How did you end up working as a programmer?

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33 Replies - 5706 Views - Last Post: 28 September 2012 - 04:31 AM

#16 earlgrey  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:18 AM

Im 25 and last year I decided to go back to college and get an education. I have always had an interest in computing and technology and had dabbled in VB6 some years back, but nothing major. I used to work in Public Space Surveilance, and work long 12 hour nightshifts for a rubbish wage in an airlocked room with no windows (not that I would have been able to see much it was always dark). With the support of my partner I decided to go back to college to do a degree. Now I am a competant programmer in many languages and in systems design and loving every minute of it. When you work in dead end jobs it really opens your eyes as to what you want to do. As long as you have direction in life you can strive to achieve many things, if you don't then you stagnate. I don't really think it matters how you get there, just as long as you are doing it and you are happy. Oh and if possible, sit near a window, it's nice to see the outside world :)
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#17 DaneAU  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:40 AM

I have to say earlygrey my story is quite similar. I originally entered university to complete medical science. I spent two years working and passed well. I then decided to have a 6month break, that break turned into 2 years as i started travelling and enjoying life. I picked up a crappy job that funded my adventures and experiences, i have some regrets about doing what i did as i could be earning reasonable money and have suffice job security. Anyway during this time i decided to get a decent computers as i got involved in gaming and was enjoying it during my down time at home. From that i went into some community forums and became intersted in IT and everything that encompassed. I then somehow stumbled onto programming, i downloaded devc++ and mucked around... so a year or so went on and i decided i didn't want to stare into microscopes... my degree was greatly recognised however it was a waste of time completing it as my school dreams had changed.

At this point in time i went back part time to try a few coding courses... I did a few (java) didn't really like the classes, it was boring and people didn't seem interested in it, this was to be expected as the university i was at was geared towards Law, Medicine and Straight Sciences such as Chemistry, Physics and Biology... I was turned off by the course and that crappy way we were taught the language, it really was pointless to say the least, i then realised that my uni didn't provide a degree that would hit my nerves in terms of providing me with the will to learn in a reasonably progressive way; it was steeped in tradition and no longer was it a place i enjoyed being. I took another year off to work and feed my addictions ( yep went through the going out, drinking, drugs, travel etc... ) at the end of that year i was 24 or so and said to myself, you really enjoy it, this lifestyle is going nowhere, you have had shit happen ( divorce, deaths etc... ) now its time to get back into gear, so i scoured the universities reasonably within my locality for ones with courses that i want to complete, the options were open universitys ( RMIT Melbourne ), Maquarie or Newcastle, i chose Newcastle thinking i could move up there and just rent and do uni... well for the first year i drove ( 180km each way ) this ran my car into the ground and i realised... hrmm this isn't going to work for the next few years... ( see the GFC hit and jobs went out the window so the work + rent plan failed dismally). So i then moved into open uni - work from home, i have found this conflicts with idle time which i feel should be spent doing things... Anyway things are looking to change in the next few months as i should be buying a place in newcastle and making do to complete the degree.

Only 18months left on that, in the mean time i hang out here learning and helping where i can, i also work on some projects of my own, cultivate ideas so that once i am equipped with the professional recognition i can present these ideas, i can work with a software development team and contribute, until that time i will just live off the couple of hobbiest websites i operate and those which i build for small businesses and the like. Its not much money and tbh for me its more of an annoyance than anything, i tend to always underquote jobs and regret later on.

I believe the current timing is good for me, i should graduate at a time when the economy is back on track and investment is growing. Until then i will just continue on with what it is i do.


----
wow i got carried away! go life story
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#18 earlgrey  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:18 AM

I finish my degree next year too, strange thing is I live in Newcastle England lol
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#19 DaneAU  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:09 AM

haha sweet, i guess we must have copied the name ;)
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#20 auggiecc87  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:52 AM

I was hired for a job because I knew how to work with Adobe Creative Suite. There, I became part of numerous "coding" projects ranging from sales reporting work to c++ back end and some GUI work. Eventually my boss came to me and told me corporate wouldn't allow him to pay me more without a degree. (I had been taking some junior college classes like Calc's, Phys, etc) So I went back to college and got a degree in Computer Science specializing in Computer Security. Now here I am.
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#21 anonymouscodder  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:00 PM

I decided to go to a technical school and I kind choose the area by elimination, I didn't know anything about it.

