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Things you didn’t need to know
16 July 2008 in General | Comments (1)

I’ve been tagged by both Andrew and Jo so let’s knock off this programming meme…

How old were you when you started programming?

9.

How did you get started in programming?

I was working out what I wanted to do when I was older (at a rather early age it would seem) and basically looked at who the richest person in the world was and what they did. I can’t remember if Bill Gates was the richest or just very close but decided that industry was for me. I also enjoyed building things with Lego/Technics etc and programming seemed like an environment where the only limits were self imposed.

What was your first language?

QBasic, which came free with DOS at the time. 64K limit for the file size was always frustrating so I moved to C/C++ and eventually Visual Basic 3 in the first couple of years of programming.

What was the first real program you wrote?

I’m not sure what constitutes real – first program I ever wrote was a number guessing game. The first program I ever sold was one that cleared internet history/recently used files automatically on Windows 95 – this product seemed somewhat popular with the class mates at my all boys high school.

What languages have you used since you started programming?

Delphi (Pascal), C, C++, Java, Haskell, Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, MASM.

What was your first professional programming gig?

I built several software systems for people while at high school but my first proper office job was with Intergen in Wellington (they have a great graduate program).

If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?

Yes.

If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?

Explore outside your domain – every area of computing and every faction has their own unique ideas and innovations, borrow and learn from all of them. This is something that doesn’t come naturally but if you’re persistent you’ll benefit from it.

What’s the most fun you’ve ever had… programming?

Optimising a media management system for better performance – I love seeing just how much performance I can get out of a computer and absolutely hate slow programs. Wringing out even an extra 50ms may lead you down the path of diminishing returns but you learn so much about performance optimisation going through the process that it’s entirely beneficial to the developer soul.

While not strictly programming, making a release of a software product is probably one of the best feelings you can have in the software product space.

I’ll tag:

Ivan Towlson