How I Got Started In Programming

For awhile, I thought I'd either be a math teacher or a forest ranger.

Forest ranger?

In my junior year of high school, I took the "Kepner-Tregoe" (sp?) Aptitude Test, which correlated my answers with those from thousands of people from various jobs. My highest correlations were: (1) computer programmer, (2) math teacher, and (3) forest ranger ... with a big gap between #3 and whatever was #4. At the time, I remember thinking "I don't even know what a computer is", but that #2 and #3 were equally likely (and attractive) to me. A year later, after a taking a FORTRAN class at a local college (while in my senior year of high school) ... a class taught on a CDC 3160 (?) ... a class *so slow* that we didn't even get to subroutines ... I remember telling someone: that was boring, I'll never touch a computer again!

So, I entered college as a declared math major. But, being a procrastinator, I'd enrolled too late to get into German class, so I took an elective: introduction to computer programming (taught by Dr. Ken Bowles, later to be the prime mover behind UCSD Pascal). The class was ALGOL, on the Burroughs B6500. At the same time, my physics class introduced me to APL. I never looked back.