How did you learn programming?

TheLionKing 101 Sep 24, 2003 at 09:47


Just want to know how did you learn programming?

Here is my story …

I learned programming from BASIC. However, I was told to choose Biology as my subject by my parents … even though they knew I was interested in Computer. I learned Visual Basic then and after that learned C/C++ on my own. I took admission in a best institute in my city Karachi to help me in Programming. I was pretty famous in the class for cross questoning the teacher. After a few days I realized that I knew twice more as my teacher knew. Since then I am learning everything on my own.

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Amithran 101 Sep 24, 2003 at 16:03

I started playing quake.

I started making quake scripts to be a better quaker.

I wanted to displaymy awsome possum scripts to the hole world.

I inquired into and the wonderful of html.

I discovered CGI.

I decided I wanted a guest book.

I made one, in perl - by reverse engineering other scripts I had seen and making my own script from absolute scratch.

I liked it.

I inquired into c/c++.

Almost immediatly I decided “Im gonna be a game developer!”…

I inquired into DirectX (7 at the time?).

I realized my lack of knowledge.

I reinvested my time in c/c++.

And javascript, and flash, and html, and perl.

I coded a win32 console application featuring a scrolling terrain game
using colored character codes for display.

I re-inquired into DirectX(8).
I inquired about OpenGl.

I made my first graphic game.

Skip ahead.

I know a lot of stuff in a lot of languages. :)
Unfortunatly Im more of “A jack of all trades” then a “Master of one”.

anubis 101 Sep 24, 2003 at 18:45

i got my first computer when i was six… my old love the amiga500+. man, this thing was so ahead of it’s time. before that i remember playing pacman once on a machine my father had that was called pc10. i wasted my time with games on the amiga. i first discovered that there was more to computers when i got my first x86 pc a 386. i started out with basic. i got a few books from the local library and after i had grasped the basic concepts i wrote a little text adventure. nothing fancy though. i almost forgot about coding for a year or two until i discovered c/c++. i read one or two books. read a LOT of code from the web. i would say that i learned most of my stuff from other peoples code. especially when it comes to engine architecture and stuff like that. since i had started to play games so early it was no question that i wanted to write them myself. i started out with mode 13h and moved on to directx ( 6/7 ) which i didn’t like very much ( i never started to learn direct3d ). opengl is what i use today. just recently i discovered D and i think i will stick with it. on the way i picked up some other stuff like html, php, lua, tcl, etc. things for the future are python and ruby. also squeak is something i once looked into and i definetly want to come back to it ( squeak is a version of smalltalk )

anubis 101 Sep 24, 2003 at 18:54

heh, i forgot to mention ( maybe i wanted to forget this :) ) my little adventure with VB. i had to learn it for work. i was working for a database company at that time. oh… and java of course. we had it in school and i also used it on a job

TheLionKing 101 Sep 25, 2003 at 00:43

;) Interesting. I forgot to mention that I also learned Java, Oracle, VB and HTML. Learned OpenGL and now inquiring DirectX9. :blush:

bladder 101 Sep 25, 2003 at 06:58


my old love the amiga500+.

amiga 500 was king man. Lemming RULE! :yes:

… so does a game called oops up. anyone remember that one? This post brings back memories

baldurk 101 Sep 25, 2003 at 17:09

I’ve still got my 500+. I brought it down a month or two ago to play on. It was fun. Supercars II, IK+, the list goes on :D.

Ishpeck 101 Sep 26, 2003 at 13:58

At my 13th birthday party, some friends of mine sat at my old DOS computer and started using QBASIC to write stupid little programs. I watched, looked at the code and figured it out. Ever since, I was hooked. I learned C two years later by the graces of Sams Publishing and picked up C++ by downloading example source from around the internet. Because my father worked at Novell, I got a lot of exposure to Java. I’ve just kind of been writing code ever since.

hanzac 101 Sep 27, 2003 at 23:42

Far far away, I knew the name - “computer”.
I got a computer learning machine (a special product only made in China ;) ), and I play 8-bit games and learning BASIC on it.
When I entered the senior high school on the first year, I got a Celeron-300A-64MB-Savage-3D computer which I chose all the parts by myself.

