How old were you when to learned to program, and what language?

I’m going to date myself here…

My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20. I bought it with money I earned from odd jobs at 11 years old. At that time, all computers came with a programming manual, because computer users were expected to do some programming.

After upgrading to a Commodore 64 and then 128, I got a TA job at my local community college I was attending and bought a PC… which gave me the opportunity to learn c++ and a handful of other languages that have since faded into obscurity. Up until Windows 95 took off, my favorite language was QuickBasic. It was simply the quickest and easiest way to program for DOS.

These days, I’m hip-deep in ASP, SQL, classic VB and VB.Net, and c#. I also dabble in JavaScript, but I have a love-hate relationship with browser scripting, so I avoid it except when necessary.

As to Lua: I didn’t know a lick of it before I bought an iPad a couple months ago, but I’ve picked it up quickly enough. It really reminds me of QuickBasic on DOS: just powerful enough to make you feel like you can do anything, but still not quite ready for the really big stuff.

@tomxp411: I fully disagree about Lua being “not quite ready for the really big stuff”. Did you know that Adobe Lightroom is ~65% Lua? WoW uses Lua for it’s GUI plugin system. Video games have been using Lua for decades now :slight_smile: Also, on more “open” devices (i.e. not iOS) there is even a JIT implementation that brings Lua’s performance up to near-native speeds.

EDIT: I really like your point about how when we were kids, the computers themselves actually encouraged us to learn how to program. We have lost something tremendously valuable by completely hiding that facet of computer skills from computer users.

I learned when I was about 12 with GameMaker ( back then, it was a lot like codea is today. A small userbase made it easy to talk to developers and other programmers struggling with the same things as me. The language was also unique in the way that it was so intuative that it was hard to get a syntax error. you could code any way that you wanted. In fact, you can almost just copy and paste lua, java, python, and others straight into it and it would work with minimal tweeking.

Now its userbase is bigger and yoyogames have taken it in the way of a more practical business model, but they still have their “sandbox” where programmers are still very helpfull and you can still talk directly with developers, but their website might look like it controdicts that unless you have been around for a while.

I would recomend it to anyone that wants to get started because of its “openness” and ease of coding along with drag and drop functions (I think like xcode, although ive never used xcode) make it simple for anyone willing to learn. I havent taken any classes in programming at all untill this year (freshman in college) and Im glad I started before now.

@1980geeksquad Funny! After I got bored with roblox and wanted to find another programming language, I stumbled across that. In fact, I also found a book about it at Sams Club.

@tomxp411 you are wrong about lua! Look at the valve engine, its only as powerful as you make it, that’s what I love about Lua, if you want a full lua based IDE you can make one, a very good one as well. But along side that, it’s very lightweight compared to other languages and it’s been used so much now that there are integrations in loads of systems, look at a game called Garry’s Mod, its based completely around lua to make all the aspects of the game, and its really powerful.

@toadkick @Luatee This isn’t the thread for that conversation. Short version is: scripting languages like Lua can be part of an application, but they’re generally lousy for writing the core application framework. That’s why we have C++. =)

If you want to debate pros and cons of scripting languages vs. systems programming languages, I’m happy to shed some light based on my experiences working with very good and very bad programmers. But let’s do that on another thread.

@tomxp411 I agree with that first statement completely that’s not what I’m arguing but yes, different time different story (well thread) but yeah I’d like to see what people think about our beloved language Lua, start a thread :slight_smile:

@Luatee @tomxp411: I wasn’t arguing systems languages vs. scripting languages. Nor was I arguing whether Lua should be part of an application or the whole application. I was taking objection to statement that Lua is “not quite ready for the really big stuff”. There are at least a few of us who quite disagree :slight_smile:

Anyway, sorry for steering the thread off course.

I would have been 11/12 programming very simple BASIC on the Commodore 64 and BBC Micro. Then I’ve kept on doing very simple things in a variety of languages; C64 assembly, PASCAL, C, C#, PHP, PERL etc

Fun thread :slight_smile:
I started at around 9 with a fresh new ti85 graphic calculator using ti-basic. The calculator had been passed down to me by my brother who was getting a new hp 48 something, been in love with programming ever since ^^

This forum and our shared enthusiasm for Codea reminds me very much of when Visual Basic came out in the early nineties. Whatever you think of it now, at the time it was the first software to put programming in the hands of ordinary enthusiasts, just as Codea puts graphics programming in our hands. And VB users were just like us, and every bit as enthusiastic as we are now. But Codea is way more fun…

To stay on topic, I started with a university mainframe and punch cards. Imagine punching each line of your program on a card, putting a rubber band around them and putting them in a queue, then coming back every few hours to see if it had run (and printed something, no screens then). Each bug cost you a day, so you had to really, really check your code first. So of course I used to do that in the back of math class…

When they bought an extra 1 (yes, one) meg of RAM, it was big news…

I was eight when I found a website called Playcrafter (sadly had to shut down), with XML programming. Simple, but fun. I would spend every day there… Now I spend every day on Codea. :wink:

7 and BASIC in BlitzMax and QBasic in DOS Box

17 and c++

@Zoyt the first piece of software I finished was converting a QBasic billing application. I wrote it in C++. Had it working but hated making the interface with C++. RE-wrote it in :slight_smile: It’s still going strong!

Waoo Is good @briarfox

The user and all related content has been deleted.

10 and BASIC on a Sinclair CZ48 Spectrum

+1 for Sinclair. Those were cool little machines… and at one point, they were around $50. I don’t think you can buy a fully assembled computer for $50 today.

It was 1971, and the language was APL. I was wandering through Amherst College’s science building and saw someone at a terminal and sat down next to him. Reluctant to “ask for directions,” I figured out most of it solo. (He showed me how to make a subroutine.) Since 1983, when I got a “real job,” I’ve been programming in APL and being paid for the pleasure too!