Who or what inspired you to do programming?

Basti Ortiz (Some Dood) on January 13, 2019

Video Games from My Childhood I have always been passionate about programming. It all started when I first played video games as a kid. ... [Read Full]
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I’ve always been attracted to online forums. I’ve been using them in one way or another my whole web-enabled life.

When I was young I was involved in a few sports related forums. That is definitely a big part of my getting into this field. I wasn’t really consciously thinking about it at the time, but it’s a big part of why dev.to was the right thing for me.


I've always played with computers, but it wasn't until after high school that I got into sysadmin work. That was fun, but not nearly as fun as automating tasks I did frequently. By the time I was ready to work full time, I wanted to be a developer.


I was technically an intern. I worked 35ish hours a week at a Fortune 500 company doing "tier 2" support at their HQ. It was fun. I did a lot of hardware repair.

The sysadmin side of it was machine configuration, user permissions, some network stuff, and the occassional scripting problem.

Was it a "fun" job, so to speak? Or was it boring and eventually tiring to write automation scripts and manage the servers 35-ish hours a week?

And also, out of my curiosity, did you script in Bash or PowerShell?

I really liked the people I worked with, so I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't start automating things out of frustration, I just wanted to get more done.

Some of both, but mostly PowerShell then. Also some Python.

The way you described your job makes it sound real fun to do despite the monotony. I realize now how passion for a job is only half the happiness; to truly be happy with one's work, they need to be happy with their co-workers as well.

PowerShell is indeed a very interesting scripting language. I have a bit of experience with it, but I wish I had a reason to use my knowledge of it. As of now, I just learned PowerShell because I was curious of all the hype around it. I would say that the hype was pretty worth it.


i studied linguistics and i liked it, but the simple truth in this world is, you never earn much money, work in sh1tty jobs with a Master of Arts.
So basically i wanted to avoid beeing poor and gave programming a shot. now, nearly 10years after this decision i am a mid-level to senior, well payed, safe job. and the best is, i really like programming, i even do it at home, its kind of a hobby for me.


Do you use your knowledge of linguistics in any way when you do programming?


not really, its different. maybe i could use the knowledge it in other fields, like speech processing, but as webdeveloper with strong focus on consuming rest/graphql api's, {...nope}.


TL;DR: My Father's Keypad Phone Actually Inspired Me to Computers & Programming

Actually I'm Kind Of a Crazy Guy, Just Look at these:

Age 3+ or 4 : I Was(am) a Rocket Scientist

Age 7 : I Was(am) A Poet (my first poem got published in a magazine)

Age 8/9 : I Was(am) a Sci-fi story writer (my story got published in a popular magazine)

Age 13-17 : I was(am) a Programmer

I don't know what I'll be next.. Life is an adventure... Enjoy It.

[My Bad Habit , Going Off topic everytime 😓]

Thank you


Wow, you live a pretty eventful life to say the least.


My goal in life is not to be Successful, My goal is to be Happy


I was 10 or 11 ( so around 1988, 1989 ), can't remember correctly and my parents bought an Atari 2600 clone for my birthday.

My father tested it before giving it to me and left this on the tv:

Atari switch box

And, he forgot to changed it from Game/Computer to TV, so when I turned the TV on, it didn't worked.

It was quite common for the antenna cable to get off, so I checked behind the TV if it was there, and I found this thing there.

I asked my father what it was and he told me that was something that my aunt tested on our TV ( she was a Cobol programmer ) it seemed possible so I believed it.

Then my birthday came and I got the console, and it was connected to that box... I asked my father why it was there, and he told me that the videogames were computers. From that moment on I knew what I would do as work.

I've made only simple games on my life, but I got my first programming job at 17 and being doing it ever since.


This is some really ancient technology. I realize now how the newer generation of programmers, myself included, tend to draw inspiration from being exposed to video games rather than being exposed to hardware (like how you did). I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but the generation gap is real.

One thing is for sure, though; we all love to code.


Oh, it will vary a lot from where the inspiration came, but I think we are all attracted by something like: "I can build something like that? Lets do it!"

Hmm... This makes me wonder why. I find it pretty cool that we all have a passion for creating. Yes, it's part of our job description to create, but isn't it a pleasant surprise that this urge to create surrounds us all?


What inspired me was coming across a 2D fighting game engine called MUGEN, where you can customize it with any characters you want. I could have dream matches, characters behave in other games exactly as they would have been done professionally. I thought that was so cool, so I wanted to make a character for it: Bass, from the Mega Man series.

