|laziness, impatience, and hubris|
Aaaah... In highschool in 1979, the math and science departments had timeshare on the city's PDP1170, the Math department had a hardcopy teletype with a built in acoustic coupler (telephone handset attached to 2 rubber cups) that printed on wide accordion fold tractor fed paper. The Science department has the older ball teletype, but it was better because it had the tape punch/ reader that you could use to save your programs (we weren't allowed to store programs to disk).
Later, the math department got some apple computers, and before I graduated, they got got in some of those Apple ][ computers.
First programs were single pile nim, lunar lander, towers of hanoi, star trek. We started with basic, did a little Fortran.
Then in college the computer science department was officially centered about Pascal; and we had a lab with hazeltine terminals, with the integrated keyboard/ CRT. The lab was *always* busy, too many students to too few terminals. So I wandered down the hall and found the card punch. I could punch my program, submit it through the "RJE" window, and get my results back before my friend could get all the way through the line into the terminal farm. The drawback was that the card reader, because it wasn't used that often, was notorious for eating cards, but my decks weren't *that* big.
Then, after I was "invited" to attend a different school (my grades weren't good in anything but computer science and hard science courses); I went to DeVry in Phoenix, at their fledgling Computer Science program. We had 3270 Assembly, and RPG II, and Cobol. No card punch at DeVry, plus I could go to the lab and play with the new IBM AT PC's and the Micro Club's Altos computer, upon which I wrote my first resume in Wordstar, and saved it on an 8 inch floppy.
In my first job post college I did MAPPER programming on the City's PDP, graduating to CICS (and writing screen maps in BMS assembly) and putting together the JCL for alot of programs.
Nowadays I don't even mention at work that I know anything about mainframes...