29-year veteran here. Began programming professionally in 1990, writing BASIC applications for an 8-bit Apple II+ computer. Learned Pascal, C, Clipper, COBOL. Ironic side-story: back then, my university colleagues and I used to make fun of old COBOL programmers. Fortunately, I never had to actually work with the language, but the knowledge allowed me to qualify for a decent job position, back in '92.

For a while, I worked with an IBM mainframe, using REXX and EXEC2 scripting languages for the VM/SP operating system. Then I began programming for the web, wrote my first dynamic web applications with cgi-bin shell and Perl scripts. Used the little-known IBM Net.Data scripting language. I finally learned PHP and settled with it for many, many years.

I always wanted to be a programmer. As a kid I dreamed of being like Kevin Flynn, of TRON - create world famous videogames and live upstairs my own arcade place! Later on, at some point, I was disappointed, I questioned my skills, I thought I should do more, I let other people's expectations make feel bad. Then I finally realized I actually enjoy a quieter, simpler life. And I made peace with it.

I'm now like the old programmers I used to mock 30 years ago. There's so much shit inside my brain. And everything seems so damn complex these days. Frameworks, package managers, transpilers, layers and more layers of code. I try to keep up. And the more I learn, the more it seems I don't know.

Sometimes I feel tired. Yet, I still enjoy creating things and solving problems with programming. I still have fun learning. And after all these years, I learned to be proud of my work, even if it didn't turn out to be as glamorous as in the movies.

  • 40
    That was some kind of beautiful. Thanks for sharing, actually made my day a bit better.
  • 16
    Welcome to devrant! you must have a lot of stories to share...
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    @Charon92 Wow, thank you! It was good to let it off my chest!
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    @magicMirror Thank you! I think I might like it here :)
  • 9
    very impressive story, thank you.

    Oh and you have enough ++ to get an Avatar 😁
  • 9
    and damn, your age as programmer is equal to my whole age..
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    @Coffe2Code Woot! Created my avatar! Thanks! 8)
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    Holy shit this was soo cool to read man! I always thought that we went backwards in terms of complexity, specially compared to how stuff was before.
    Glad to have someone with this much knowledge and experience around these parts.
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    @AleCx04 Thank you! I think different generations have much to teach one another.
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    @hvianna and I just noticed!!! Voce e brasileiro??!!! Nao ha muitos brasileiros aquim!!
    Sorry if i butchered it, took Portuguese in H.S and some of it stuck, I loved Portuguese
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    I am not veteran but I hate the overcomplicated code, abstraction layers on top of abstraction layers, etc. Im one of these rebels who prefer writing custom classes instead of downloading ready-made things with unneded bloat. Im one of these rebels who made orm'ish class as uncomplicated and simple as I could (only to make myself a tool that I use now in 3rd project and I actually love it but I can see shortcomings like there is absolutely 0 table joining etc, but pure sql is exposed so everything is doable. But I love its simplicity)

    So yeah, I more than 100% understand you. And hello, veteran. Have a great day, and thank you for deep story.
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    +1 for "And the more I learn, the more it seems I don't know"

    Honest individuals who truly know their craft will admit this. Those who don't actually know far less than they think they do, as defined by the Dunning-Kruger effect.
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    @hvianna hey welcome!
    I actually had to interview someone like you last year (a guy who started working *before* computers were a thing and basically worked longer than I have lived).
    Needless to say that the whole thing felt very weird on my part... Interesting but definitely wierd.

    Anyway, I'm sure you have some good tales for us! 😁
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    Welcome, @hvianna!

    That was very refreshing to read! Thank you very much.
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    Thanks for sharing the story! I'll make sure to subscribe to you for more. 🍻
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    @AleCx04 Sim, sou brasileiro! :) You nailed it! Cool, I didn't even know schools taught Portuguese as a second language, as it's not near as popular as Spanish for example.
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    @DubbaThony Thank you! Good to know we're not alone! :) It's getting harder and harder to write a new application from scratch, and I have no problem using other people's (good) libraries, but bloated code makes me mad. Apparently, 100 MB is considered "normal" for any shitty app these days.
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    No its not normal.

    It's 100MB of other people code, and you usually need 200K of it. This weekend I made PHP app (yeah, was rushing, urgent need, but well, well paid one).

    Yes, it kindda lacks good frontend, but Im not counting .phtml files.

    it's 420 KB and 200KB of that is PHPMailer. And it has quite a bit of my tiny usefull tools/reusable code.

    Yes. Im mad at situation that library alone can be counted in megabytes. I really am.
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    @duckWit Interesting, thank you for this! It's so true I'll make that my profile motto :D
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    I'm right there with you. I started programming in 1986 at the age of 12 on my school's Apple IIe. I, also, have a lot of stuff in my brain that is lying around useless like the crap in a kitchen junk drawer. And now I gotta keep up with all the new stuff that changes practically every minute. Lately I've been focusing on being a web agency owner and trying to push the programming and day-to-day tech to 3rd party providers and freelancers so I can just start building wealth and retire early. I got other stuff I wanna do than to sit in front of a monitor until I'm 70.
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    @stackodev Yeah, I think moving to a management role is the natural order in this (any?) business. Still, I'd rather do the tech stuff than deal with people. I try to stay positive and think I'll still be able to pull it off when I get to 65.
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    Technology is such an interesting field, isn't? As professionals, we have to adapt like water. Your rant was insightful. Welcome to the community. Bom ver mais brasileiros por aqui.
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    It was beautiful! Welcome! :)

    I am not a veteran, but I started in 96 with Pascal, Clipper and a bit if COBOL (I hated COBOL hahahaa).

    Unfortunately, my first job was as a localization engineer and I am still at that area, but I just love to code!
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    Hey welcome. I too am an older developer, (you can't say programmer around here). Haha I started in the 80s with BASIC on a RadioShack TSR 80 "stored" our "program" ,damn I meant App on a cassette tape.

    Any way welcome.

    Best advice I can give you is learn C#
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    @brunofontes @nanl Obrigado pelas boas vindas!
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    @S-falken Thanks! JavaScript is the new BASIC! 😋
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    @brunofontes and BTW, If you programmed in COBOL I guess you can consider yourself a veteran. Or maybe a dinosaur! 😆
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    @hvianna hahahahahaah It was just at the school. :)

    But, yes, I am a kind of a dinosaur!

    (É bom ver um conterrâneo por aqui!)
  • 1
    Cool story, thanks for sharing ☺
    And of course welcome to devRant
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    It's awesome to have you here - it's so rare to have software developers with that many years of experience. All your knowledge is still useful - the concepts are the same, just the tools change. I only hope I get to be mentored by someone like you. Experienced devs also come with fascinating war stories, so that's a plus.
  • 2
    Your story is quite similar to my dad
    He used to do Fortran and COBOL
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    FX [ Waves in a friendly manner. ]

    "veteran" makes it sound like we are a bunch of old solders who survived the last great war. :-)
  • 3

    1. Welcome to devRant.
    2. You should be proud of yourself.
    3. Coding might not be as glamorous as in the movies, but we are superheroes in our own way.
  • 0
    Please write more.
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