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My programming languages history

Jul 10, 2009

My programming languages history

I find it fascinating to read personal programming histories and seek them out whenever possible (still waiting for one from Grant Rettke, Ola Bini, Rich Hickey, Dan Weinreb, and D.R. MacIver). In case anyone is interested, my own programming story is below.

1983 – 1990: Commodore 64 BASIC

Made RPG and baseball utilities and games. I would also spend all night typing in the game listings in the C64 magazines.

1986: Kyan Pascal

I think that it was Kyan Pascal for the C64, but I am a bit foggy on the details. My mother’s co-worker gave me a copy.

1987: 6510 Assembly

My first and only attempt at cracking software.

1988: GW-BASIC and QuickBASIC

My beloved C64 was replaced by a DOS machine. I didn’t really like it, but it was fun to hack around with RBBS.

1988-1990: Hex

I would type those hexadecimal listings located in PC magazines and run them through DEBUG to get little nifty utils. Tweaking them here and there was an interesting way to figure out what the heck was going on.

1991-1993: Turbo Pascal

For school projects and messing around with WildCat BBS.

1994: The Lost Year

I didn’t do much programming between highschool graduation and college although when my DOS machine broke I had to dig out my old C64 to write my college application essays.

1995-1999: Lisp and C

My languages in undergrad which I used throughout, including some

1998: Ada95

Did some projects to attempt at getting some extra summer work, but it didn’t pan out. Instead…

1998: 1802 Assembly

Got a summer job porting some Cosmac (a great freaking CPU) to…

1998-1999: C

Helped write the operating system for a realtime data acquisition system as a summer job which eventually turned into a part-time gig during my last year of undergrad.

1999-2000: CLIPS

My first employer out of undergrad plopped a pile of spreadsheets in front of me and said, “Here, make an expert system out of this”.

1999-2002: C++

Some computer vision stuff and some non-enthralling Windows development.

2001-2005: Lisp and Prolog

As a student in an AI graduate program, these languages were my primary tools.

2002-today: Java

The longest stretch with any language — some personal, but mostly professional.

2004-2005: Jess

Hey, you have CLIPS experience? We need someone to do some Jess work.

2007-today: Python

Company internal utilities and applications as well as some of my own personal stuff.

2008-today: Scala

Web API stuff at work, Scala XML-framework stuff on my free time.

2008-today: Clojure

All 1 of my personal development is done with Clojure these days. It’s safe to say that it is my favorite so far.

There are of course many other languages thrown in here and there, but nothing of consequence.


  1. For some value of ‘all’ 

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