How Did You Start Coding?

saigowthamr profile image Sai gowtham Ńâ╗1 min read


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Ben Halpern

First time: My friend Mike was making a Geocities website for his band. We were ~12 and I got hooked pretty quickly on the magic of building websites.

Despite that I kind of stopped doing it. I took some CS classes and didn't do very well and sort of thought real programming wasn't for me.

Luckily I got motivated again after college by how lame my job prospects seemed and how much I really wanted to make things. I decided I was going to go all in on coding and haven't looked back since.

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Sasa Blagojevic

I have a similar path like you Ben, we might have been related in our previous lives.

Built my first website in Highschool, went to University to study Economics.

At the last year of my studies started learning to code on codecademy.com for fun.

Became an accountant, worked for 2 months, quit that boring job and went all in into coding.


ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yeah that is so similar to my experience.

developerdylan profile image

I'm still a student in school, so my journey isn't as exciting as everyone else's, haha. Ever since I was younger, I was curious as to how a computer was able to do so many cool things - like games, websites and operating systems. (... 6-year-old me tried to make an "operating system" in PowerPoint)

As soon as Computer Science was available for me to do at school, I leapt at the opportunity and started learning in September 2015. In January 2016, I was introduced to web development at school and I've been obsessed with code ever since.

In a nutshell: learning at school got me started. But personal curiousity has always had me interested in how a computer does "things", and the ability to take any idea and bring it to life with code keeps me interested in development and hopefully, some day, I'm doing it as a career. :D

saigowthamr profile image
Sai gowtham Author

Wow Dylan ­čĺ╗

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Stanislav(Stas) Katkov

Didn't had money to buy my girlfriend a present for a birthday, so within 3 months I figured out how to build a website for her.

Somehow people liked her website a lot. So people started asking me to built one for them too...

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Bertil Muth

When I was around 10 years old, my uncle Klaus showed me how to write a BASIC program on my C16. I remember it calculated a random number, and changed the background color based on it, and emitted random noise. I was fascinated, and started to play around with BASIC a little bit.

When I was around 12 years old, my parents bought me a Commodore Amiga 500. A wonderful machine, with its Blitter graphics chip more powerful than any PC at that time. I self taught assembler language from books, then became part of the so-called "Amiga demo scene". Many small teams competed to showcase the amazing graphics and sound features of the Amigas.
I guess today you would call these kid teams "cross-functional".

I studied computer science later on, but the passion for programming started in my youth.

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Strahinja Babi─ç

A friend of mine wanted me to try web development, and I tried the freeCodeCamp program and because of some problems in real life, I stopped.

2 Years later he came again with a bunch of e-books and tutorials and said man you gotta do this I know you can, give it a try :D

In the end, I did some work, I saw that I am proceeding so I continued to do more and more :D

All it was needed was another try and a great support, since then I never stopped :D

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Sung M. Kim

I entered college with EE (Electrical Engineering) in mind.

After one semester, I thought it wasn't for me as it was hard to get an access electronic equipment whenever I wanted to.

I was also taking a programming course and was readily available 24 hours as all I had to do was to connect to a remote server.

And what got me hooked was that feedback was immediate.
All EE course labs lasted hours or even days.
When I was able to light a light bulb after 4 hours of designing and messing around with breadboard, I was like, that's it. I am going CS.

Confession: I was more into practical side of programming so was pretty bad at academic theoretical topics.

pmcgowan profile image

Intro to programming, first year of uni. Learned basic console IO in C. So instead of writing out all my budgetting info every few weeks I wrote a program which asks for some info then spits out how much coffee I can afford per week. That basic program made me realize how programming knowledge is a powerful tool which can be applied to so many things. Then I made battleship.

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Devin W. Leaman

My first time programming was actually as part of a GIS class that focused on ArcGIS. The teacher I had was a huge fan of outside-the-box teaching methods and he would teach us GIS stuff using Visual Basic.

We only did things like placing an ImageView on a form with a Button that would change the image between two jpegs, but it was life-changing.

