July 14, 2008

How I Got Started in Programing, Part One

I've been called out, so here's a response. At least, as good of one as I can think at 6:10 in the morning.

How old were you when you started programming?

I don't really remember for certain, but I'd say fairly young. Probably by the time I was 10.

How did you get started programming?

I think I got started on either Timex Sinclair or a TI-99 4a. It appears that I'm following a path not unknown to most programmers of that era: I copied down games in BASIC. That's right, I think I had a book of BASIC programs that were just games.

Of course, not all of them worked, and I stopped after a few years - mostly. See, my dad's in the other side of the computer business. He's been a lot of things over the years, but now he's the Technical Support Manager for a state organization. So I've been around a lot of computers.

What was your first language?

BASIC. I remember, in addition to copying down some games, writing some really simple math programs. My first "real" language that I took seriously though was C++. Like Brian, I think this is why I'm more comfortable in C# - although sometimes I wish it would stop asking me for semicolons. Not all the time though, because it's nice to no have to use a line continuation character.

What was your first real program?

I'll take this to be the same question as Brian did. I'll also answer the same way: my capstone project at Arkansas Tech University. In our case, though, they have us do what's effectively "community service" programming. I don't think it ever saw real use, but my group and I wrote a fairly standard news system (and some other stuff - I think we had job listings and profile pages) for the CS Alumni site done in PHP with a MySQL backend on Linux.

What languages have you used since you started programming?

In college: C++, PHP, I think several different Motorola Processor Assembly languages. Real World: VB.NET, Javascript, COBOL, a really weird in-house macro'ed assembler (barely), VBScript. I've dabbled in some Python and C#, but haven't really finished anything in either language.


I know this is supposed to be a one post thing, but I'm running short on time this morning. I'll finish up this evening.