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For the magic, at first.. When I had my first computer I was completely fascinated : "how this piece of plastic can do so much things when I press a button?" So I started to ask questions and to learn about what is coding.

Then, with my knowledge, I realized the power of the tools we are manipulating and from there I decided to use those tools to build a better world for everyone, to make their life easier and more enjoyable.

Kind of utopian and naive I know but I truly believe that our jobs are much more about people than it seems :)

 

Long story ahead cause it pretty much changed my life:

Freshmen year in High School my Algebra teacher was a first year teacher and told us his major was computer science. I didn't know what that meant at the time, but he was also the computer science teacher at the school. I ended up struggling in algebra the first few months, and he ended up taking me under his wing. I ended up staying after school to get tutoring help. Which lead to me staying with his computer science students sometimes and they showed some stuff they were doing and I was so amazed by it.

One day in class I was by his desk and saw he had some programming books. I took one and he said I could take it home with me. After he saw for 2 weeks me not wanting to give it back because I loved it so much he said "alright, go make a website using only this book, and I'll host it for you." I came back with a crappy website and next thing I knew he gave me own domain and hosted it for me. It was so cool to see something I made online. From there I was hooked. I kept that book until the last day of school and when I went to give it back to him he told me to wait. He started writing in it and wrote me a long note saying keep this, keep working, thanked me for making his first year so great, and more.

From then on I knew what I wanted to do. I taught myself C++ that summer and we kept in touch over next couple years. I would email him from time to time and he'd give me advice what to do next. He even gave me access to the computer science class one year and allowed me to take their quizzes.

12-13 years later I am a Lead Developer at a company doing what I love. I wish I could find him now to thank him for having such a profound influence in my life.

 
 

I'd like to think it was about 2011 - 2012. I was probably about 10 years ago, and as with most Generation Z's, I grew up with a console. It was the Wii. As I played with it, I ended up getting bored with it's built in capabilities, and looked to branch out. This is where I found out about Homebrew.

I loaded it into my Wii, and was amazed at the new capabilities. As I booted up I saw some logging information and was immediately intrigued. I looked into the code behind it all, and quickly got lost, as it was C code. I decided to look more into easing myself coding, and looked at Windows Batch programming and creating websites.

That is what started it for me. As I grew up over the next few years, I tried experimenting with a lot. This includes Java game programming with OpenGL, PHP (Laravel), NodeJS(This is where I am focusing on currently), the C family, and even Golang.

I have gone through diverse phases, but web development always seems to capture my attention. I am also learning more and more about cryptography and security research. There is my story, and my first post here on dev.to!

 

I built my first website on geocities after my friend made one for his band. I was in and out of technical pursuits for a while until I had my first job after college. I did marketing at a tech company and saw how much more interesting the software job was than mine.

I sort of knew how to code and always loved it but had mixed experiences leading me to think it maybe wasn't for me. Luckily I got a bit of encouragement and really didn't like my other job all that much. Once I got over the hump I haven't looked back.

 

For the challenge, what I love about programming is that there is no a single approach for solving a problem, however there are tons of things to consider, I observed that with a friend (the first coder I knew) and just fell in love with programming, after that is still the challenge what gets me going.

 

When I was 13 I started taking robotics classes. That was the first time I encountered programing in its simplest form.

Later on I started working on more complex systems what eventually got me into arduino, avr programing and c++.

At that time I also started high school which got me into contact with newer and more modern technologies like python and javascript. That was when I started mastering web development.

I now classify as a crazy teenager web developer who still eventually wants to build a robot that will exterminate human kind.

 

Wow, I'm surprised by all the responses. I am going to put it into a future post, but I'll answer my own question.

My dad (and later I) worked at IBM, so I've always had access to technology. I had a PC in the mid-90s with Windows 95 and a book on C, and since I knew most PC games used C++, I read through the book to learn how to program in an IDE. My science fair project was probably the first computer science project that year--a text-based game.

A year later, my 5th grade teacher was learning HTML, and as the editor of the school newspaper, he forced me (at my mom's insistence) to write a tutorial on making websites. I started web development 6 or 7 years later when I had a server to play with.

This month I've taken a hiatus from programming, so the most technical I am today is either doing computation finance in R or helping with programming homework.

 

It's something I wanted to do 20 years ago but life happened and my career went down the Hardware route rather than Software direction.