Of course, playing games was the first thing (although while I told my parents that I would always use it to learn my subjects :rolleyes: . Later I had some unhappy days with my parents ‘cause I cheated them. But now I wanted to say sorry very much…… I was enchanted by computers. )

I use my computer make htmls, jscript, asp, flashes & learning vb.
Now I am in university & I discovered C/C++, ASM, DirectX and much more. I found myself fall in love again now. (but now I can control myself and make good use of computers.)

anubis 101 Sep 28, 2003 at 00:06

the story of a true hero *sigh* ;)

TheLionKing 101 Sep 28, 2003 at 03:50

:( You reminded me of my old days … *sigh* :yes:

baldurk 101 Sep 28, 2003 at 08:18

look at us old folks reminiscing of the ‘good old days’. :P

TheLionKing 101 Sep 29, 2003 at 03:20

I meant the days when I was about 6 to 10. :blush:

baldurk 101 Sep 29, 2003 at 17:23

ssh! ;P

donBerto 101 Sep 29, 2003 at 18:09

ahh yes… [sigh]

let’s see, I moved from the farms of bohol [phillipines] back with my mom in the US [hawaii, at the time]. cities, compared to rural settings, is SO much more technological. My mom introduced me to THE computer [a packard bell 286 with 10 MB hard drive [huge!] and 512Kb RAM]. after about a week of “playing around” with it, I happened to spill a glass of milk… IN the case. In my haste of trying to repair it, I rushed to the library to look for books on computers. took them ALL home. Opened the box to find that nothing serious has happened, just cleaned the box. I read the books anyway and found all of the books refer to BASIC. after that summer, i was a decent BASIC “programmer”. I wrote drug wars in basic. I tried to emulate word perfect, beacon mavis and Harvard Graphics [to no success]. I wrote things that weren’t always good and that’s all I’ll say about that, pending a court case :D that was all in 1993.

in my pursuit of higher learning, I came across C. I didn’t have the prerequisites [at the time] to enroll in computer science in high school but I had a class right next to the CS class. so when my class got out, I rushed next door to copy whatever was on the board. I thought C was the class’ grade - hence why I didn’t go to the library to look up the language C. it was also hard to look at every book for pseudo or partial code. eventually, I enrolled in a CS class, taught by the same teacher i had been copying from. because of his left over notes on the board, I found myself ahead of the class. …

before i start to ramble, that’s pretty much how I came to be a programmer. what lead me to study CS in college was because I was denied enlistment into the military [air force] - because of my bad eyes and asthma. I no longer have asthma [now called reactive lung disorder since i haven’t had an attack in 4+ years].


in summer of 2000, I became VERY interested in 3D graphics. so I bought 2 books - an opengl and a directx book. I read the opengl book first. to this date, i have NOT read the directx book.

to sum it up, I may have not started with a vintage machine like the 8086 or the an amiga or a tandy but the intel 286 is vintage enough for me. I still have the processor [the case and compononents long have been destroyed]. also with that computer came the first optical mouse that used light, not laser [so it was rather slow, and required a special light-sensitive mouse pad] - those, i still have too.

thanks for taking me down memory lane.


CyraX 101 Oct 04, 2003 at 08:11

I have a rather strange story.
My first intro to comps was in 1998. Earlier to that nothing. Then I started off with C. Then when we got internet connectino @ college (it costs a fortune to own internet during those days) I saw some code on mostly exploits code. Then I decided I would learn C inside out. I guess I am still learning about C :D we never end up learning the whole of it.
What followed was PERL, C++, JAVA (YUCK) and Assembly (teeny weeny for debugging).
Now I am into Maxscript (mascript needs lots of improvement).
Learnt MEL scripts but was not happy with it.
What else have I learnt ?? hmm learnt Spanish after I read a text by some great hack writer. Sir Haxalot.
That is counting languages as in not just computer languanges :D

xantoz 101 Oct 05, 2003 at 07:25

I am still a beginner in windows opengl and directx. I am in 12th grade. I was ignorant of computers just 6 yrs back, before then computers in chennai, india were so costly and i was actually interested in history especially history harmony between communities in south indian villages. when first used my father’s office comp it seemed to me like miracles(first time boot to windows, never heard before). next year after irritating my parents i bought my first computer for about $2000 after a lot of fighting. It was then when the compter jobs fever started. Everyone in bro’s class except my bro were selecting comp as electives in undergrad eng. People mugged up theories and programs(thats the case still, my classmates ask doubts on comp prog though they get the same marks i get coz many just byheart them) and they wanted to make big in US. After the dot com boom subsided and came dot come gloom most wont choose comp coz its “risky”. Thats my city(I pride about my country’s past than present). I got interested in game programming after reading a Comp Gaming World special on making games. Making games let you to be like god i can say. My knowlegde in opengl is purely based the online tutorials written by the community coz you don’t get books on opengl in my city. Right now i know basic rendering and collision. Hopefully i will do lot in coming years. I am not learning this for bucks(some people do resulting in stupid games) but for fun of understanding how all that school physics and maths makes sense.

