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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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When did you know you wanted to be a software developer?

Discussion (50)

polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

I joined my father to the university he worked at when I was 4. It was an open day, and they had lots of computers. When I was 8 years old I (finally!) got my first computer, an Oric1 with 48K of RAM - This was in 1982. I never really strayed away since then ... ;)

aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese

I'll See your Oric1 and I'll raise you an Apple IIe (in the Apple shop) or a TRS-80 which was my first home computer (2nd hand and cost my Dad £200 in 1979: Equivalent to £1200 today with 1K ram and 200 baud tape deck.)
I think I decided that I really wanted to code in 1988 after I wrote a program in DBII to manage the results of our local running club annual race. I was 18 and had been studying It at Junior college for 6 months and built a commercial grade application. Well chuffed.

polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Nice! I didn't intend for it to be a competition though. My father died when I was 5, and I didn't know him that well, so I made him into this fictional figure in my head, where I could never be as good as him, driving me way beyond what's "healthy" one might argue. Even though it ended up having a "happy ending", it's really a sad story ...

These days were amazing though for kids like us; The end of the 70s and the early 80s that is. Most computers came with instructional manuals we could read to learn coding, and it was very easy for us to express ourselves creatively in code. I feel sorry for the kids of today when I think about how much more difficult it has become to experience the same as we did ...

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Stan ku2ck4

When I was part of the startup industry in Asia and found out that the traditional way of thinking in marketing and growth does not provide the needed results. It led me to growth hacking strategies where automation and handy Python scripts were shortcuts to successful customer acquisition.

inhuofficial profile image

I was playing with excel macros and managed to save hours consolidating a load of data.

At that point that rush of “wow I could save so much time and solve many problems” kicked in and I had to learn software development…the tools and language I use might have changed, but that rush of solving a problem and saving time or creating something beautiful has never gone away.

tmchuynh profile image
Tina Huynh

If you count when I didn't know what a software developer was, then in elementary. But realistically, in my second year of college.

isnopitag profile image
Javier Carmona

Tl;DR SciFi Cartoons

I started to be interested on computers since I watched Dexter's Lab on Cartoon Network, on my Elementary School I learned the basics about using a computer, but I think I was fascinated with a French cartoon called Code Lyoko where one of the protagonists discover a super computer on a abandoned factory near his school

lukeshiru profile image
Luke Shiru

I had kinda similar experience. Dexter's Laboratory was such a great influence in that regard <3

booboboston profile image
Bobo Brussels

I had the idea that I wanted to make games from a young age. I didn't wind up fully getting into game development, because as an adult I saw how brutal game dev is itself, so I got into web dev.

I could see myself doing a bit of indie game dev still. 😄

mostertdevwork profile image
Dominic Mostert


auroratide profile image
Timothy Foster • Edited on

I became interested in programming thanks to graphing calculators, but I think what signaled to me that this was something I could actually do was when I was appointed as a so-called "superguru" on Wikidot, a now practically-dead web platform.

The recognition was a big inspiration to the high-school version of me.

mamirazmi profile image
Muhamad Amir Azmi

I have expose to programming since my bachelors degree. But the moment I got into motorcycle accident during labour work 6 month after graduating makes me realise, I not fit to do labour work and I love to do C and Assembly programming during my study.

So, during my recovering time, 3 days, I do some self reflection and decide to start my software development journey with web development.

And now, 2 years later, I become a frontend developer for almost 2 years already.

rida profile image
Rida F'kih

I learned to code because I was cheating on trivia games that rewarded money like HQ trivia by reverse-engineering their APIs and creating bots to help me win.

Once I got bored of that, I moved onto tech support scammer vigilantism.
After that, I started building personal fullstack projects.
Moved onto teaching kids to code.

THEN one day, on a whim, I decided to start applying for work.

I was always just a hobby for me, right up until the day I got my first job offers, and I'm so glad it ended up that way.

I love what I do. 🥰

lukeecart profile image
Luke Cartwright

I loved maths and I loved IT. I combined them and began a computer science degree with little programming knowledge. I knew this was what I wanted to do when I was able to build my first simple HTML site. I was learning HTML from codecademy and was using windows Notepad app (I've learned since the beauty of VS code). It was amazing how I could create a website just using notepad and adding an extention of .HTML. Mindblown.
Then I discovered react and depoyment and Typescript.... Now I'm a full stack software engineer. It's amazing looking back at those notepad days now deploying code for 10,000 users..

aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese

my first website was written in PERL 3 and used CGI (Common Gateway Interface). 1998 I think.

kobayashicomputing profile image
Andy Anderson

Spring Quarter (do any universities still use the Quarter system?) of 1981. On the third day of “Intro to FORTRAN” I went and changed my major to Computer Science and never looked back. It was absolutely the right choice.

john4650hub profile image

4 years ago(i was about 13) and we had moved into a new place. It was so hard to make friends so i spent most of my time online reading about new things. One day an ad popped up informing me about online software courses. That was it.
Ever since that day i have never stopped coding, however small or big the problem might be like creating files, sorting data, creating games to show off at school. By the way ever since i started coding, my grades in math have greatly improved and also my reasoning

gklijs profile image
Gerard Klijs • Edited on

My earlier enthusiasm to go doing research after university died out, as is seemed much less attractive then I first thought it would be.
As part of my master I did an internship with an IT company. After that I was sure I wanted to continue doing that after university.

