Remarkable developers who transformed the tech world started coding at a young age
The buzz around programming is increasing day by day. Coding has become such an integral part of our lives that it is being considered as a new type of literacy. The benefit of learning coding at a young age does wonders in ways one can’t imagine. Take a look at the following renowned personalities who are the torchbearers of various technological inventions in the world today only because they started their journey early.
1. JACK DORSEY
Jack Patrick Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and the founder and CEO of Square is the man behind these two famous companies that has become a household name today. He is one of the most popular self-taught programmers. As a teenager, Dorsey was always fascinated about cities and transportation. His love for maps led him to venture into the dispatch industry(that assigns employees or vehicles to customers like taxicab, courier, plumbing etc.) as a 14 year old teen. So, he taught himself programming to understand how cities work. Many taxicab companies are still using the open-source software he created to manage the logistics of their dispatch. Before dropping out from NYU, he devised the idea of what is now known as twitter. His vision was to give people control over their data and the type of content they see.
SQUARE: A small device that plugs into the jack of an iPhone, allowing merchants to swipe credit cards. This pocket sized terminal works in tandem with the Square Register app where merchants can enter pricing, product information and email receipts to the customer.
TWITTER: His interest in the dispatch industry and the instant messenger services gave rise to the idea to make a status-sharing platform. This was the origin of Twitter.
“The greatest lesson that I learned in all of this is that you have to start. Start now, start here, and start small. Keep it Simple.” — Jack Dorsey
2. MARK ZUCKERBERG
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook started coding as a 6th grader. He sought private coaching under the guidance of a hired software developer called David Newman who entitled Mark as a child prodigy. Mark learned coding in order to connect with people. He developed a software program called Zucknet that established communication between the computer at home and his father’s dental office. And he created this intranet at the age of 11.
Extending his skill set during his college days, his interest in connecting with people led Zuckerberg to launch Facebook from Harvard’s dorm room in a week’s time. He always considered programming as a powerful tool to build softwares.
According to him, coding was a luxury that gave freedom to control his own life. With a motive to do something fun for himself and his sisters, he started to learn programming. He did not set out to create Facebook. He made small things and combined them together later. Boredom and computers were the two major driving factors that motivated him. Whenever he got bored he was excited by computers.
FACEBOOK: A platform that gives people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. It can be used to connect with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
“All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school - my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.” — Mark Zuckerberg
3. BILL GATES, Co-founder of Microsoft
As a 13 year old boy, Bill Gates set his eyes on programming when his school got its first computer terminal. Today he is a business magnet, software developer, philanthropist, author, and an investor. He built his first ever program — Tic-tac-toe at the cost of his math classes. He strongly believes that computer literacy is an essential skill that has the power to change the world. And rightly so, we are both witnessing and experiencing it today through Gates’ vision — “A computer on Every Desk and in Every Home.”
The business magnet, author and philanthropist never got tired of programming. If a program didn’t work, he always tried to fix it and give it a shot again. One major factor that attracted Gates was that he was able to give commands or orders to huge machines that didn’t even have screens as a very young boy. He always found a machine’s work more neat than.
MICROSOFT: In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen devised their first program which was an extended version of BASIC for personal computers(PC). Shortly afterward they founded Microsoft that produced microprocessors and software and hence the name. They wrote the machine codes using pencil and paper.
‘’Learning to write programs stretches your mind, helps you think better, creates a way of thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.” — Bill Gates
4. STEVE WOZNIAK
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple is the man behind Apple BASIC(the foundational part of Apple code). Similar to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Wozniak also coded his way up right from his school days.
He met fellow Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at the age of 19. After the formation of Apple, Wozniak built Apple’s first computer, the Apple I. It was the first home computer with a keyboard and a TV-like screen display that sold 175 copies. Wozniak also was the first to connect Apple computers to a printer and developed the floppy disk.
Wozniak’s love for coding made him ambitious and developed his own computer. He started designing for himself first by developing puzzles just for fun. That’s how he trained his brain to solve professional problems in future. Wozniak can develop a sense of self confidence by exploring all the possibilities while coding. He realized that gave him the drive for control and the willingness to bend the rules if required.
“When we first started with Apple Computers, it was my dream that everyone would learn to program and that was how they would use their computer.” — Steve Wozniak
5. CAROL SHAW, First Female Game Designer
Carol Shaw was the first female professional video game designer. As a high schooler, Shaw was interested in playing text-based games. While there were only a few women during her time, she went on to become a pioneer in the field.
Shaw started programming games for VCS console which was later renamed as 2600 for a company named Atari. By developing cartridge-based console games she became the company’s go-to coder to crack complex programming. Initially she joined the company because she was paid to play games. Carol also worked on other games namely, 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, Video Checkers, and Super Breakout.
Later, while working at Activision, since too many space games were on the market, she went on and created a river-based game instead. The game, River Raid, was a very popular game that won many awards for Shaw. Thus, Carol Shaw paved the way for all the upcoming developers and established computer game(s) in the earlier times.
“If gaming is something young women or girls like doing, they should go ahead and do it. And not let people tell them that they can’t do it. The main thing is find something that you like doing and are interested in.” — Carol Shaw
Coding is the best way to empower oneself. All the hiccups in the pathway will better prepare one for the future when he or she starts to learn programming from an early stage in life. By encouraging young minds to start early in coding, we at Rancho Labs promise to enhance their critical thinking, logical and creative thinking and make them future-ready. Head to www.rancholabs.com to become the next technology entrepreneur.