DrunkenCoder 101 Oct 05, 2003 at 13:05

six long years ago I stumbled upon something called “debug” on an 486machine supposedly you could control the computer via this little program, so my quest for x86 assembly god hood started… having made it through the seven hells of realmode segmented memory dos interupts and frequent reboots I stumbled upon a package konwn as DJGPP. That started me on the way of C, and all was well.
The came university C++ was the way there so I embarked on yet another journey. My adventures took me to many bewildering and beatiful places from the saftey of mode13 to the elusive caverns of DirectX I visited the shrine known as OpenGL and was kept hostage of the dreaded MFC. I found a trusted and enlightening companion in STL.

I’ve made small detours to places like PHP Pascal and JavaScript I actuallly once thought highly of DHTML even though “it’s no real language”, I’ve encountred Haskell and Prolog and they both thought me many things.

Yes that’s the road I have walked, I’ve now realized that as the masters of zen have always said it’s the journey not the goal that’s important.

Noor 101 Oct 06, 2003 at 01:50

Hey CyraX, we haven’t seen you for a while :D… Welcome back :)

CyraX 101 Oct 06, 2003 at 12:08

yeah nkharrat. After a hectic E3 and ECTS work I have come back… << I’ll be back >>
Anyways, now that I have come in I better get working on the game and the articles. I have started writing articles on 3DS Max Script/3DS MAx SDK :D
I am sure it would be good because I have seen hardly any stuff on the net. HARDLY. Let me finish it in a short while. Oh btw now that I have gotten some net connection to the room, I might be able to do small uploads.

Noor 101 Oct 06, 2003 at 14:00

Anyways, now that I have come in I better get working on the game and the articles. I have started writing articles on 3DS Max Script/3DS MAx SDK
I am sure it would be good because I have seen hardly any stuff on the net. HARDLY. Let me finish it in a short while. Oh btw now that I have gotten some net connection to the room, I might be able to do small uploads

nice, thanks :yes:

ttigue 101 Oct 06, 2003 at 17:59

Let’s see,

Don’t know if you can’t Logo Writer as programming, but I’d say that’s what hooked me in the 5th Grade. Then in high school I started programming in Qbasic. Picked up LaMothe’s Black Art of 3d Programming which taught me alot since I didn’t know anything. Learned asm on lamothe’s recommendation, still like asm but don’t find much use for it anymore. Went to college, learned oo programming and java. I’m trying to keep up with all the changes in gaming industry, but it seems like most of the stuff I learned no longer applies. But I would say game programming is alot easier than it used to be.

anubis 101 Oct 07, 2003 at 00:45

But I would say game programming is alot easier than it used to be.

i disagree… the difficult parts just moved to other areas :)
first of all you still have to know and understand all the math behind 3d computations, even if you need that knowledge less and less in praxis. also shaders reintroduce much of that math to game development. sure, it might be easier today to hack a game together but, for example, it still requires skill to get a respectable visual quality running on low end consumer machines.

ttigue 101 Oct 07, 2003 at 01:15

sure, it might be easier today to hack a game together but, for example, it still requires skill to get a respectable visual quality running on low end consumer machines.

I agree with what you are saying, and upon reading my message I probably need to explain better. I meant that there are now standardized interfaces for programming games (DirectX, Open Interfaces). These make it easier for the programmer because we don’t have to worry about setting up DMA ports, adding our own keyboard interrupts (which I kindof enjoyed), getting past the 16-bit barrier of DOS, etc. Now we can rely on an interface to talk to hardware specific drivers. This is good and makes some things easier.