Soon, however, I caught wind of someone wanting to make a Felicia with touched-up sprites to give her proper ear color and mouth separation. I said "No, I want to do that, I'm in love with her so I should do her justice," and one year after I began, I released my take on her if she were in Capcom vs. SNK 2, and she became one of the gold standards for that style.

So yeah, while MUGEN introduced me to programming, it is Felicia who inspires me in all of my work today. I even did a charity coding stream a while back to work on another version of her!


My honest attraction to programming was monotonous, repetitive tasks that I knew a computer could do if only I could figure out how to tell the computer to do them. Sometimes the tasks were mine, other times they were efficiency improvements for others, and sometimes it was even to just prevent unexpected human error from something that a machine could do (freeing the human to do better things).

I'm not lazy, but I identify with the lore of the lazy programmer being productive in order to be lazy.

That said, humans are needed -- I just like to free them up for the human stuff.


As programmers, we don't call it "being lazy"; we call it "being economically efficient." 😂


Definitely my eldest bro, coupled with not having access to a computer till in the late 90s and wanting to fix my computer problems.

He didn't allow me to use it to play games.

It was really slow due to a bunch of pop up advertisements.

I kid you not that even till this day, my brother doesn't allow me to fix my desktop whenever it's broken.

He always thinks I'm doing voodoo magic. When I'm installing games or programming tools and uninstall them right away when it's his turn to use the pc.


Don't let that discourage you, man! Keep up the work. You got this!


Thanks you too, your creating awesome articles as well. 😀

Thank you! That's really nice of you to say. 😁


I owe my career to being an RPG nerd.

I was in college for Religious Studies and Philosophy with no plan on how I was going to turn that into money. I knew HTML/CSS/JS and made crappy websites for roleplaying games I played online through chat systems on AOL and ultimately on a site called WBS (Web Broadcasting System). It was one of the earliest web-based chats that was all in browser. They had your typical stuff for back then: teen chat, sports chat, etc. I happened to frequent the RPG chats where diceless roleplaying took place, in particular a room called Roland's Cavern.

Eventually WBS was bought out by Disney and absorbed into Disney's Go.Com platform, pushed into Java applet based chat (so we lost a lot of features we liked for RPGs like dice rolling, images, etc). Eventually Disney killed all the RPG rooms, keeping the rest.

Since I was making crappy GeoCities/Angelfire sites for our game, my friends asked if I could build our own chat system.

Enter Sam's Publishing "Teach Yourself Perl in 24 Hours". My first programming book.

So I read that. Learned some Linux stuff around Apache and tricking it into streaming content by not sending size of content to the browser allowing for constant streaming chat (this is days of frames, no one was talking about AJAX yet, no XHR being used mostly cause I didn't know about it or hell I don't know if it was around yet).

Then I built our chat system, launched our own site (NexusRP.com, funny to look at on WayBack Machine nowadays .. 640x480 website designs ftw!), and we played like that for a long time.

By then I was doing work study at college to pay for tuition. I took a job as a petri-dish-washing-floor-sweeping student assistant in the School of Neurobiology working for one of the Neurobiology professors. Besides washing petri dishes and sweeping up, they also taught me how to use a micro-tome (I think that is the name, it has been a while) to cut up cat brain slices.

She then found out I knew some web stuff, so asked me to build a site for her and her grad students. I did, then that expanded to another doctor, then the department. Then I built a web-based learning / quizzing platform for the whole Histology course where I sat in the morgue area in the basement, scanned in 1500 2x2 slides of histology "thingies" (don't know what to call them now), and made that software.

Pretty proud of that accomplishment, I realized there was going to be no money in Religious Studies (took me long enough to realize that), so I sent my resume to a local ad agency that was doing web dev and I got hired on.

tl;dr: I became a programmer so I could build a roleplaying chat system for me and my nerdy friends.


It's amazing how far the Web has come from its early days. I was especially intrigued by how you didn't include the Content-Length header to allow a constant stream of data. It's bad practice now, but that must've been really ingenious at the time.


It was quite the hack but worked well and only occasionally would you have to "reconnect" but I built that in as well and the end of the stream would always include a hyperlink to reload the content area and start it up again, giving the content from the last time you saw.

I still have the source code. I should get it up and running some time to see how bad it is. Haha.


Working as a hardware support specialist at a large company. It actually was a job that involved being tier 4 support digging around in java logs.

After spending hours going through logs, reading Oracle JDK bugs, I decided I could easily do this.

