My computer geek colleagues are boasting about their humble beginnings by sharing lists of their first seven programming languages. You can find these under the hashtag #FirstSevenLanguages.
— Paul Kent (@hornpolish) August 16, 2016
From what I've seen of these lists, the programming languages that appear are very much a function of age -- not the age of the language, but of the person sharing the list. It's also a function of industry. For people of a certain age who first worked at a bank, COBOL appears early on the list. Did you work in the defense industry? Ada is probably on your list.
Of course, the SAS programming language features prominently among my colleagues. I have argued that listing SAS is a bit of a cheat, since SAS actually comprises several different programming languages: DATA step, SQL, DS2, SAS macro, IML, GTL, SCL, and more. SAS also contains hooks into other languages like Lua and Groovy. Some SAS analytical procedures are programming languages in their own right, like PROC OPTMODEL.
I have several friends who have built their entire careers on SAS programming. There is little risk of boredom, as the SAS language evolves with each release and is used in virtually every industry. It's like a huge mansion of a programming language -- we all have our favorite rooms where we spend most of our time, but there are always new additions to discover and explore.
I've said that I don't identify myself as a programmer, even though programming is an activity that occupies lots of my time. Here's my #FirstSevenLanguages list. It's not exactly in chronological order, and like other folks I'm cheating by grouping some languages together into eras.
- Extended basic on the TI99/4A (high school, in my parent's basement)
- Turbo Pascal and Turbo C and Assembly (school and internships)
- REXX and Perl (two different jobs, but used both to automate tedious tasks)
- C++ (our first versions of SAS Enterprise Guide)
- Java (various projects)
- C# and .NET (SAS Enterprise Guide since the mid 2000s)
- SAS - (first learned in a SAS education class in 1993, and still learning it)