Disclaimer: This is a personal story and it's a reminder that no matter how much your life sets back, you can always fight to make it better.
For the sake of the story, I must mention that my first PC had 16mb of ram, 2MB video card and I think I had a 665mhz processor and a 17' CRT monitor that you needed two adults to lift off the desk. I felt the miracle of digital creation when I first discovered the program called "paint" on a Windows 98 and more precise, the "set as desktop background" option. I remember calling my mom from the kitchen "HEY MOM, COME AND TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT I DID".
She smiled and congratulated me quickly before saying "Make back it as it was, before your dad gets home", but I didn't listened because I made something with the help of that screen on my desk.
I created from nothing.
A year and a half later, I somehow got an internet connection and touched the notepad for the first time after stumbling across a basic HTML tutorial. By this time I knew how to quickly turn off the computer when I heard my dad's keys in the door so I was more relaxed on how I'd spend my time on it.
I remember writing something and saving the text file with a .html extension as the tutorial instructed.
"Double-click on the file you created to open it"
...and a "website" appeared in front of my eyes saying "Hello world! Hello Andrei!".
I created again but there was nobody to share it with.
Until I heard the keys unlocking the door.
Unfortunately web development didn't stuck to me, but I learnt Photoshop and 3DStudio Max quickly and tried to make a few dollars by building 3D robot models and making banners for websites. I was so immersed in the process of creation, I didn't care that I was often tricked by people who were asking for the product before the money.
I was too young to have a debit card and too scared to ask my parents to get one for me so I had a local internet friend that said I can use his, but as you'd expect, I never saw any of my money from him either.
At least I had my creations.
Until one day, when my parents decided that we need to rebuild our house and packed everything including my computer which I wouldn't been able to use for the following 6-7 months.
It was a dark time for me as I was an adolescent by then, and without my creative escapeing mechanism, I turned to alcohol, smoking, bad crowds and all what's included with those.
14 years later, in February 2019, I came across a HTML and CSS tutorial again and I felt that magic again and I suddenly realized that it is exactly what I need to do with my life. I must use this process of creation to help other people who are less fortunate than me, to gain access to education, information and eventually a better life.
I once heard somewhere that for every Einstein discovered, there are 1000 more "dead on the streets". If I can find and give one person from "the street" -through software engineering- the support, the trust and the resources they need to flourish, I will consider myself the happiest person and my life mission complete.
Until then, I code.
I am happy.