Programming

Lately a lot of my time has been dedicated to one thing: programming. But it started 4 years ago…

Here’s the story of how I got into programming. It’s not a great story like Linus’ story of when he used to type in programs for his grand father on his computer. In early 2001, I really wanted to start programming. I had a hard time imagining how the hell people can program a computer to do stuff. So I started researching by surfing in cyber cafés’ in Petion-Ville. I didn’t have Internet at home at that time, one of the reasons being that my mom’s computer was so old (Pentium I, 100 Mhz and 8 MB of RAM which she bought in 1995). It was running Windows 98 which I had upgraded it to from Windows 3.1. For some reason, I never got the modem to work. So no Internet for me unless I went to a cyber café.

So I spent my time researching stuff about programming. I found a compiler and developement environment called QBasic. So I copied the install on a diskette and ran it at home. I had no idea what I was doing. I played around with code that others had written. I didn’t understand anything whatsoever. It might as well have been written in Chinese. Compiling programs on my mom’s old Pentium I was slow. So if I were to take this programming thing seriously, I need to have a new computer. That’s when I decided to buy a laptop.

While researching for a new laptop, I also started reading tutorials for Visual Basic 6.0. My sister, who was in the United States at the time, told me that she could get me Visual Basic 6.0 so that I can start programming. So I researched as much as I could about Visual Basic. I downloaded tutorials and found one of the best tutorials to date for Visual Basic (sorry, I don’t have the link). The tutorial was so good, that when I have to explain to students the basics in Visual Basic, I use what I remember from the tutorial.

So for months I read the tutorials and re-read them and even started writing my own programs…on paper…(debugging on paper isn’t very easy) I didn’t have VB 6 yet and even if my sister sent it to me, I wouldn’t be able to run it on my mom’s slow computer. So Summer came, I ordered my laptop, a Dell Inspiron 4000 that I still love and cherish today, and I flew to Pensacola, FL to pick it up. First thing I installed was VB 6. Then I started programming.

From then on, I programmed in Visual Basic for more then a year. I then stopped temporarily to focus on my BAC. After my BAC, I moved to Germany. There we programmed in all sorts of languages: FORTRAN, LISP, C, C++, Java and who knows what else that I can’t remember. What was regrettable was that we never spent a lot of time focusing on a particular language. So I ended up not knowing how to really program in those languages. While in Germany, I did a lot of PHP to program stuff for my website.

When I started studying here at UWF in Pensacola, FL, I took an Intro to Java class. That’s where I fell in love with Java. It was easier than C++. And I finally understood object-oriented programming, something that no matter how many tutorials I read about it, I could never understand it before. Nowadays I only think about a program as a collection of objects.

That puts an end to my history with programming and like I’ve mentioned it’s all I’ve been thinking about lately. One of the reasons is because I have interesting projects to work on for school and for myself. Most of the times that I get ideas is not when I’m sitting in front of the computer coding, it’s when I’m doing something else like working out, showering, walking to class, being bored in class or doing anything else where my mind doesn’t have to be working.

3 Responses to “Programming”

  1. Gio
    October 20th, 2005 | 4:11 pm

    Programming sucks..I took Java C++ and learned about some data structures algorithm…And I hate it..worst part is spending time writing codes for at least 2 hours and get errors when trying to compile it…or compiling it without having it working…or fixing an error that generates 25 more errors… Programming = nightmare…

  2. marv
    October 20th, 2005 | 4:47 pm

    If you don’t know what you’re doing, then that’s your problem. Programming is not for everyone. If you don’t know what you are doing then it’s normal that you have hundreds of compiler errors.

    I sometimes help out other students in my class and in some cases when I see their code I know that they have no idea of what they’re programming.

    Back in April, when I started work on a C++ Windowing Library, I had no idea what I was doing in C++ nor what the compiler errors meant. But 5 months of trying and exprimenting have made me pretty confident of my C++ skills now. As soon as there is an error now (syntax or logic), I tend to find it pretty quickly.

    Two hours of programming is nothing. I stopped counting how many hours of programming I end up doing. Besides, it’s not so much the programming that I like, it’s the problem solving that I like :).

  3. February 7th, 2007 | 3:11 pm

    Yo i am glad to came up across your blog. It is kind of funny to see another Haitian into programming as much as i am into. And we actually started the same way! I came across your blog from karlitos blog. Well keep it up man.

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