re: What's your coding origin story? VIEW POST


I am a computer kid of the 80ies with a not so straightforward relationship to my current job as a software developer.

One day, my brother brought a machine into our living room, plugged it into the TV and started typing. After some hours he was done and proud of what he did. What was it, that made him proud? He typed the sourcecode (known at the time as a listing) into the machine and the result was: you could move an X which was your "player's characacter" and make it "jump" over "O"s which were supposed to be "Barrels". This was around 81/82 and I was about 6 or 7 at the time and the machine was a ZX81. This got me hooked. Short after that, I wrote my first BASIC program ("number guessing")

Then I made a travel across the computing landscape of the 80ies. The next machine was the successor ZX Spectrum which had a color display. Later: Instead of a C64, I bought the C128 (the "serious" machine) together with my brother. He used it for typing his business letters, I used it mostly for gaming. My friend too bought such a machine and we wrote our first textadventure (a bloody mess of print, input, if and goto). I was always hypnotized by the beautiful creations of "cracker intros" which is some kind of tech-demo and which evolved into what is nowadays an art form in the "demoscene". But to have a smooth scrolling text on the screen, you had to know how to program a thing called raster interrupt. In order to program this, you had to learn assembly language - which I mastered to a certain degree but was not really successful.

The peak was, when in the late 80ies the Commodore Amiga arrived - a machine, which blew my mind: It not only had great graphics and sound, it too had a graphical user interface ("intuition"). There I too did some steps in programming and made contact with the C language and with a meditating guru inside my box. But programming the Amiga seemed harder. Paradigms had shifted: object oriented programming slowly arrived.

With the rise of the PC in the 90ies and Microsoft swallowing the market, the AMIGA market and my interest in computing and programming declined.

When I finished highschool, I found another interesting field of interest: humanities, resp. philsopophy. So I went to college to study philosophy and german studies. But the latter was rather uninteresting, so I dropped out and got my first real job as a bookseller.

Selling books is a hard job which in turn resulted in me having several phases of unemployment in my CV. Somehow in the early 2000's I rediscovered my interest in IT. But I got my first job not until 2010. Till then, I used my spare time, reading books, learning things on the internet (tutorials, videos, blogs), listening to podcasts etc.

Since 2010 I am a professional software developer. And I am 99% self taught.

Do I want to add a degree to my CV?

I have to admit: I am too lazy for that :D


Your story sounds a lot like mine although I went the TRS-80 route after my zx81 instead.

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