Monday, November 7, 2011

Life's Epic Drama

Well I was trained as an electronics engineer, or rather, I was supposed to be. I hated electronics, even before I started studying it. For one, I never understood how electrons and the gaps they left behind, which are called holes, made a difference to the electronic circuits. Next, I never fully understood the function of the myriad components which were seemingly added for no good reason. My repeated questions to so-called electronic gurus I knew, first evinced a kind of look that made me feel like a complete numbskull and then they would launch an oft-repeated memorised spiel of definitions and equations. Most would then poke fun at how I was an electronics engineer and still didn't know the basics.

I never understood how I was any different from them, since I knew the definitions alright, but any fool with a little memory could do that too. What I wanted was to develop an instinct, which would help to come up with bright ideas to solve problems. But no one could even point in the right direction. 

Four years later, I have hardly moved a step further from where I was. What little I know about electronics, I knew it before studying engineering. I have not developed that instinct I had intended to develop. As an alternative I tried jumping into the comparatively easier(at least I thought so) field of computer programming. But then, within two years, I realised that my brilliant logic alone was not enough for programming. It required years of practice which I could ill-afford. The other option was to sit for hours at a time programming, which was not possible with the academic schedules that were to be strictly followed. So I left programming for hacking, but even sooner realised that you couldn't call yourself a computer hacker unless you knew programming.

I haven't programmed anything in the past two years, except if you consider the measly little program I wrote, which was supposed to be a face recognition program. Though I stumbled upon a brilliant algorithm from some IEEE papers, I was unable to, or more probably incapable of, converting it into a program. I was able to pass it off as successful at my project review, but that inner satisfaction of having created something was sorely missed.

Now I am considering of buying an Arduino board that costs quite a mint (for me I mean) to start learning electronic circuit design. I don't know if I should be asking my parents for the money or start doing some odd jobs make my own money and then buy it. Everyone who reads this will tell me the second option is the best. But then I see parents giving their doting sons and daughters, luxurious phones, bikes, fashionable clothes, and taking them on foreign trips. I then begin to rethink my condition. Am I asking for things that I rightfully deserve or am I really another of those prodigal sons?

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