When was the first love with computer programming?
I had my first love in computer programming way back when I was in elementary grade, when I had a rather ‘casual’ talk with my computer teachers in OLOPSC. At that time the computers there are running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows 3.1, and there’s no Jumpstart yet. Our curriculum at that time involved using DOS programs installed in floppy disks which each one of us owned one, and those programs are unheard anymore even in most computer history lessons.
The programming languages at that time are QBASIC, Turbo Pascal, Turbo C, and not to mention dBase and Clipper.
Those computer teachers give me my first love in computer programming.
But then I struggled to write my first code, but I succeeded in the end. I did practiced programming first with the Visual Basic macro in Microsoft Office, then a couple of years later as my computer knowledge grew I managed to grab my own copy of QBASIC, which is not available by default in Windows 95 but can still be copied from computers running older OSes. I enjoyed having unprecedented control of the computer, being able to write code which the computer will automatically be done depending on the conditions like user inputs.
Students of today are lucky to have Google and the Internet as their one-stop-shop reference for any programming needs, and though I am not generalizing it, I doubt if some of them had actually learned to code by heart, and mastering the underlying concepts, or they just copy-pasted working snippets online just to finish their thesis. Internet is slow back then, and internet connectivity in schools are deemed a luxury at that time. I need to sneak into the high school and sometimes in college library just to read programming books and grab the coding reference I need, and have them photocopied to be tried at home. I also remember borrowing a couple of programming books in the library for the weekend.
I already lost my copies, but I swear that I managed to write a fully working Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game in QBASIC, complete with working randomized lifelines. That’s when I was twelve.
I eventually decided to take a computer course in college.
Today, some governments are introducing computer programming in late elementary curriculum, like in the United Kingdom. It is believed that programming is one of the most essential jobs in today’s technology-driven world. Can we do the same in the Philippines? I hope so. Maybe some kids of today will be able to find their first love in computer programming.