I was talking to my kids the other day about computers and I had a sad insight into how schools approach to IT has changed over the last 30 years.
Back in the day, you were encouraged at an early age to program computers by your teachers and your peers. Heck, the computers even encouraged it; most computers of the day booted into a programming language (usually BASIC).
I realised that I came from an era where kids toys made them inquisitive; most of my peers could at least write a simple program, even if it was just printing “HELLO” scrolling down the screen. They could also solve the Rubiks Cube in under 2 minutes.
Computer games were usually developed by kids, for kids. Matthew Smith was barely out of school when he wrote Manic Miner.
Sure, the graphics look pretty poor by today’s HD standards. But software development was accessible; there were plenty of books and magazines that covered quite complicated programming techniques with excellent examples.
Try doing that on your XBox 360 or Playstation 3!
“Sure”, I hear you say. “I’ll download Visual Studio Express on my PC”. I wish you all the best; it’s an extremely steep learning curve for a beginner.
I’m setting out with this blog to provide an introduction to software development for everyone. The source code will be provided for free and I’ll link to free development tools. I’ll be starting off with guides in programming BASIC and Z80 on the Sinclair Spectrum (via software emulation) and I might throw some Flash software development in for good measure.