After that year (10th grade), I took all the classes with that teacher I could the following two years of high school and fell in love with programming. I then went on to a University in Arkansas and got my bachelor's.

That said, I honestly believe I learned most of my programming abilities by just building random tools to make my life easier or entertain myself. Instead of learning from a book, I found it a million times easier to put pieces together until my shotty fort turned into some more respectable code.

whoisryosuke profile image

I couldn't say what my exact start was. I used to create websites with Angelfire and Geocities, following tutorials from sites like Funky Chicken's HTML help to create simple effects like marquees.

Eventually I started making skins/themes for message board software like Invision, phpBB, and vBulletin. At first they were simple re-colors, but quickly I started altering the HTML/CSS to move or alter elements.

My first foray into a "software" language was JS, using it to add unimaginable stuff to the site -- like an anime character that followed the cursor and led your around the site. I also got into PHP around the same time using it to create a templating system for my website (using include for the header/footer/sidebar). It was way better than iFrames, and I never looked back ­čśü

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Douglas McKechie

I remember hiring books out from the library in my early teens and entering the code listing for BASIC programs, usually games, in to the computer we had at the time - a 386 I believe - and then altering them to see what happened.

In my later teens a friend gave me the floppy disks for Visual Basic 4 as his uncle no longer needed them, and I remember trying to re-create the game Chips Challenge.

At the end of high school I decided I wanted to do "something" with computers, but not what exactly, so did a 1 year course that gave me a taste of everything computer related from programming, databases, web development, multimedia, networking, hardware etc.

From there I decided I really liked programming and databases so did a course specifically on software engineering.

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Casey Brooks

First semester in college, I was a Chemistry major. Second semester I was trying to switch to chemical engineering, and it put me into an "into to Java" course. I was immediately hooked, and ended up going into Computer engineering instead. I haven't looked back.

My first "real" programming was the following summer after having taken several more CS courses, and I picked up Android as a hobby. Now I'm blessed to be getting paid to do that professionally.

whealetech profile image

I was a police officer. I was in a fight with someone and in that fight the hamate (sp?) in my left hand was cracked in a couple places. This made it so I couldn't do anything really with my hand but I could still type. They placed me on light duty and assigned me to the report writing room. There isn't much to do there so I picked up a copy of Introduction to Java Programming by Liang (Great intro book btw). I worked through all the exercises and chapters. I spent most of my free time in that book too. After about 3 months of light duty I decided to go back to school and quit my job.

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Jemimah Sai

A long time ago, I learned how to create a simple static website in high school after learning about HTML and some CSS during 6th grade with social media websites like mySpace and Friendster. In high school, I learned more about Visual Basic and C++. After graduation, I decided to take up a college degree in computer programming. Learned a lot from my classes and learned how to program in Java and created my first android app as part of my undergraduate thesis. Did it alone and fortunately, won an award for it.

After some time graduating from college, I worked as data analyst in an outsourcing company. Got tired with it and after a year, quit my job to pursuit a career on mobile app development.

Today, I am still in the process of getting back on my feet after not coding for a very long time (it has been 2 years actually). I have a lot of catching up to do and I am really looking forward to that.

Hello. :)

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John Demian

I was around 13 when I started coding Pascal. It was part of an afterschool program and I remember being so lost and yet wanting to learn more. Soon after I discovered C++ and like most people jumped on the C bandwagon and after that it's history.

flummingbird profile image


Telling my old cli computer to run chess.exe felt just as complex as programming when I was about 7yo.. was it D:// or D:\ idk

Myspace was the first time I used code, to make links to pictures I liked.

It wasn't until I was working on my master's degree that I started learning more about computer music, and Max/MSP/Jitter aka Max was my first 'language'.

I wrote a 12-tone generator/play along tool for exploring the music of the second Viennese school. Using a GUI to program may be 'not-coding' but to me I was able to build anything I could imagine.

