a while, meaning after several career changes and business failures of my own. In the last years of his life, I realized more the importance of looking at things outside myself.

I found Chipy in the last few years of his my father's life. It started out as a means to find a solution to help my father walk. I saw his chronic dementia getting worse. I took a course through Udacity on Robotics that utilized a python wrapper for ROS. It was their first offering of the course and was only open through an application process. Medical science was not giving me the answers I needed. So I thought perhaps I can find or build a solution to help my father walk.

After two years of consecutive application submissions, I was accepted into the program and paired with Ray Buhr. I am so grateful for his guidance as well as the support from everyone at Chipy. It is helping me ground my thinking and grow. I would not have seen this type of growth as part of any other organization. There is a right mix of everything at Chipy!

Top comments (1)

lewiskori profile image
Lewis kori

Interesting journey. I admire your dad and the tenacity he instilled in you.
Great read!