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View Full Version : We know how, but why?



tbodine
March 4th, 2007, 02:10 AM
We have the sticky up above about how you first learned to program, and topics about your first language, etc.
Personally, I don't care how you started programming at all, I do it my way, and I think you should figure out what way is best for you. What I want to know is why you started to program.
What got you into it?
Was it because you had to for a class at school
How about you like math and thought programming would be quite math based?
Maybe your friends are into it, and it looked interesting?
Perhaps you were interested in computer "hackers" and Googled for something on "hacking"(what you thought it was, anyways) and found ESR's guide to becoming a hacker and actually thought programming would be cooler than going to jail? That's how I started, sadly.
But enough about the maybes, tell us why you started to program!

Wybiral
March 4th, 2007, 02:26 AM
We have the sticky up above about how you first learned to program, and topics about your first language, etc.
Personally, I don't care how you started programming at all, I do it my way, and I think you should figure out what way is best for you. What I want to know is why you started to program.
What got you into it?
Was it because you had to for a class at school
How about you like math and thought programming would be quite math based?
Maybe your friends are into it, and it looked interesting?
Perhaps you were interested in computer "hackers" and Googled for something on "hacking"(what you thought it was, anyways) and found ESR's guide to becoming a hacker and actually thought programming would be cooler than going to jail? That's how I started, sadly.
But enough about the maybes, tell us why you started to program!

I think myself and most programmers have a God complex... Programming is next to godliness, you speak (or type) things into existence. If you enjoy computers and computer science, then you probably will enjoy the amount of control that programming gives you over the computer.

I also think programmers are natural problem solves. I enjoy solving problems and puzzles and that is exactly what programming is. You have a problem and you have to not only find a way to solve it, but find a way to articulate that solution to the computer.

Regardless, it's a lot of fun. Thats why I do it.

EDIT:

Oh, another thing that got me started was video games. I had an old computer when I was little (windows 3.11) and I enjoyed the little dos-based games it had. I ended up finding the games "Gorillas" and "Snakes"

They were both really neat and addictive, so when I realized what Qbasic (the program I used to run them) was, and that I could have the power to make my own games... I started learning. I think that was a large factor in my programming interest.

lnostdal
March 4th, 2007, 02:56 AM
the pleasure of finding things out (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6586235597476141009) .. speaks very much for me .. i see both art, beauty and science in programming and computers -- things i enjoy in general

programming is also an "enabler" for me .. even though i do not have money or power i can use a relatively (or extremely thinking just a few years back) cheap computer to do very advanced and potentially useful (for both me and others) things other men before me, even the rich and powerful - could not do even if they got an idea and wanted to somehow implement it

programming sets me free from the constraints of a boring and limiting physical reality -- i see many opportunities and the only thing limiting me is my mind and myself

this "enabling" is new and unique -- and Open Source with great software like Linux, SBCL, GCC and Ubuntu _definitively_ helps here :)

tbodine
March 4th, 2007, 03:01 AM
Like I said earlier, it's pretty sad, but I got interested in programming by searching for an article on how to crack into computers quite a while back. However, thanks to ESR I never actually cracked into a computer, instead I found the great world of computer programming.
I don't think I'm entirely sure why I like to program, it tends to be an escape for me, kind of like music and drawing for other people. I also love to solve problems, and I love to use computers, so why not solve computer problems?

pmasiar
March 4th, 2007, 03:26 AM
This is more interesting than how - might be good sticky too.

I started programming way before there were games. I was in college and thinking about a master. Becoming a mathematician looked boring, writing articles about centuries old problems and teaching students?

But I liked doing math, even math competitions, and I realized which part I liked: solving problems. Programming was opportunity to solve fresh problems daily without all this 200 years old guys picking and publishing the best parts of it.

And I love it ever since - except Java of course. :-)

tbodine
March 4th, 2007, 03:34 AM
pmasiar, I would have to agree with you on the math problems thing.
I love math, it's just interesting to me, but I guess the real thing about it that I love is that I'm solving problems with the tools that I have. There's more than one way -- maybe even more than one "best" way. Solving problems of any kind has always been fun for me to do, and I think math actually may have gotten me into programming, just because I liked to solve math problems, I think I might have thought it would be somewhat of the same thing in programming.

rolando2424
March 4th, 2007, 05:00 PM
Well, when I was 2 years old, my father bought a computer (I think it was only DOS, We didn't install Windows 3.1 until a year and a half latter).

Ever since I can remember, I've liked computers and since I had to work only in DOS, I learn a couple of commands before I even started to learn how to read :D (I just had to remember the position of the keys, not the keys itself). You know, commands like cd, md, rd, arj -e file, ren (I think, now I'm not sure), undelete, deltree, del, format c: (Just to give a little work to my father :D).

I also found about Qbasic and the Gorillas/Snake games, and started to change a few number here and there (Because I couldn't read, I only knew the numbers). I also started to mess around with the examples that where in the help menu and all of that (printing number from 1 to 10, changing to 10000, make the screen blink like a Disco Night).

I've never seen myself doing other thing than working with computers, and since I like Math (My grades are not that great, but I do like Math) I have always dream of becoming a programmer (that's what I'm studing for) especially a Game Programmer.

However, by 484 DX4 100 Mhz broke in 1997 or 1998 when I was about 8 years old, and I've been without a computer until 2005. I did messed around with others' people computers :D.

