Memoirs Of A Programmer: Finding The Path

One cannot experience everywhere such exciting life.

My first mentor told me. At the time I thought it was pure sarcasm. Little I knew…

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My home in Tokyo

Two years ago. It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m on a plane from Budapest to Tokyo. I’m heading to suck out all the knowledge of the world famous Bitcoin developer, Nicolas Dorier, to finally take a deep dive into open source programming and to gain recognition by other experts. You know, just the usual stuff: write an email to your idol if there’s something you can help, get a positive response, buy a flight ticket and head to the other end of the world to work yoursef to death without any financial compensation.
But I wasn’t always living the dream, this was just the beginning of my endless programming fun.

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I went to university, like everyone else and it sucked. It sucked so much, I feel like I lost three years of my life. I literally have no story to tell. 1,000 classmates, only six of them girls.
There was also a joke going around that says: “One can recognize a VIK student from miles away.” VIK was my faculty and the meaning of this joke is: if you see some autistic, lifeless geek that must be going there.
Furthermore I was always a slow learner, I felt like I had to put six times as much effort into it than any of my peers, so I did and did nothing else.
So much about the infamous university life. Sex, drugs and rock and roll, yeah, sure…

During a summer vacation somehow I ended up working at a small company, as an apprentice of the only programmer there. On the one hand it was great “Holy shit, I only work five days a week, eight hours a day and I even get money for it!”, but on the other hand reality kicked in: “Holy shit, I know nothing! University tought me nothing useful.” So I dropped out of university and was coding some embedded devices and the security system of some supermarket chains and prisons in .NET for a year, but it got boring real quick and I decided to go back to university.
Not to study of course, but to have fun. I wanted to get back my lost years, so I went to another university with a major that roughly translates to: IT Entrepreneurship. Importantly the gender ratio was in balance, so I was finally be able to experience sex, drugs and rock and roll. It is ironic that this unmotivated middle life crisis induced decision set me up on my programmer career.
I thought I hated programming, I thought I only did it, because I had nothing else to do. Today I realized I did not hate programming, I just didn’t find anything I wanted to code, I did not find my passion yet.

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And there I found it. At one of my very worst moment, in the freshman camp a guy had some weed and said he bought it from the Silk Road with Bitcoin. So I went “This Bitcoin thing is the best thing ever!”

Unfortunately I was not able to start playing with it in a developer level right away. I was not that experienced and the tools were not there, either. Just take a look at a quote by me from my foreword of the Bitcoin C# book:

Every time I tried to do any coding, I encountered countless walls, countless missing pieces and tremendous amount of work that is needed to be done before I could even start working on my idea.

What I ended up doing is trying to keep up with the news, understand and master /r/Bitcoin. I still had my old job, so I kept investing everything I had. I also discovered the beauty of altcoins, so shortly after that I gambled away all my life savings.

Nevertheless life quickly got boring again. Up to that point I haven’t been in a foreign country before, I wanted to go somewhere far so I dropped out of my second university and bought a ticket to Taiwan.

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It’s 9pm. I am laying on the bed, preparing for a job interview. I already knew about Bitcoin for a year or two and spent all of my time “bitcoining”, but this time I had the opportunity to work in the industry, yaay!
It’s 10pm, the interview is ending and the guy says: “Hey man, I got you a ticket to Thailand if you can come tonight!”, I was like “fuck yeah”. So I turned to my girlfriend, I was living together at the time and said: “Babe, I’m going to Thailand.” Long story short: that was the end of our relationship.

I arrived to Chiang Mai, Edmund took me to the home workplace of the startup with his scooter, into the jungle, in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say I was scared as fuck, but it wasn’t a scam. Shortly after that we started to work on Blockchain Identity. I read all about private blockchains that was available at the time. There was not much. The word blockchain wasn’t hijacked by marketers and scammers yet. There was no Ethereum, no R3 and no IBM blockchain, and it was the time when the Bitcoin community was actively cheering for every kind of “blockchain projects”.

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The struggling of trying to find any reasonable use case for blockchains that’s not money made me come to the realization if I don’t do Bitcoin, I just waste my time, so after a few months I went back to Hungary to figure out what to do next.

I did figure out. Take a look at another quote by me from my foreword of the Bitcoin C# book:

A few years later I have pleasantly noticed someone has already done the work I talked about. Someone has finally broken down the crypto voodoo into object oriented niceness.
But my excitement, Bitcoin addiction and risk-taking personality did not let me stop here. I contacted Nicolas, and long story short, a month ago I found myself on a plane, flying to Tokyo to fully devote myself to Bitcoin, learning under the guidance of Nicolas until my savings run out and I have to find a job.

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This is how I started walking on the path of the open source Bitcoin developer.

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