…And Start Programming

I’d like to say I’ve been programming for the past four or five years but to say that would be a bit of a stretch. I’ve really been dabbling in programming for that time.
The First time I got started in programming was actually not until after high school. I ended up taking a year off between high school and college to figure out the best course of action for myself. During that time, I started looking at an A+ certification (hardware specialist) because I was sick of always asking my brothers whenever my computer had problems and I thought knowing more about hardware would me to be able to give me some insight into the possible problems. From there, I actually became interested in the networking section of the book and wanted to learn how to make my own website. This is where I first started teaching myself basic HTML and CSS! Knowing HTML is a very small step in programming, but, nevertheless, I had caught the programming bug!
I actually started college as an accounting major the next school year but still kept my foot in the programming door. I took both an introductory C++ course and a course in web development that semester. Halfway through that semester, I realized that I was interested in programming that I was in accounting. Programming, to me, was not only more interesting, but I also found it to be more challenging than accounting (I was taking and acing an introductory course at the time). I ended up going to the registrar and changing my major to computer science. I switched to computer science rather than computer programming because I wanted to knowledge of the system as well as deeper knowledge into programming.
Spring of 2012 was my first semester of computer science and my class was called Analytic Thinking with Programming where, more than just learning a programming language, we learned to construct algorithms to solve basic problems. We used Python, a very high level, easy to learn language to model these algorithms. Along the way to solving these problems, we learned how to use functions, arrays, and other skills that exist in every language. The following summer, I taught myself PHP and Javascript and made learn how to use AJAX and databases to make a dynamic website. The next semester, I transferred my skills to Java and began learning sorting algorithms, data structures, recursion, polymorphism, etc. More than merely learning these skills, we had projects and built applications. Because of its wide support and broad scope, I’ve been using Java ever since! Little did I know, the joy of programming was still to come!
Spring of 2013 ended up as my last semester at Junior College and what a semester to end on! I was taking a course in Assembly and Architecture, this was the first course where I felt like I was learning a lot about how computers were really benefiting society. For those of you that don’t know, Assembly is a very low-level language where you give basic instructions to machine. Assembly is extremely difficult but, fortunately, only needs to be written very rarely; most of the time, we would write most of our code in C. To aid us in this learning, we would be given microcontrollers and would write instructions in C out to the microcontroller board, which had an attached LCD output screen. We would write only basic instructions but learned a lot in how machines work and interpret data.
I still have another year and a half on my computer science degree and will be taking a course in networking as wells as more courses in data structures and database. Overall, I’d say my favorite programming language is PHP.


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