And last year, as I was browsing through the Debian Menu (I was using Debian at that time), I saw the folder "Programming" and I though "Heck, why not start to learning now, I do have a little time on my hands" (Summer break from school). So I started looking for a language to learn and found Python, download the Python Wikibook (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Python) and start to reading it. Then download the Diving Into Python (http://www.diveintopython.org/).

Today I still am not a good Python programmer, but that mostly because I don't have a lot of time to practise :D

There you go, my story...

dwblas
March 4th, 2007, 05:09 PM
I'd vote for the pleasure of finding out how things work. Also, I have an artistic/creative side but have no talent. Except for a little in programming. Good programmers are part artist IMHO as we create, but also have know form, composition, etc. which are artist-type things. Many of us also have artist-type temperaments.

phossal
March 4th, 2007, 06:02 PM
I do it for the chicks.

tbodine
March 4th, 2007, 06:08 PM
I do it for the chicks.

:shock: The cat's out of the bag.. Now we will have a lot more end-users coming to us trying to learn to program to steal all of our lady friends from us!

phossal
March 4th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Nevermind

tbodine
March 4th, 2007, 06:35 PM
Haha, I actually tend to read up on my programming books when I'm away from my computer, it's quite weird writing all of the code down, trying to look to see of it would work rather than getting an error, heh.

phossal
March 4th, 2007, 06:37 PM
Forget it.

gh0st
March 4th, 2007, 06:43 PM
I started programming about 6 or 7 years ago when I was doing Computer Science at University. We had to do Java in the first year, it was compulsory and almost everyone on the course (about 50 people) struggled with it except the odd person who'd done programming before. I hated it at first I have to admit but as we went into the 2nd year we could drop Java if we wanted but I didn't, I found that it was tough but gave me a buzz when I fixed a problem. Since then I have learn't many different languages and platforms and I am always looking for something new to learn. I've worked as a web developer amoungst other things and thats still the bulk of what I do.

It's funny cos it took me until my last year at Uni to admit to myself that maybe I did like this programming stuff after all. By that time our programming class had gone from 50 people down to about 3 or 4 :) . Looking back I don't think we were taugh very well and I've learnt most of what I know from expirience and self tuition with text books.

hod139
March 4th, 2007, 07:49 PM
I do it for the chicks.
That made me laugh, but I probably shouldn't have. There is a serious lack of women in computer science (science in general) and getting into the reasons and and possible solutions is beyond the scope of this thread. If you are interested, you can check out the Bug #2 thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=321626).

As for the OP's question of why, I went to college for mathematics. I took a CS course and thought, "Hey, I like this and can actually do something with it". Now I continue to use programming as a tool in my research.

mrmonday
March 4th, 2007, 08:59 PM
I started programming a couple of years ago, just odd bits of HTML. I really got into it at the start of this year. Since then I have mastered HTML, XHTML and CSS. I also know some quite a bit of javascript. I am now looking into learning a real programming language, like C++. As for why... I must be mad... :lolflag:

studiesrule
March 4th, 2007, 09:12 PM
Well, I've seen myself go through so many phases in my programming life. In the beginning, to be honest, there was no reason at all. I think I saw my brother do something on the comp in QBasic, and I started to make lame games, that were like MUD's (only with 3 rooms and 2 actions ;)).

Then I tried learning C, again without much reason. This was when i was like in the 4th grade, so i didn't do much, and neither was a good reason a requirement.

Then later on, I saw stuff about AI, and stuff, and realised how much more i appreciate my brain after learning to program. So I started to think that programming was a great way to unlock my thoughts and blah.

After that, I made small apps to do things, and I realised the power i had, and got a god complex. Besides the inherent curiousity I had about how the computer works, and stuff, the power of making what you dream about is just great. So my reason kinda merges with inostodal.

Greykrrr
March 5th, 2007, 06:33 PM
We have the sticky up above about how you first learned to program, and topics about your first language, etc.
Personally, I don't care how you started programming at all, I do it my way, and I think you should figure out what way is best for you. What I want to know is why you started to program.
What got you into it?
Was it because you had to for a class at school
How about you like math and thought programming would be quite math based?
Maybe your friends are into it, and it looked interesting?
Perhaps you were interested in computer "hackers" and Googled for something on "hacking"(what you thought it was, anyways) and found ESR's guide to becoming a hacker and actually thought programming would be cooler than going to jail? That's how I started, sadly.
But enough about the maybes, tell us why you started to program!

I hated math when I did it at school. I failed physics and promised myself never to do anything even remotely related to the subject again.

Then I did my bachelor project in, I believe they call it a "visual programming environment", called Max/MSP (similar to Pure Data) and found out that manipulating sound with objects where the ultimate creative freedom. However after having tried to create a Major project in Max/MSP I got frustrated with its limitations so I set out to learn C++.

Now I'm back in school. Retaking maths, physics and chemistry to get into an engineering degree to learn how to do DSP programming full time.

Life's weird that way :)

jvc26
March 5th, 2007, 06:42 PM
Problem solving - I've always really enjoyed them and to learn how to solve things which might otherwise take ages to do in terms of time saving and the thinking through of the problem I find it great fun.
Il

daniel of sarnia
March 5th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I've in front of a computer for more or less of my hole life, I always played video on dos and later windows 3.1. About when I was seven I started to want to make a game like doom or Mario or leisure suit Larry. So I started learning basic and discovers I just liked programing all together weather I was or was not coding a game.