I've written the "Your First Program" program a few times now, and in a few different languages. Whether you *include your stdio, or get right to the System.out.print()ing, it usually doesn't take long for a working program in a given language to be checked off your list. The hard part comes later, and can be very overwhelming.
I resisted majoring in Computer Science in college (and had more than one occasion to turn it down), and part of me has always wondered where I'd be if I had stuck with it. I've had a long and varied career, interacting with very smart and resourceful coworkers and using my technical knowhow and soft skills to teach tough concepts to unfamiliar minds. I have no regrets.
I have had, though, new responsibilities that exposed me to the world of code. A teammate left my company, and maintaining our large and ungainly website became my problem. At first, I knew just enough HTML and if/else logic to keep the shoestring and duct tape operation functioning normally, but I began wishing I had the tools and knowhow to improve the backend and make it run more smoothly and predictably.
In my spare time I started to teach myself computer science, coding, and software development, through a combination of books, online videos, and self-directed projects. What I have been thrilled to discover, after just 6 weeks of study, is that I really enjoy programming, and that many of the skills required for good code - delegation of tasks, focus in a distraction-prone environment, and attacking a problem from multiple angles (to name a few) - are skills that I've been actively honing for 10 years.
In years past I've sometimes fantasized about going back to school and getting a CS degree. A simple truth has been revealed to me recently that has energized my thinking: I don't have to do that. The cornucopia of resources available, for free, to anyone with determination and discipline are enough to fully master a valuable skill and open up one's horizons, without the 6 figures of debt.
I started this site to chronicle my journey into code, show off my projects, and maybe one day help others to take the leap and learn what you can do if you open up your terminal and start typing.