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I am fundamentally lazy. I hate wasting key-strokes (I get borderline offended when a tool-dev decides "I ain't coding short-opts, you have to use long-opts if you want to specify this tool-option"). I hate repeating myself. Coding was a great way to avoid wasting key-strokes.

Basically, my start into regular coding pretty much came with a classmate introducing me to TCSH and its command-history editing capability (and, for more-permanence, dumping history to files and then creating scripts from those). Carried over in my switch to KSH and then BASH ...and acted as a good foundation for moving into "real" languages.

 

First started coding when I was about 7 because I had an interest in how computers actually worked. Originally started with Racket (back then it was DrScheme) because that's what my father (who's a developer by trade) suggested at the time. Got about halfway through the 'course' I was using, got bored, and moved on to other things.

Started again in high school, where I took a course on BASIC (I think it was FreeBASIC, not sure though), which I honestly regret a bit because that, in retrospect, is part of what pushed me away from a career as a developer and more towards systems administration. At about the same time, I was seriously diving into Linux for the first time, and learning a lot there, and that caught my interest far more than learning to code did.

There were ultimately three things that got me interested in getting serious about learning to code after that class in high school:

  • Gaming. In high-school, I was practically addicted to the original Star Wars Battlefront II. Anybody who's looked into modding the game will tell you that it makes very heavy use of Lua as an embedded scripting language, and as a result, I ended up learning Lua. It was honestly the first language I had looked at other than C that actually mostly made sense to me (the lack of any native function for cloning a table as part of the standard library and the scoping rules still bug me today), which was huge as it made me realize that yes, I could actually write code without losing my mind.
  • Learning to use Linux. I very quickly branched out into basic shell scripting and Python as I delved deeper into Linux due to a need to sanely automate things. It wasn't too much of an influence when I was still using Xubuntu, but when I switched to Gentoo it became a huge deal just so I could manage my systems properly.
  • My significant interest in computer history. This resulted in me learning (and since largely forgetting) basic Rexx, ARexx, DCL, rc, APL, Forth, and COMMAND.COM, which in turn resulted in me looking further into a variety of other programming languages. That, as a whole, ended up with me having a pretty solid base understanding of the underlying concepts found in most programming languages, which eliminated what I find to be one of the bigger barriers to entry for most people when it comes to programming, and in turn made it much easier for me to focus less on concepts and more on learning to actually program.
 

Short answer: It's funny, Linux was my inspiration to get into it.

Long answer: I was studying to be a graphic designer. Then I found me in situation where I needed to learn something new in order to accomplish a tech related task. Well, it results that Linux could do that, specifically a set of CLI's. After that, I did what I needed. That took me to the right direction. I've been loving software development until today.

Classic DEV Post from Jun 6

What programming best practice do you disagree with?

Discussion about an unusual interview question

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