If..Else Log

Haaarg, world!

“As we watched and waited two seconds for “GUESS!” to show up, Anthony’s face lit up again. “GUESS!” he exclaimed, in his best Scary Vampire voice. And then he laughed. And then back to programming. “It should wait a little longer! Maybe seven seconds,” as he started typing into emacs again”

I just love the gentle innocence contained within David Bau’s story of how his 6 year old kid learned to program a game with Python. In an age of 3D graphics and special effects, it’s wonderful reading how much the satisfaction a 6 year old boy can receive from a game that he wrote himself.

Simple roots

I first got into computing in much the same manner; I was a bit older than Anthony, starting at the age of 9 and it was with the less elegant language Basic. But my first game was also a “Guess the Number” job and the pure pleasure of writing a program all by yourself was one I well understood.

Sometimes, in all the talk about Frameworks, OOP and Design Patterns, you can forget what programming is really about. And that is to make a computer do something that we want. Sometimes that is to make a time-saving web app, or a fancy new organising system. But maybe, what it really is, is a guess the number game to call your own.

-30-

2 Responses to “Haaarg, world!”

  1. Gravatar Matthew Pennell

    I loved BASIC, especially once I grasped the power of subroutines (or where they called PROCedures back then?)

    I remember I wrote an adventure/maze game, complete with inventory management (and even a loading screen!) when I was about 10; none of my friends believed I’d written it myself… :(

  2. Gravatar Phu

    “none of my friends believed I’d written it myself”

    Looking at it another way, that’s something to be proud of:)

    I’ve met a few other programmers who first got into coding through making their own games in BASIC. Though none are still involved (that is, making games nor BASIC:)), the (personal) experience and achievement of making something by yourself are probably what captured the minds of a lot of us.