Hello World!

This is my first note, the same way Hello World! May be your first line of code. So I will write about my first line of code.

When I was in high school, I learned that I could replace this:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    printf("Hello World!");
    return 0;

With this:

print "Hello World!"

I fell in love with Python. But how did I find Python?

The first snippet was something our teacher showed us in class. He did not explain it, he just wrote it on the board and told us to copy it. The computer lab had old computers with Turbo C++ running on MS-DOS mode. After an hour of trying to understand what was going on, I finally got it to work. But I had a lot of questions.

  • What is #include?
  • Why do we need to type so many symbols? Doesn’t anyone hasn’t figured out a better way to do this?
  • How do I type those symbols? My keyboard is in spanish, but the keystrokes are registered as if it was in english.
  • What does printf means? I’m not using a printer.

Even today, I think that the C example of Hello World may not be the best way to introduce someone to programming. That snippet used non-standard libraries, and an ancient compiler. Some alumni were using Windows Vista, and the program didn’t work on their computers. Don’t get me wrong, C is a amazing language, but it may not be the best language to start with.

Nonetheless, I was happy to see that my computer printed “Hello World!” on the screen. It showed me a bridge between being a user and being someone who makes software. My little brain couldn’t understand how this program could evolve into having a GUI, or a game, but I knew someday I would understand.

So I tried to learn more about programming. My first error was to think that C and C++ were the same thing. So in reality, I was learning two languages at one. Then I found a PDF Book with drawing that catched my attention. This one.

There were concepts that were hard to grasp to me, starting with memory. So I went to the author site and found that Python may be easier.

Then I found this book, and finally grasped those programming concepts that I was struggling with.

I was hooked. This set me on a path to learn more about programming, and I’m still learning.

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