Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Whose code is it anyway!

Coding is an esoteric art. Either you have it, or you don't. Training can only polish you, only add value. It cannot create value from scratch. Well, this is the general feeling among the developer community across domains, companies and technologies. Every developer seems to have a favourite technology, and by freak chance if they happen to work on the same, it is the icing on the cake.

I too had similar thoughts about coding done in the IT companies. But what is an Instrumentation engineer doing in a software consultancy firm? To find answer to it, I will have to walk down the memory lane. It all started with an advice from a neighbour I had. He told me in a genial sort of way, " Take up instrumentation. Lot of opportunities in the gulf." I don't know what thoughts crossed my mind at that point in time. May be the malayalee in me was so enamoured by the word "Gulf" that he did not look further. Instrumentation it is. My fate was thus sealed.

Having made it to the Instrumentation course of a good state level college meant that somehow the inner demons about career aspirations were taken care of. But, every time a demon was exorcised, another one sprang up, each a bigger monster than the previous one. It was a little too late when I realised that I hated instrumentation. I hated the subjects and I hated the course. I completed engineering, though. But most of us here would know that passing a subject and knowing about it are different ball games.

One of the few courses that I liked was C . I dreaded all the other subjects. Finally, the tumultuous existence came to an end. I returned home, weary and battle scarred- but victorious. I also brought home a trophy- A job in a coveted Software consultancy firm. The MNC glory gave a fresh lease of life to my dreary existence. People who mocked me during my engineering days sent their kids to me asking for tips to crack interviews. That was really nice. Especially when I could give tips to girls. The look on my mom's face when I was mentoring them was simply priceless.

Although coding and writing are art forms, they are as different as chalk and cheese. I can't seem to make up my mind on which is chalk and which is cheese, though. A difference from my perspective is that it pays my bills, all of them. Writing doesn't. Coding even picks up the bills of my beautiful friends, girls, obviously. Guys, no free dinner for you. You pay for your own mess.

But there remains a question to be answered. Is there anything I like more than coding? Yes, writing. Do I write well? I think not, but I certainly will continue writing. For my own pleasure, however selfish that may sound. So, for some time time I will continue to ask, " Whose code is it anyway"


  1. As a fellow coder who starts the day with praying that network is not down, ends with thanking all those real coders from whom i so blatantly copy, i can only sit back, read this article and smile.

  2. Yes!!...the Coders from earth are blessed by the snippets that occassionally rain from the "clouds"...