I'm pretty happy with my choice :)
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#22 winningcat99  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:51 AM

I took I.T. classes at college and landed an entry-level programmer position about 3 months later.
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#23 DuoShin85  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 07 October 2010 - 12:30 PM

I first started programming on a TI-83, but it didn't click that I was actually programming. I was just having fun learning a strange language that resulted in something cool. My sister was planning on taking Computer Engineering on as a major. Since I'm 1.5 years older than her, I became the guinea pig and I majored in it. It was a good decision I believe. I got just enough CS classes to move forward after graduation and learn C#. Now, I'm working at a small company and having fun.
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#24 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:58 PM

I am a university student right now, so I am not a programmer by employment. However, I have spent quite a bit of time here on DIC, trying to help people. I think I have always been interested in computers and problem solving, and that is what ultimately lead to me wanting to be a Software Engineer.
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#25 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 08 October 2010 - 07:03 AM

A lot of you seemed to of known early on this is what you wanted. It took me a little longer.

In highschool I just wanted to party.

When I graduated I did manual labour. And got in a tractor trailer with my dad and learned to drive truck hauling cars. I also picked up some electrician work and plumbing. Basic stuff, enough where if need be I could get a low paying job starting out in those industries. But the trucking was the big one as I had rode with my dad since I was a little kid.

After a few years I decided I missed math. In highschool, other then partying, I loved math. Yeah I was the kid who came to the mathletes competitions high on acid. So I decided I'd get a local job back home and go to community college (yeah, we didn't have a lot of money. My father had several children and a few more step children, all roughly the same age and going to college at the same time.)

So I worked 80 hours a week and pushed myself through some math courses in community college. I wanted to be a teacher. I had always looked up to some of my teachers in highschool for their passion for education despite the shit pay and the HORRIBLE crap kids like myself would put them through. It takes balls and deserves huge respect... respect I wanted.

Then semester after semester I'd have to withdraw from some classes because a funeral would hit that would leave me stranded. Sorry but I don't care if you're Einstein, you can't pass a Calc 3 class missing two of the 4 tests and having a teacher with a 'no exceptions' policy. The math just don't work out. And after a handful of withdrawals for the same reason of death in the family. It really makes some people circumspect of your transcript.


So I dropped out... good ol' college drop out with a dead uncle, step mother, father, and baby brother... and a heavy drinking addiction to boot.


Then one day, drunk out of my wits. I get the brilliant idea to have a friend of mine who had just graduated art school to move into my garage. He wanted to make a videogame... that sounded AWESOME to me. But I didn't know how to do anything that it took to make a videogame. BUT I do know physics and math... I can do that stuff 3 sheets to the wind and a dildo in my ass.

So I sat down, taught myself C++ and C# at the same time. 5 months later our minor efforts and hooting and hollaring on the internet landed both of us jobs out of state. In 5 months I had a 45K a year job programming... I was blown over. I guess I was made for this... so I taught myself more languages, came back home (California sucked, and I own a house back home, the economy just wasn't going to let me stay out west), and have taking this fun ride as it comes.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 26 September 2012 - 12:17 PM

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#26 derrellgore  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

I see several things in other posts that I am not alone. I started on the Commodore 64....then spent 20 years as a SysAdmin till I was sick of it. Always programmed for fun but never thought I was good enough for a job. Then finally made the switch and lovin' every minutes of it.
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#27 November-06  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 23 September 2012 - 08:44 PM

We have subjects for BASIC, Turbo BASIC and Q BASIC in elementary but since we were too young back then, no one really took the subjects seriously.

When I was 12, my classmates knew CSS since they were using friendster. I do not use friendster but I thought I want to study CSS so I do self-studies from the internet and become good at it.

I tried to browse my elementary books for it but they do not have anything about websites. Instead, all are about programming and animation.

I studied them, got interested that time, and joined forums on the internet. I was using Pentium I before and I could only study programming by using the macros built in Microsoft Word in Windows 98 wherein I could use some VB6 codes.

I met a guy in chat who is actually good in software engineering. He is about 4 or 5 years older and he would guide me in my studies. I look up to him as a brother and he in return treadted me like a younger sister. When I have questions in programming, I usually go to him. Bit now, I want to surpass him.

When I was 15, I made simple IQ games, built website for computer aided instructions and eventually I decided that I'll take up a programming course in college.

And now, I am already working as a developer for software and web using mainly C#.NET, VB.NET, and ASP.NET.

This post has been edited by November-06: 23 September 2012 - 08:52 PM

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#28 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:28 PM

I started as an Art/Music student in Junior High School who wanted to be a super hacker. I was a designer/artist more than anything at that point. I learned some trivial bits of HTML and tried my hand at web design.

After a while, I got annoyed at overly static content and picked up some javascript and just as quickly threw it out a window as an annoyance. I dusted some PHP, but didn't particularly like that either.

High School had some programming classes in VB, but I was more set on Unix and networking bits than anything so I really didn't pay that much attention.

