(Note: I got a bit carried away while writing this, so the end result is a lot longer than I expected. Apologies for the long post!)

The beginning of my programming journey started with a book.

This was back in 7th grade. I had some basic exposure to BASIC (pun maybe intended?) from our school curriculum, but it was nothing too interesting as our teachers never really treated it as anything important. They would stress a lot on those Microsoft Office chapters (yes, we actually studied Microsoft Office as part of our computer science course at school) and mostly ignore the programming chapters because I dare say many of them struggled with it themselves. So although I had been exposed to *some* programming, it was mostly memorizing the syntax without actually understanding what was going on.

Then one day there was this book fair thing going on at this local Carrefour (for those of you who've no idea, it's a pretty famous hypermarket chain) in this mall, and for some reason my mother and I were in that mall on that day. Now the interesting thing is that this usually never happens -- I usually visit malls with my dad or my friends, this is the only instance I remember where I had actually visited one with just my mom. This turned out to be fortuitous. My father is the kind of person who's generally not amenable to any kind of extraneous shopping requests. My mother, on the other hand, was and remains pliable.

So I basically saw this book -- Sams' Teach Yourself JavaScript in 24 Hours -- being sold at half price. I vaguely remembered having read somewhere that JavaScript is a good introductory programming language (and it helped that this was the time when I was getting into a Google-craze -- I basically saw some photos of Google Zurich and went all HOLY SHIT THAT'S WHERE I NEED TO WORK WHEN I GROW UP (for those of you who haven't seen it, I recommend googling it. That office is the bomb) -- and I'd also read that you need programming skills to join Google). So I begged and begged my mum to buy that book, and thankfully she did.

Back home I returned with my new prize under my arm. Dad took one look at it and scoffed that I'll never actually use it. Pretty much entirely out of spite (to prove him wrong), I attacked the book with a zeal. I still remember how I felt when I wrote my very first JavaScript program (printing the current system date in an h1 tag) and marveling at the output. I guess that was when something struck -- the realization that this was probably what I wanted to do in life.

Fast forward to today, and I've never looked back and wondered what it would be like to have done something else.

PS: for all you beginners out there, JavaScript is a horrible language. Please start with something like Python. Also there are better resources than Sams' Teach Yourself JavaScript in 24 Hours available, that I just didn't know of back then. I'd recommend Eloquent JavaScript any day.

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