HackerRank recently published the results its 2018 Developer Skills Report, which looked at when programmers started coding.
39,441 professional and student developers completed the online survey from 16 October to 1 November, with 25% of the developers having written their first piece of code before 16 years old.
49.6% started coding between 16-20, while 5.2% started coding after they turned 26.
The report added that 36% of the developers who started coding after 26 are now senior or high-level developers – and growing quickly in their careers.
When did you start coding
The report stated that the PC revolution several decades back sparked a unique ambition in children of the 1970s to get into the field.
“Unlike generations thereafter, if kids of the seventies wanted to see innovative technology, they’d have to build it themselves,” said HackerRank.
“There were no widespread resources to teach them how to build software. Almost half of all developers (47%) between the ages of 45 and 54 started coding before they were 16 years old.”
This group was among the first to get their hands on PCs like the Acorn Archimedes, TRS–80, Commodore 64, and Apple II.
“With limited to no access to formal education, young people in the PC revolution had an unusually strong drive to learn to code on their own.”
By comparison, developers between 18 and 24 today are the least likely to have started coding before 16.