My story

print (‘Hello World!’), I’m Kosta Kupresak.

My path to the profession of software developer was interesting and uncertain at first. It all started when I was in the first grade of elementary school. I still remember, as if it were today, Dad coming back from Banja Luka carrying my first computer – a configuration that could not support Windows XP but a very buggy Windows 98, a monitor fatter than a sumo wrestler, a keyboard that sounds like a typewriter and an optical mouse whose ball we often used as a toy. I never felt that happy before!

Initially, I spent time using the computer by playing video games, mostly from the Sega256 collection. There were also some Miniclip Flash games and probably my favorite Chicken Invaders game series. We played the last game as a family, and it was always tense who would be first on the scoreboard. Hmm, to be honest, it was tense until I discovered that pressing the F-key activates cheats.

I started to be really curious about computers a few years later. In fifth grade, my dad brought me a CD, but not any. It contained 106 of the best free programs. I was so happy that I went through all of them, installing and learning new stuff. I was amazed by the office suite and GIMP, which I still use today.

However, even that didn’t impact me as my parents’ decision to get an Internet connection. I think I was already in the seventh grade, and I welcomed it with great enthusiasm. The first step was to create a Facebook profile because all cool kids have it. Ah, those were the times, although it’s not any better today, it’s just other networks.

It was weird to have everything a few clicks away, practically with Google’s help all the questions were answered. And my gaming opus has risen to a new level – the online level. That was probably the key moment for my IT skills. Counter-Strike 1.6 “fever” was spreading in Teslic at the time, and I was infected like every other kid. In the beginning, I spent time playing, but the more I played, the more I wanted to advance. A few weeks later, I become an admin on the local server. Dude, that was the best feeling ever. I haven’t been separated from my computer for three days since I got admin privileges. But again – my appetites woke up again. Thanks to the ambition, which constantly haunted me, not long after that, I got the so-called head admin, that has access to all every aspect of the server. However, as before, the enthusiasm lasted only for a while.

In parallel with my gaming success at school, I started programming in the QBASIC language, making my first software developer steps. My proudest program at the time was Quizbreaker, a version of Millionaire written with dozens of GOTO labels.

Programming seemed very interesting to me, like Counter-Strike, so I decided to connect my two passions. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but the result was that in the eighth grade, I persuaded my dad to rent me a VPS server on which I would host my CS servers. This was also my first step with Linux because CentOS was installed on the server, which I later replaced with Debian.

In my hosting adventure, which lasted three months, I fell in love with Linux and coding, so I started learning HTML and CSS independently. I didn’t do badly, I made nice sites for that period, but the main structure element was a table.

It’s already ninth grade, and I’ve become software greedy. I had already mastered HTML and CSS basics, and I needed something new. I was also jealous of friends who had Windows 7, which was unsupported on my new computer. Windows XP was no longer an option for me, so I started exploring other alternatives, where I discovered that Linux distributions could also be installed on computers.

I was very unsure of installing it on my own because it would mean that I installed “ENTIRE operating system.” The environment probably influenced it because I lived in the countryside, where people didn’t know too much about computers. Over the next few days, I watched countless tutorials and read many articles on installing Linux. Terms like BIOS were completely unfamiliar to me, but I learned a lot about them while reading, leaving fewer excuses not to try.

Eventually, I opted for Wubi, a Windows-based Ubuntu Installer, which is no longer supported. I chose it because it installed the whole system for me, where my only part was choosing a few options like the Ubuntu flower. There was no doubt, I was about to install Lubuntu as it has the most minimal system requirements. Another important advantage of Wubi was the ability to delete Lubuntu from the Windows Add/Remove program setting. And so, for the first time in my life, I install Lubuntu, or to be more precise, Wubi installed it for me.

My family wasn’t thrilled with the change, but they accepted it because they saw how much it meant to me.

It’s probably been a week, and the devil hasn’t given me peace. I wanted to install the system myself so that tomorrow I could say, “Hey, I did it.” I remember I told Dad that and asked him what if I broke something. His response was, “Well, we’ll take it to the computer store for repair.” I couldn’t have heard a better answer.

Three more days of reading and watching tutorials were in front of me. In the meantime, my friend burned an ISO image of Lubuntu on the CD. Since then, I’ve tried over 50 different Linux distributions, and over 100 versions of them. I didn’t neglect other systems, so BSD, Minix, and ReactOS were installed on my laptop at some point.

Thanks to Linux, I fell in love with the terminal and learned to solve various problems I encountered. My love for the terminal further led to a passion for programming, so I started learning JavaScript and PHP on my own through high school, eventually leading me to my current position as a software developer and mentor in one of the largest Serbian IT companies.