How I Started Programming

By Krithika Suresh

I've never written an article before, but I wanted to share my experience with programming. I think it will show a different perspective on how people become involved in computer science. I was first introduced to the idea of coding when I was young, probably around twelve years old. I was playing online games, and I noticed that other "regular" people like me could make websites using programming. When I say regular people, I mean people who don't professionally program for a living. A friend of mine showed me a webpage that she made for a group she had in an online game, Neopets. It was simply made in HTML, but I was in awe that she made it. I wanted to make one myself.

Excited by the idea of making a webpage, I remember trying to learn, using resources like CodeAcademy. I ended up making a simple webpage in the beginning for my own group I decided to start - I don't remember now what it was about. I wasn't able to meet the high standards I had set for the way the webpage should look as I tried to improve. After confused attempts using CSS, I eventually moved on without looking back.

Fast forward several years to high school, I participated in a psychology research lab that required me to learn how to do some basic coding for the online questionnaire program. Even though the language was specific to the research and wouldn't be useful elsewhere, I didn't mind learning it. Then I realized that coding was something I enjoyed. I would be working on the research project for hours - changing the code, testing it, seeing how bad it was and fixing it again, and it would feel like no time at all.

It's important to know whether you enjoy programming when deciding whether or not you want to be in the computer science field. I think coding is fun whenever you know what you're doing. That's probably why I discarded the idea of it when I was younger, but I hope that other young ones have the support they need when they try coding out for the first time.

So now, as a freshman in college, I'm pursuing a degree in computer science. There is a learning curve, but this year I've become more familiar with all the different branches of computer science that one could go. I'm looking forward to exploring my options.