I started programming when I was 17 (I am now over 40!) using DBASE II in Concurrent DOS, my IDE was non other than WordStar 4. Its funny because DBASE II had a limit on how many memory variables it could hold at once, it taught you to be very careful about just creating them willy nilly and to this day I still worry about what memory variables am creating and I always want to destroy them as soon as am finished with them.
When I applied for that trainee programmers position all them years ago, only 5 people applied. The next time the company recruited I was in charge of going through the applicant and we had over 5000! I will never forget my interview though, I took my Atari 520 STFM (which I still own) and a portable colour TV to show off the stuff I had created in Fast Basic and STOS The Game Creator.
I am now doing more photography that programming as the IT industry stopped challenging me and I became bored. I would take another position programming but it would have to be based in the USA and for a decent company that could keep giving me fresh challenges.