The Lounge is rated Safe For Work. If you're about to post something inappropriate for a shared office environment, then don't post it. No ads, no abuse, and no programming questions. Trolling, (political, climate, religious or whatever) will result in your account being removed.
Late 80s on a commodore64. I was sick of repeatedly estimating the number of tiles on a roof, and getting it wrong. The application reduced my error rate from about 20% to 5% and those were transposition errors because I had to write up the order manually.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity
I learned in 1967, because I wanted to learn about those newfangled compputer machines. I started getting paid to program in 1972 when I took a job to pay for my university studies.I tutored and taught FORTRAN for several years, then worked for a research commision writing FORTRAN and Algol programs. I started a software business in 1990 after working as an engineer for 15 years.
CQ de W5ALT
Walt Fair, Jr., P. E. Comport Computing Specializing in Technical Engineering Software
Like you, I started in 1968 when I took a Fortran programming course at IIT. I went on to start writing programs at Argonne National Laboratory for nuclear reactor data collection and simulation. Data collection was done in assembly language for a HP 2115 mini-computer; simulation was done in PL/I on an IBM 360 Model 95 (the super-computer of the day).
When Tricky Dicky got elected, our budget was trashed, so I went to work at GTE writing factory automation software for the IBM 1800, Data General Nova, DEC PDP-11, and a few off-brands that nobody has ever heard of.
I found I had a knack for developing operating system software and communications systems. So I started my own software business in 1980. I learned that I liked sales, contract negotiation and writing, development, and a lot of other things -- except for people management! People management took me a looonnnnng time to learn and appreciate.
For me, learning a new language or system has always been a piece of cake which I attribute to a solid foundation in assembly language.
I still do a lot of development on both Windows and Linux systems. The hardest part for me nowadays is the circular definition that all too many people use in their documentation. E.g. "FunctionA -- Invokes FunctionA". Usually lacks any explanation of what FunctionA does, how it does it, what the parameters are, return values and conditions, etc.
To me, I want to know the internals so I can be effective and efficient. But that goes against many modern management and implementation models.
I could say a lot more...but I won't.
My only serious career regret is that I was writing an OS for the Intel 8080 at the same time Bill Gates was writing DOS. My system supported real-time, interrupt driven multi-tasking and multi-programming. I did mine under exclusive contract and did not retain rights of ownership -- Gate was smarter! The company subsequently went out of business. (I could have been rich!)
Because I needed a job and there was good money to be made in IT
I actually learned on the job (and in my spare time after I got my first job).
I liked it, it kind of stuck, and I've been doing it happily ever after
The year was 1992. It was DOS on a IBM386. My dad was a programmer back then, so I learned a few nifty things using his class notes...I ended up studying it in college after my hopes to pursue a career in aviation got crushed. But hey, 10 years into doing this for a living, no regrets!
Because this world needs more people doing good things to make a difference.
// ♫ 99 little bugs in the code,
// 99 bugs in the code
// We fix a bug, compile it again
// 101 little bugs in the code ♫
Tell your manager, while you code: "good, cheap or fast: pick two. "
I was 10y old. In primary school. My neighbor got a British made ZX Spectrum microcomputer. I consider the day he brought it to my place the luckiest in my life. That night, knowing only five BASIC commands - LET, INPUT, PRINT, GOTO (yes!), and IF - I wrote my first code. On paper, using graphite pencil, of course. And I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Why? Were you ever asked by your girlfriend or your wife (or both?) why you love her ( of course you were -- it's a standard let's have a fight trap ) Not an easy question to answer. I suppose it is the creation of new, the individual self- dependency, the freedom to do whatever you want and the responsibility to fix bugs, the adolescent loneliness, the instant gratification of software - simply a good match to our characters.
Later in life I met a lot of people who never found themselves. Never knew what they want to do in life. It lead to realization of how lucky I was. Life gives you many boons and bones. But it's all easier if you have passion for your work. We, who do, are the lucky ones. We are the privileged few.
When: In 1980, our high school was picked as one of the 'test' high schools in the province to have computers: 3 Commodore PETS - 16K models.
Pretty much self-taught on Commodore BASIC and then 6502 Assembler.
Why: I had taken a data processing course before where we studied the history of computers, then, in the last term, we wrote programs using mark-sense cards. That peaked my interest.
From there... it was college and over 30 years of professional work.
I started in high school back in 1979 when I was a junior. We had three teletypes connected via modem (rotary dial phones and acoustic couplers) to the minicomputers across town at UND. The actual computers were a PDP-8 and a PDP-12 and we were learning BASIC. They wouldn't let us save anything on the computers but the teletypes were able to punch holes in paper tapes and read them. In my senior year they actually got an Apple II. I spent a lot of time in the computer lab and found that I really liked working with the computers. After I graduated from high school we moved down to Florida and I went to college. I just really enjoyed working with computers and I was able to get paid doing it as well. It's always nice when you can get paid for doing something that you like doing.
I saw a computer at a trade fair when I was a child and even it was green letters in black background I had it clear I loved that...
I started at an academy when I was 9... since then I've never stopped.
I started professionally at 1998 (some years before I did small jobs in different companies but the first serious thing was 1998). I specialized in the industrial/mechanical environment where robots and special machines live...
I started learning to code in 1977, when my stepfather bought a COSMAC ELF[^] single-board computer. It ran a 6502 processor with 2K of RAM. Our ELF was a deluxe model, and included a hex keypad for program entry. We found a Tiny BASIC interpreter that only took 1.5K of RAM. Adding a KSR-33 teletype gave us text I/O, and we were in business. I learned BASIC and wrote a lot of programs on that thing.
For the "WHY", we have to go back a lot further to the early 60's. We always watched the Gemini and Apollo launches. While the launch itself was great, I was mainly fascinated by the control room video and the idea that such machines were controlled by people pushing buttons on a panel. I eventually learned about computers being at the heart of things, and it's been all downhill ever since .
About 1975 and I thought it would be a useful skill as computers were going to be everywhere. Started on a dial up to the local university, with BASIC. My school had a teletype that we used to communicate with the HP mini at the OU.
Later we built a Nascom.
modified 23-Feb-18 9:05am.
Last Visit: 27-Oct-20 23:28 Last Update: 27-Oct-20 23:28