Each one of us has a unique story or event that is central to our lives. In some cultures, it is often regarded as divine or spiritual guidance, while in others it is viewed as a mere coincidence or sheer luck.

Whatever interpretation one gives to life-altering experiences, one thing that is certain is that our lives are the cumulative result of our choices and actions. And ultimately, our stories end up defining who we are in the eyes of society.

I often get asked about how and why I chose to pursue a career in tech. Now that I have a blog, I thought of putting my story on here so that my readers can get to know me better. Without any further ado, here’s some background about me and how I became a geek!

Royal College Curepipe (RCC)

Royal College Curepipe (RCC): Middle school and high school in Mauritius

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

I got the idea to start programming thanks to a serendipitous event back in 2009 when I was 13 years old. I was at the Royal College Curepipe (the secondary school that I attended) library when I accidentally stumbled upon a book with a worn out cover: Your First BASIC Program by Rodnay Zaks (1983). After skimming through the book, I became quite intrigued by its contents which looked cryptic to me and decided to borrow it.

At home, I started reading the book properly and ended up installing a BASIC interpreter after a couple of web searches. Following the instructions, I keyed in PRINT "Hello from BASIC" and clicked on the “Run” button.

For a split second I thought my computer was conversing with me. Seeing my first line of code execute gave me a unique feeling of excitement that I had never experienced before. I was in awe that a computer, which is composed of metals, could be programmed to carry out precise instructions and execute them billions of times faster than a human being.

As I progressed through the book over the next few days, I learned more programming concepts such as variables, loops, conditional statements, subroutines, and functions. In no time, I was able to write more complex programs, and what started out as an inquisitive venture soon became a newly found hobby. My curiosity was at its peak and I found myself unable to stop until I completely master the art of talking to computers. Little did I know that I was embarking on a learning journey for life!

When I finished the book, I continued teaching myself programming from blog posts and online forums. I had a dial-up internet connection and I had just obtained my first computer a year before (2008). It was tedious to browse the web with a slow internet connection but I had to make do with the limited resources that were available to me at the time.

I found that I deeply enjoy the problem solving process that programming invokes. More often than not, I would try to finish my homework at school so that I have extra time to work on my programs at home. Code became the medium through which I could bring my ideas to life in the form of computer programs. Since then, I have been programming almost every day.

My First Mentor

Back in 2009, teenagers writing code as a pastime was unheard of in Mauritius. While my computer teacher and some friends encouraged and supported me, most of my schoolmates thought I was weird because of my not-so-popular hobby.

Mr. Woo (my computer teacher) saw that I was really passionate about the subject and advised me to take a look at Visual Basic, which is an improved and more powerful version of the original BASIC language. And that is how I was introduced to the world of .NET programming. Sometimes during recess, I would show my programs to Mr. Woo and he gave me valuable feedback on how I can improve my code.

Gearing Up

Later that year, I asked my dad to switch to a 256 kbps broadband connection (which was quite expensive in 2009 in Mauritius) and this sped up my learning process significantly. I discovered HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and began programming in more advanced languages like C, C++, x86-64 Assembly, and eventually C# thanks to the Ocean of Knowledge I now had quick access to.

As a teenager, I worked on various types of projects like computer games, calculator, web browser, TCP chat application, and websites, among others to consolidate my programming skills.

High School Days

Growing up, I realized that I have a special affinity for programming and I was naturally good at the subject. Back then (around 2011-2012), tech jobs were vastly underpaid in Mauritius, and most of my peers were opting to go into fields related to medicine, finance, or engineering because of the significantly higher pay. I pondered: “What’s the point of earning more money if I can’t spend most of my life doing what I love?”. My principal goal in life wasn’t to make a lot of money at the expense of being unhappy, but rather to build a life I don’t need a “vacation” from.

Writing code mattered to me more than becoming a doctor or an engineer. Consequently, I chose to study Computer Science in high school which exposed me to other interesting topics in the field such as algorithms and data structures. My passion for the subject turned studying into a fun, enjoyable, and effortless process.

In high school, I consistently came out among the Top 10 in the Computer subjects in Mauritius without taking private tuitions (The vast majority of Mauritian high school students pay for extra tuitions after school hours). I ranked 9th in Computer Studies nationwide for the School Certificate / O-Level (sophomore) exams. Two years later, I came out 3rd in Computing in Mauritius for the Higher School Certificate / A-Level (senior) exams.

In 2016, I ranked 7th in Computer Science nationwide for the A-Level exams during a second attempt, and I achieved my dream of becoming a laureate of the Mauritius Additional Scholarships.

Undergraduate Years

With a scholarship under my belt, I applied to a bunch of colleges and universities in the USA where I dreamed of studying, but unfortunately, I was rejected by most schools I had applied to and waitlisted at the others because of a lack of financial aid for international students. As a result, I went for the Computer Science program at the University of Mauritius.

In my first year of university (2017), I was the winner of the "University of Maurtius Code Wars" competition (all cohorts combined) in which participants had to identify and patch a bug in the open-source software Lynx. The following year, I led my team to grab the first runner-up prize for the "UoM Code Wars: Competitive Programming" competition.

In 2019, I became the first Mauritian to be selected by Google for the Developer Student Clubs program. I was subsequently sponsored by Google to attend and participate in the DSC SSA Summit 2019 in Accra, Ghana.

DSC SSA Summit 2019 - Accra, Ghana
DSC SSA Summit 2019 - Accra, Ghana DSC SSA Summit 2019 - Accra, Ghana
DSC SSA Summit 2019 - Accra, Ghana DSC SSA Summit 2019 - Accra, Ghana
DSC SSA Summit 2019 - Accra, Ghana

The conference in Ghana was an enriching experience where I got the opportunity to meet, interact, and network with other passionate students and Google Developer Experts (GDEs) coming from all over Africa. It exposed me to different cultures, but most importantly I got to see things from new perspectives by hearing others’ stories.

Present Day

Right now, I’m done with my undergraduate studies and I’m working as a Software Developer. My current role enables me to spend most of my time coding. This has helped refine my programming skills. There’s also lots of on-the-job training and learning from my colleagues which I’m grateful for.

During my spare time, I write blog posts to document my tech journey outside of my 9-to-5, and I’m also experimenting with more languages and frameworks. Furthermore, I adhere to a workout routine to stay fit, and love catching up with my favorite sci-fi movies and TV shows, and the latest developments in science and technology.


In retrospect, I can happily say that I am living my best life doing what I enjoy (programming and problem solving) as my daily job. I believe that the craft of programming is a blessed one, for it has the capacity to impact our world in a positive manner and on a large scale. What’s even more amazing is that all this is possible right from the comfort of our homes. I am glad and grateful to be part of this transformative journey. Technology is a force for good – with great capacity to help people, and it is up to us to keep it that way.

The Power of a Book

Time and again, I still reminisce about that moment when I first held that programming book at the school library. This fortuitous event, combined with my curious nature and insatiable thirst for knowledge, completely altered the course of my life for the better.

It resulted in a Butterfly Effect which helped shape my identity and in large part contributed to the person I am today. Had I never come across that book, my life would have taken an entirely different turn.

We, as humans, have the ability to create and manifest the reality that we want. And when what we want is unclear, experimentation becomes our teacher. Writing this post reminded me of a popular quote:


Not all who wander are lost.

J. R. R. Tolkien

It took falling into the unknown to find myself. ~ Muzaffar Rayyan Auhammud