Infectious code

A symphony of life and technology

Sorin Dolha
5 min readNov 20, 2023
Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Join me on a journey through the tapestry of life, where programming, family, and personal evolution seamlessly intertwine. It’s a true story that unfolds through a few special moments, each contributing to the mosaic of who I am — a programmer, a father, and an ever-evolving individual.

In the beginning, there was a dream — the aspiration of a young man who envisioned becoming a… railway engineer, haha! Fast forward a bit to high school (in the early ’90s), where fate led me to a mathematics class that doubled as an introduction to programming. The HC 91 machine running Basic there became both the stage and the script for my first transformation.

Little did I know that this would mark the beginning of a lifelong affair with software development. The early days were filled with the sounds of dial-up modems and code resonating from the walls of my room. Programming languages (Pascal, C, C++, and later Java, C#, Swift, and more recently even Rust) ceased to be cryptic; they transformed into perfect canvases where countless ideas rapidly came to life, sparking a passion that would shape my future forever. 🧑🏻‍💻

Fast forward again to today, and I find myself on a beautiful, yet kind of difficult mission — to pass on the programming ‘fever’ to the next generation, my own children. As a father, I guide them through the binary jungles while harmoniously blending tech with emotions all the time. Somehow, I really manage to create a unique combination of logic and feeling for them, which, I guess, only a developer-parent can offer, indeed. 😊

It isn’t always easy, however, to get this right. I’m not the best teacher in the world, and often I simply don’t have enough time to accomplish all the things that I’d like to do for my children in this niche-educational regard.

But we do play as much as we can!

Albert, my younger son, is in elementary school now and he loves Scratch. I really wish I had more opportunities to be with him through all his challenges while he sets up oh-so-many game characters on that platform! He’s genuinely interested in creating complex adventures there, indeed. However, this is often overwhelming for both me and him: it’s rarely easy to write the algorithms needed to turn his otherwise great ideas to any small bit of reality… 😅

Robert, on the other hand, a soon-to-be teenager, is diving into the world of C++. And every day, he’s getting better and better at it. His ambition knows no bounds, and I couldn’t be prouder: he wants to follow my path and participate in national informatics contests too! We often find ourselves side by side, tackling intriguing problems using Code::Blocks and, well, lots of reasoning! The trickiest part? Optimizations. He’s just like [the old] me: once he thinks he has a way to solve an issue, accepting a different approach or opinion proves challenging. However, we’re making good progress, step by step; slowly, but we really are! 🚀

The revolution of 2020 (of Apple’s M1 processor introduction) slowly brought with it the realization that there’s more to happiness than perfect Rust code on a MacBook. A couple of years later, in a serendipitous moment, for an unknown reason, a surge of energy, a palpable shift, truly overcame me. It isn’t a crisis (I hope); it’s just another metamorphosis instead!

Having been married for nearly two decades and now with two sons, my priorities shifted even further. No longer restricted to programming languages and devices, my life took on a very new dimension. Family, friends, and, generally, social life gained prominence. My career, still rooted in code, now dances with the rhythms of this newfound energy, and it is absolutely great to live this change as well, right now! ⚡️

The passion for programming that ignited decades ago has evolved, and while I’ve accepted that I’m not only built of that myself, it is extending, in a natural and (hopefully) heathy way, to both my children. I’m really glad to see them happy, just like I was, and in fact still am, every time when things finally go as they are supposed to:

Jokes and memes aside, I need to say this once more: it’s no longer just about crafting lines of code now; it’s about infusing those lines with creativity, interesting rides, and a good touch of human connection too, all the time.

The language of programming, once cryptic, has become a familiar medium for expressing both ideas and emotions. It’s not just about developing solutions; it’s a wonderful way for me to bond with my children as well! 🌟

Last, but not least… we also need to talk a bit about the big elephant in the… world: the rise of artificial intelligence!

This enigmatic force that we all hear so much about these days is both thrilling and intimidating. Predictions about it weave into my narrative like threads of code in a complex algorithm: will it be all good, or will it be a big pain for us, humans? While I’m optimistic enough myself and personally don’t fear the latter, the possibilities rise both excitement and concern. 🤖

As a father, I must think carefully and discuss with my children AI’s ethical implications, the blurred lines between human and machine learning algorithms, and their profound impact on future generations. My role has expanded even further, way beyond the binary realms that I’ve discussed above.

And this happens… as we speak! But it’s indeed a nice symphony of life, playing out in bits and bytes.

As I guide my children through the complicated dance of old and new styles of coding, of classic and AI-based algorithms, and so on, I leave you with a profound realization: as scary as it is, transformation is truly the essence of progress. Both in tech and… in human life! 💻💕

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Sorin Dolha

Developer • married, father×2 • Rust, Swift, WPF, Web • founder of DlhSoft • MacBook enthusiast • absurdism • EDM • writing from Cluj