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I have a feeling a very high percentage of programmers on HN themselves started when they were 13-15 years old.

I too, started young. This is from my personal site:

I was born in the mid-sixties and got in touch with software programming at an early age. It became my hobby, along with the field of electronics. I was very keen to get to know exactly how things worked and what was happening, even up to the level of the silicon. In those days I spent more time reading datasheets and computer manuals than I did reading comics.

During my whole career in secondary school (VWO-B) I have been able to follow the development of the microcomputer. As far as that goes, I grew up in a very interesting era. It was the period in which the 'computing power' migrated from the centralized mainframes to various decentralized systems.

Due to my innate interest I became acquainted with all sorts of programming languages and fields of application for computers; I absorbed a lot of knowledge regarding the subjects that interested me the most. At the time, the topics were C, data communication, audiovisual applications, and relational databases, first on C/PM and later on MSDOS. Some years later, C++, Unix, and Windows were added. And after a while I also acquired knowledge of the Internet, the WWW, and programming languages such as Java, Java script, PHP, and Python.

When I was twenty years old I managed to get a job as a software developer, and since this line of work has never ceased to interest me I am currently still active as a developer.

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