Why I learned Coding

My journey in computer programming.

June 2, 2024
Reading Time: 7 minutes

I was never exposed to computers at an early age. In fact, I learned to use a computer when I was already in college.

In that time, I learned to use Microsoft Office tools such as Excel and Word. And then we had a subject about programming that is done in the C language.

At that stage, I was not yet hooked up with programming as I haven't started using it in practical applications.

My First Coding Project

My course in college was Civil Engineering, and through the course, we had tackled a subject called numerical methods. Later to that course, did I realize that you needed programming knowledge in order to implement them in real applications. Numerical methods is a way of solving some mathematical problems with the help of computers.

In the subject, we are exposed to something called pseudo codes, it's like a human readable codes that is not necessary can be run by computers. No programming is taught in that subject.

And so to implement one of the numerical methods we've learned, I tried to use what I learned in programming with the concept of numerical methods. The problem was solving polynomials with 100 unknowns and 100 equations.

And so that is when I learned how to read and implement a pseudo code.

My First Software

Before I graduate, we have to complete a thesis. And for no particular reason, I cannot think of a topic that time that is not yet exhausted in the field of civil engineering.

What I have that time is I like solving problems and building things. And so, for my thesis project, what I decided to do is a desktop application for analysis and design of various structures in the field of engineering.

Using Visual Basic 6.0, that is what I built.

But the best thing with that is, I don't have any idea on how to create a software!

In the previous subjects that I have in programming, we only dealt with coding a bunch of problems and not really applying them in real world or generating a finished product to be used by other people. And so, I learned it during my thesis. Yes, I teached myself how to create software just by reading books and some researching from books and from faculties in the IT department.

Mind you that in those days, internet for me is not very accessible due to lack of financial capabilities to pay for time in internet cafes. Internet in the campus is not yet available so students have to use internet cafes that time to have access to the internet. They do not come in cheap.

With the little knowledge I have, it didn't stop me from asking computer science professors on how to deal with a each particular problem that I encounter, one at a time.

And little by little, I learned how to code by trial and error, learned GUI programming with the drag and drop feature of visual basic and learned how to create an executable file to be distributed.

I never had a clear plan in mind on how to successfully execute the project that time, what I have is that, I only think it is possible! That's how I did it I think.

My philosophy that time is that, with technology, if you can think it, it can be done.

Age of WAP Sites

At the time where web 1.0 is still widely used, WAP sites are the common sites accessible to mobile phones.

WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol. The web pages for these sites ends in ".wml" instead of today's ".html". Also, wml sites cannot be opened by computer browsers, they will just be downloaded if you try to open the wap address.

I started coding for the web in WAP sites. Just showing static contents just to have an online profile.

In those days, there are mostly two versions of websites, one for the web (computers and modern phones) and one for older phones (Black and white phones capable of browsing the web).

This is my first entry in web coding. Not much of programming language since WML is also just a mark-up language like HTML.

Introduction to PHP

In the boom of wapsites, community sites are becoming popular at around years 2008. This is where I stumbled on a community site called pinoywap.net. It is a community site like social sites today such as facebook but works both in wml and html. This site contains various functionalities such as forums, games and chatrooms.

pinoywap.net was written in the programming language PHP using a popular template for community sites. This is where I first encountered PHP and tried to learn making comment systems and the popular "shoutouts" component of a website where people can enter a shout or a comment for a content.

My coding journey is on and off. So I haven't continue coding until recently on 2020.

My First Biggest Web App

Before Google Photos, there is a web service provided by Google. The Picasa and Picasa Web.

Around 2012, this service is heavily used in our agency as means of storing geotagged photos and generating lightweight KML files based on those photos.

However, Google has announced that by 2016, the Picasa will no longer be available and will be replaced by the new photo sharing service Google Photos. Google Photos does not contain the functionality of Picasa for generating google earth files (KML files).

We really need that functionality that time to generate lightweight KML files. There are existing desktop software that generates kmz files but since the images are directly embedded in the file, they easily become bloated making the file so large and not appropriate for sending as reports or email attachments.

This is where I decided to create my own version of Picasa.

I wrote it using what I knew that time, using PHP. With two months of heavy coding, I finally completed testing the web app and deployed it to the web using "Bluehost" as hosting service.

After being satisfied, I finally sold it for more than half million pesos. That was my biggest pay out for a software so far.

Entry into Python

After I deployed the web app, I met someone, the same profession as mine, and introduced me to a new programming language called Swift. We chatted about the language syntax and usage while we are in line enrolling for our masteral. And then we became friends.

After a few months, I heard another programming language called Python. And then saw my friend using it to build a web app.

I tried to learn the language and it's surprisingly easier to understand!

And so from that moment on, I started writing small programs in python. I even applied it to my masteral activities.

I learned it little by little until on 2020, I created my biggest app yet again. A complete SaaS (Software as a Service) written in Python in the backend and a javascript framework (Vuejs) in the frontend.

I created this app to solve one of my problems at work, automating some things and making my life a little bit easier.


I was a slow learner but I still learned little by little. A project doesn't magically come to my mind. Most of them came from what we call a personal itch.

Solving a problem of your own and eventually finds usefulness to other people.

So this is why I continued to learn coding until today. So solve problems that come into my way...

I hope you enjoyed reading!