3 MONTHS AGO
How I got from Video Games To Programming
Can you recall your first interaction with a computer? As for me, my initial contact with it happened at the tender age of four, and quite predictably, everything started from video games. Hours went by into thin air as I played Test Drive Unlimited demo repeatedly.
Contrary to most people, my intrigue peaked where imagination and reality met. I could never align with the dystopia of something like Star Wars. Instead I was into driving games, imagining that I drive that car IRL. The same rationale extended to the likes of GTA - where I always made different scenarios in my mind, like being a cop, even though all I was doing was just free roaming, while all the missions were waiting for me.
That is why I love computers - they allow me to project my imagination beyond real life, and have instant access to whatever my mind wanders to.
Fast forward a few years, and my gaming was aimed at two specific games: Minecraft and Fifa. Little did I know that because of them, I would start my design career.
In my attempt to create my own Fifa cover, I stumbled upon Photoshop CS6, after trying sketchy editors on the web. Soon I have found myself diving into Minecraft design projects that included thumbnails, banners, and more for YouTube. Entered Romanian design community, learned a bit of 3D using Cinema 4D, manipulating Minecraft skins, extruding and making different scenery. I learned how to color grade, use typography and more using Photoshop.
My desktop from back in 2015 sums everything up pretty nicely:
Check out an example of a small rig I made:
After two years of immersing myself in design, an accidental post of a Messi fan-art in a FC Barcelona Facebook group led to unexpected opportunities to work as an editor with various pages. This experience allowed me to make new friends, enhance my design skills, and dip my toes in marketing.
Check out one of my posts:
You can find more designs on my behance post.
As I stepped into high school, I took a small break from design to focus on C++ and the challenge of competitive programming. However, escalating frustration from less-than-desirable results prompted me to pivot.
Simultaneously, I joined my local FTC Robotics Team. This collective improved my engineering and CAD design skills while teaching valuable lessons in team management and prolific competition participation. It was basically like running a small company. We won numerous awards, and I also won the Dean's List Finalist Award.
Post 9th grade, I decided to revisit my passion for design - this time with boosted skills:
A web app winning first place in a hackathon I participated in triggered a eureka moment for me. Why not combine my design aptitude with programming and explore web development?
For a entire year, I just practiced , built projects, watched tutorials, took CS50 by Harvard and Missing Semester from MIT. You can see a lot of tried side-projects on GitHub. I randomly decided to join Twitter, where I posted my endeavors, slowly building my online presence.
As a testament to my persistent efforts, I bagged my first job as a designer at Landmarks in November 2021. My work there thought me to design efficiently, while gaining essential skills for large-scale project execution.
Twitter brought my work to the attention of numerous employers, leading to my current role at Deta, where I am diving deep into design works for almost two years!
Morale of this story is that life is wonderfully unpredictable.Who would have thought that one computer gifted at four would influence my career options at ten and fourteen?
Go with the flow - you never know how today links to your future.
Life is just a coin flip - it lands on heads or tails. Problem is that you do not know which is good or bad in the present moment. The beautiful thing is that you do not know which is good or bad in the present moment.
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned as I plan to channel my efforts towards building more user-centric apps and features.