Some people know from an early age exactly what they want to be. They have a relative in a profession who they long to emulate, or they are inspired by someone from a book, television show or movie that they see who sets them on the path to their career. For others like Kustian, though, expertise in a field and the successful career that follows sneaks up on them without their even noticing.
Today, he is one of the highly acknowledged Technology Evangelists within Mitrais, with specialised knowledge in complex Java solutions that benefits our clients and teams every day. He is in demand as a trainer involved in Mitrais’ internal training, and often appears as a speaker on technical matters at Mitrais sponsored events. But is wasn’t always his plan.
Born in Bandung, one of Kustian’s earliest memory is being a huge fan of the classic Sesame Street. At the time, it was just great fun, but in hindsight he is sure that it was an invaluable aid in learning English at a very young age. He “accidentally” acquired a language skill that was to be a key factor in his schooling and the great career to come, but this wasn’t the last time such an accident would happen to him.
Taking advantage of that head start, Kustian went on to study in elementary a high school in Bandung. Immediately following his graduation, he was offered a scholarship at the prestigious STIE-STMIK (now known as Universitas Nasional PASIM) to study Information Management. It was during this time that Kustian first found himself becoming interested in programming. As he was completing his dissertation, Kustian was offered a few month’s work on the island of Kalimantan, and he suspended his study briefly to experience this. On his return, he resumed his studies from Jakarta while working there. After nine months, though, Kustian missed his family in Bandung (particularly his young daughter), and he decided to relocate to home.
So, what to do next? His wife suggested that Kustian might apply to Mitrais. Unsurprisingly, he impressed at interview and was offered a position quickly. Welcome to the Mitrais family, Kustian! But what of this new career? Kustian says “I never dreamed of being in the IT world. I remember the first time I borrowed a programming book on Fortran from my local public library after high school graduation. I didn’t even realize that Fortran was a programming language at that time. In the end, I gave up on the book because it was too complicated to understand. I knew nothing about computer programming at that time. It’s funny to me that, even though I had DBASE, Chi-writer, and Clipper lessons in my junior high school, I never realized that those were programming lessons until I took my study in college. But thanks to those early lesson, I found programming studies easier at college. You could say that life dragged me into IT world!”
But still, Kustian wasn’t sure about his new direction. Although he applied to Indonesia Open University to study Management, he found himself constantly drawn to web articles about the latest IT technology. At the same time, he was fascinated by the hobby of hacking his phone (first Symbian and Blackberry, and eventually Android), and hacking mods for the games that he enjoyed. He was hooked, and clearly had talent in software development and modification.
So that’s what got Kustian back on track to his IT career. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of Mitrais’ leading experts, particularly in Java. In Mitrais, Kustian has been actively involved as a trainer on Mitrais’ internal courses, participated on out Java Bootcamps where other developers benefit from his experience, and become a key speaker at Mitrais’ sponsored events. And, of course, he is a valuable expert in formulating solutions for clients on significant projects. He seems to have found his home, even if it was by accident. But he still enjoys learning. As he says, “I enjoy being part of the IT world, but I have taken several other courses like “Learn how to learn” and “R Programming Language”, even though they are not directly related to my main skill – Java.”
Kustian remembers a great quote from a developer on a forum that he read long ago. “As a developer, we can make the world better”. He never asked that person exactly what they meant by that. But he thinks he understands now – “We are not just helping business to work better, but also the people, society and environment around those businesses”. And, in the end, accident or not, Kustian seems to be in the right place – and Mitrais is glad he is!