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Jonathan Lacanlale

High school required students to take two years of electives so I decided to do a little class called "Intro to computer science." It was modest with basic Java and HTML. From there, I was hooked and hopped into AP and here I am now, still loving code in college!

michaelandreuzza profile image

Well...it started back in Alicante,spain. We used to have a family restaurant then we closed because the crissis hitted hard in such a tourist place.

So then me and my wife move to Finland. I have been working since then as z Sales Advisor for a Swedish clothing company but I dont go nowhere with it.

Then I wanted to start with shopify , amazon and so on... my wife didnt go with it she wasnt really into and because we have a house and daughter to maintain we didnt risk it.

So i had to look fircways to do it myself,then it clicked. I have to learn to code ( I wanted to be an entrepreneur again ) sp i started with fcc, then treehouse and now just myself, reading documentations and u know...

If there's a will there's a way i guess. I am not working as a developer but looking forward to it. I started to touch code around october in 2017 then i had a huge gap pause of 4 months because of work n now I am going for it again.

I built my website portfolio that I would be feeling up by doing my own projects.

Now I am working on a tatto studio site. I saw their page in it wasnt even working, it was deprecated so i offered myself to do a new one, for free so i would have something to put in my portfolio, and at the same time a tattoo artist wanted me to do his portfolio website.

Slow but straight to the point i guess...

One day I'll be working as a dev, sure thing...

Have a good day


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Umut Karako├ž

I start coding using GameMaker when I was 13 years old.

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Phil Ashby

Excessive use of POKE on a Spectrum (that wasn't mine!), then Commodore BASIC, writing a text adventure game on the school PET :)

Proper software engineering started at university on SunOS as part of my course in Electronics and software.

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Jason Gade

When my dad studied "data processing" in community college in the 1980s, I read his books on FORTRAN and BASIC and RPG2 and COBOL and other stuff. Not much other than FORTRAN or BASIC made much sense.

He brought home ASCII printouts of Snoopy and of nudes and faces and stuff like that.

He took me to the school a couple of times and that was when I first played with an Apple ][. I played a couple of games, but playing with BASIC was the best thing, because I could make the computer do what I wanted it to. Kind of. I also took a kids course at that community college which let me do things like

20 GOTO 10

Eventually we got a Commodore 64, monitor, and printer for our home (no mass storage), and a subscription to Compute!'s Gazette magazine.

Despite being a voracious reader and a lover of computer languages, I have never really progressed much further than the beginner stage. Admittedly most of my interest is in lower-level system-type stuff since I'm more of a hardware guy.

fluffy profile image

When I was 5, my family got a Commodore 64. We did not have a disk drive at first, but we did have a subscription to RUN Magazine, so I learned how to type in other peoples' programs pretty early on. Pretty quickly I decided I wanted to understand how the programs work and how to make my own, and it all just kind of snowballed from there.

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Luis Miguel

I started when I was in my first year of college maybe at the age of 19. I got my first programming 101 class (the teacher was so good) and I was fascinated, the class was in C/C++ and to see that the computer obey my commands was awesome.. I felt so thrilled when I did my first printf("hello world") and since then I didn't stop.

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Exequiel Beker

It was in my first years as Scout. One boy from there said he was created a antivirus, and programmed a few games. Obviously, it was just a lie. But, anyways, I've started to love the world of programming. My love grew when I realize that I could do interesting stuff :D

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Michael Gro├čklaus

I was 13 or 14 when building a website for my band. I neither knew how to properly align elements nor how to copy & paste.

So, I sat there and was manually typing        ... all the time just to center some images etc.

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Michael Kohl

The user guide of my C=64 came with sections on Basic programming, advanced Basic programming, sprite graphics etc. So in the early 90s I worked through that, talked my parents into paying a Basic course for me and from then on explored mostly on my own.

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Paramanantham Harrison

I started coding through code challenge websites like codeforces, codechef and topcoder

I started only after my college and then got interested in front end web development and ended up in web and mobile development for years.

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Burdette Lamar

When I was teaching mathematics, I wanted to generate tests for my students -- each test different but equivalent. So taught myself Fortran (yes, this was back in the day) and went to work. The college's computers were a System/3 and a PDP-11, which I could use only in the computer room itself and in off hours. Input: punch cards; output: line printer.

