How did you end up working as a programmer?

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#1 jumptrooper  Icon User is offline

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How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:18 AM

In high school, I knew I wanted to be a programmer. When I went to college I signed up as a CS major and life was good. Unfortunately, I had a girlfriend at college who sucked up all my time (so I didn't get much study time or project time), and suddenly I wasn't doing well in class. Clueless, I deduced that I was bad at programming and should try something else, so I became a Psychology major. I graduated (major in psych, minor in CS) and went on to start a masters program in marriage and family counseling because "I wanted to help people". Halfway through my MFT program, I realized I made a mistake and that I really still wanted to do programming. I quit the MFT crap and took some classes to brush up on my programming. A year later, I find myself programming for a small software company and really enjoying myself. Compared to my previous two jobs of working in a group home and providing in-home mental health services to children and families in the CPS, Mental Health, and Juvenile Justice systems, I feel like I'm on vacation and I actually look forward to going to work.

How did you know you wanted to program? And did anyone else decide they wanted to program after graduating with an unrelated degree?

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Replies To: How did you end up working as a programmer?

#2 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:30 AM

I'm still in high school, and so all my programming experience has come from Dream.In.Code and personal projects. I do however, do some website development for BCK Consulting and enjoy making money from that. However, I lucked out on that job, since the owner goes to my church and likes me and what I do.

However, I've wanted to program since I was in 7th grade developing robots for my school robotics program.
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#3 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:37 AM

Well...it only occurred to me that I wanted to be a programmer during senior year of high school (3 years ago). I took a programming class that year and it completely changed my life. I remade my schedule for the rest of the year to include the other 2 programming classes offered at my school. I am now a 3rd year CompSci student hoping to get a part-time programming job at my university sometime this week or so, actually. (Hooray for job requirements including Java Swing GUI construction? ;))

So...mine was all fairly quick. But when you really find something that's interesting, fun and engaging, you just know, you know? I'm not one of those kids who started writing BASIC when they were 7. I figured it out when I was 17, almost 18.
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#4 jumptrooper  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 10:28 AM

That's awesome guys! I know it wasn't until I started doing actual MFT-type work that I realized that what I imagined it would be like was different from the reality, so the fact that you're getting lots of good experience is really great.
I definitely agree that when you've found work you enjoy doing you just know.
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#5 Ahmedn1  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 12:58 PM

for me
you will never believe what I wanted to be
I wanted to work in the Intelligence as an officer

but when I started working on computer when I was almost 8 years old I loved this machine
and after about 4 years I started learning programming

my start was VB6
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#6 eclipsed4utoo  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:35 PM

I was a junior in high school when I took an "Intro to Computers" elective class that was basically an introduction to VB6(1999). I aced the class and was asked to come back as a teacher's assistant to help out for the next semester. That's when I decided that I wanted to program. Went to college, got a degree, and happy that I chose this profession.
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#7 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:42 PM

I always wanted to be a programmer and have coded as a hobby since I was little, but I was scared to make the jump because I thought my skills would be way below the average. So after years of being sysadmin or hardware guy I ended up thinking "what the hell". I now realise I was a fool to worry, and that it turns out that most programmers in the industry are actually pretty crap. What a relief.
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#8 PhunkRabbit  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:54 PM

Trained as a designer and have worked with programming out of necessity. Due to the ammount of experience I have gained over the years working with PHP now allows me to do as much as anyone else in the office.

While im not a programmer by trade, I am capable and would not turn down a programming job, thus moving out of design.
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#9 mostyfriedman  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:27 AM

The first line of code i have ever written was when i started college. I HATED computer programming and i sucked at it BIG TIME, and i just thought i'd go for another major. Later I read a lot about programming, did a lot of practice, and I just fell in love with it so I decided I'd switch to computer engineering. currently I am working on my bachelors and also I am working in a small software company.
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#10 jumptrooper  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 08 September 2010 - 09:08 AM

Practice makes a difference. It's definitely one thing to have read about a topic and another to have tried it out and worked with it.
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#11 CasGrimes  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:03 AM

I was on course to doing a law degree after always getting very good grades in it, the problem was I found it troublesome and boring.
I still aimed to do it even though for years I knew I wouldn't enjoy it. So the day before the university application deadline, I thought "screw this" and applied for a game technology degree (a complete u-turn I know).

One of the modules was c# programming and I hated it, but I really wanted to be good at it.
So I decided to spend my free time learning about programming (as I had a lot of personal problems at the time so I needed the distraction) and eventually I developed an interest in it that has grown. So much so that I've taught myself c++ before I get taught it next year and I'm able to make games in it already.
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#12 Cowhm  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:13 PM

Well I took one programming course in high school on VB, it was awful and I figured programming wasn't for me (despite my passion for computers and gaming). So I got my degree in Econ (it was easy and I had a lot of fun at school) and philosophy (something I enjoyed). Now i'm working in finance and I hate every minute of it, so consequently i'm trying to learn on my own and go back to grad school for CS.
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#13 javadork  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:55 PM

Lived in a small crappy town. Parents took pity in me and bought me a Commodore 64. Started typing in ML code from Compute! magazine, and have been hooked ever since. Went to school, got my degree, and have worked as a developer the past 8 years now. Loving it.
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#14 D.Mulroy  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:23 AM

View Posteclipsed4utoo, on 07 September 2010 - 12:35 PM, said:

I was a junior in high school when I took an "Intro to Computers" elective class that was basically an introduction to VB6(1999). I aced the class and was asked to come back as a teacher's assistant to help out for the next semester. That's when I decided that I wanted to program. Went to college, got a degree, and happy that I chose this profession.


Exact same situation for me, although i'm now in my senior year preparing to head to college of CS next year :]
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#15 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: How did you end up working as a programmer?

Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:50 AM

For me it all started when I was about 4 years old and my dad bought me an Atari 2600. From then on, I knew that one day I would create video games for a living. From there, I spent almost all my free time playing games and when I was 15 I moved away from my hometown and was so uninterested in meeting anyone in the new place that I lived that I sunk myself into the only true happiness I had at the time, computer games. After a couple years of playing MUD's, old text-based RPG's for those that do not know what MUD's are, a group of online friends decided they wanted to make their own, so we downloaded the smaug 1.4 codebase and began to tinker with it, and very soon I had become more familiar and more comfortable with coding in C than anyone else on the team so I guess they decided that I was the head coder. After spending a ton of time basically re-working the codebase, our plans for that game failed and we all grew apart, and I spent the next few years not coding or working on games in any fassion, but the programmer's fire had already been lit inside me and I always felt the need to get back into programming, so I decided to enroll in college for a game design program and during most of my 4 years, I was leaning toward 3D and animation. After about 2 and a half years of doing that, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted to do and started to get back into coding again and now I couldn't be happier. I graduated with a bachelor's a little over a year ago and have been working with XNA and having a blast creating games since then.
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