How I got Started Programming

August 18th, 2008 · No Comments ·

Tagged by Dave Astels

How old were you when you started programming?

It is hard to believe but I was 8 years old. 1984 was the year and we just got Sinclair ZX Spectrum + (also here).

How did you get started programming?

Well ZX Spectrum has BASIC and so it went on from there. At first it was just competition to keep up with my dad, but at some point I left him in the dust. I remember I had so much pleasure from getting my name printed on the screen ten times. :-)

What was your first language?


What was the first real program you wrote?

A couple of years after I got my first computer I wrote a small silly game  where you had to collect all of the strawberries on the screen. I enter the game into a local competition where I was promptly disqualified since the judges could not understand how a ten year old could write it and insisted that it must have been done by my dad. I think that is better than the first place. :-)

What languages have you used since you started programming?

In roughly chronological order: BASIC, Z80 Assembly, Pascal, C, 8086 Assembly, C++, Eiffel, Perl, Motorola Assembly, Java, JavScript, ActionScript, Python, ObjectibeC, and few others I have forgotten.

What was your first professional programming gig?

Intel, verification of the 440LX chipset.

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

  1. Learn as many languages as possible. Each one gives you a different point of view and opens your mind up to a new way of thinking about the problem.
  2. Keep things simple! Anyone can write a complex code, but it takes a true master to simplify it so that anyone can use it.
  3. Success or Failure of your project rarely depends on the code you write. Learn to understand your customer and speak their language. Build solutions not features.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had programming?

Pairing with people you can learn from (such as Adam Abrons, Dave Astels, Paul Hammant) and doing Test Driven Development.

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