First Topic! How Did You Start Programming?

I wonder why there is no post in the social category.
So, let me take the step to create the first one!!!

Here, everyone will tell how he/she has started programming…

Let’s start then.

I have been meaning to answer your question here for a while, but I have been so engaged with Toph-related stuff lately that I just couldn’t do it earlier.

My very first exposure to any sort of programming involved writing Batch scripts. These are like Shell scripts for Windows. My second computer was from the Windows 95 era. It could barely run Windows 98. I would keep all of my anime and games organized on that second computer. I always had a soft corner for it. I had that computer around even after I upgraded to a newer one.

One day I thought of making a number-based menu for my anime and games using Batch scripts. That’s where it started.

Fast-forward a year or so, my parents wanted me to apply at Saint Joseph. I was in class 5, if I recall right, at that time. To motivate me into doing that and start going to a coaching center for it, they bought me some computing studies book that were used at Saint Joseph at that time.

One of the books had some example QBasic programs at the end of it. That’s where I got my second dose of exposure and saw some “real” programs (in case you wouldn’t call writing Batch scripts programming).

A few years after that, my father bought an IME software, Orko. If I recall right, that software was developed by Daffodil Software Ltd. It was just like Avro (the one that you use to type Bengali phonetically). I wanted to build something like Orko in Visual Basic / Visual Basic .NET. That’s where I got my exposure into reading documentations.

And, then some years later I entered university.

Can you imagine that the first time I learnt that you could sort an array without needing multiple arrays and without doing it at O(N^2), was during my CSE105 classes? That’s when I realized that all these years I was just preparing myself to learn programming.

So, there you go. That is how it started.

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Inspired By @hjr265 here’s my story,

My father was a computer programmer. When I was in class 6, one day I learned how to create a "textbox" in FoxProw by "thisform.text1.value" and how to write an "if-else" command. With only this knowledge I created a “telephone billing system”. I tried a lot how to learn “for loop” and create a "report"ing system for that billing system but failed miserably. After that fail, I never tried programming until before the admission to my university, IUT. Btw despite my father knowing programming, these are the only programming things I learned from my father.

After that, there is a big gap. In a science fair, one of my friends created a website for our school using “Bengali Unicode” and I helped him in a small part of making that using Microsoft frontpage. I remembered in that science fair a journalist from “Prothom Alo” came and heard everything very carefully. After a few months we saw, “Prothom Alo” created their web-site using Bengali Unicode. Most of my teenage time I dreamed of becoming a “graphics designer” (checked the spelling with google @jackal_1586 :slight_smile: ) making high-resolution games like Max-Payne or Visual effect for Movie Production (After effects from video-copilot) never thought about programming seriously, probably thought about being hacker because of “The Matrix”, but who doesn’t…!!!

I remember, once some of my friend (including me), use to make website in peperonity.com (mine was maskabangla.peperonity.com). This journey, everything was possible because of my great friend “Jubaid Rusho”. Most of our working was explored by him. A true computing mind. I was privileged, that my father knew computer fundamental very well and I was confident if I somehow broke the OS it doesn’t matter. But my friend Rusho, he learned the whole computing alone by trial and error. I feel privileged having a true friend. We had a lot of dreams, a lot of things we wanted to do, we successfully failed in everything. From the wild fascination to the dark web or yahoo random chat with ********. It was for us to just to explore what is possible. Even loading our personal website every day 100 times to increase page count (remember this is the time of 2G). I still don’t know how to make a web page properly :frowning: .

But I guess I developed my true computing mind while playing “Command and conquer behind the enemy lines”. My suggestion would be, if possible, once in a life, people should complete the whole game without cheat code. I feel blessed I had a true competitor (Rusho) that helped me keep going.

But despite having so many opportunities, I never learned programming. I only knew I wanted to be a Computer Scientist because I wanted to know how this box works, never knew it was all about math. After the utter disappointment of my admission test (all of my good friends admitted to BUET, after joining IUT, it was the hardest day when Tanvir Jaman, one of my good friend left IUT to join BUET, I never felt so alone). Before that, I bought a book called “Niton er C” on December 07, 2012. I completed most of the example from the book by myself (except recursion, thanks similitude for the explanations) writing every example from the book. And also I almost experimented every possible combination of those example. I started on 07 December 2012, completed on 22 December 2012. I remember my mother helped me eating all those days (Ha ha :slight_smile: those days). Went to my new University IUT on 24 December 2012. I guess these days are the most valuable days of my computing life. “Learning how to learn”.