College I was forced to use C# and actually get into it, so I started learning, and pretty fast. I tended to be a few weeks ahead at any given time. I started to like programming, but I was still a sysadmin by heart with Unix.

Come Senior Year of College, I started working as a Network Technician, got a hold of Ruby, and started going deep. I wanted to know everything about the language, it's nuances and what made it so danged beautiful and clean. The more I got into it the more my work started changing from Ops to DevOps.

Pending whatever happens next, I may very well go full time Programmer instead of hybrid, but that's up for grabs.

I'm more at the turn point of life where I decide which rabbit hole to dive down.
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#29 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:47 PM

When I was enrolling at my college I took computers because I like computer games but I had no idea what programming is. Heck, I don't even know how to do HTML. I don't own a computer, so I guess that attributed to that too. I almost failed all my programming classes in my first year. Then I picked up a book in C and started learning stuff on my own pace. I started understanding the bits and pieces and now I can program "Hello World". The rest is history.
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#30 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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

Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:11 AM

*
POPULAR

Even though this is a necro thread from 2 years ago, people seem to be adding some relevant posts... and I feel we need more LoD style stories, so here be mine:

In high school, I was a little of everything - drama club, Spanish club, Quiz Bowl, debate team, Scrabble club, mathlete, cartoonist for the school paper, played clarinet in the band, soloist and accompanist for the choir/chorus/chamber singers/any other music group that was created along the way, volleyball team, basketball team, athletic statistician, art club, and so on and so forth and so on and so forth - everything except anything computer related. I took the required "Computer Literacy" course that taught us how to write BASIC and play Oregon Trail. I even proceeded to continue taking it as an elective for 4 consecutive years... not once considering it something that could be turned into a lucrative career.

I started college as a music education major. I had wanted to teach from grade school on... above and beyond all else, I wanted to be a teacher (to this day, my family still tells me I missed my calling). I HATED it. I hated Italian Diction classes. I hated the required 8 hours/day of practice time. I hated my piano instructor. I hated being forced to join the chamber choir and sing funeral dirges in long, black robes.

On Halloween, my freshman year, I attended my first frat party with a friend. There he was - across the room - sitting without a chair, his back against the wall... long black cape draped over his shoulders.... mysterious half-mask over his face. My friend and I stood near the drinks as he strode confidently across the room. Knowing from years of experience that my friend was "the pretty one", I saw him coming and excused myself to a corner so the two of them could chat without me getting in the way. She turned toward him, shook her long gorgeous hair, and put on a wide smile. He walked past her like she didn't exist and came to talk to dorky old me in the corner. I was flabbergasted. The Phantom of the Freaking Opera wanted to talk... to me.

I quickly developed a severe infatuation with this man and would spend night after night after night in his dorm room - no, not doing that! I was watching him play on the computer - surfing the web, playing video games, writing code... didn't matter. I found everything the Physics Major of the Opera did to be utterly fascinating. I went out and bought my first computer... a Compaq Presario with a fresh and fancy copy of Windows 95. Oh, yeah, I was rocking the socks off my ethernet cable.

By the start of Spring semester, the Phantom had long since broken my heart, but it was okay. I had two new loves: technology and frat boys. I switched over to a Computer Science major. My first programming class was C++. And I bombed it. BAD. I had no clue what was going on or what I was supposed to do... and everyone around seemed to be so much better at everything that I was - so I didn't ask questions for fear of being mocked or ridiculed. Eventually, I stopped going to class altogether because I was so far behind.... but overall, this lack of attendance didn't bother me - my friend and I were far too busy drinking it up at random frat parties. Soon, I left my big, expensive university and went on to community college (suck it, elitists... my piece of paper is just as good as yours in the end).

I finished with three AAS degrees before transferring to a state school... where I proceeded to continue drinking heavily (among other things) until found out I was pregnant with my first child.

The partying came to a screeching halt and my social life was very quickly condensed to my family and three best friends.

Several years later, after being completely unable to find work in my degree area, I went back to school yet again - and revisited the education route... this time as a Secondary Ed, General Science, major intent on being a middle school science teacher. My thinking was that I hated the previous education major because of the practice time involved. Turns out, I actually hated all the political correctness and hyper-sensitivity being crammed down our throats.

So once again, I quit school, and started offering my services as a freelance web developer. From there, I weaseled my way into a position with an actual company (thanks to the portfolio I developed as a freelancer) and then into the school I work for now (thanks to a fellow DIC for the awesome recommendation :wub: ).

There was a lot of other, far more major shit that happened along the way... but I'm not going into all that (some skeletons are meant to stay in the closet).... but... the rest, as they say, is history.
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