Back in 1979 I was introduced to the Commodore PET. Playing the few text based games it had was fun. However, being a curious teen peeking under the hood was even more exciting.
Editing the games to fit my maturity level at the time allowed to me not just to have fun, but at the same time exposed me to the art of programming. All this allowed me at a very early age to think like a programmer.
As I moved to new jobs as a young adult I was exposed to more advances computer systems and taught myself how to program them for fun and for whatever tasks I needed filled.
I would say that having never taken a single programming course is my biggest strength. Having never learned any limitations I found a way to bring the ideas in my mind to life no matter what. In fact: one very large, publicly owned company, wanted to buy a utility I created because as far as they were concerned it couldn’t be done.