The Commodore 64 - where it all began. I still remember the smell of that beige plastic case. It smelled like... possibility.
I wrote a baseball simulation game using probablity theory and player statistics. The program started with the first at-bat and progressed through the game till the last out giving play-by-play along the way and outputting the final box score. I still remember the electricity I felt when the first game was "played" and ended with a totally plausible outcome: the Kansas City Royals over the Boston Redsox, 5 - 3.
Out of college I worked as an environmental noise engineer. The work involved using acoustical equipment to take field measurements near airports and highways.
We had a need to post-process the raw data from these measurement devices. At the time, Visual Basic was the new kid on the block. Creating a tool to solve our problem was tremendously satisfying. I realized the thing that lit me up as a kid had practical applications. I owe you, Visual Basic.
Into the Blue Yonder
Starting my first job as a programmer, the guy who was leaving the position said to me, "You might want to rewrite this app in HTML". I remember thinking, "How can you write a program in HTML?".
I've spent the last 20 years answering that question. It's been a wild ride. The technology is constantly changing, but I can honestly say there has never been a more exciting time than now.