April 29, 2019

When did you learn how to code?

Dewane Mutunga @dewanemutunga

How old were you when you learned how to code?

Bonus Points:
What language did you learn first?
How exactly did you learn?

  1. 3

    I first started coding when I was nine or ten years old. This started off just playing around on platforms like GeoCities or Neopets just copying scripts for fancy cursor trails, and the like. Early on my skills were obviously quite limited, but I started with HTML, CSS, and then Javascript

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing! Which language do you prefer most?

      1. 1

        Favourite language is ruby

        1. 1

          Nice! Why so?

          1. 1

            Maybe it's my art and design background, but I'm a sucker for the clean looking syntax :)

            I love Javascript too just because there's so much to do with it, and of course, it's needed to get anything fancy done on the frontend, but the semicolons and brackets everywhere give me a headache when compared to Ruby.

            I write PHP as well, and I just find brackets can become so hard to read. So I'll opt for syntax like "if...endif;" rather than brackets if I can.

  2. 2

    I wanted to create games badly since I was maybe 6 or 7, while playing with my NES. It was my obsession.

    Then, my family bought a computer and my parents offered me a book to learn C for my 14th birthday. Before that, I was already modifying some games in QBasic (Gorilla and Nibbler).

    I read it thoroughly, taking notes and copying every single bit of code on my computer, twisting them to understand how it was working.

    I created then a small RPG text adventure game in the Windows' terminal. You could choose your race and all. That was fun.

    Then I tried Python, C++, Game Maker to finally going into web development (HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP...). I'm now a PHP developer for 10 years and I switched to Go one year ago.

    If you want to know more about my language learning technique, it's here: https://thevaluable.dev/how-to-learn-a-programming-language/

  3. 2

    I started when I was 8, my big brother convinced my mom to get a computer. It was a Tandy MC-10, and did pretty much nothing out of the box. It came with an instruction manual though, which was an overview of BASIC. I read the manual and started typing programs in, simple stuff to make the printer beep and whatnot. You couldn’t even save the programs as there wasn’t any kind of disk drive but I managed to hook up my moms tape recorder and use bload and bsave finally. It was going great and I was writing my own Dungeon Master program until I hit the memory limit on the computer, which was around 32k. That was 1984 or so!

    I was hooked though, and began a lifelong love affair of coding. I’d get magazines with code in them and find useful routines to try. Old school Stack Overflow ;) Grabbed every new book the library brought in on coding and assembly for doing graphics and sound. Learned every version of basic there is, FORTRAN, pascal, then c and c++, lua. All the original VBA and then of course markup stuff like VRML and HTML, though that’s not really coding. Tons of C# in recent years. Java when forced, I loathe it though. It’s kind of funny that I spend almost all my time in JavaScript now after all that. JS is still a pleasure to work with and I get a lot done in it. Never would have thought I’d be building massive platforms in JS!

  4. 2

    I was, I think, 12 when I first started learning to code. I started developing software professionally when I was 14.

    I started with JavaScript and still primarily use it. Mainly because I can build on the web, server side and mobile all with it.

    I mainly watched courses in Pluralsight to learn. But it also really helped that my dad is a great developer. He is really good at suggesting things so that I figure out the answer for myself instead of just telling me the answer. And of course, Google and Stack Overflow were and still are invaluable sources of info.

    1. 1

      Nice! You got an early start!

      What's the most important language you know and why?

      1. 2

        It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Different languages have different benefits for different use cases. But I would say that since JavaScript can do so many things, it's at least one of the most important languages.

  5. 2

    It wasn't one instant process. It happened in stages over several years. First, I had a WordPress blog and learned HTML and CSS. Later, I tried to learn Ruby but just didn't have the time. Since I had that blog, I still continued learning more CSS and a little bit of JS, though.

    Then, I learned how to use a wacom tablet and make digital drawings and paintings. Next I made some simple flash games. Three years later, I studied JavaScript intensively and got a full-time job as a mostly front-end developer. Then, I did a lot of MOOCs and leveled up again, working with many languages of different paradigms, learning automata, working with logic gates, assembly, compilers, and whatever looked interesting.

    Recently, I've been interested mostly in highly productive stacks for solo webdevs and small teams (thus my interest in Ruby + Rails and now Elixir + Phoenix, but I'm still slowly learning more about Linux over time, too.

    1. 2

      Interesting journey! I wasn’t familiar with MOOCs, so thank for sharing that! What would you say is the best language to learn from those that you know?

      1. 1

        Honestly, I think the best thing you can do is just pick one and stick with it for 3-6 months without worrying about if it's the right one. You won't make progress dabbling in 10 different things and that's what 90% of newbies I know do.

        Ideally, pick something your friend who can help you knows.

  6. 1

    C/C++ when I was 10 years old, some Visual C++ then moved into web-based stuff.

  7. 1

    I've started when I was 9 and my brother started when he was 6. He barely managed to read and was rewriting BASIC programs to our Atari 800 XL. In 2 years we were able to write our first game. We've gone from Basic to Turbo Basic -> Turbo pascal and then assembler -> C .

  8. 1

    When I was in the 7th grade the movie Hackers came out. I left the theater, grabbed my dad's "Learn Visual Basic 3.0 in 21 days" book, and thought "I'm going to be a badass hacker too!". I never did hack the Gibson, but I tore through the book that weekend and never looked back.

  9. 1

    HTML and C++ in ~2000 - 2003 in High School. Some VB.Net and SQL in college. I'm not a "developer" but have fun doing it. Learned JavaScript over last 10 years off an on. Had a fling with Swift as I just wanted to build an iOS app. Dabbled a minute with Java and C#. More recently playing around with Python mainly to build out anayltics and dashboards for personal use. Also, to keep
    up with my side project Sizlets - https://sizlets.com/skillets/c5c68c5c-d496-4e28-9fed-6b5e11de4829

    1. 1

      Dope! You seem to have a fair amount of experience with a bunch of different languages. What's your favorite and why?

      1. 1

        My experience is more casual - but I find the most use in Python based on my day job... Mainly for the powerful queries I am able to perform. Adding a GUI via HTML/JS just makes it more aesthetic (and fun).