On 13 February 2014 00:55, Larry Martell <larry.martell at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 7:21 PM, ngangsia akumbo <ngangsia at gmail.com>
> > Please i have a silly question to ask.
> > How long did it take you to learn how to write programs?
> My entire life.
> I started in 1975 when I was 16 - taught myself BASIC and wrote a very
> crude downhill skiing game.
OK - it's degenerated into one of these threads - I'm going to participate.
I received a copy of "The Beginners Computer Handbook: Understanding &
programming the micro" (Judy Tatchell and Bill Bennet, edited by Lisa Watts
- ISBN 0860206947) for Christmas of 1985 (I think - I would have been 11
years old). As you may be able to tell from that detail, I have it sitting
in front of me right now - other books have come and gone, but I've kept
that one with me. It appears to have been published elsewhere under a
slightly different name with a very different (and much more boring) cover
- I can't find any links to my edition.
My school had a couple of Apple IIe and IIc machines, so I started by
entering the programs in the book. Then I started modifying them. Then I
started writing my own programs from scratch.
A couple of years later my dad had been asked to teach a programming class
and was trying to teach himself Pascal. We had a Mac 512K he was using.
He'd been struggling with it for a few months and getting nowhere. One
weekend I picked up his Pascal manual + a 68K assembler Mac ROM guide,
combined the two and by the end of the weekend had a semi-working graphical
A few years after that I went to university (comp sci); blitzed my
computer-related classes; scraped by in my non-computer-related classes;
did some programming work along the way; was recommended to a job by a
lecturer half-way through my third year of uni; spent the next 4 years
working while (slowly) finishing my degree; eventually found my way into an
organisation which treated software development as a discipline and a
craft, stayed there for 10 years learning how to be more than just a
programmer; came out the other end a senior developer/technical lead and
And that's how I learned to program.
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