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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.34