My advice to my 16-year-old wannabe developer self
Former PR colleague Jay Menard asked me and others to contribute to his current digital agency’s blog about what advice one might give to a much younger self, were such a coder.
I was into code at age 16, though this was pre-HTML. All I knew at the time was Apple BASIC, yet that was enough to program a choose-your-own-adventure game, a checkbook balancer and (in 1988, three years before I could legally drive) a home-automation simulator. That last one, I would kill to find the floppy disk, five-and-a-quarter-inch to be sure. This was well before controlling appliances across home networks was remotely a thing. I even won a science fair with that sim; alas, high-school sports and girlfriends stole me from my first true love, only to be rekindled midway through college.
When you think about that for a second, you realize just how incredibly visionary I was for the time. I say that not to sound cocky; it was simply true, at least in the case of predicting we all could one day toast our bagels using a smartphone (among the many promise of IoT, or Internet of Things).
Now that I’m thoroughly depressed, here’s my quote for The Digital Echidna Blog:
At this tender age, you have shown an eerily meticulous habit for crafting well-formed code… and for saving multiple copies of your work. Keep that up, because eventually, you’re going to code alongside other programmers in a team setting, and they are going to rely on how cleanly you code, as well as how to ‘git’ code you’ve saved. I’ll explain ‘git’ later, but trust me on this one, because the jobs you slacked on later in life [yes, you will actually code for a living one day!] will cost you plenty. And for chrissake, stop thinking this is for geeks. When you’re my age, geeks are sexy as hell, and you’ll get laid more if you know your way around software, believe you me.
P.S. That Apple //c you’re going to sell to your college roommate ‘cuz you think you need the money? That’s a bunch of eff all. You keep that //c, ‘cuz one day, some guy who becomes a knight is going to change the world, and you’re going to want to turn that thing into a web server, just for fun. And Raspberry Pi will take on a whole new meaning. Trust me on this one. You like pie anyway, so listen to what I tell you, dammit.
Read the entire post here. Now pardon me while I find that floppy.