How old were you when to learned to program, and what language?

edited September 2013 in Questions Posts: 577

For me, I was eleven programming on some site called roblox, and the language was lua.



  • 14, my current age, and Lua, but I know Batch Files and VB Scripting

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 580

    I think I started learning when I was about 8 years old, on Apple IIe computers at school, where I had an excellent teacher who taught us how to program using BASIC. It changed my life. I also had a Kaypro 2 at home that happened to have BASIC on it as well, which helped reinforce what I was taught at school.

  • Posts: 577

    @Toadkick, Wow! Its amazing how fast things have changed over a few decades, isn't it?

  • BriarfoxBriarfox Mod
    Posts: 1,542

    I first learned to program with TI-Basic on my Texas Instrument TI-82 shortly after they came out. 32kb of memory! I was around 13 and i'd make small animations and text based rpg's. It made me rather popular later on in school. I'd write applications and share them with the class. It helped a few pass math class :) It took the teachers awhile to catch on. When they did I was allowed to use whatever I wrote but could not share it :)

  • Posts: 577

    That is awesome! Nowadays, at least around where I live, kids are not allowed to make programs to help them in math.

  • I do, they just dont know
    My school isnt the most secure in tech or the smartest

  • I'm teaching right now 12 & 13 y. o. kids how to use lua for mathematics (I'm using this page :

  • I think it was about 5 years old as my dad was in computers so we had access to his mainframes. I remember this puppy around the house, I guess I would have been 6-7 when we had it.

  • Posts: 2,161

    @quezadav That site looks very interesting. Are you a teacher and using it in class, or is it as an after-school club?

    On the main theme of the thread: sometime around 8,9 on a CBM64 using Basic.

  • Interesting thread! Me - 9ish, Basic on a Commodore Pet. Then I pestered my dad for a Sinclair ZX81 (then a Spectrum) and never looked back!

    Indeed theres a whole generation of kids of my age who started off the same way - and these sorts of machines including the CBM64, VIC20, TI, TRS-80, Apple II.. (have a look in your local museum if you want to see what they looked like!) all made it accesible for kids to get started with programming.

    Thats what I like about Codea, it really has the same sort of vibe and hopefully is inspiring a whole new generation. :-)

  • Posts: 1,255

    I believe I was about 18 when the Apple 2 first appeared and I dabbled a bit with BASIC. Then later, I wrote a number of games for the TI 99/4 (in a mixture of extended BASIC and TMS 9900 assembly) when I was 19 or 20. But I didn't start to program seriously until I was around 25 and Turbo Pascal came out.

  • dave1707dave1707 Mod
    Posts: 8,811

    I started programming around 27 on a TI SR 56 programmable calculator. That taught me logic with its loops and conditional commands. It also taught me to program small since it only had a 100 keystroke memory for programs. It also didn't have anyway to save the programs which was another reason to keep the programs small. My next jump was to an Apple II computer with 16k of memory when those first appeared. I later Increased it to 48k and added a disk drive to replace the cassette recorder. I liked programming on it in 6502 assembler with it's build in assembler/disassembler. I was already programming professionally by then, so programming on it was easy.

  • Posts: 1,595

    14 but stopped for a few years then carried on til now, Lua was my first language, well lua and C but C wasn't one of my favourite languages..

  • Posts: 66

    18 - on a hacked TRS 80 color computer (64 kb ram hack) using Forth...then C and pascal.

  • I started a few months ago 13 years old and my only coding experience is lua on codea, but im not really good...

  • Posts: 577

    @Jessevanderheide We can all get better at programing :)>-

  • Started programming about 3 years ago, i was 11 or 12. Started with c++ because my friend was using that but changed to codea when i got a ipad two years ago.

  • @Andrew_Stacey, I'm a secondary school teacher in Mexico using Lua in class as an aid for, say, using typical mathematical algorithms, like Euclides', for finding Gcd and so on. I was somehow inspired by a TED video of your countryman, Conrad Wolfram. By the way, what do you think about him and his vision of teaching kids real math with computers?
    I, myself, began to program at a late age, because we hadn't money for buying a computer, but I knew about Basic from foreign magazines when I was 12 or 13.

