Sometimes I wonder why programming language/framework XY was the first people picked up while started programming. Here is why I started with NodeJS.
Good old Flash
I was around 15 years old when I first got my hands dirty with ActionScript, the language used in a software called "macrodmedia flash" (later Adobe Flash & Adobe Animate). I didn't see it as programming back then - when I was around 19 years old I even thought I am already to old to seriously get into programming. Don't know why, I just assumed it.
My girlfriend back then ( now wife ) studied geography at that time and just started with her Master's degree in "Geo Informatik" (I think it's like Computer Science in the field of Geography). They were tasked with creating a small web-based project. We were talking about ideas and what she could do for this project, she also asked me if I wanted to help her. Somehow we decided to use GPS and real time locations on a map. This was when the fun part started and I stumbled down the rabbit hole. I remember copy-pasting endless snippets from various libraries like PubNub and Mapbox onto a blank page and even running an Android app on my phone that broadcasted its GPS location to the local network. I think at no point during the process I had a glue what I was doing but in the end it just worked.
I still remember this moment 8 years later. It really felt like magic and I was so proud that this thing worked.
New Round, New Luck
I was addicted to programming. In the following years up to this day I learned everything there is about NodeJS there is to learn. It was scary even, sometimes I couldn't think straight anymore, I was just thinking about this one problem I had and how to solve it. But it was exciting for sure because at some point I realized I could do any project I want with it.
It's hard to leave
During the 5 years using NodeJS there was also something else I realized. There are other languages out there for me to learn. A lot ! But I found it to be really hard to leave the comfort zone of one language, which I didn't even had any problems with. I remember trying to start with C++ at least 6 or 7 times over but never used it practically. I remember reading about "Ruby on Rails" on every other blog post, I remember discovering "Rust" but never looked into it in detail. I think the reason for it is, I would always choose to use NodeJS, when there is no reason not use it. Makes sense?
But it's time
I think I finally have the maturity to give other languages a try. I started small just recently by starting a new project using NestJS (which basically is NodeJS but it uses TypeScript) and it's awesome ! It feels so refreshing. But I have to go further. I will tryout Haskell next, because it feels so much different compared to other languages. It will be an exciting one for sure. Ultimately I really want to get head deep into C++ for game development - which is a life long dream for me.
Anyway, I am now a 32-year-old Software Engineer at the same company.
Tell me 💬
What was your first programming language and why ? How did you manage to branch out to other programming languages ?