Back in my day, I didn't have internet to ask for help. Taking programming classes meant actually learning it yourself. I, however, wanted to take the class and from putting so much effort forward, my programs outperformed everyone else's in the class. The excitement of seeing code that you wrote doing something on the screen was amazing.
I guess the days of trying to learn yourself and trial and error have gone out the window (shrugs). It's fun to see the different kind of homework that gets posted on here, however. I enjoy solving the problems, and if I'm feeling generous, I'll post the code for the OP. The one I had the most fun with was a pure recursive program to draw a triangle of letters on the screen. Quite challenging especially since no loops were allowed.