My Journey to Programming

I just need to share it. Diving into other coders’ experiences in programming? I personally find it very interesting. When it comes to learning, it’s way more profitable to see other newbies struggle with the same drawbacks, eventually coming into solutions of their own.  When going through a task with a high-end beginner tutorial at hand, the workflow is smooth and the result is perfect. Job well done, but could you do the same tomorrow, without guidance?

A: Probably not.

B: You don’t have to, you’ve done it already.

C: Yeah, of course, you remember everything you see (rare).

Did you learn anything? Well, sort of. No matter if you’ve always been a decent Googler, it’s good to practise that too. But coding? I’d prefer another approach, if I could.

To be honest, I don’t have that many years of programming experience under my belt. Or, do the elementary school BASIC courses count? Naw, I wasn’t even interested back then. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I got into coding as a part of my tech studies at a university of applied sciences (I’m still studying, had to work a couple of years, got kids and all). But yeah, it started with the Hello World in C, and some graphical flowchart coding (which sucked, in my opinion). Then there were those math problems, string manipulations, functions and control structures, and finally pointers: that was the boot camp into C programming.

Then I started wondering, what do I need all that stuff for? Solving math problems with crazy do-it-yourself C hacks? Calculators, anyone?! Okay, it appeared to me. That wasn’t the point. So I started experimenting myself.

It was the time of Visual Studio 2008. Man, was it cool to see what could be done with that! The first things were those little masterpieces like quizes and text adventures, but the biggest realization of all time were system calls. What the..? You can go beyond the IDE? You can actually DO something? Imagine that beeping and buzzing the following weeks!

It didn’t take long before I had to plunder into my first practise job. That’s when things started to get interesting: they asked me if I could do Linux. So I replied, I had never done it before, but yeah, I could definitely do that. So I got myself a Linux. Now it’s all I use. Let that be a different story.

Simply put, that’s the beginning of my programming career. After studying and working with many programming languages, operating systems and techniques along with so many different co-students and workers, I’ve been into some serious insights of what makes a coder.

And what is that? First thing is enthusiasm. Second thing is expressing that enthusiasm. Combine these with talking to fellow noobs, professionals and those that are not interested at all: you get a full view of the thing you’re about to tackle. And read tutorials. They’re good, really.

Funniest thing is, I’ve never studied ICT exclusively, I’ll be starting next September! I should really put some thought into defining what I really want to be when I grow up.

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11 comments

  1. My story is similar to yours! I didn’t think about being a programmer growing up and just trying a sample of coding got me excited. I wish I knew it back then, would have made the career trajectory better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, you had the same response to the “flowchart programming” junk that I did. Did they teach you Raptor? They taught me Raptor. Fortunately, I’d already had programming classes and could see how much of a piddly toy language it was. The thing wasn’t even a good teaching tool; it only supported until loops and the variable declaration was downright weird, as I remember it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We had this Flowcode thing, which actually has some useful features, but I think it just makes the whole programming experience overly complicated.

      Like

    2. Raptor … Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I never heard of Raptor til now, reminds me of Pure Data (puredata.info), one of the ugliest softwares I’ve ever used but brilliant in concept. Raptor looks just as ugly. I like the idea behind it, a visual programming interface. But they’ve got to make something much better UI-wise for teaching because it’ll easily turn students away otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I majored in electrical engineering. I wish, however, I would have done a math major with a computer science major or vice versa.

    Like

    1. …meant math major with comsci MINOR or vice versa.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I started my later studies at electrics as well. Then it started to drift towards electronics, then embedded systems and yeah, I found just programming in the end. Funny evolution of a car parts salesman which I used to be.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I majored in civil engineering! Now I am a full time programmer!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Moving it to your home may be very costly, when the
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  5. […] covered the first steps of my programming career in My Journey to Programming, and got to the point where I was about to tackle my first practise job. What happened […]

    Liked by 1 person

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