15 Years of Programming

This month I am celebrating a 15 year anniversary of my programming activities. I remember January 1995, when I, then being 12, fiddled with a source code in AMOS BASIC. Looking further back in time, it was the year before, when I tried to fire up my first project - some set of examples from the technical encyclopedia, but back then I would not go beyond AmigaDOS scripts. Since 1995 I began discovering programming in a procedural language, BASIC. During 3 years that followed I wrote several programs, among them a full-fledged Ezine implementation and some never-actually-finished strategic games. One of most interesting examples was an implementation of a classic Pong game, which I wrote sometime in 1996. I was very proud of what I had managed to create, because the program featured three game modes: player 1 vs. player 2, player 1 vs. player 1, and player vs. computer! At the bottom of the screen there was an additional attraction - a drawing of a human face, (inspired by the game Doom) whose expression reflected the game level you were in. The higher you went, the more perplexed the face looked :).

I managed to dig out two samples of my code from those times, although I'm not sure they are complete:

The more I tried, the more I wanted to go further expanding my knowledge, so that in 1998 I began studying C. I was greatly helped by excellent, albeit strongly oriented on that particular operating system, articles of Kamil Iskra in the Amiga Magazine as well as by the book "The C Programming Language", which I read from title-page to colophon.

In the years that followed I was discovering new programming languages, improving programming techniques, and writing thousands of lines of code in each successive month. I must have written quite a number of them in these 15 years, although I probably would never know the exact number. According to Ohloh.net, which keeps track of a selected subset of my projects in public repositories, the number of lines I wrote or changed goes beyond 100 thousand. Taking in the account the fact that each line is often a result of 5 rewriting attempts, and adding thereto several other (not at all small) projects, test programs written while studying new languages and a bunch of code written in my work as a professional programmer (full-time job since 2004), I may estimate the total amount to be some 2 millions of lines. And, since I am by no means tired, I am going to write more still. There are lots of programs ahead of me!