6 Months later I was a Junior developer at the same company


Dood... Reading those logs must've been soooooooooo tedious. Why did they need you to dig around so many logs?


Well, the company at the time only had 10 developers and my role technically was figure out if it was system problems or actual code. So I'd read logs to figure it out, tedious was an understatement and honestly at this point 10 years later... I am forever grateful as I am the go to debugger at another company + it helps with my Open Source project.

All those hours made you an incredibly invaluable asset to the team. It's amazing how ten or so years ago, your programming journey started, and here you are now as a veteran.


Ever since I got my NES on my 4th or 5th birthday I spent a whole lot time in front of some screen. By 12 or so I found out how to do stuff in QBasic. Fast-forward: Ten years ago in Design-Uni we did interactive design-projects in Processing, and I got a good modern HTML/CSS course.


I think a lot of us started with video games, I included, there's a certain beauty in thinking the possibilities and video games portrayed it so well, in programming I think what truly inspired me is the fact of having an idea and the entire process to finally make it true, the satisfaction is beyond compare for me.


Indeed, nothing feels better than to see your labor be fruitful.


I've been a fan of video games, computers or anything tech-related since I was a kid. those things felt right for me and I kind of knew that I wanted to work in an environment where I can use a computer.

But as for programming, I chose this field because of this two movies I saw: 'The Social Network' and 'The Internship'. The first movie was about facebook and I saw Mark Zuckerburg as the cool guy (My views changed recently :D) who can write codes and create websites and I wanted to be that guy. The other was about two guys doing an internship at Google. At that time I decided that this is what am gonna study and do in the future and started exploring.

And I played those games from your list: Need for Speed, NBA 2k14, Far Cry 4 & GTAV. The last one is of the greatest games of all times!


High five, dood! 🖐 You have a great taste in video games.


If I remember right, that first time that I felt inspired (any maybe empowered) to create on a computer was attending a computer club at my school (IRL Social Network) and playing with a CPM, Spectrum and then owning a Vic 20.

It was the realization when I stared at the screen that I could create anything I wanted to, I just had to learn how to do it. That's what started me down a path that I've never left.

I consider myself truly blessed to not only have a passion that turned in to a career but to also have such great communities to continue to inspire and participate in.


I feel lucky to have grown up in a time with computers being easily accessible. I hope I never take for granted how lucky I am to have the opportunity to learn programming with a decent, modern computer.


Neopets used to be my jam, man. It's just so sad to see how the site has not been updated to recent standards. As of now, the site still uses Adobe Flash to display some maps and animations. On top of that, the site is desperately outdated. In fact, it is so outdated that it uses images for the text in the navigation bar. It's probably for browser compatibility, but the game really has to evolve if it wishes to attract new players.


I read they're coming out with a mobile app and killing the website.

As sad as it is to see the website finally go, I think this is a huge step in the right direction for them.


I began playing D&D at around 13, one of the older players showed off a way to create character sheets through programming. That sparked my initial desire and wonder on how automate things or make them easier.

Then I discovered an online text game and thought "If they can do this and have players enjoy it, so can I". So I developed a similar game and 16 years later I'm still programming!


I have to get around learning D&D someday. I hear so many great things about it. Perhaps when I play, I should automate my character sheets as well (even though there are definitely a bunch of tools for it out there already).


I was a 1 year little baby and windows 95 was waiting me on my mother's desktop computer. At the time i can sit on the chair of her desk, Win 98 say's hello to me. yes, only took me 4 years win the right to touch "the machine" without a hit in my hands. I play with "Betsy the Cow", ¿ Disney Paint ? , and so. One day, at the age of 7, after a fight with my little brother, i win a penalty for that. Then my mom's disconnected all the cables from the pc. I take a look, plug-in plug-off, and everything fit's ok, then i push the magic button and Voilá, the computer was On!. After that i was make curious, i learned to change wallpaper, screensaver and other things. For many years i played games in the computer, later i learned to "crack" some of them (copy & paste .exe files in program files folder) and eventually i look the screen that makes me REALLY see: Regedit.exe . I was around 13 then. After that i was have a mindblow. i have internet, a pc and free afternoons, so i started to read some forums, where i learn to write my first batch script. The things here start to going crazy, i make scripts for shutdown at windows start, and this kind of things. At the time i was ready to get into the high school. i know batch,html, copy-pasted js scripts to make "raining * pages" and even understand vagely wtf is "hosting". 2 years of high school was enough to know that i want to study computer science and coding. So, I finish high school with that touth. After a non-successfully degree try i get my first job as a jr dev. Learn AngularJs , C# , SQL , and when i stop to see, i am a developer.
3 years from then.
¿Bad redaction? Yes. is hard but i try my best. (can you try tell your story in spanish)


Oh, sorry. I can't speak Spanish. Don't worry. I fully understood your story. Curiosity can really bring us to many places, my friend.


