The Lazy Designer

Giving the Gift of Programming (or: How did you learn to code?)

So I’ll start right away with a question for the programmers reading this:

How did you learn to program?

The reason I’m asking is that I was assembling a ‘programming package’ for my nephew… basically a bit of a programming tutorial to get him started with coding… but then I realized that operating systems don’t have default compilers installed anymore.

And that got me to thinking.

I learned to program because my early machines (starting with the Adam) had the Basic language available to use. As a kid I made dozens of RPGs using Basic… it just seemed the thing to do because it was built into the computer and so easy to access. Which was good since I was never really taught programming in school (beyond using Logo or whatever it was). If not for the included basic compiler on those early machines I might never have started programming.

So how did you start? Was it through school or friends or did it wait until college? Or did you just search for compilers on the web, downloading the ones you were interested in?

A second question would be if you have any links to programming resources geared towards children and young adults to get them started (easily). I’d like to have something simple I can send to my nephew that he can install on his family’s computer and get started with programming but I haven’t found an ideal solution that doesn’t involve me actually traveling to his home (which is somewhat impractical in the short term) and doing the install for him.
Much appreciated and have a great weekend.

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.