Friday, April 19, 2024

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The beginnings: how it all started

The love of tech that I possess cannot be graded on a scale. Since I was 12 years, I kinda knew the career path I would take. I remember around this time we were asked by our class teacher what we wanted to be when we grew up and I said ‘scientist’. Back then, I thought a ‘scientist’ was a career path since I used to be excellent in the Science subject. My classmates didn’t help it either, keeping encouraging me to follow on the same.

I had never used a computer prior to this year. This was in 2007. The first time I did use one was when they were donated by some friends of our school from Edinburgh, Scotland, who had frequented a few times prior to the computers being donated.

Later, I remember our entire class crammed in the headteachers office to watch the story of Noah and the Ark form the Bible. I still can remember only one part from the video though, the “…who let the dogs out…” song.

Anyways, after getting introduced to computers by our new computer teacher, Teacher Stella, I learnt how to turn it on and off, play games, type, move the cursor around and just the basic computer use.

There I fell in love.

You see, I’m a hands on person. I find fulfillment in ‘gettings things done’ in a more hands-on approach. I create, I see the end product. The computer gave me this fulfillment in that I would input something and it would work based exactly on my input. If I told it to fly, it would fly, sleep, it would sleep, cancel it did cancel. This, to me, at this age, was rocket science.

Earlier as a kid, I used to dismantle broken radios and create random electronics with the pieces, or mend them altogether. Somehow, my brother and I also once produced electricity from a pit latrine. Those from this side of the world know this one. My mother would have none of that though, no wired going downwards, she said.

I later became a frequent visitor in local cyber-cafes, where I learnt about the Internet, web browsers, paint, etc. Back at my school, I was made the school captain, which gave me even more time to go ‘play’ with the computers. I had found my calling.

By the time I was done with primary school, I was so good with computers that I’d have passed an entry level exam for the subject. I say this considering that when I went to high school, the computer lessons were things I almost always knew about. This made them boring actually, and when the time came to chose the subjects to continue with, as we do in this side of the world, I dropped computer. It didn’t help that the teacher was complicating things that I found easy, or maybe just in my mind, I ‘needed a new challenge’.

At this time I fell in love with a new passion. Instead of proceeding with computer, my high school had an option to study ‘Electricity’ as a subject. You remember that time I used to break and mend radios and other electronics as a kid? Well, now I had the chance to even create more than just radios. A whole new world had been unlocked for me.

By the end of my four years in high school, I already knew my career lay in one of two areas: Electrical Engineering or an ICT field. I remember one of the common ICT courses back then was called ‘Computer Science’. SInce it was a common one, I figured it was relatively easy. I don’t like easy things. I said I’ll find a more challenging one. I went on a research mission.

That’s when I learnt of a relatively new course that had been introduced to a few unversities: “Computer Security and Forensics“. It dealt with protecting computer systems, and investigating computer crimes, at least that part I got right. It was so fascinating to me that you can actually investigate crimes that are commited using computers. What crimes were these? Will I be a ‘police officer’ then? How do they call police officers for computers? This curiosity and my love for the field, made me apply for the course immediately. And having passed my high school exam profoundly, I was accepted to the course.

The story about my life in University pursuing my course is covered in this post: https://blog.blancorp.co.ke/featured/my-tech-journey-part-1/

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