How It All Began
The story of how I got into programming starts in June 2006. I had just come out of a StarCraft game and at the time my home channel was a random channel decided by the Battle.Net server, which at the time was something like StarCraft USA-1. Well, I had noticed an advertising bot advertise a channel called Op TriviaHost. To my interest I decided to join the channel and see what it was all about. There were a number of people in there trying to answer questions to a trivia bot. Hm, interesting! I eventually discovered through their op bot OnlineGaming that they had a website, http://www.triviahost.tk (dead now, but the forum still exists here). Later that month I started to explore around the forum and came across the help section which referenced a program called StealthBot. So, I decided to download it and logged in for the first time.
Playing With Code
I eventually discovered that with StealthBot you could expand its functionality through plugins, a file made up of code designed to change how aspects of the bot work in different scenarios. This was quite intriguing to me, because at the time I thought, and still do, that that was an awesome concept. So, one day I decided to experiment and attempt to replicate the functionality of some of these plugins by writing my own. After some time I was able to make my own plugin that, even though it did basic stuff, was the start of a new interest of mine.
Taking A Class
August of that year I went to college, although I didn’t take very many classes. One of them was an introductory C++ class. During the class I started my own forum based around programming since I partly wanted to use it for class communication, and some of the people in the class did show up on the forum and talked among themselves. The class only had 8 homework assignments and did not cover advanced topics on the language. I ended up learning C++ on my own time outside of class than I ever did while in class. I would go on to write various small programs, one of them being a plugin creator for StealthBot.
With Like-Minded Individuals
For the next few years I would jump into various communities, some of them being programming communities. One such community was Revision 77 which was the first community where I got to do more for myself than I had done before. We had a VNC help tool where “clients” could download the tool if they needed help and if one of us was available, the program would connect them with one of us and we could provide tech support to them that way. That was a good way for all of us to be more useful with our time as it meant we could collaborate with each other as well as help the community out. One project I started in that community was the R77 Plugin Manager, a project that would allow us to host plugins on our server and have a way for others to easily access them, check for updates and more. While I didn’t know it at the time, that community would be the inspiration for Code Speak. I was also involved with my first group project while in that community, a plugin created by 5 of us to enhance StealthBot’s moderation capabilities, called Advanced Moderation.
Beyond Revision 77
Since that time, I have been in a few other programming communities, been in various group projects and created a few projects that I would consider personal successes in different ways. One of them was a program called VectorNet, designed to act as a chat system with channels, the ability to whisper users, channel moderation and even a Tic-Tac-Toe game built in. A few others took after the concept and wrote their own implementations of it. I would eventually create Code Speak, another programming community designed for like-minded individuals which has since become a platform for me to do what I love best and to share some of my life with others. In late-2011 I joined the development team for a Minecraft community called Innectis and would eventually take over as its leader until shortly before its collapse.
While this is but a taste of my journey into programming, it should give you a good primer for how it all started and where it has gone.