I feel absolutely ancient reading these replies.
My first software development memory is using toggle switches on the front of my friend's newly-assembled ALTAIR 8800 to enter individual machine opcodes into its 256 bytes of memory.
We had to hand-compile assembly code to get the opcodes.
It was exciting when we finally upgraded the memory and had Altair 4K BASIC (by "Micro-Soft") to write in a "high level language". Still had to hand-toggle the boot loader in before we could load the BASIC interpreter from cassette tape, though.
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