How old were you when you started programming?
Well, most people don't know that I am still kind of new to computers. I grew up poor and my first experience with computers was in high school (Apple IIs and Craptastic Macs). I almost failed keyboarding class in 7th grade (required a minimum of 27 WPM with less than 4 errors/minute).
I actually didn't own a computer until I was in my second semester of college. It was a Gateway and it broke so much I got good at fixing computers. That was 1998. I have only been into computers for a little over 10 years. I can say I started hacking and programming right about that time though. Got in with the right "wrong" people. :D
What was your first language?
QBASIC. If you count HTML, then that as well.
What was the first real program you wrote?
Wow. Been a long time. I believe it was probably a dynamic web site for my first job.
If you knew then what you know now, would you have started programming?
I would have started much sooner. I am blessed with what my dad calls a "mechanical" mind. He and my stepmother say that you can't teach the mechanical mind. People either have it or they don't.
If there is one thing you learned along the way that you would tell new developers, what would it be?
Read. Read. Read. I have to agree with Dru that the single most important book is "Pragmatic Programmer." The second thing is don't be afraid to fail. I would say fail often. It is the only way to really learn something.
What's the most fun you've ever had ... programming?
I have fun anytime I am reducing code. I am what you call a code reducer. I love making code easy to respond to changes. And anytime I learn something new while programming, it is a great day!
Update: Forgot to mention my buddy Dru tagged me on this. And I thought I was going to get out of this one. :D