What was your first code experience?

What was your first ever experience with programming?

I consider myself really lucky in this regard. As a kid, I got to attend a summer class at my local library that taught us how to write code to drive little animations in LOGO(1) on an Apple IIe. I remember that we had an entire storyboard and example code for how to complete it, but we all put our own little unique touch on the finished animation.

It was a great class that appealed to boys and girls both, and gave us a finished product that you didn’t have to be a programmer to appreciate. Honestly, it took me a moment to realize this was my first programming experience, because thinking back on my first experiences first made me think about BASIC and Pascal in high school computer labs.

1 What is LOGO? MIT

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We didn’t really have computers in my school.

My first ever programming experience was probably in university and it’s a close call between MATLAB and Java of which was first as I took Computer Science as an elective in my first year.

Wow, MATLAB. Not exactly the kind of “soft entry” that got me into coding.

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Greetings!

My eight grade math teacher asked if anyone was interested in learning to use a computer. A few of use raised our hands and she set up some time after school. She taught us some basics (probably FORTRAN) and arranged for us to go to the high school (a separate campus) to use “the computer”.

When we arrived, each one of us had a turn at the teletype. We typed the program into the machine and executed it. Most of our programs were built to calculate areas or volumes of basic shapes. The program accepted parameters and printed results. I was hooked.

A few years later, a programmable calculator stole a lot of time while I wrestled with a small instruction set, a smaller program size limit, and a large imagination.

Joe

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Wow. That certainly evokes some memories for me!

I actually ended up writing a chat program on my graphing calculator. It used a one-way connection to read variables off of another device - which could be another calculator. To make it work, I had to swap variable names on the copy I put on my friend’s calculator, and we had to press a “READ” button to grab the latest messages.

It was not the subtlest way to pass notes in math class, but I feel like it was probably the most innovative. :joy:

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Okay so being about 7 I had a ZX81, but didn’t do much with that.
In Spectrum Sinclair BASIC, I passed it a string, then iterated over the string 1 character at a time, printed that to the screen and added a buzzing noise, then output the next character, rinse and repeat.
Effectively I wanted to build a teleprinter, like in the airport I guess. That was the aim anyway. I was about 10.

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My first code experience was when I was 14 years old with BASIC (seriously old school). My teacher was an utter whack job and put me off the ideas of computers and tech for many years. I tried again last year with Java and I fell in love the structure and the logic of coding.

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Mine was right after high school, I learned a very brief amount of visual basic before college.

It was not nearly enough.

Sadly, none of our summer programs that I went to had programming as an option. :frowning:

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That certainly would’ve put me off of coding, too. Welcome back to it!

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@jainkat , I remember he got really angry, red faced and threw his pencil down on to my workbook because I didn’t understand a concept in BASIC (I had un-diagnosed dyslexia at the time).

The only solice I can take is that a few years after I left school, some kid keyed both sides of this car as final ‘goodbye present’ for all his fine teaching. I laughed when I found out. A LOT

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That sounds awful. A lot of teachers back in the day were pretty uneducated and uncaring about dyslexia and no small few treated their students pretty terribly. If you can’t be patient, you probably aren’t a very good teacher.

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Classical introduction to programming using C99 using CodeBlocks and Windows (the university just installed Ubuntu a few years later). It took two semesters for the basics, functions, files and memory manipulation, and two more semesters for data structures. No teaching or knowledge of TDD or Version Control made things really frustrating, infinite sessions of debugging and regression bug adding.

Later on I watched the Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs course by MIT. Light-years better…

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Turbo Pascal back in late 90s. I was a kid back then so I was only able to write small and very basic programs, but I’ve learned a lot about algorithms and how computers and programs work.

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I took college electives for PL/I and FORTRAN IV. We punched our own cards.

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Waaay back in 1980 with a TRS-80 knockoff that used the TV as a monitor and had cartridges for games. I played with BASIC on that until the poor, sad excuse for a keyboard couldn’t take it. Then in 1982 I had a programming module in school that covered card feeds, Apple IIe Basic, and a few other odd bits.

I stayed fascinated, but didn’t start seriously learning to program until 1998 (long story, goes with having the Midas touch in reverse when it comes to careers).

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1970 freshman spring semester at US Coast Guard Academy - IBM 1620 with punch cards and FORTRAN II. They wanted future leaders to be acquainted with new technology. I had another course in Oceans that included using GE 365 to help solve a problem. I was hooked though. Several years later I figured out how to store real estate data on a mag-tape typewriter (really rudimentary database), then using Wang word processors for database work as well. Finally hands on Apple III, 4th Dimension (like Access on Windows) and on from there.

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I was a trade person and didn’t finish highschool. I was a graphic artist (typesetting, printing and bindery). One day I was at a department store and they had a Commodore 64 computer on display; I hadn’t even use a calculator before. I played with it for a bit. Someone there showed how they could alter the BASIC interpreter and make it do weird things. This fascinated me.

One block away was a huge book store called The World’s Biggest Book Store. I went to their computer section and started reading books. After a while I understood the architecture of computers, silicon, JK flip flops, machine language, etc. and started writing my own machine language programs using a BASIC for-loop to poke binary values into memory and execute them.

After a few months I wrote my first assembler then used my assembler to write macro assembler. My girlfriend at the time decided to buy me a Commodore 64 for Christmas (I had been using the computer at the store each day until they kicked me out). If I wasn’t working, I was programming. Games, compilers, drivers, copy protection schemas.

I found these machines so fascinating I would have done it for free. However a computer consultant meet me and asked if I wanted to work with her at CompuServe. A short while latter she got me a job working on word processors, databases and spreadsheets. This got me exposed to Apple II, Atari ST, Windows 3.1, Amiga 1000, etc.

Thirty seven years latter and I’m still playing with computers.

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My first coding experience was using JCL to configure batch jobs on a mainframe cellular billing project.

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In my case, it was Basic in the old Spectrum 48K or 128K (I hadn’t one, I had to go to some friends house). But the program I remembered doing was on a PC: it was an “advanced” program that asked a password and if you didn’t write the correct one, it would be in loop until you entered the correct one and the program finished.
I was *amazed" by it. Now that I think of it… how dumb/innocent I was :slight_smile:

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Wow, reading everyone else’s replies it sounds like I got into coding really late in the game (absolutely zero experience during my studies)!

My first experience was probably in late 2017 - I was still a Customer Support associate at the time but had expressed interest early on that I’m interested in the Engineering side of the business. As a side project, I was shown how to tweak and make some basic CSS/HTML changes to a little widget inside the CRM we were using. Fast forward to Jan this year I’ve finally made the move into QA, writing automations and also doing the odd small changes in the code base!

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