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I got tagged by Rob Reynolds && Doug Butscher with the "How I Got Started Programming" blog meme, so here is my story.

How old were you when you started programming?

I wrote my first BASIC program when I was 10. It was a program that scrolled test from the bottom to the top of the screen. I think it was on a Trash-80.

What was your first language?

Basic. I did it with the Trash-80 and spent a summer taking a Basic programming class for Apple IIe. (I'm such a geek).

What was the first real program you wrote?

Back when I did that other programming, I didn't really care for it too much. Everything was text and boring, so I didn't really do much after that summer class when I was about 13, but there were always computers around my house cause my dad was a Network Admin for the government.

About 1993, I got my first real PC (had a LOT of Macs up until then), and my first AOL account (don't laugh). I thought it was fun, but no real way to make a living at it, so I continued my day job as a auto mechanic (not a certified one) and then got a job in a machine shop MAKING auto parts and writing programs that told the machine where to drill and mill to make the parts. That was my first professional programming gig (whether I knew it or not).

But my first REAL programming job was in 1998 when I rewrote SkillPath Seminars' website in ColdFusion 4.0.

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?

Absotively. I would've started sooner. I think of all the time I spent trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and how I LOVE to code now and I think, "What took you so freaking long?!!?"

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?

Start with a low-level language (like Assembly). It may be boring and you may not be able to make the cool stuff (without a LOT of work), but it will give you an understanding of memory management and how computers do what they do that will be invaluable later in your career. I STILL want to go back and do some serious Assembly or ANSI-C programming to really deepen my knowledge of that stuff.

What's the most fun you've ever had ... programming?

Working at Premier Studios, I got to help create an IT department where none existed before. As a team, we decided what technologies to use, we created a code base and standards and experimented with methodologies and basically turned it into a REAL profit center for the company. I LOVED that.

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Posted on Saturday, August 9, 2008 2:13 AM | Back to top

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