What I've learned over the years is that you can accomplish a lot with your free time. It took me years to let myself use that time for hobbies as time-consuming as programming, but that's the main point - you have to give yourself permission.
It's easy to say "who am I kidding?" or assume that others view your work as sub-par. Most people think they have nothing to say to the world, and so never attempt creative expression. Let yourself do so and you'll see that working on your own projects is extremely rewarding, teaches ...(Read more)
My interest in programming started in high school when I realized that I could write my own scripts on a TI83 calculator. Math teachers would routinely hand out a script for solving quadratic expressions, so I busted it open to see how it worked. I was able to reverse engineer some calculation scripts of my own. Students would line up after chemistry class to link with me and get the latest shortcuts I came up with for each unit. I saw a few games for the TI83 floating around, but never imagined that I could make one.