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Programming Education

How Did You Learn How To Program? 623

theodp writes "'Every programmer likely remembers how they learned to code,' writes GeekWire's Taylor Soper. 'For guys like Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the magic began on the Teletype Model 33 (pic). For others, it may have been a few days at a coding workshop like the one I attended for journalists.' If you're in the mood to share how and in what ways your own developer days began, Soper adds, 'cyborg anthropologist' Amber Case is collecting stories to help people understand what it takes to learn how to code. Any fond computer camp stories, kids?"
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How Did You Learn How To Program?

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  • Compute! Magazine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:18AM (#43850341) Journal

    When I was 10 I had a Ti-99/4A and subscribed to Compute! magazine. I'd type the BASIC programs in each month, and through the process of typing in thousands of lines of code, and then wanting to make modifications to the games (adding more lives, etc), I simply began to understand how the software controlled the behavior of the computer.

  • TRS 80 Model I (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:23AM (#43850429) Journal

    TRS-80 Model I with 4K of RAM. I was 6 and the thing came with a wonderfully put together BASIC programming manual. The beauty of the system is that you didn't need a lot of theory (any really) to get started.

    10 CLS
    30 GOTO 10

    This was amazing to me. I ended up writing a few games, some math function and anything else I could do in 4K. Later on I went into programming as a career before turning to the dark side of management.

  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:25AM (#43850475) Homepage

    QBASIC here, at 8. My dad actually made some brilliant MS-DOS batch file scripts so we could store games in ZIPs on our 80MB drive and only extract them when we played them. Later iterations even scanned the game directory for changes after the game exited and zipped up only changed files into a separate archive. So if you wanted to reset a game just remove the second archive.

  • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:26AM (#43850487)
    In high school I took a math course that required graphing calculators. The course tought simple programs to graph curves. Wasn't long before I was doing more complex stuff. Its a shame smart phones don't come with a programming app pre installed.
  • I never did (Score:5, Interesting)

    by coldsalmon ( 946941 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:26AM (#43850489)

    What little "programming" I've done (bash scripting, HTML, MySQL, a bit of Scheme from SICP for fun) doesn't really count. What I've learned, I've taught myself based on information found online and in books. I know enough to write some useful scripts for my office Linux server, but I leave the real programming to real programmers.

  • by brausch ( 51013 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:44AM (#43850751)

    My high school was part of a pilot project for rural schools in Minnesota in 196x. We got boxes of pre-punched, numbered (in columns 73-80), FORTRAN statements and would assemble programs from them. The teacher would send the student programs down to the Univ. of Minn. via bus and we'd get the printouts back for the next week's class. It got me hooked for life.

  • Logo on an Apple II (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lostatredrock ( 972881 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @11:45AM (#43850759)

    In 3rd or 4th (1990ish) grade we had an amazing computer teacher, started out just drawing cool designs, then learned more, and ended up making a digital clock from scratch, meaning I had to create procedure to draw the numbers and a control program to trigger the process with time delays.

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