Welcome to my little home on the internet!
I’m Dhravya Shah, A 16 year old, self-taught developer.
How did I get here?
My love for technology from childhood
But I didn’t make much use of the love for tech, until I got in 9th grade, in the summer vacation, I finally got introduced to programming as I know it (not the school-based one), when one day I was bored, playing pirated GTA vice city on a very old desktop computer we had, and I wondered how exactly games like GTA are made (I had no idea how difficult it is to make a game). So I started learning how to “code” (at that time, I knew nothing about programming, I didn’t know anything about programming languages, I just wanted to make a game)
My love for learning and mistakes while learning
But well, this didn’t quite turn out as you’d expect (not some miracle story where I actually managed to make a clone of the most popular game of the time), I think I jumped in a little bit too hard, with literally 0 knowledge or assistance from anyone. I really wanted to make a game EXACTLY like GTA Vice city, and once I couldn’t get it to work (obviously, I didn’t even know that I’m programming in C#), I just gave up.
I learnt a very little bit of programming then, but that was enough for a start. Because this is where a really big chapter in my life begins. A couple months after that, the Coronavirus outbreak took place. Forced to stay at my house (not that I went out that much anyway), I got addicted to playing mobile games. I also got a laptop - it was a really, really really old Dell laptop, but just a little better than our desktop computer. I got bored when my friends weren’t here playing mobile games with me. So bored, in fact, I spent much of my time on Youtube, endlessly consuming content.
As luck would have it (almost as if it was destined), the youtube algorithm introduced me to the Python programming language - easy to read, understand, powerful, “amazing for beginners”. I sat through the entire 6-hour long course (it actually took me 13 hours to complete it, but I did it non-stop) of Mosh Hamenadi
This was the time when I used to learn to code in between the online classes (and not really paying attention to the lectures), and I was really enjoying it. I also explored some real game development, but didn’t quite like it too much (perhaps because my laptop kept crashing and I couldn’t get it to work). It was a time when I thought I can make anything with programming and I know it all (all beginners go through that). I used to write really bad code, sometimes not even understanding what I am actually doing (the tutorial hell, I know). But I learnt a lot of things, and I was really enjoying it.
But then, because of a lack of motivation (I had no programmer friends, no peer pressure, no projects to do, nothing like that. I literally just used to complete those tutorials), I took a break from programming, for a couple months.
The power of Communities and how a social media platform changed my life
This “break” of mine wasn’t really productive at all, still in the midst of a pandemic, I got introduced to Discord. Somehow, I stumbled upon a community called The developer den. I met a lot of amazing people there, and then I joined another community called the Coding Realm.
I found a lot of interest in making discord bots, (even though, honestly I didn’t know anything about async programming, tokens, Git/Github, databases, etc.), and this was the first big project of mine where I learnt a lot, lot of things. A LOT of things. I created a discord bot called Spacebot and it was quite the learning experience, rewriting the god-aweful code I wrote, rewriting the entire thing from scratch 6 times in total - from using JSON as the database, to MongoDB, then SQLITE, MySql, changing the structuring of the code, from it being one file only to using
Cogs. Open sourcing the bot, figuring out hosting, and all those challenges that come with it.
When searching for a free hosting for the discord bot, I came across
Epikhost - where I met and made amazing friends, climbed up the ladder to become the co-owner of the little hosting service, (which we later sold to another hosting providers because of several issues, but that’s a story for another time).
There, I not only learnt how servers work, how to handle over 5000 members (users), but I also learnt about Entrepreneurship - when we were at really low times, since we were a free hosting service, we had literally no money, and had to keep arranging for some from outside.
This was also the time when I realised that I should really start making a personal branding, so I started working on my twitter profile, and it surely did bring a lot of opportunities - cruip gave me the chance to become their ambassador, I made a tweet about Docker that blew up.
I also created my own programming community, along with some other friends i met through discord bot development -
The Coding Horizon where I made amazing friends like nexxel, Spacebar, Om, Cloudedquartz and all the other amazing, amazing members of our very small community.
This was the time when I started learning web development, received the Github Student Developer pack (It’s quite the story). I started freelancing, and now, I had something to be proud about myself, and I am proud of it, everything, even though almost all of it is just me getting very lucky.
The power of the internet - how writing blogs helped me
I have been blogging since … 3 years now, more time than I’ve been programming. I am really passionate about science, so me and one of my friend, Sushant started writing a little blog called Smort I’m really passionate about Space-related stuff, so many of the blogs are about it.
Then, I started blogging on Dev.to and boi oh boi, I was really enjoying it. It also brought a lot of opportunities to my life. Remember the docker tweet? I wrote a blog on the same, and it blew up!!! Here’s that post.
I’ve been working on this blog a lot lately, mainly because I know that one day, all this content I write for myself will pay off, and even if it doesn’t, it would be a really really good time freeze for me, so I can look back at it and see how much I’ve learned, how much I’ve grown.
So well, that’s it. This was probably too big, but I hope you enjoyed it. This is still just the start of my journey, and there’s a lot more to come. I hope you’ll join me in the journey, and be a part of it.
If you wanna know what I’m doing now, visit my Now page