Sometimes, something that is considered to be negative turns out to be an advantage on the
job. Though he is only 18 years old and blind, Suleyman Gokyigit is among the top computer
technicians and programmers at InteliData Technologies Corp., a large software company with
several offices across the United States.
"After our company united with another one last October, two different computer networks
were driving us crazy," recalls Douglas Braun, the InteliData president. "We couldn't even send
e-mail to each other." In three weeks Mr. Gokyigit created the software needed to connect the two
networks. "None of the company's 350 other employees could have done the job in three months,"
says Mr. Braun. "Suleyman can 'see' into the heart of the computer."
Mr. Gokyigit's gift, as Mr. Braun calls it, is an unusual ability to form an idea of the inside of a machine. "The computer permits me to reach out into the world and do almost anything I
want to do," says Mr. Gokyigit.
The young programmer is at home with hardware as well, thanks partly to a highly
developed sense of touch. Mitzi Nowakowski, an office manager at InteliData, remembers how he
easily disconnected and reconnected their computer systems during a move last year. "Through
feel, Suleyman can find the position of connectors, pins and wires much faster than most other
people with sight," he says.
Much of the student programmer's speed comes from his ability not to be interrupted while
at the computer. When typing, he listens carefully to the synthesizer (合成器). His long, thin
fingers fly over the keyboard. "Nothing seems to shake his attention," says Mrs. Nowakowski, his
Mr. Gokyigit is the only company employee who is available (可找到的) 24 hours a day.
"We consider him our top problem solver," says Mr. Braun.