I'm a designer of technology.
A while back, I took it upon myself to learn programming from first principles, with the goal of becoming a designer-software-engineer who could build his own products and start-ups.
But I've recently had the insight that, while on my adventure learning to code, the product I'm building is my blog. In turning myself into a software engineer, I'm falling in love with explaining technology. In retrospect, this is no surprise to me, this is what I've always done; make sense of complex things and explain them.
It's taken me a while to admit it, but I love explaining technology, especially to non-technical people. I'm often caught in conversation, explaining the magic of procedural abstraction, how functions are a great mental model outside of programming, and how computers are more than what they seem.
I have learned and re-learned the principles of programming from different schools of thought. I keep coming back to the finish line only to begin again ever more fascinated with it.
Maybe I'll still become a software or artificial intelligence engineer. Maybe I'll still end up at Stanford or MIT as an adult student. But right now, I'm compelled to articulate the magic I see in programming for the friends and relatives I'm often in conversation with; the adult who believes he's just not a math person, or the grandma who grew up fascinated with computers. I believe there is a way to capture the magic of code and reframe it as a new way of thinking.
I've awakened to the idea that my blog may be my start-up. I've jotted down three guiding principles for this possibility:
1. Write to the beginner and the non-technical person.
2. Explain things as clearly as possible, through crystal clear language and visual design.
3. Never regurgitate facts, but understand them deeply enough to articulate them from a place of experience.
I'm not the obvious choice for the task; I was tortured into getting good grades in math, I dropped out of fine-arts school, I have a BA in fashion design, and most of my skillset is self taught; yet, I'm compelled to tell this story.
I'm writing this post, not as a proclamation, but as a time capsule, an admission of my own interests, no matter how big or small, to revisit in a distant future.