What was your first programming language?

BTW (only noticed that just now) that was an EPIC double necro. ;)

Machine Language on IMSAI 8080. We used toggle switches to enter the programs.
Basic on some mini computer at the the end of high school

FORTRAN, Pascal, C, 8086 Assembly and LISP in college.

Some basic on an Apple II at school, but simple stuff where I was mostly doing lowres graphics as art, where I’d tell it what color I wanted a block to be. They had some graph paper that corresponded to the screen, and I would figure out a picture on there, and then program it in. Not long after that I got a c64, and there it was basic and a Logo cartridge. Most of what I did at that age was pretty simplistic stuff, and it wasn’t until college that I was exposed to C++ and C. @Petey I was a bigger idiot. In high school we had an AP Comp Sci course, which probably would have been perfect for me. I believe they used Pascal, and it was taught by a really good teacher who’d taken a break at one point to work for Apple teaching coding, and then came back. Me though, being the genius I was, thought it was going to be something stupid like the basic class I had in middle school, and I never signed up or bothered to even find out more about it. Still kick myself over that to this day. I still ended up on the right path I guess so all was not lost . :) It would have been so nice to have the information access we have today, and access to something like Linux growing up.

My older kid has started to learn a bit about Python, and both of them have done stuff with Scratch/blockly.

I’m not really good enough to say I ‘have’ any language, but I first dinked around with BASIC on the C64, then dropped the subject for 25-odd years (which I regret). Then I started learning Python, took a random Visual Basic community college course on the side, then Javascript for some webdev training I was doing, and GML (the propriety scripting language for Gamemaker).

I’m mostly doing stuff in GML at the moment, but I’m not really a good enough programmer to see meaningful differences among the various modern languages I have tried. A for loop is a for loop, a variable declaration is a variable declaration, and the deeper stuff is still beyond me. I think everything I’ve been working with in modern times is object oriented.

Basic, on the C128 - was pretty fun, made a DnD character generator there.
Then, in High School I guess is the equivalent, I used a mix of assembly and…Pascal 7.0 to make an adventure game. I had to use assembler to get mouse functions - I remember doing all the #rem in english, and at the exam this lead to censor not believing that I actually did this myself. Thankfully, my teacher had been following my along the entire process.

Then, at computer science school, it was Delphi 2.0.

And now- its GODOT! and hopefully python soon!

Time for you to try a functional language! Just don’t start with Haskell. It’s better to go with something like Elixir or Elm. ;)

First language: Basic.
First language I did anything computer-sciencey with: Pascal
First language I did anything with that made me want to program more: Perl

Commodore BASIC. And just to copy games from magazines. PEEK and POKE. Machine language ones and zeroes at the end. Going over and over, through the whole damn program to find the single comma or semicolon that I screwed up. Sometimes never finding the mistake.

That’s why I went into hardware. :)


Lots of experience: HTML/SVG, JavaScript, POV-Ray SDL, Lua, PHP, SQL

Very little experience: Visual Basic, C#, Pascal, Python, Java

Most of my hobby projects fizzled out, so I don’t feel as motivated to learn as I used to.

I suppose technically my first would be assembler language, I think I made some simple graphic effects in it. Although before that I did as RichVR mentioned and used to copy games from magazines. Seems like madness we used to do that now, type in somebody else’s code, rarely understand a line of it and then end up spending hours re-checking it trying to find why it didn’t work. And then to top it all off, you’d save it to tape and it wouldn’t load again later.

My first efforts in games programming were with STOS. I remember writing Tetris with it. In fact 30 years later that is still my go-to project for learning new languages, write a version of Tetris. Although I added Pacman to my repertoire somewhere along the way.

Education, a bit fuzzy at this point, I think in my computer science degree there was one module on C/C++ and that was it. Although my final project was done in Delphi, I had to learn that myself.

First job was using Perl, which graduated into Python. It was in that job I developed my life long hatred for Python. I know the interpreter has improved a lot since then, but I’m not one to forgive!

I remember typing in programs from magazine for my Apple. It was Nibble magazine if my very hazy memory can recall correctly. They sold a program that would check your typed program to verify it ws entered correctly.

I learned BASIC on a TI-99/4A at age 5 in about 1980. I mostly entered code from computer magazines, but learned enough to understand flow control and most of the program statements.

We later had a Commodore 64+4 that I entered a couple of games for that were hex machine code copied from a computer magazine. There were ECC codes at the end of every line to check for mistakes, but that was some tedious shit. Cool games though.

In high school I took a course in Pascal: a language I have never used since, and I read a bunch of programming books on various languages both mainstream and obscure, but didn’t do much actual coding except in Visual Basic.

I took college courses in C (which I already knew at this point) and some kind of simple 8-bit assembly. Taught myself Java when the first JDK came out by writing a pong game that was embedded in a web page as an applet. I actually subcontracted under a freelance coder at this point doing so grunt code-work in Visual Basic. His code was atrocious, but I got introduced to source control and dealing with customers. My senior design project was mostly coding a control program for a robotic solder joint tester in Visual C++. (Unbeknownst to me, and certainly unintended by me, this is actually pretty close to what I actually do professionally now.)

Professionally, I write a lot of embedded code in C and VHDL, GUI code in C#, and have dabbled a bunch in various web technologies, including Javascript. I should probably really sit down and give some time to Python at some point, because it’s slowly taking over the C code-base at work.

I learned C first and started coding online text based games (MUDs) then later C++. That got me my first gig coding C++ COM+ components. I picked up C# when it was first released and was a professional C# coder for many years. Switched to Java when Android became popular and coded mobile apps for a while. These days I mostly code in TypeScript (NodeJs/Vue). I use JetBrains IDEs as my daily driver which are awesome.

Wow, Python is a weird mixed up language!

A Honeywell mainframe assembly language named ‘EasyCoder’ was my first language. I didn’t find it all that particularly easy to code.

It is. It’s also pretty easy to learn and useful in a lot of different domains. And it’s more fun to use than Java, but then again, what isn’t? ;)

It has a lot of flaws, of course, but every language does. The trick is to use the right tool in the right situation. 10 years ago, to fix a major problem at work, I chose Python. I don’t regret that choice, though I’m moving to something else pretty soon.

Don’t leave us hanging… what’s the something else?

BASIC on my uncle’s original 16k TRS-80 Color Computer. Poke 65495,1!

Wait am I your uncle !?

I had a Color Computer (the silver lower ram original, not the upgraded white version). I eventually added the missing ram and bought the super expensive floppy drive too (thanks first jobs)!

But “my” first computer was dad’s hand-me-down TRS-80 Model I. He never got on with it & eventually bought an OG Macintosh instead. That thing was a beast & part of the first wave of machines that were really only barely useful to consumers out of the box. You really HAD to learn to program to get much of any use out of them.


I haven’t coded anything in a billion years, but I “learned” Fortran VII using punch-cards to run on our IBM mainframe in college. Made me hate programming.