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‌Mummy, I want to be a programmer when I grow up!

To be quite honest, the title of this paragraph is a little misleading. I do believe that no child when they are less than 8 years old would aspire to be a programmer. At this age, I actually wanted to make lots of money by discovering a new mineral in Antarctica as a Mineralogist.

However, my fascination with technology, computers more specifically, came from this early age also. My extended family have always been eager techno-wizards, when a new “thing” came out, someone in our family had already acquired it. We would all go over to that family member’s house and have a play. This meant that technology was always being introduced into our household and this really would have been the initial spark to my curiosity for how technology worked and how to manipulate it.

When I was 8, I created my first HTML4 page. It had a yellow background and used the h1, p, b, i and center tags. It definitely was not a pretty sight, but after creating that page, I realised something, I could tell my computer what I wanted it to do and it would obey me. To my understanding at the time, if my computer could choose to not obey me, it would have stopped me from creating that yellow background.

HTML is not a programming language though, it is a mark-up language. SO how did I get into programming?

How the programming began:

Every time I would visit my granddad at his house, I would be buzzing, wanting to figure out how his ten-year old PC with Windows 98 on it worked. It very much intrigued me, how such weird, old components could be assembled in a specific way that would allow me to input a string of text into an application and it would output some sort of answer to me. Just before he passed away, he lovingly passed down his dinosaur-age PC to me. For weeks on end I would energetically try to investigate exactly how the computer components worked together. Once I had finally inspected the hardware components, the research lead to the software and firmware side of things, basically how to interact with the various hardware components of the PC to allow me to do different things. After two years of this intense deciphering, I had a complex understanding of how everything talked to each other. I knew I liked telling my computer what to do, after the experience of creating my first HTML page, but I wanted more of a challenge. I wanted to manipulate my computer to do the specific tasks I asked it to do, and learning to program was the answer.

Fast forward a few years…

After trying batch scripting for two years, I decided that I wanted to move onto more exciting things than opening the DVD drive, creating secure folders and creating batch scripts that gave me options for what programs I wanted to open. I knew I liked the idea behind websites, how anyone from around the globe could type in an address and see the exact same thing. I started by viewing different website’s source code and playing around with it, trying to change logos and colours and fonts, and discovered this weird language called JavaScript. Well I was hooked.

From that day on, I started manipulating webpages, and creating scripts to automatically manipulate the page on load. YouTube was the main website I played around with, creating scripts for the public to download, including: Auto resolution selection, no annotations, show only uploads on subscription pages, a great site-wide centre-align, an age unrestrictor, a quick video bufferer (using a not well known YouTube secret), better like and dislike buttons, and my most popular script, YouTube Black Theme.

I knew that I couldn’t make a living off of making free scripts for the public, so I needed to expand my horizons. I eventually want to do a few different programming courses, including Software Engineering and Mobile and Web Development (PHP, Swift, ObjectiveC, Cocoa, JavaScript libraries (JQuery, NodeJS, AngularJS, Underscore.js and Backbone.js), and JSON and XML), but I thought I may start off with a Games Programming course, to get me into C# and C++, before I do the other two.

Where I am now.

Now, eleven years after creating my first web page, I have finished school and am currently studying Games Programming at SAE Qantm. I am nearly half-way through this journey, and am thoroughly enjoying myself. I am a lover of learning, this course has peaked my interest and I am learning loads!

This is Daniel Jochem, signing out.