In the last couple of years as my job role has progressively moved away from technical so found myself longing for something to do with my time in the evenings.

I accidentally ran into freeCodeCamp just over a year ago and haven't looked back since, and have fallen in love with coding, and React in particular.

I am pretty sure my wife would like to have her husband back in the evenings, certainly can't say I have been the best company of late while sat out at the kitchen table thrashing away at the keyboard.

Hmmmn... maybe I need to do something about that ?!

 

Gosh, I don't know if I have such a profound answer. I started programming when I was 10 years old back in 1995. My parents had bought me a little toy computer for Christmas that was able to compile and run simple programs written in BASIC. I don't know how I put up with programming on a one line ~40 character LCD display but that's what got me interested. I showed off to my friends my ability to write "password protection" (which just did an "if" check against a hardcoded password). As a kid I always loved seeing technology protect things (ACCESS DENIED was one of my favorite phrases). Now that I'm an adult I realize that crypto is a difficult beast and that I am not suited for making any significant contributions there but I still like reading about it. Two years after that I discovered HTML and made a simple web page on my ISP's free hosting space. I never really thought about the why of it...it was just a fun thing to do and continues to be a fun thing to do today.

 

$$$... well that's not entirely true. I got into web programming specifically in the days you could "get paid" while surfing. In the process, I learned about web hosting via Geocities/Tripod/etc. and at the time I was using Frontpage to code up a site that was basically full of banner ads to get referrals. In the beginning I learned a lot from viewing the source of other sites and essentially copying and modifying. To this day I still learn a lot from other "smarter" developers via open source, articles, code samples, etc.

But I will say I got hooked early on and always enjoyed the process. Plus programming helped me progress with the evolution of the web and it continues to change which has its challenges but continues to be an enjoyable ride.

 

I was always attracted to technology but never really thought of myself as a programmer. I spent years in high school unsuccessfully trying to learn. Then once I got to college things started to click, now I program mainly because I like being able to build things. The sensation from taking an idea and building it into something tangible is so fascinating to me.

 

I started programming at first because I wanted my Amiga Workbench OS to greet me personally when I flicked the brick on. Then, later, because I had been reading all the "Write Your Own Adventure" books at the library and I just knew that this should be doable on a computer as well. So with Commodore Basic I made a few of my own adventures. Imagine all the goto declarations!
A few years later the Internet landed, and imagine my awe when I realized I would be able to share all those little programs with the wider world, almost at no cost!

 

To avoid doing math homework 😂

My teacher had us doing guess-and-check style math equations that all had similar inputs, so I essentially built a brute-force algorithm to do all that (frankly bullshit) work for me and being the kind and generous altruist that I am, I shared this life-changing piece of software with all of my friends in the class.

My teacher caught wind of this and told us we had to now show our work.

Well instead of doing that, I tweaked my algorithm to print out intermediate steps (wrong guesses, etc.) and proceeded to not have to do any work from that point on.

 

In 1982, I took a summer BASIC programming class at our local Firehouse in Gladstone, OR. They had a mix of Commodores, TRS-80s, TI-99's etc.

Then I eventually got my own Vic-20 and C-64 and after that I was always surrounded by computers. I did a little programming here and there. I was always ahead of my teachers for every computer class I took and usually became the teacher's helper who helped other students.

My career started when I learned HTML in the mid 90s. A data entry job for Randstad turned into an HTML/Web application job writing a web-based benefits entry system....that was back when we used hidden frames to maintain state. Things just snowballed from there. My familiarity with BASIC made VB and VBA second nature, and suddenly I was an Access/Office programmer. I learned OO code when working for a company doing Powershell. I had to work with a development team to create a Microsoft word document generator. The web part was all in Java, so I had to learn to read Java...which eventually led me to JavaScript and C#.

Then .Net happened and my resume just kept getting bigger. Today my penchant for learning fast has put me more on the integrations side of things, but now I'm learning frameworks in order to get back to the UI side.

To answer the question, I guess I didn't really choose it, I just fell into it...and I don't even have a college degree. Sometimes your career is just based on something that's become part of you. The logic behind writing code is just something that I started breathing. :)

 

I started with the M.U.G.E.N fighting game engine back in high school. There were a few Felicias but none of them were quite what I wanted, so I decided I wanted to make the best one. What really expedited the process was someone else wanted to make one, so I decided I needed to make her to really show my love for the character, and I needed to beat him to the punch.

