Confidence and Flash An Ode to Adobe and Macromedia


An event, 4 years back! Year 2005! I am at the Anna University Counseling. Toppers around me. Words of my mom ringing in my ears – “Take Aeronautical…” Words of my cousins – “Take ECE…” Words of Arul Sir – “Take CS…” I enter the hall with my dad. I get a spare terminal. ECE in CEG ruled out. A choice between CS in CEG and ECE in MIT. I went with ECE in MIT because it was closer to my place.

Back to the present. I’ve been regretting this decision of mine for the past 4 yrs now. Why the hell did I take ECE despite a seat in CS, CEG and my interest in Computers? I could have atleast taken CS in MIT. This decision had dramatically changed my life. From a really confident guy in school and the first semester of college, I became someone with very low confidence in myself, somewhere in the middle of the 2nd year in MIT. I felt I had lost my luster and was just another Joe Bloggs. This wasn’t supposed to happen, was it? All because of my accursed decision to take ECE. I’ve always noted that my performance was sinusoidal and assured myself that the current patch was some trough and I’ll soon be back at the crest. But it never happened, until…

Despite taking ECE, I’ve always had a flair for computers. I wanted to learn a lot of programming stuff but the course which I was pursuing was pulling me back to the silicon level of touching and fiddling with components that won’t fit in my fingers. C’mon, I’m someone with big fingers and these transistors and diodes are too small for me to handle. And you break one of those tiny legs of a chip, you are fined. :(

Then, I met a good friend, Achyuth of CS during my second semester. From a casual acquaintance we became really good pals. One fine day, I was at Sriram’s place in West Mambalam. I got a call from Achyuth. He had got word that I was interested in animation and we spoke 15 minutes about it. I had previously worked with Flash but didn’t know anything about programming in it.

As time passed by, Achyuth decided to do a course in Games Programming, while I pursued a course on Maya. Then Achyuth got recruited at Red Octane and he told me to learn Flash well. I started loitering with it just as I do with every other software and slowly improved my skills. We got a chance to participate in an event at SRM University and we bagged a couple of prizes. One in Flash Game Designing and the other in Animation. There was another surprise win for us in the Programming event which won us a couple of Microsoft CDs including Vista.

Then, we moved on to do something for an NGO and recently we did our first freelancing job for a company. We did a website and a couple of games.

Besides these, Achyuth had been developing nifty little games in Flash while I was still learning things. With a half-heart I accepted to develop an online contest in Flash for my department symposium. I knew nothing about PHP and MySQL and the task was daunting. But the sheer joy of working in Flash kept me going and I completed the work on time.

But what do these have to do with my confidence. Well, now that I’ve completed the work, I feel really confident and feel my true self after over 3 years. I feel rejuvenated and am really looking forward to any challenge that props up. All credit goes to Macromedia for developing Flash and Adobe for taking it to the next level and of course to Achyuth for inspiring me.

Long live Flash!