Monday, January 26, 2009

Why did I choose to become a Computer Scientist?

A common interview question, although not yet asked from me (thankfully). Most people say, 'because it was IN at that time', 'my parents forced me to', 'I idealize my ....' and so on.

My answer: Age Of Empires II

It was the year 2000 when I got my hands on this wonderful game when I was studying in first year (XI). I was obsessed by the game, it's story line, game play, sound track, everything just settled into me.

I still remember the first mission's clip: "Behold, the horde of Genghis Khan arrives", and I journeyed through Genghis Khan, Saladin, Joan of Arc, William Walace, oh all that history, what I learnt and what this game taught me, all so true.

I loved the strategy making, playing god, completing the missions till I heard Fajr's adan (yes that was the first time). I remember some of the campaigns exactly how I played them as though my moves were recorded in the pages of history.

During those days, I was just a user of computer, using MS word, playing games, chatting, surfing with a calculated usage of internet (right, I typed my mails in the notepad, connected to the net, pasted them, hit the send button and disconnected), maintaining a notebook of the usage of my 5 hours of net. So, in those days I started thinking about it, you could make a software as beautiful as this just by being a computer science student and having the right amount of passion!!

And so I narrowed down the field of my future studies to be Computers, it was never going to be Medicine as I despised being a doctor (although I loved biology) but Electrical engineering or even a PHD in physics was a possibility.

And I am a very satisfied person to be a Software Engineer and to have that powerful feeling "yes I can make (develop) that".
It's possible in other fields as well, arts, designing, modeling, writing, engineering etc. but the diversity and speed that is found in developing softwares is unmatchable. You have all the elements: creativity, design, architecture, process, engineering, mathematics, equations, business, entertainment, elegance, beauty, you name it.

Was I wrong back then?


  1. The creative element is definitely a very strong factor in CS's appeal. In most other sciences, you create models of the world, but in computer science, those models are actually executable; you can make them come to life.

    The thing that sealed the deal for me was a music visualization plugin that came with winamp. The realization was similar to yours: that it is possible to create such beautiful things through programming. As we all have learned, programming languages haven't always made it easy to express our intentions, but that doesn't detract from the fact that it is possible to create beautiful systems if you put in the right amount of effort :-)

  2. It is our oxygen! We eat, sleep, dress n dream in code... But what is so charming in it??? i think the everyday creation we do in it is the real factor.. and it is un expressible to those not related to our field...

  3. I still remember the Sherlock Holmes game you made...that game had real playability rating...tough to find in university projects...

  4. @UTP: Thanks for the compliments. I remember how you ended that game while evaluating my DS project and Owais bhai waiting on the headphones that you were wearing :D

    Thanks again for recalling it and for allocating it as the best game of the batch (13.5/10), yes it was one of my first achievements at FAST and a memorable one.

    I know it sounds like apne hi munh mian mithoo but 'Sherlock Holmes in FAST' rocks :P

  5. I may be not that much interested in computers (except artificial intelligence to some extent) but I'm DEFINITELY interested in Sherlock Holmes! I would love to read SH quips if any on your blog!

  6. @Rhodora I am an avid lover of Sherlock Holmes and there's a history behind this love story. I will definitely share it sometime later along with some posts on the science of deduction. Stay in touch.