On the other hand, putting together a simple tetris game is not marketable material. Games require development teams and investment of millions of dollars and sometimes years of time (doom3, half life 2 for example, or even less “cutting edge” games require lots of development time). It’s kind of sad, but its the price of creating the level of games coming out today. I always thought I could create some real killer games if we were all still running on 16 bit cards with vga. But were not. Things are much more complex, and the game developer is now required, it seems, to model everything from the real world which includes complex 3d graphics, 3d sound, and more! So your’e completely right.

Sorry for the tangent. :)

anubis 101 Oct 07, 2003 at 13:50

true, it’s much easier to get your head around the important things than it used to be.
things are more straightforward to day when it comes to dealing with hardware and the computer as a whole.

alia 101 Oct 20, 2003 at 08:51

heh, you could always try hand held/mobile games if you want to get back to the good ole days… *points to the HH forum*

For me.. I started programming after getting a Commodore 64 when I was eleven. Before then I hadent had any electricity… so seeing my fathers 8086 or whatever i was very impressed by the window manager (Gem) and some of the games.. (HHGTTG text adventure!) also looking for programs using GOPHER and ARCHIE and VERONICA (*rofl*) anyway I naturally had to take it apart… and (try) put it back together…
eventually came the C64 and many games… (yaaay!) i got sick of all the games and started programming firstly text adventures out of magazines.. then started on the car/ski games.. (wich were just a bunch of *’s) and eventually i ended up writing a version of space invaders by re drawing the bitmaps for the ascii caracter set… (higher res than gfx mode).. was heaps of fun…

After than I had to move back to the farm for a year (no electricity again!!) wich was horrible.. but we had BBC Micros so I amused myself trying to write better car games and space invaders again.. more importantly.. i wrote my first breakout clone… wich is now the game i write whenever I learn a new language/gfx api/ toolset. the rules are simple… and everyone is always willing to play test it!

after a year there we moved to a bigger city and i found a friend with an amiga 500… i love those machines.. they were awesome!!! i cant remember properly.. but i think i started my c programming there (Amiga C for Beginners) and also AMOS (man that was an easy language!) and AmigaBasic…

etc etc etc


Mihail121 102 Oct 20, 2003 at 09:11

First touch was a QBASIC compiler that was comming with a chat-bot program i believe for C64 or something like that. After some years i decided it sux and moved to pascal. With the new computers i moved to C/C++ and before 2 years i learned ASM. Pretty dumb story, huh ?

Smokey97 101 Oct 20, 2003 at 10:22

okay.. lets see… I guess it all started when i got my first comptuer in 6th grade (nothing like the old machines you guys started one… it was [ohh and still is; sigh i need a new comptuer…] an IBM Aptiva… 600mhz CPU 64mb ram 8mb vid card, [you can start feeling sorry for me around now.] 15” monitor.. blah blah you can imagine)…
anyway, i started buying games… and found a new passion for FPS games, a year or so later i bought Unreal Tournament; After a few months of playing UT i started looking making mods, nothing great just some new weapons. After that i wanted to look into creating my own game… and i remember reading somewhere (i think it was the UnrealScript language reference) the langauges Java and C++ being referenced. so i bought a Java book and started ot learn java… that took me a few months (as i didnt really know anything about prgoramming.. all my modes were pieces of code cpoied and pasted from other mods :P).. and even then i still did not completley understand computer programming…

.. anyway i basicly got sick and tired of school, and refused to go… staying at home on the internet 14 hours a day 7 days a week making mods (this time i was actualy making them, not copying fragments of code)…

I continued todo that for a while untill i had moved to Canberra (Capitol of Australia), and saw an Ad on the TV advertising enrolements at a college called the Academy of Interactive Entertainment… (basicly a college for 3D artists and comptuer game programmers) i had enrolled (yes they accepted my enrollment, even though i was only 14) and obviously was not accepted (but they told me to re enroll next year)… anyway i started to learn C++ (as oen of hte tutors told me to).. and eventualy became interested in 3D Graphics programming…

I have since re-enrolled at the AIE (just recently infact, i find out if i’m accepted some time in december), i’ve been working on 3D Game Engine… (progress is slow at the moment, but progress is progress), and a real time ray tracer….

Anyway… that’s my 3 year story… from 6th grade to date…

P.S. there is no doubt that my story is full of typos…
i’m 15 years old…
and i’m optomistic about my enrolement at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment