I was born and grown up in Sakarya, a city close to Istanbul, Türkiye. I saw a computer for the first time at my cousin's house when I was 13 (in 1995) and fell in love with it at first sight. My father, unable to resist my persistent requests, bought me a second-hand Commodore Amiga 500 (because it was affordable). After spending a few months just playing games and nurturing my curiosity about how all those things worked, I met an older friend who owned a Commodore 64. He was doing something magical: coding. I pleaded, "Please teach me how to write that" (the code he showed me was for a hangman game). That's when I was introduced to QBasic.
I spent two years tinkering with QBasic. Then, my father bought me a PC, a Pentium 166. I came across a thick book titled "Visual Basic." Simply because it had "Basic" in the title, I was intrigued, started reading it in a bookstore, and then realized that I could do it.
I created many Windows applications for myself: a batch file renamer (needed for organizing my MP3 files), a birthday reminder, and a digital version of my high school graduation yearbook in the year 2000.
In 1998, internet cafes were very popular in my town. One of them was owned by someone I knew. During one visit, I noticed that he was performing a lot of manual tasks to track the customers' usage times and charges. He was using stickers to mark start times, then calculating the charges at the end. I suggested, "An application would be very helpful for you," and he replied, "If you make one for me, it definitely will be." I spent the next two nights without sleep and developed a basic application for him. When I presented it to him, he was thrilled and immediately started using it. He then declared that the internet cafe was free for me from that point onwards. That was the first time I realized that I could help people and earn money through coding.
After discovering the internet, I learned a great deal about programming. Gradually, I transitioned to web programming because it was exciting to be part of the internet and to reach anywhere in the world. I learned ASP, then ASP.NET, then PHP and Linux. I created more digital graduation yearbooks until 2006 (using Adobe Director). After university, I began my professional programming career at some small companies. Then, step by step, I started working for the biggest internet companies in Turkey.
Now, in my 40s, I'm still learning a lot every day and tirelessly trying out new ideas and projects. I love creating useful things with programming, the best tool that I possess.