When everyone in my grade planned to become a programmer, succumbing to my romantic ideas about the medical profession, I decided to become a doctor. The fact that my family couldn't afford a computer back in 2001 played a non-trivial role in the decision. Computer science lessons were clearly not enough for me to speak with a computer on a first-name basis. I remember in the 10th grade, during a school lab, I was assigned to help the school secretary edit a floppy disk containing a file with some important data. I couldn't open the file for several days. As a result, the school's computer science was asked to do the work instead. For many years, the lesson I learned was using a computer is VERY difficult. When I began work as a doctor, I constantly faced problems in making diagnoses (in fact, my work was one continuous problem). I always tried to find answers and help in articles and books on the Internet, but I rarely found what I was looking for and usually after a long delay. 6 years ago, I was first seized by the desire to create a program to make diagnoses. I didn't have money to pay professionals to create the program. But I had a knack for hard sciences, and I decided to study programming myself on the Internet. I began my studies on the first website that caught my eye, website about C++. In parallel, I read some old textbooks on computer science. At the time, that was enough for me for 3 months, until I came across ready-made diagnostic websites (symptom checkers). Amazed at their quality, I realized that I had nothing to contribute here and abandoned the idea. Perhaps I also let go of the idea, because my maternity leave was approaching and I was transitioning to family life. Returning from maternity leave, I again plunged headlong into the apocalypse happening in the medicine field. For family reasons, I couldn't leave the small town where I was assigned to complete an unpaid residency. The prospect of staying at an unloved job for the rest of my life depressed me more than ever. And then suddenly I was antagonized by my old idea — writing my own medical program. I was 30 years old in 2015. This time I chose the language more thoughtfully. I looked at what was popular, what was praised, and what gets paid. And I chose Java. I read a couple of books à la "Java for Dummies, Beginners, Children, and Grandmothers in 30 Days." And I didn't at all feel like a programmer. I again visited websites with educational articles about Java, following their instructions step by step. Then I saw this course for the first time and solved all the free levels. Anyway, I had heard that in programming a lot of things are made of stolen code, crutches, and bandaids, so I decided I had mastered Java well enough and moved on to the next stage. I spent a couple of months studying CLIPS, a language for writing expert systems. For some reason, it didn't bother me then that no one had shown any interest in this language for decades. I wrote a small algorithm using CLIPS. Then I just had to hook it up to a website, and I would have my own finished project. But the only lessons on how to do this turned out to be YouTube videos in Spanish. At that moment, it dawned on me that to write what I had in mind, I would have to immerse my brain in programming. Gaining practical skills in the medical field is a huge challenge. Practicing on patients is dangerous in terms of the law, and medical institutions never have any money for simulators and phantom models. As a result, poor doctors learn only from books and posters. Sometimes you can also loiter in a hospital ward and chat with the patients. And this dysfunctional process (first stuffing my brain with theory until it poured out my eyeballs and only many years later applying my heap of knowledge in practice) was firmly entrenched in my head. I was afraid to write code... What if I made a mistake?! Clearly, a mistake made by a doctor and a mistake made by a programmer are as different as heaven and earth, but the incorrect thinking had already taken root and I had to somehow overcome my fear of writing code. Then I remembered this online course again. Considering it a way to make friends with a development environment, I decided to fork out some money after all. My saga with the validator lasted about three months. And even brought me some enjoyment. When my friends heard about my hobby, they were bewildered by what I was doing. But other people's success stories urged me not to lose heart and to crawl to the finish line. I had to study a lot on my own (and mostly in English). I shed a bucket of tears and even said a few prayers. And at the end of October 2018, I finally deployed my brainchild to a server. Curious fellow coders can find it at etiona.com. When I got involved in this whole thing, I had never heard the word "startup". Nor the fact that 95% of them fail in their very early years. But time will put everything into its place and give me a chance to prove myself. Maybe a dreamer like me will read my story. And maybe that dreamer will remember some unrealized idea and decide to create something of his or her own — something that the world has never seen and would never see without his or her action. Programming provides these incredible opportunities. Even being tied to your room in a small town, you have a chance to make decent money and become part of a huge community of smart people. The costs of admission are small: a computer with an Internet connection, your time, and perseverance. If you compare this with what is required to become a doctor, it's sheer nonsense. Sunshine and best wishes to everyone! May we all succeed in our efforts! The main thing is to believe in yourself!
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