It led to my love of programming, which led to my eventual career as a software developer. Years later, my Felicia is still regarded as the best out there!

 

The first time I started coding was when I found some readers-software on PC-gaming-magazine "PC Action" written in QBasic (mostly text-adventures). In order to run it, you had to open it with qbasic.exe and run it manually. That's when I started modifying stuff and using the help to find the commands.

 

It was my sister who inspired me, I witnessed her happiness when she's in college and had sleepless nights coding. I was not really into it, I was in-love with arts, but, at those time when I'm about to go to college, IT course was really in demand, and I realised that taking a course about art is very expensive and we are just too poor to support that expensive course. So I decided that if my sister is that happy, then I could be that happy with the same course, I started reading a c++ book before the start of school and tried some basic coding and I find myself enjoying what I'm doing so I continued doing it.

 

I started programming in 1979 on a TRS-80 Model 1. I wanted to write some games. And that was kinda fun.

Then I started writing software for my High School... I thought about studying art, but I didn't want to get an undergrad, then a masters' only to teach art in HS. So I quit art, stuck with CS.

30 (gawd, nearly 40) years later, I'm still here. And I started making art again.

 
 

I started making websites for fun after an introductory class at school. Got really into it and started researching. Turns out, I love coding. It just came so easy to me. Everything made sense. So I started diving deeper and looking into new languages and tools. Now, close to a decade later I'm still as fascinated as I was then.

 

At first I wanted to know how to build a basic website, so HTML and CSS. After that, a little bit of Batch scripting on Windows to make PCs shut down at school to have fun (childish I know but fun at that time).

Then, I started to question myself. I've always been a gamer, and I got curious to know what being on the other side of the screen feels like. So I searched on the internet for programming languages for beginners. Ended up having to choose between Java and C. Java looked hard with all these "class" things and these long method names, so I chose C.

I built some little things with C and spent some time to understand quite important but at first sight complex notions, like pointers and memory allocation. Then I tried learning Python because it looked cool and dynamic. In the end I've not done much with it but it was fun to see that such easy languages existed.

After entering an engineering school I've studied Java during 3 years, and more recently C again (which felt easy this time) and C++. Then I discovered the magic of OCaml and never stopped loving this one haha !!

Programming is really nice, a lot of languages exist, they are all different and useful in some different fields. That's what I find magic ! Everybody has its favourite technology and does great things with it :)

 

I went to an interview for an internship which turned out to be mostly soft skills interview. When asked if I've done some programming I lied "yes".

They gave me 2 weeks to develop a POS application in java.

After the interview I went to the store bought a computer and started googling.

I got the internship :)
Thats how I got into programming.

How I learned to love it:
After some time, I realized that for every other engineering discipline you need to invest a lot in order to try things out, experiment, innovate...
With software you can pretty much do anything. The possibilities are limmitless.

 

My first experience with programming was writing Lua scripts when I was between 13-14. I used to run a "Open" server for a popular MMO back in those days.

I loved being able to write scripts and then see what they would do in game, write quests, add actions to items, etcetera.

I started tinkering a bit with PHP, making edits to some website template I had downloaded for people to make their accounts and characters and I started tinkering with a bit of C++, at least to understand how things were working on the inside, or what every update to the code was adding or changing.

At the time, I don't think I even saw it as programming, I was just having fun. But I always loved the process of having a problem or goal and trying to logically solve it with a program.

 

I asked myself: how I can apply graphic design to the web so I discovered HTML, CSS, JS and PHP and I loved it. period.

 

I've always had a slight interest in it, but never actively chased it. Then a requirement at work came up and I took my chance.

 

It was mid 90. My dad started to make basic web pages. I read the books and did the same (today is my dad my hero). But I was bored, so .. I went futrher.... and futher...

 

For me programming is all about solving riddles, and solving them well. That's where I got hooked at...

 
 

I can't remember it was too long ago. An irresistible force inside of me I guess

 
 

For the fun, at first. Later for the monthly income and then everything went "wrong".. :)

 

Because my crush back in high school was taking computer science as her major.

(This was back in the mid-90s).

 
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Software architect interested in finance