I'm listening to a podcast in which a man that does cool stuff with computers is promoted to introduce himself by telling the story how he started coding when he was 9 years old.

As someone that has done this, I feel prompted to tell you that I have thoughts about this trope: DON'T


Having seen newcomers to the profession being frustrated to the degree of giving up on their dreams, just because they didn't fart around on a C64 when they were children, I realized these stories while cute do active harm. Don't make them such integral parts of your introductions and origin stories. Try weaving in advice that is reproducible to grown ups instead.

@map I think this is what killed my interest in programming as a whole. Or at least experimenting with it past work-related statistical programs and ladder logic.

@map but why are they so frustrated about that?
is it just a game dev thing?
because in my day job as a dev writing line of business software i'm working with lots of people that are doing a bloody fine job who weren't even around during like the C64 times.

to be honest i used the "been doing stuff with computers since i before i was even born!!11" thing for job interviews... and it kinda is an advantage there.

@Ibn they are trying to learn, its overwhelming and these narratives give them the idea that you cannot succeed without having started in early childhood. Like e.g. ballet. As for job interviews: I’d consider those bad interviewers if that actually made a difference.

@map ah ok. so people who want to learn at a later age. gotcha.
and with regards to the interviewers... the reality is that there's stages in interviews where you're talking to people with next to no expertise with dev stuff (HR, Managers, etc.). with them it's all about how long you've been doing stuff and what kind of education/training you have.
never had to pull that kind of line with people that do the actual technical interviews afterwards.

@map My CS101 prof explicitly tried to heal this damage. He asked for a show of hands from each group and then said. "Those of you new to programming? You've got a blank slate. No bad habits or strange self taught idioms to undo. This is an advantage. Those of you who have been doing it for years already? Be humble coming into this. You've still got a lot to learn."

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