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Discussion on: Were you born to be a developer?

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Kenji Rikitake

I started writing code in FORTRAN at age 9, at the same time I started learning and living in English, my second language. I didn't have a computer until age 14, so I need to write a lot of code on paper, though I could use a shared Apple ][ at a local department store at age 13, in 1978. So my first real experience of running and crashing code was at age 13, with Apple ][ 6K BASIC and the 6502 Assembler. My first C language experience was at age 20. My first real production level C++ and C# language experiences have begun at age 52 :), so I still need to learn a lot of things anyway.

Starting learning things at an early age has a distinct advantage. It will reduce unnecessary fear. Childhood experience is much easier to repeat at the later period of life. I still don't want to say, however, that I was born to be a dev. Writing code is essential part of my life, but that's not the only way to live it :)

Having learned old way of coding or problem solving can be an advantage sometimes, especially if you need to fix old equipment or a legacy piece of code. I don't think I'm ahead of my colleagues though because they know modern tools far better than I do. I know I need to learn a lot of GUI tools and Web design, and I'm in the process now.

It's nice to be able to earn some money by doing something I'm good at and like since my childhood, but that doesn't necessarily mean I don't have to learn new things; in fact, I always have to learn new things. It's hard, but fun. :)

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