After getting into IUT, A senior brother Sanjary Rahman helped+motivated me a lot to start learning algorithm stuff. But I will never forget the days when Tarif Ezaz bhai MADE ME solve “Knapsack Problem” and a variant of “Knapsack”. It was one of my fondest memory. I also never forget one of my friend “Zarzis Khan”, a true Problem solver, who leads his life as a problem solver. I have no doubt that if he continues to do what he loves, someday he would achieve great things. I could not be more blessed having a true great friend second time in my life.

Right now I don’t know why I am writing all of these but I guess I never thought why I have started Programming. Maybe with the blessing of almighty Allah somehow always I have true friends and brothers beside me. I never had to become frustrated more than two days because of those group of people. Probably those are the people because of whom I was able to continue Programming. It’s not important how I started.

If after reading all of this your takeway is “I did a lot of so called show up here”, it’s completely wrong. The greatest takeaway from here is to find some of the good people in your life and you will be DAMN lucky if those people loves to do what you always wanted to do but most of the time you were not good enough. But I can promise at least by trying with your heart, your worst-case scenario will be somehow become best case if you are only honest to you and the people around you.

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This topic just got my attention today, and now I’m posting my own story here.

A note before you start reading: I started coding very early, and I can’t remember all the details. Stories heard from my parents and other relatives helped a lot to write this.

I’m still new and young (starting 7th grade this year), so my story isn’t as interesting as others.

When I was young (I mean, very young, 2 years old maybe), I was attracted to science a lot (still attracted). As I grew up, everyone noticed that I liked toys with electronic components in them, like toy RC cars. I’d open them up, and use those components to build my own basic circuits and toys. I always wondered how these things like computers, or simple electronic toys work. Is there a hidden ghost inside of them or something?! I asked this to my father, who’s a lecturer of Bengali. He explained it to me quite well. From him, I heard about programming for the first time that day. I got very interested in it and asked him how it works.

With the help of the internet and my dad, I wrote my very first program in C language, which printed “I love Bangladesh!”. So I started learning programming at the age of 4. After playing with the C language a bit for some days and writing some simple codes, I decided to keep programming aside for some days and explore other special skills I can acquire. I started programming frequently again in 2015 (class 1, age 7). Till 2017, there wasn’t even a single day I didn’t code.

In 2017 (age 9, class 3), I decided to focus on music more, and didn’t code frequently that year.

At the end of 2017, I got a Raspberry Pi 3 as a gift from my parents. Probably for Christmas (or because I was the topper of my class? Can’t remember.) and I loved it so much!! It quickly became one of my best friends.

One special thing to note. That year, I also found a programming platform while surfing the internet, called Toph, which I didn’t know was actually a gift for me!

In 2018 (age 10, class 4), I started working on a humanoid robot. While developing neural networks and things, I noticed that C/C++ aren’t actually the best languages for AI/ML, so I started learning Python. I used Toph to practice the basics of Python. YouTube and the children-teen’s magazine Kishor Alo’s programming club helped a lot to learn the language.

In the mid 2018, I participated in National Children and Teen Programming Contest. I didn’t expect anything great. But, to my surprise, I became the champion and won a laptop! In the next month, my robot got a medal in Bangladesh Robot Olympiad! These two achievements motivated me so much, and I started learning new languages and gained new skills.

Again in 2019 (age 11, class 5), I focused a bit more on robotics, music and other things, and kept competitive programming aside.

In the mid 2020 (age 12, class 6), I started programming frequently again (very frequently this time). I also found my long-lost friend Toph, and started solving problems again on it. Now I’m a very regular “Toph-er” and solve problems here almost everyday.

Summary: I started programming in 2012 at the age of 4, because I loved it so much, and the my interest increased when my dad started helping me.

So, that’s how my journey started.

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