I was talking to a software dev guy that I share an office with and we got to talking about how we both learned the basics of programming on the Texas Instruments version of BASIC they include on their calculators for scripting math functions.

I'm 18, and he's probably 30+, but we both shared the same experiences in High School of writing programs (sometimes selling programs :P ) for our math and science classes.

Most of our teachers took the attitude of: "If you are smart enough to write the program, you're smart enough to use the function anyways so you might as well use the programs to save time."

Anyone else share the experiences of writing programs to be given to friends during lunch to help them with their classes like we did?

First programming experiences are such sweet memories :)

nah, i first learnt VB5 for fun, im 17 btw

My first program was a spreadsheet, but after that it was exclusively calculators for a while. There was TI-83 basic and TI-89 basic, both of which were sucky languages, but eventually I escaped to the HP side, where they truly have a good programming environment. I'd say I learned much of how to 'think' programming on an HP-49G.

nah, i first learnt VB5 for fun, im 17 btw

How old were you when you first learned VB5? If you want, share experiences since then. :)

I wrote in TI-BASIC when I was a freshman (14) and learned both C++ well enough to write applications that summer when I was 15. Since then I've learned Java (which has become my favorite language to write in/develop apps in), C for programming (what I use for math based programs and writing our robotics code), the HTML/XML/Javascript languages for web development, and the .NET languages for web based software integration (in that order :)).

Learning a new language every year has become a habit, largely thanks to my love of programming inspired by that little graphing calculator. :)

I'm going to Virginia Tech's College of Engineering next year for a major in Computer Science (and possibly double in Mathematics).

i like to learn a language a year too

I grew up on DOS and windows 3.11 and loved to tinker with the system and Qbasic since about age 7

i started VB5 pretty early as Qbasic could no longer challenge me (1998 i think, as we were running NT4.... ). I was young but my dad was eager to get me into computers (he works with them) so i just kinda taught myself

I also learnt some (basic) html a little later

From there i went to VB6 in about 2000 and .NET in 2004 (i waited for it to mature)

then i dabbled a bit in C#. C++ and Java but it still mystifies me (never got the hang of it) . Right now im using VB.NET 2005 and am also learning PHP and CSS ( i like PHP)

Im also pretty into Linux (debian/slack ftw!)

Started with BASIC on a Commodore Vic-20, programs were saved to a tape cassette :)

Later had BASIC and Pascal classes in HS and the engineering college was still requiring a course in Fortran (on the VAX, not PC, bleh.. ).

I learned BASIC on Texas Instruments hardware too. Not on the calculator but one of their early home computers TI-99/4a. I did some basic on an Acorn Electron in my early teens. Then I didn't program for many years, but always owned and used computers throughout, owning an Atari 512 and then a 1040ST before my first 486 PC from Gateway Computers. I came back to programing in 1999 using VBA to program Microsoft Access97 and Sql Server 6.5 databases. I moved on to using Interdev 6 to program ASP applications in VBScript using Sql Server 7.0 and then Sql Server 2000, learning HTML and javascript along the way. I was back into it in a big way by then dabbling with C/C++ and then PHP (when that took off) just for fun.

Now I program C# ASP.NET web applications for a living, but I still like to play with anything that's free (which is most platforms these days) I've fiddled with JAVA, and RUBY has been my most recent foray.

Unfortunately my exploits never bought me into direct contact with any 'Gurus' I've always had to find my own way. And that's how I ended up frequenting technical forums, DaniWeb being my most recent membership.

i like ASP.NET but i never got the hang of C#, only VB....

can you recommend any good C# books?

I Bought this one:
Professional C# 2005

It's funny because I have a long Visual Basic history but I found C# so much more elegant to type in a code editor, it was like a breath of fresh air. I find VB.NET soooo wordy, in fact I struggle to use it now.

I mean how can:

Dim x As Integer

Ever be better than:

int x;

?

And for me:

If(x = 0)

Is just wrong, = is an assignment operator.

It's funny because I have a long Visual Basic history but I found C# so much more elegant to type in a code editor, it was like a breath of fresh air. I find VB.NET soooo wordy, in fact I struggle to use it now.

I mean how can:

Dim x As Integer

Ever be better than:

int x;

?

And for me:

If(x = 0)

Is just wrong, = is an assignment operator.

Agreed. After using Java for years now, I can hardly stand to read VB syntax anymore. We still have to maintain some old Excel VBA templates here and none of us like having to get back into the VB code (VB6, not .NET).

mmm for VB i like the "Step By Step" range by "Microsoft Press" in case you are ever interested

If you feel that the syntax of VB is weird, try looking into Haskell and Erlang. You would really love it. ;-)

If you feel that the syntax of VB is weird, try looking into Haskell and Erlang. You would really love it. ;-)

Nice find. Some of those code examples look like examples from esoteric languages :p

i started MIPS assembly programming this year. I hate that language

My first program in 1979 was in HP Basic on a HP computer that had a wapping 64K memory and used 8 Inch (203 mm) diameter glass diskettes to store data. A couple years later we also got a TI 99 programmable calculator that was pretty nice for the time.

glass diskettes?

i am too young for that stuff, im a dos/os2/win 3.1 kinda guy