Saturday, November 27, 2021 19:58


Amused, I’m self-denouncing myself in this post. According to the principle of “no one is born a genius”, I remember how at the beginning of my life I was daydreaming for a personal computer, although I had no idea of how to use such thing. I was fascinated by technics, by what you can do with a computer, by the countless possibilities that such thing would open for me. I can’t deny it, the same thirst for knowledge and the same ambition of overtaking, to show that “I can” brought me to the point where I am now, programmer, after an epic journey stretched over many years. In school, when I did not yet know what Google is, or how to send an email, and it kinda gave me wrong results when it came to “Start Menu”, i was seeing that guy we were calling “the Administrator”, as a kind of a God.

God forbid to catch you again saving all that crap directly onto the C drive, because at some point you’ll manage to block the whole system, and then, let’s see how you will open your Word. All classes shed there all kind of uncompressed crap and you break the system with your crap!

I was staaaaaring… and I was staaaaring.. and i was staaaring… and I was saying to myself, “Devil himself take me, if I understand a word!”, looking at him with huge serene eyes, with an anime tear trembling in them. That one I almost comprehended. He had other phrases, downright extraterrestrial, which he was reciting as if he was reading from the Qur’an, as if everyone understood his gibberish. Or, more accurately, as if everyone was REQUIRED to understand his gibberish. At that point in time, illuminated by the rays of Eden, I had the revelation: these gentlemen working in IT are a different race of people! Clearly!

Later on, when I myself began planting that seed of “I want to become more than a computer consumer, I want to command it, I want to be part of that special category of people who create, not just use and consume“, I still had the chance of confronting various IT specialists. But with ALL, with absolutely all, things were (at least!) complicated. You were telling them you have a problem, a question, something – who-knows-what program is not working. Normally it would be like that computer specialist to sit kindly on the ergonomic chair and help the feeble unbeliever who’s breaking his/her fingers, stuck in front of a computer that seems to have life, free will, and on top of that, suffer from multiple personalities syndrome. But no. That god computer specialist will deign to descend from his dark, misty, mysterious office where his lair is, after a reasonable amount of time in which he will let you simmer and do your mea culpa, harakiri, miserere nobis and any other phrase to prove to the world that you are a feeble committing an outrageous sin and regret what you did as you never regretted anything and you will never ever regret something in your whole life again. Of course, when he will arrive, either the damn possessed computer will cease to struggle in spasms, or it will continue to speak with three demonic voices, the IT guy will start to give you a kilometer long preach about how you bother him for every little thing, how Google was invented and you could search yourself the answer to such a a retarded simple problem. If he has nothing to scold you about, then he will look for every single damn small detail he can find: either that your desktop is overflowing of too many useless files you gathered there, worse than a garbage collector, or that you run thousands of programs simultaneously that of course will make your computer work like a drunk snail, either this, either that.

But you, shy and with regret on your face, do not ask much, you just want that damn program to work, and you swear on Jupiter that you’re soooooorry, that it won’t happen again, and that you eternally regret that you are robbing him of of time from his precious life. Not at all simple. Step two consists of many you-know-what formatting, uninstalling drivers, swearing, muttering. You sit with your hands behind your back, repentant, in the corner, kneading your hands worse than in the waiting room of a hospital. IT bogeyman grabs you with his long and delicate fingers, specially designed for typing, and rolls you into a gigantic mop with which he wipes all the floor. Or lucky you, at best, he makes fun of you. These guys have a bizarre humor, macabre, which nobody understands. They say, they laugh, they understand. You don’t. Although, I’m sure, a joke about DDOS or BSOD goes perfectly over some real-life situations, it’s just me being unable to get it.

I had no idea how to behave with that kind of people. I mean, do they have a home, or do they eat a carcinogenic shawarma, like normal people do, or do they drink a beer in the club? I always had the impulse to gather some courage and ask one of them: “Are you a freakin ‘cyborg, or what?!“, or to listen carefully if I can hear some android gears noise from inside him.

I did not like them. Just like fear of dogs, this thing can be felt, and they did not like me either. It was mutual, reciprocal and shared between us. With them I was always witnessing shows where I needed subtitles. Without a doubt, it must be the same between philologists, but damn, those people at least have feelings! Conclusion, highly plausible: IT guys are robots. Androids. Can’t be otherwise! If you lift up the shirt of one of them, expect to see tiny circuits that beep and intermittently twinkle. And he will look at you through his synthetic lens, through lines and lines of algorithms, abstractions and other 3D scans. When they die, does their soul go to the Cloud?

Now many years more mature, I’m a a cutting-edge IT person myself. I realized my dream of becoming a programmer, to know much more about computers than the average population, to understand them and speak their language, 0 and 1. I became from consumer, creator. Inevitably, my relatives and all my acquaintances rush to me now whenever they have a computer problem. Russian Lady has a reputation that she makes everything. Supposedly takes any issue as a personal challenge. And it is said she does not give up until she finds the bug and crush it under the shoe.

I did not forget the time I was afraid of IT guys. I did not forget how bizarre and scary they seemed to me. I did not forget how finicky and disgusted they seemed when you were disturbing them in the middle of their Solitaire with your problems. I didn’t forget because I didn’t want to offer to others the same grotesque spectacle. True, I’m getting mad sometimes when someone asks me “how do I change my Facebook password?”, although the answer is one ordinary Google search away, and it’s easy to follow, and although I explained the steps three times before. I get angry when people resort to my knowledge out of laziness to do that job themselves. “Why should I bother myself, when Russian Lady is an expert and can do it for me?“. And I sincerely appreciate those who seek my knowledge out of genuine desire to learn something new. I wish to spare them of learning something by themselves, without help, without a place to find out what’s wrong with their work, without tearing our their hair for one wrong letter in a kilometer of code, as it happened to me for years .

Finally. If I haven’t had taken the step to get over the line that separates the two worlds, the user and the creator, today I would have been afraid to write this article. I would have hoped with all my heart that no IT acquaintance of mine will ever read it. Otherwise, I’d be screwed. Final partition would have been written on our relationship.



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