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 577

    @quezadav That was very inspiring for me also, I would agree with everything he said besides using computers more then paper. As a species, we should teach both, that way if one way fails, we still have the other one to learn from.

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 157

    I'm going to date myself here...

    My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20. I bought it with money I earned from odd jobs at 11 years old. At that time, all computers came with a programming manual, because computer users were expected to do some programming.

    After upgrading to a Commodore 64 and then 128, I got a TA job at my local community college I was attending and bought a PC... which gave me the opportunity to learn c++ and a handful of other languages that have since faded into obscurity. Up until Windows 95 took off, my favorite language was QuickBasic. It was simply the quickest and easiest way to program for DOS.

    These days, I'm hip-deep in ASP, SQL, classic VB and VB.Net, and c#. I also dabble in JavaScript, but I have a love-hate relationship with browser scripting, so I avoid it except when necessary.

    As to Lua: I didn't know a lick of it before I bought an iPad a couple months ago, but I've picked it up quickly enough. It really reminds me of QuickBasic on DOS: just powerful enough to make you feel like you can do anything, but still not quite ready for the really big stuff.

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 580

    @tomxp411: I fully disagree about Lua being "not quite ready for the really big stuff". Did you know that Adobe Lightroom is ~65% Lua? WoW uses Lua for it's GUI plugin system. Video games have been using Lua for decades now :) Also, on more "open" devices (i.e. not iOS) there is even a JIT implementation that brings Lua's performance up to near-native speeds.

    EDIT: I really like your point about how when we were kids, the computers themselves actually encouraged us to learn how to program. We have lost something tremendously valuable by completely hiding that facet of computer skills from computer users.

  • edited September 2013 Posts: 49

    I learned when I was about 12 with GameMaker ( back then, it was a lot like codea is today. A small userbase made it easy to talk to developers and other programmers struggling with the same things as me. The language was also unique in the way that it was so intuative that it was hard to get a syntax error. you could code any way that you wanted. In fact, you can almost just copy and paste lua, java, python, and others straight into it and it would work with minimal tweeking.

    Now its userbase is bigger and yoyogames have taken it in the way of a more practical business model, but they still have their "sandbox" where programmers are still very helpfull and you can still talk directly with developers, but their website might look like it controdicts that unless you have been around for a while.

    I would recomend it to anyone that wants to get started because of its "openness" and ease of coding along with drag and drop functions (I think like xcode, although ive never used xcode) make it simple for anyone willing to learn. I havent taken any classes in programming at all untill this year (freshman in college) and Im glad I started before now.

  • Posts: 577

    @1980geeksquad Funny! After I got bored with roblox and wanted to find another programming language, I stumbled across that. In fact, I also found a book about it at Sams Club.

  • Posts: 1,595

    @tomxp411 you are wrong about lua! Look at the valve engine, its only as powerful as you make it, that's what I love about Lua, if you want a full lua based IDE you can make one, a very good one as well. But along side that, it's very lightweight compared to other languages and it's been used so much now that there are integrations in loads of systems, look at a game called Garry's Mod, its based completely around lua to make all the aspects of the game, and its really powerful.

  • edited October 2013 Posts: 157

    @toadkick @Luatee This isn't the thread for that conversation. Short version is: scripting languages like Lua can be part of an application, but they're generally lousy for writing the core application framework. That's why we have C++. =)

    If you want to debate pros and cons of scripting languages vs. systems programming languages, I'm happy to shed some light based on my experiences working with very good and very bad programmers. But let's do that on another thread.

  • Posts: 1,595

    @tomxp411 I agree with that first statement completely that's not what I'm arguing but yes, different time different story (well thread) but yeah I'd like to see what people think about our beloved language Lua, start a thread :)

  • Posts: 580

    @Luatee @tomxp411: I wasn't arguing systems languages vs. scripting languages. Nor was I arguing whether Lua should be part of an application or the whole application. I was taking objection to statement that Lua is "not quite ready for the really big stuff". There are at least a few of us who quite disagree :)

    Anyway, sorry for steering the thread off course.

