I was introduced to programming on CS lessons in school in 9th grade and liked it. After graduation I have looked into it further, found out that we were taught wrong and malevolent techniques and started learning from scratch again to get rid of old habits.
I started to program when I was 10 years old. I learnt to program as a hobby because I though programming will be a very good thing to do as I can program games and such. but I do not know how and why but for some reason I went into Security Field.
Well I got introduced to programming with BASIC in 7th and 8th grades. I'll spare you the boring story of how I picked up C++, but I picked it up when I was 15 or 16 years old as a freshman in high school. I've dabbled in other languages since though.
I decided my high school based on the fact that it had an "experimental course" for programming. At that time I had never touched programming by myself (no internet and no idea of where to start from) but games where made with it so it seemed super interesting. In the next 5 years we had something like 3 lessons on how to use excel and 2 on how to put a button and a label in a Visual Basic program.
In the end I guess my answer is hobby.
I wanted to create my own games back when I was in 9th grade. All of the game creation programs I found advertised something along the lines of "create great games without writing a single line of code!", so naturally I decided to learn to code instead. I heard of C++ from the creator of a modding tool I had used before, so I Googled for a tutorial and found the one on this website. I still program games today as a hobby.
ModShop, your story sounds almost identical to me. I started wanting to create games after playing Mortal Kombat on the SNES. I wanted to be the guy behind the curtain entertaining gamers just like the guys at Midway (NetherRealms Studios now). Never realized that dream, but I suppose not everyone ever really gets what they want dream wise.
Well ever since I played a game I wanted to make one. I started to use RPG Maker 2000, 2003, XP, and VX, but I wanted a better game. I learned Ruby to script with. Then, finally I decided that wasn't powerful enough and looked for alternates. I was thinking Java because Minecraft was made in it, but I looked up C++ and fell in love. That's how I started.
Just think, if I picked Java I'd be a RAPIDCODER + Fredbill30.
From there my software engineer cousin told me to learn C++.
Add me to the I-wanna-make-games bandwagon.
However I should note that I never actually got around to making anything substantial using SFML. I made a crappy board game and started making tools such as a sprite sheet animator, but that kinda stuff is simple and boring. I want to make something good but that requires knowledge of physics which I don't have. I'll just wait until I learn physics in high school and continue learning C++. Right now my goals are to learn finish learning C++ and C, learn computer architecture, and learn x86 assembly.
Well, I always wanted to learn how to code and such... I recall trying to work through learning how to use Blender (the 3D graphics software) in 7th grade, but most of that was out of my league at the time. Eventually, I stumbled on my dad's old C Primer Plus book, and installed a C IDE. At this time, I already knew of C++ and wanted to code, but never knew where to look for answers. Of course, this was a book for C, not C++, and I found myself wanting to move on to bigger and better things. I bought a C++ book... which turned out to be crap. Then I bought another... again, turned out to be crap. Nearly gave up outright... until I stumbled upon this site after someone else pointed me here. Read through all of the documentation, and found myself in a position where I was actually able to create functional code. All it took was several years of poorly-written books (the second book sometimes gave code examples that weren't even functional), only to discover that the best resource for me was one that was free.