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Dávid Szabó

I was a browser game addict back then. I loved them. One day I decided that I want to build my own - of course I never finished any - but I had a few players on my own games. Mostly testers. It was fun and I just couldn't stop programming. Then I started playing Minecraft. I started my own server (Bukkit) and server side programming hooked me. Nowadays I am doing all kind of web stuff and I still love doing it :) Best of all, it is my hobby and I make a living out of my hobby!

I am working hard to implement an idea and launch my own product. Too bad I am a noob at designing and creating unique products :D

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Richard Griffiths

I had no interest in coding before I was 39, not really. I'd done basic IT consulting and so on.

However I was taken on to help a company called Caredocs to produce care planning assessments.

The company was tiny, the client base was eighty care homes and the users were nurses and care workers.

This gave me context for their needs. The owner was the coder and like all business owners, spread too thin.

Every tiny thing I learnt that could affect the care homes use of the product was gold, really. Nurses and carers using it would often be incredibly positive about all kinds of small changes.

This drove me to learn sql and VB in more and more depth until I could fix most things, add new features and all sorts.

This, having real life, face to face and often emotional feed back for work I'd sat and figured drove me at that time.

smuschel profile image

My father bought an Amstrad CPC 464 and I starte to follow the manual. Still remember that you could watch it paint every single Pixel of a circle. And I remember the sound of loading programs from tape...

hossammohammed72 profile image

It was during my high school summer vacation just before the college and my cousin told me about codeacademy.I tried pyhton and didn't think it was so cool then.5 months later I tried javascript in khanacademy and it was amazing I really loved programming then and became so attached to it. one month later I learned PHP and I am know a web developer.

mcrkirei profile image

I wanted to have the coolest shop on Neopets. I was 13. I started with their 10 step HTML tutorial and then just keep searching the web for cooler and cooler tricks. By the end I was one of the most popular shop/pet page designers on the site.

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Javier Guerra

In Christmas 1987 my dad gift me an old TI-94A. I was hook with it. My first "program" was a dancing robot. Fun stuff.

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Andrew Rohne

I watched my brothers build sprites on our Commodore 128 (this was back in the mid/late 80s). I (at 7 years old or so) started looking at old OMNI magazines and began building sprites and sending them across the screen.

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Fabio Rosado

6 years ago I started the MMOCs fever. Eventually I came across introduction to cs using python from MIT at edx. This was the most fun and challenging course I have ever done. I used to spent whole nights trying different approaches and solutions for a problem. The community was great as well and we had a tight group.

Unfortunately I wasnÔÇÖt able to complete the course due to the fact that I moved to the UK and was without internet for 2 months.

Nonetheless the bug was there and somewhere last year I decided to go back to code and I havenÔÇÖt stopped since ­čśÇ

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Scott Hannen

I used to write really simple games for the TRS-80 by hand when I was around 9 or 10 and I'd go to Radio Shack and type them in. I got a Model III when I was 11. Someone at my father's vocational school gave me a printout of a 'Lost on Mars' text adventure. I used that to learn and for the next few years I wrote my own text adventures and simple video games.

After 1988 I didn't program for some years. Later when I was in a sales job I started automating tasks using VBA (I hate to admit that I ever coded in VBA.) That led me back into development.

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Alex Gwartney

I started programming back in high school. It was programming game maker. A friend of mine began working on a game together to take to a state competition for our school. Which actually one a award. And pretty much after that I was hooked. I then started diving into a billion other languages ect. That has now led me to circle back into wanting to get into graphics programming.

sturzl profile image

I was interested in electronics and computers, from an electronics kit I had (springs to hold jumper wire between components).

My Dad had learned some BASIC to do things like make maintenance schedules for his job in the Air Force. He gave me his Que book on Q-BASIC and helped me get DOS 6.22 running. Then I started with some example programs.

