Year 17 is the last year of legal childhood, making it quite an interesting one. This article is here for you if you’re turning 17 soon, to read what a talented young builder went through looking back at this crazy age. Take a few lessons from their experience and save yourself the trouble, you’ll need them!
I’m Alistair. An 18-year-old software engineer from the UK. I want to share what I took away from my year as a 17-year-old.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with computers. Finding out how and why they work, and what makes me pressing the spacebar make that character jump. There are family pictures of a tiny me messing around on my father’s old desktop PC. I dropped out of school at 15 to pursue programming, and at the moment, I work for a company called Hop. We’re building a cloud platform that doesn’t require an expensive certificate or training course to use. I also listen to a lot of music and can repeat a song I enjoy for weeks without burning it out, which some friends have called me out for.
For me, my north star or personal mission statement is something I’m still figuring out. I suppose I take things as they come and (sometimes annoyingly) don’t plan ahead too far. If I had to put an answer down now, I’d say it would be somewhere around not looking at price tags at the supermarket and being able to travel to places without thinking about the costs. I’d love to explore the small, non-touristy European cities, and meet up with great internet friends in their hometowns. I guess I am pretty fortunate that programming doesn’t require me to be in any physical place to work; I can pay for travelling while travelling. I don’t think money buys happiness, but it allows you to make the right decisions about where you want to take your life. It buys you freedom. That can make you happy. You would not choose to be in a less privileged situation, it always makes more sense to have money to ensure these options remain available.
You are likely here because you have high aspirations and want to turn your hobby into a career. Remember that It’s totally okay to not follow the crowd and take the traditional route. There are so many resources available to help you achieve your goal that your high school teacher wouldn’t even consider an option. YouTube, for example, has an enormous amount of free content that can guide you step by step. I recognise that I was never the conventional child growing up, but I knew what I wanted and pursued it. I am still on that journey, and I am excited to see what challenges come my way, how I will react to them, and if I will care about them or not 😉
Disclaimer: This article is written from the experiences Alistair has had in his life. His life will not be perfectly applicable to yours. For that reason, don’t take what he says as law.