My First Program: Barry Hess

Over the coming weeks the Harvest tech team will introduce themselves. We’ve all had a blast recently sharing the story of how we each hacked out our first program. I’ll get things rolling…

In the early 80’s my aunt and uncle sent our family a TI-99/4A for Christmas. It came with a couple code listing books and some games:

TI BASIC, you can’t be a kid without it!

We had no disk drive. I remember my brother trying to write Q-Bert over a couple weeks, never turning off the computer. My first program was keying lines from one of those books. Not sure what it was; probably just printing text or repeating my name in a loop. GOTO!

After that I probably had a stint with The Turtle. I also recall our school having a bunch of PETs when I was in first or second grade.

Sometimes it feels like every developer has a story about how he or she has been programming since the age of five. I enjoyed gaming and messing around with computers, but I never really got into programming until college.

While I don’t believe childhood hacking is a prerequisite for being a great developer, I am interested in showing my daughters a thing or two about coding. I’m proud to say, when I showed my seven-year-old daughter Logo her eyes got wide with excitement. Now she has me scouring the internet for tickets to LogoConf!