lukeshiru profile image
Luke Shiru

I always loved tech and science (as a child I watched shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Beakman's World, The Magic School Bus and so on), and when I first heard about this "software developer" profession that involved creating stuff with the computer, I just had to be one. At the beginning it was kinda hard, but I knew this is what I wanted to do, so I just kept going until I got the hang of it. Good thing about it is that I'm literally in my "dream job" :')

jayjeckel profile image
Jay Jeckel

I was about six years old and got grounded from playing on my new Nintendo Entertainment System. Being bored I started drawing Mario characters and pretending I was playing the game. Somehow while doing that it clicked in my head, "if button press, then Mario jumps". If-then always stuck with me and years later when a friend got me into softcoding on Mushes, it was over, I was hooked on coding for life.

dumboprogrammer profile image

Well, when I was 7 my father gave me a computer running windows xp and I was completely mind blown by it's capabilities and since childhood I have stuck with it because computers are what I like to do so why not stay here

birki profile image
Marcel Birkenkamp

Saw an ad for it school, applied and was accepted, learned c, c++, html, php, assembler and hated everything about it so my plan was clear: become a consultant. Then, along came java and it grew in me, even though everybody said it was slow, it was bearable. After school i applied for consulting jobs but only got a programming internship (paid), and that was it. It‘s been 18 years since and i am eager to teach young collegues and try to look for the same epithany in their eyes that i had.

mellen profile image
Matt Ellen

In my early teens I wanted to get into game development, then in my later teens I thought I'd be the one to crack generalised AI, finally in my early twenties I found that AI and the academic life were not for me and I gently slid into regular dev work.

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Brandon Bridges

I built my first PC at 7 and my first website at 11. I had a rough childhood so used to shut myself away with my headphones on to drown everything out.

I ended up picking up a lot of code-related skills and got my first professional job at 16.

Been obsessed with code and software ever since. It saved my life!

foxy4096 profile image
Aditya Priyadarshi

9 yrs ago when my father brought a computer, and seeing the tech guy installing windows Vista on it made me fell in love with computers,

So I wanted to know how these things work and that got my intrest in these.

I can't forget that moment

miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot • Edited on

Clive Sinclair released the ZX80. I had to understand this sci-fi stuff! I wasn't allowed one until the ZX81 was released though...


aarone4 profile image
Aaron Reese


waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker

I loved computers from a young age, but as a farm boy from Iowa I dont think I knew software developers existed, or thought they were all Bill Gates at Woz Genius level from the documentaries I had seen. It probably wasn't till my mid 20's when I realized that normal people make greate careers out of software.

mmuller88 profile image
Martin Muller

In the first week in my internship working as a developer.

citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl • Edited on

Pretty much after writing

10 print "Hello, world"
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

on my C64. I wavered for a bit and considered different careers through my late teens and early twenties but I always came back.

varadananeesh profile image
varadanAneesh • Edited on

I got my first computer when I was 16 in 2011. I got internet when I was 20 because of Jio and began learning computer science when I was 24. In India back in the day you had to pay 1000 rupees for just one gb of data per month. Now I am 25. I belong to a middle class Indian family.

sheikh_ishaan profile image
Ishaan Sheikh • Edited on

In my high school (2014), when i learned about HTML.

cwraytech profile image
Christopher Wray

When I finished my first web app after teaching myself (sorta) how to code. Love being able to build stuff with just a computer people can use everyday.

memoryinject profile image
Mahesh MS

Back when I was in school and modified configuration file of GTA Vice City.

delia profile image
Delia Ayoko

I was about 7. My parents kept the desktop in their bedroom, so we usually played Zuma there. One day, we pressed multiple keys till the screen was inverted. No one could fix it, so my parents got mad at us and asked us never to touch that desktop. I wasn't sad because we inverted the screen, but because I couldn't fix it. That pushed me to know more about computer science, and when I turned 11, I got so much interested in developing mobile apps, websites and web apps.

rajeshroyal profile image
Rajesh Royal

I never thought about becoming a software engineer, but I was in love with computers and eventually become one 😄

bias profile image
Tobias Nickel

After I thought, that I might not become a game tester for a magazin.

jpk profile image

When I got accepted into my training as a developer 😅

j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

I was 12yo,i wrote in my graduation book that I wanted to be a computer engineer. Here I am now at 30 with a CE degree, fulfilling my little kid dream. That's insane!

souksyp profile image
Souk Syp.

When I knew programming is like Lego with so much to learn.

lowla profile image
Laureline Paris

When I discover the computer and start wondering how it was working and how everything I use thought it works :)

ajeasmith profile image

In high school, when my math teacher introduced me to programming in Java. That’s when I discovered web development and was hooked from there 👌👍🏽

raguay profile image
Richard Guay

When my oldest brother was taking a programming class in college (13 year old). I wrote my first program in PHP 11 assembly in punch cards using his account. Lots of fun!!!

guitarino profile image
Kirill Shestakov

When I installed a php bulletin board forum on my local village network, and a person in our local IRC said that I'll go far.

makar2 profile image

When I was tasked to build a tiny WordPress website at school and I figured it's damn easy

dinerdas profile image
Diner Das

When my old job became unbearable!

emiliaverse profile image
Emilia Iwu

When I saw their salary 🤣