How I got started programming computers

Between grade nine and ten, in about mid seventies, the local college, Cariboo College in Kamloops, BC offered a free two week course on computer programming using WATFIV (Waterloo Fortran) to local high school students. After the first week they took me aside and started to teach me advanced stuff such as the use of a temp variable. When the two weeks were over I asked if I could come back during the school year after hours and play. They said fine. I asked how much. They said "Don't worry about it." I had a blast teaching myself WATFIV, PL/I and a little assembler the next two years in between football and rugby. This was all on punched cards back then. At the end I knew more about how stuff worked than the second year college student hired as the lab monitor in the evenings. <smile>

I took a year of university and in March got my annual spring haircut. I phoned every outfit in the yellow pages under computers. Something like one column. (Compare that  to today.  <smile>) One guy said he might need someone who knew trigonometry for a surveying app and sounded real nice on the phone. Having just taken physics I felt I was well suited for the task. So I put on my only good pair of pants and my only tie and a decent shirt, (I had just been an MC at my aunt's wedding so I was equipped with those basics.) walked my resume in and got a summer job programming on the spot. 

Went back to university for a few months, quit and been working ever since. <chuckle>

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