I remember reading C for Dummies when I was in middle school. Mom would drive us home and I would read. I wanted to learn how to program, but all I could do was read about it. I didn’t have a way to write any C code. Eventually I saved up some money and bought a Metroworks Code Warrior compiler for my family’s Macintosh Performa, but I never figured out how to use it. Alas, C was not my first programming language.
Instead, I found MacPerl: Power and Ease on the shelves at Waldenbooks. A bundled CD-ROM included a free Perl interpreter. That book empowered me to write code. Perl became my first programming language. I fell in love with regular expressions before anyone told me they were hard.
l33t-speak. Meanwhile, in Perl I was making games and hacking into my school’s computer systems. (MacPerl didn’t seem to care about file permissions.)
For instance, I heard about Flexbox years ago, but only recently did I systematically set out to to learn it. To help gain an understanding of its properties, I worked out a little quizzer that randomly generates a flex layout and challenges you to match it.