Definitelly it started by playing video games for me as well. Then I once opened the door of computer classroom in our elementary school and I was like punched in the face :) There was a room full of blinking computers called "PMD", few of "PP06" and one "286". (It was 1995 or 96 but I lived in post-comunistic country ok? :D). It was love on first look and I started creating my own games in Basic nonstop for next few years since then :)


I first got into programming in grade 9 of high-school (back in 2004?!? wow.. you know what they say!) when I took an intro to programming with--Visual Basic. I had no prior programming knowledge--didn't even know what a variable was!--but something "clicked" after making text appear on the screen.

After that, I was hooked! :)


Eyyyyy! I also started programming by the time I was Grade 9. Ah... the world was much simpler back then.


My first real job out of college was basically sales. I do not have the personality for sales. Being on the phone all day is torture. I started gravitating more toward the data management side of the job, starting with Excel and growing from there. It wasn't long before I realized I should be in tech, not sales, and was able to build the skills to make that transition. Programming suits the way my mind works very well.


I inspired by a man who always says "Developers developers developers"

Just joke. I inspired by my relative. He had a software company. His company was building maintenance management software for factories. That's my story.


This man was really passionate. You can see the amount of passion he had by the amount of sweat in his shirt.

That man, right there, can surely inspire anyone to start being a developer. 😂


Yes, he is the owner of LA Clippers now. What a change!

But yes. 😁

OH, I DIDN'T NOTICE! How dare I call myself an NBA fan? I am ashamed of myself for not noticing him at first glance. 😞

Off Topic: I think he's the coolest team owner ever. He supports his team day in, day out, and I believe that that's very admirable. More team owners should be like him when it comes to supporting their teams.


I was 17 and saw a friend making a game in C#, thought it looked dope, and wanted in. Fast forward 11 years and I still can't make games :)


Don't sweat it, man. The fact that you didn't forget how you started programming gives me a strong feeling that someday, you'll be able to make your own games (no matter how big or small). It only takes one small step forward to nudge you in the right direction.

I'm still learning the ropes of game development myself. I don't plan on learning the intricacies of a game engine anytime soon, though. However, I do have a background with Blender, so I guess that's a good start. For now, I have to master C++ if I wish to properly get into the programming side of game development. My skills in Blender only apply to the design and assets side of game development. Still pretty far to go, but just like you, I'll get there soon enough.


I was literally thinking about this today. I honestly don't remember why i started programming, one day i just decided i was going to learn HTML and everything exploded from there


Who knew that a few lines of HTML could get us here? It's all so surreal to think about.


Need for Speed: Underground 2 was one of my all-time favorite games. I hadn't heard Riders on the Storm in years... so thanks for that!


Copying my original comment from a very similar title here:

It was the famous WinAmp MP3 Player for me that opened the doors to "coding".

It was a Pentium III running Windows 98. I was exploring WinAmp's installation folder and found a few XML files (didn't know what was that). I discovered that those files are used to configure the color and theme of WinAmp skins. I got curious, and played a lot with the XML, restart WinAmp to see the changes.

Then there was a famous HTML file that comes with Flash games, which simulates earthquake by shaking the Internet Explorer window. Somehow I discovered the "View Source Code" menu and discovered HTML and Javascript. I didn't understand that either, but I tried changing the numbers and seeing the results.

We got a super slow dial-up connection in 2000. I started looking at the source codes of websites, and started learning HTML. "Coding" looked very cool at that time, and I started investing time in learning how to "code" things up.

My first programming course was C++ in my school during 2003. That was the first time I saw an "IDE" --- a Borland Turbo C++ 1992 version on MS-DOS.

Later I self-taught Visual Basic 6 on my Pentium III machine, and later tried to learn Visual C++ with MFC but failed to understand the concepts.

Later in college we had 8086 Assembly and C. Assembly got my attention and tried some x86 assembly using NASM. Writing Operating Systems was a trend in online communities at that time.

The website "planet-source-code.com" has a major role in improving my skills in writing code. That was the times when PHP was so popular, and Macromedia Flash was the best way to build an interactive website.

Time flies.

Later in 2010 for my daily job I chose to stay with Java/Android, and now moved to Kotlin/Android.

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