What was your first programming language?

My first taste of programming was in 1972 when I was 14. Our headmaster at school asked if anyone was interested in programming computers. A bit weird as there wasn’t a single computer at school, not even for admin.

We’d write Fortran programs, then we’d get taken a local university where they were compiled on cards (Do not fold, spindle or mutilate) and run. While that was happening we’d pick up the previous week’s output.

Lare on, I bought my own computer that came with Locomotive Basic. From that I tuaght myself QBasic, Pascal and little bit of ASM.

Later still I became a professional programmer playing with databases, so then learned C, something called PReS, FoxPro, SQL…


My first programming language was Processing, a Java-based programming language and framework for computer education and making interactive sketches. I learned it at summer camp; I made a dice roller and a half-finished space game. I didn’t get a formal introduction to real Java until I took an algorithms class in college, and I haven’t used it since then.

I was going to program all my Genuary 2024 prompts in Processing. However, I instead used p5.js, a Processing implementation in JavaScript, so that I could upload the results to my site.

Like Loren, I’m also a researcher, but in a different field – I use Python and its assorted scientific computing libraries for research and C/C++ for lower-level and embedded systems programming. I also get to use SystemVerilog and VHDL for hardware development, but those don’t really count because they’re hardware description languages and not programming languages.


I L-O-V-E Processing & p5js. I teach it to my High School students at the same time they’re learning Java (for this course). Learning 2 programming languages at once + a good chunk of computer graphics stuff on top, does make my classes a bit more of an uphill battle. But it’s worthwhile, in my opinion. Maybe too much to ask of a freshman educator though.

Java & Javascript are frequently a lot of my High Schoolers first formal programming language(s) (not counting visual, maybe block-based stuff, like Scratch, which they’re likely exposed to early-on nowadays).

But the more common 1st language that I teach Middle Schoolers is similar to Processing! It’s actually a graphics-based Python curriculum by Carnegie-Mellon University: CMU CS Academy. It’s awesome in the same way Processing is, but a lot easier to ask of freshman educators teaching programming for the first time. I really think graphics-based programming is the way to go for newbies. Fun, engaging, creative and educational!

Consider trying it out for yourself here!


First time coding was probably technically with javascript messing around with making a web page, but the first time I actually learned to code and understood it was after reading a Byte of Python and then diving balls deep into PyGame so I could try to clone this game Darkest Days.

I remember trying to code the bullets, and my initial approach being “so, I’ll move the bullet a bit more toward the mouse and then render and repeat until the bullet hits something” and then wondering how come I had to wait for the bullet’s while-loop-based movement to finish before I could interact with the game again :D

Felt nostalgic after this thread so here’s a video of what like half a year of learning and struggling was able to accomplish (loud arcade noise warning) 25MB:

I’m still way too proud of this :see_no_evil:


I started with Python making visual novels in Ren’py. I almost forgot and said C# or JavaScript. The first public thing I ever made was a visual novel called Devil’s Food. It’s from high school so don’t judge it too harshly. I still love Ren’py, but I find myself using JavaScript more in my daily life due to the classes I’m taking and my web development focus.

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Microsoft Visual Basic, from a book someone bought me a long time ago called “AntMe! Spielend programmieren mit Visual Basic”

in high school i signed up for programming 1 & 2, and it was a primer for java - or at least that’s what was advertised.

what actually went down was that we covered a few basic coding principles using java, wrote up “hello world” and maybe got through loops. then the teacher plopped down some Flash Animation textbooks and was like “alright, learn this, submit a current events news article ones a week, and you get an A.” so mostly i watched my friends play amnesia: the dark descent, lol.

college was also java, then python. i floated into javascript via p5.js on my own, then tinkered with freecodecamp and so on. now i’m here!

i don’t use java much anymore except if i’m working with processing, which i do now and again for physical computing projects. python has my heart, though.