  • I would have been 11/12 programming very simple BASIC on the Commodore 64 and BBC Micro. Then I've kept on doing very simple things in a variety of languages; C64 assembly, PASCAL, C, C#, PHP, PERL etc

  • Posts: 196

    Fun thread :)
    I started at around 9 with a fresh new ti85 graphic calculator using ti-basic. The calculator had been passed down to me by my brother who was getting a new hp 48 something, been in love with programming ever since ^^

  • IgnatzIgnatz Mod
    Posts: 5,396

    This forum and our shared enthusiasm for Codea reminds me very much of when Visual Basic came out in the early nineties. Whatever you think of it now, at the time it was the first software to put programming in the hands of ordinary enthusiasts, just as Codea puts graphics programming in our hands. And VB users were just like us, and every bit as enthusiastic as we are now. But Codea is way more fun.......

    To stay on topic, I started with a university mainframe and punch cards. Imagine punching each line of your program on a card, putting a rubber band around them and putting them in a queue, then coming back every few hours to see if it had run (and printed something, no screens then). Each bug cost you a day, so you had to really, really check your code first. So of course I used to do that in the back of math class.....

    When they bought an extra 1 (yes, one) meg of RAM, it was big news.....

  • edited October 2013 Posts: 1,976

    I was eight when I found a website called Playcrafter (sadly had to shut down), with XML programming. Simple, but fun. I would spend every day there... Now I spend every day on Codea. ;)

  • Posts: 2,820

    7 and BASIC in BlitzMax and QBasic in DOS Box

  • Posts: 355

    17 and c++

  • BriarfoxBriarfox Mod
    Posts: 1,542

    @Zoyt the first piece of software I finished was converting a QBasic billing application. I wrote it in C++. Had it working but hated making the interface with C++. RE-wrote it in :) It's still going strong!

  • edited October 2013 Posts: 355

    Waoo Is good @briarfox

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Posts: 34

    10 and BASIC on a Sinclair CZ48 Spectrum

  • Posts: 157

    +1 for Sinclair. Those were cool little machines... and at one point, they were around $50. I don't think you can buy a fully assembled computer for $50 today.

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    It was 1971, and the language was APL. I was wandering through Amherst College's science building and saw someone at a terminal and sat down next to him. Reluctant to "ask for directions," I figured out most of it solo. (He showed me how to make a subroutine.) Since 1983, when I got a "real job," I've been programming in APL and being paid for the pleasure too!

  • edited October 2013 Posts: 12

    1963, Sieve of Eratosthenes, written in Algol 60, typed on a Friden Flexowriter to punched paper tape, compiled and run an Elliott 803 using Tony Hoare's compiler. I was 15. Four years later I was working at Elliotts testing and fixing their 4100 mainframes. Still coding at 66, now at Nintendo, Wii-U console SDK, audio engine. Many interesting nodes on the intervening drunkard's walk.

  • Posts: 12
    1. I was 13 on a sinclair zx81. After reaching the 1kb memory of Basic, I asked a 16kb extension for Christmas, and I finished by gfa basic on Atari st or Amiga 520, I don't remember exactly.
  • 13, using the ComputerCraft mod for Minecraft.

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    @1029chris I have that mod too! :P

  • Posts: 257

    i've beginning with basic in cpc 6128 then rpl system in hp 48 calc, hp pascal and now hp-prime

  • Posts: 257

    i was 12 year old

  • Posts: 29

    I love roblox, I'm still on it all the time. I'm 13 and learning, but I also know some basic things on codea and roblox.

  • Posts: 577

    @Mason What is roblox? Is it like a programming language or something?

  • BriarfoxBriarfox Mod
    Posts: 1,542

    It's a game.

  • Posts: 577

    @Briarfox Thanks!

  • Posts: 1,976

    @Briarfox Game/website/game creator.

    I have an account, but I don't play as much, as it's filled with swearing, annoying trolls and spammers everywhere.

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