I remember a game as one of the examples. Monkeys destroying buildings by throwing bananas :)
image of low res low bit color screen with two competing gorillas throwing bananas at reach others buildings, the bananas destroy awkward circular swaths of the buildings

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Usama Ashraf

In my best friend's living room in 2012, the same year I got enrolled in a Computer Science undergraduate degree. We were chugging a few cold ones and he was on his laptop. Had no idea what programming entailed and my mind was set on a EE program I had gotten into. He knew a fair amount of web design and being a total rookie I just liked the idea of working with something like Dreamweaver everyday :)

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Cabello, Hector Guillermo

i was around 12~15 (1996~1999) my cousin and i were playing mini-soccer with "assorted random items". and with that i mean: plastic soldier, clothespins, truck (best goalkeeper), and the ball was of course: a dice.

until the day I bought a spanish magazine (i'm from Argentina) named "Microman├şa", that included a CD-ROM full of sharewares/freewares/demos/etc. And this particular issue came with a software called "Multimedia Builder" (i'm surprised that this is still available: mediachance.com/mmb/).

so, i had the great idea to create an automated tournament fixture. i inserted the input text, configured the buttons, and created the differents steps. and in a short matter of time i finished with relative ease. and that was my first contact to the programming world, in that moment my life changed and i discovered my hidden passion. then i continued with Visual Basic. i had to go to some cybercafe almost every day to download all the resources (tutorials, source code, etc) 'cause i didn't have an internet connection. and how did I carry all that data to my pc? dropbox, pendrive maybe? no no no, a lot of diskette 3┬Ż.

Yep: good times.

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Anna Simoroshka

My first coding experience was in school. With BASIC. And not the Visual Basic. We had to write line numbers (!) and use GOTO. I think, the first program was 10 lines long and it printed something on the screen in a loop. It was fun but I certainly did not take programming seriously at that point because it felt utterly stupid.

The I got into uni, studying IT. The first semester we learned how to program on paper and blackboard and drew tons of block-schemes. It was fun again, but I still did not see how to translate it into real life.

Then there were algorithmic challenges and puzzles as an after-class activity for those who were interested. It was fun, but no different from riddles.

Then a few years of fundamental stuff mixed with outdated tech mixed with useless subjects mixed with stress and depression... I got my degree and sweared to myself never to touch code again.

Until I got to a master's program, which is a totally different story. :D

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Mihail Malo

Game Maker 4 -> Wiremod Expression 2 -> VB forms -> .bat files -> C# MVC3
Don't worry, I am not doing C# MVC3 now xD
This was decades ago.

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Comfort Ajala

My non-existent social life caused me to find a dark site of the internet "W3SCHOOL". So basically out of boredom; I jumped from W3School to Codeacademy to CS50 (never completed) to Freecodecamp. Then finally I started reading programming books.. so yea..

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John Ralph Umandal

It all started at the age of 12, around year 2007 when I discovered how fun was to play online games and how different the play was from bots.
I then started to look into "tweaking" client application, and modding.
I end up on Computer Science school where I expected to have some serious coding stuff.
It wasn't enough for me, when I realized that period in school was a good moment to start investing my time on w3schools.

Still, I'm in this momentum where I'm currently working as a Web developer and investing my bits of spare time on something else like C++, backend stuff, devops.

I love my job and I believe that if you do what you love, you never work a single day :)

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Andrew Richardson

I had a rubber keyed 48k ZX Spectrum, and I wanted to know what all the commands printed on the keys did.

kenthmordecai profile image

It was started when I got a failed grade in our major subject which is Java and after all, it pushes me to maximize my skills in coding and analyzing.

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Sebastian Sch├╝rmanns

Started with something like "PHP for Kids" and after that I learned with a great video-tutorial to code a tumblr-like blog with spaghetti-code and MVC :D

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Hunter Drum

I took a 'Sololearn' course a few years back, and fell in love with coding since

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Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

'few years back' XD sololearn is that old

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Jitendra Adhikari

started with small graphics games like Tetris, Snake etc in C language and many automation utilities in Windows batch, years ago!