re: The Inner Game of Self-Taught Development VIEW POST


My experience was very different, and I have to say I never found learning to program hard at all. I started aged 7, in 1983. I had a ZX Spectrum and back then pretty much anything you did on it involved typing commands. The software that came with it was written in BASIC so it was easy to stop the program and look at the code. After exhausting the 'fun' potential of the provided software (limited) - curiosity took over - 'what happens if I change this, or that'. It was a voyage of discovery - largely figuring out concepts for myself, referring to the BASIC reference manual when things didn't work, borrowing inspirational kids programming books from the local library, and typing code in from computer magazines. From there, there was a natural progression via different machines and languages to be the developer I am today. It's always been fun and interesting - still is


Thanks for sharing your experiences! I think you bring up some good points.

When I was teaching myself programming, I was so focused on the destination (I wanted to make an app) that the process of learning seemed like something I just have to force myself through. I wish I would've let curiosity drive me rather than the end result. Now that I code full-time, I find myself enjoying playing around with the code a lot more.

Where do you think your initial curiosity with software came from? Was it something you always had?


I think, as I said, it was partly due to wanting to see what else this little machine could do after exhausting the possibilities of the software that came with it (on cassette tape!). The idea of being able to make it do what I wanted to, combined with the imagination and creativity you have when aged seven - was a potent mix. I had ideas about what I wanted to make it do, and tried my hardest to find a way to do those things.

The fact that machines were a lot more limited back then I actually think was a positive thing with regards to learning to program. These days, the sheer number of things you can do, and the number of ways you can do them can probably be slightly overwhelming to someone starting out

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