You know, I ask myself, am I a tech guy? Like is this my passion? Like what about tech drives me to it? Is it technology itself? The screens, the chips, or the silicon? Or is it the Computer Science behind? For example, the programming, the challenge itself or the idea of discovering how to advance computers.
I'm finishing up college in about a year, and I'm thinking about what I want to do. What do I want to do?
I don't like solving problems in one domain, I like to look at them all and draw connections.
Problem Solving is My Passion
I got into a debate with a friend during my Internship over last summer at Microsoft. We were all talking about passions. He told me that his passion was Machine Learning. When it came to my passion, I said it was problem solving.
He would not accept that. He said that it's too broad. Problem solving is an action; it's not a domain or an interest. See, but the matter of the fact is that is why I chose it. I don't like solving problems in one domain, I like to look at them all and draw connections. One solution can solve multiple problems.
Do I have a tendency to solve things that I understand better? Yes. Absolutely. However, I don't like capping myself to just what I know. Your skillset is not a limitation, it's a strength to do more and dig deeper. It's really about solving those problems that you care about. I don't get a kick out of writing code, I get it from why I'm writing it and what I'm going to do with it once I'm done.
What do I want to do?
This is the question people often ask me. What do I want to do. I finish college in December 2017, and then what? Do I go work? Do I tour the world? The honest answer is, I don't know.
However, I want to take some time to explore what I love. Explore what I care about. It's not money I want to make right now, but more about finding my place in the world. "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."
I want to use this time to seek what is it that I'm truly good at. Am I just meant to be a coder? Or was that just a skill to enable me to do more? I'm no Buddha to understand the sufferings of people, but I do need to know their problems to solve them.
In fact, what drives us to grow isn't our skillset, it's what we want to do. It's the problems we care about. The problems we want to solve.
Here are a couple domains that I care about and am considering the jump too after college. I'll still be a maker at heart, but I know that I'll only be happy as long as I'm making things for things that I care about:
Caring for the Environment
A problem that I've cared about since childhood is the Environment.
Climate Change has always bothered me since I learned about in 4th grade. Don't get me wrong, I might be biased. I'm not necessarily even concerned with the melting polar ice caps or the global temperatures. Nope. I care the most about our air and our water.
When I read an article on deforestation in 9th grade. I did a lot of research on fixing up drought ridden places. I created a little science fair project, a failed one at that called
Operation Condensation: an invention that was meant to mimic an Atmospheric Water Generator using a a copper pipe and Dry Ice.
I read an article about the Bellandur Lake in Bangalore India, and all of a sudden I want to go out and help them. It's disgusting to see what people are doing to a water source. Toxic White foam grows on the lake posing a hazard. How do people live like that? People shouldn't live like that. Our future generations should not have to deal with that!
Maybe I'll do a study on the Environment after college. I've always wanted to do that. Visit the Amazon maybe. Perhaps even help build the infrastructure to combat the atrocities of man-made destruction. Everyone should have a right to clean water and air.
Understanding the Farm Land
I do want to get my own farm and one day be able to grow my own food. I would like to be in a nice village, maybe some where in India. I do think agriculture has a future. In fact, it's disturbing to know that World Hunger is not caused by a lack of food, it's caused by a lack of proper distrubution.
I want to understand the problems of farmers and hopefully educate them.I would like to introduce technology, and see what we can do with tech for them. Perhaps set-up internet connections and see how IoT could empower them?
Teaching as an interest
Education is an important aspect, however, I do not have faith in an education system bloated with exams and competition. Learning is a place for personal growth, not to grow in reference with one and another.
We have to encourage students for divergent thinking and the freedom of thought. They also should be free from Homework and strict timings.
I am considering a program like Teach for America to give back. However, the year long commitment pushes me back a bit. Therefore, I might opt to smaller length teaching roles. However, I do want to give it a shot.
People who I tell my ambitions too think I'm a little wack. I mean, 20 year old guy who has a brilliant paved path to happiness and life with a secure job and salary wants to say no it. Like is he crazy? People would kill for that. Sometimes, I ask myself the same. I'm so blessed to live the life I do. What's wrong with me for not putting my arms out and just accepting it? Why don't I?
Can't Stop Caring
I think it's primarily because I have time and I care so much about things. I don't like things the way they are. I don't like to live on a planet where my air and water is compromised. It's not fair that the world starves even when we have enough food. Farmers shouldn't have to commit suicide. The education system is broken, and it needs some serious work. I don't want to accept, "that's just how the world works."
People shouldn't live like that. Our future generations should not have to deal with that!
I want to help. I care. I code. I communicate. I teach. I work. I don't like being branded as a coder guy because my skill doesn't define who I am. No. Because I can do more. Back in high school, I used to tell myself that I was worth more than just a number. Yes, I am. I think this is no different. I think we can do more than just our skills. >
In fact, what drives us to grow isn't our skillset, it's what we want to do. It's the problems we care about. The problems we want to solve. My true