Thilak Rao

I’m 28 years old, self-taught JavaScript developer. I grew up in sunny Mangalore (India) before relocating to Amsterdam (Netherlands).

My dad, grandpa, elder sibling and mom were all into electronics. I grew up watching my father tinker with printed circuit boards. Fixing old radios and television sets for a subsistence. From a young age, my father would ask me to categorize resistors, capacitors, ICs while we visited his electronic supply store. It sparked an interest in electronics, and I built a lot of cool electronic hobby projects in high school.

But all that changed when my brother learned about low-cost reprogrammable microprocessor in 1999. We were quick to jump on the bandwagon, and it helped spare time spent while prototyping. No more tinkering with soldering iron, we could do most of it with code. No more designing printed circuit boards with OHP sheets and tapes, we could use ORCAD. Felt good!

We got our first dial-up modem in 1997. It was painfully slow by modern standards (9.6 kbit/s), but it was just as apparent that distribution costs of knowledge had drastically reduced. We could replace a whole rack of electronic components datasheets, and just download it from the internet.

I started my first website in 2003, and by 2005 I moved to WordPress and had my virtual private server serving up to 200K visitors each day. AdSense helped me earn a nice side income in high school. It also helped me pursue my interests in web development and motorcycles.

But Why Did I Start Writing This Stuff Here?

In my formative years, my mother emphasized on being interested in what I was learning. Writing about what you learned, makes you a better writer, thinker. A personal journal helps you look back, and it is the closest feeling of time travel.

It’s also the joy of sharing, I guess. I owe much of what I know today to some beautiful humans, who documented their wisdom and shared it with the world!

Books That Helped Me Think Better

Software Engineering

UX / Human Factors


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