When I was 12 my Grandpa Jerry spent a fortune to buy me an Apple //e with 128KB RAM and a color monitor and a floppy “DuoDisk” drive. He was sure computers were the future. I raced home every day to be the first one of my friends to dial into the local one-telephone-line bulletin board system to take my daily turn in multiplayer text-based games. I had my Mom type programs in from magazines and I eventually started writing my own code in Basic which was mostly chose-your-own adventure ASCII art games.
One day a family friend, Jack Small, left a Macintosh Classic at our house for a few weeks and I became enamored. I took a computer science course in high school and sat next to some genius who was inherently better than me at programming. I copied from, uh, collaborated with him and by the end of the class I was just as good. Then I foolishly majored in Economics in college until my Grandma Harriet convinced me that Economics leads to a life of boredom. I cleverly switched majors to Computer Science and got a side job as a web developer. All of the sudden I could create programs that were accessible to the whole world!
Then I learned object-oriented programming in Java and got my dream job at Sun Microsystems. After 15 years of Java joy I switched focus to Objective-C because I wanted my apps in people’s pockets. My happy ending to this story, kids, is that I landed my most recent dream job at Apple, still coding after 20+ years, surrounded by geniuses to copy of off, uh, collaborate with.
iOS App Developer, Apple Inc