Around 1982 I was introduced to my first computer at my school, the Apple //e. I remember seeing computers before, but it was always from a distance. Our teachers would allow us to play the games on the computer if we behaved, which was a struggle for me. So I worked hard and even told some lies to have my teacher believe I was behaving, but nonetheless I was awarded the time to play games on the computer. This easily became my addiction. After playing games for many months, I noticed that there was a computer club after school. I immediately signed up and rushed home telling my parents that I needed a couple of dollars to buy a book on how to program. I really wished I could remember the name of the book and kept it.
I started by learning some basic syntax “print”, “run”, “goto”. I had no idea how the computer worked, but every time I entered something on the command prompt, I was given some type of response. I kept reading the book and transitioned from doing simple math problems to programming word games.
One of my favorite games was Dungeons and Dragons. I would often play with other kids in the neighborhood as we switched turns being the Dungeon Master. Because of this game, I was inspired to build my own fantasy game on the computer, where the computer would ask questions and you would have to respond. Depending on what answers you picked, it would lead you to the promise land or you were sent to different challenges or even death.
I started with quick games leading the person to making couple of choices, but later my games became more and more advanced with many choices and options. I would save my games on 5.25 floppy and share it with my friends. I enjoyed creating these stories, which I would write the code on paper at home then when I got to school, enter them in on the computer. I enjoyed being the creator of the stories and seeing other kids play them and pick options.
As I reflect back on people who have impacted my life because of their passion and innovation, Steve Jobs was one of them. I was too young to know and understand the sophisticated business he created, but not too young to be inspired by one of his many creations, the computer Apple //e.
To this day, I am passionate about technology and building programs that can change the way people think and do things. Although I never got the chance to personally thank him for being one of my top inspirations, he will always be remembered by me.