I remember my first computer, an Intel 486 Packard Bell way back in the early 90s. Windows 3.11 and DOS. I learned by pushing every button, even sometimes breaking the computer, but making sure I fixed it. Then I found BASIC buried in there and started playing with programming. I had no books to learn from, didn't even know where to begin on something like that but I learned through trial and error. It really came in handy as a calculator to check my homework against. I have fond memories with gorillas throwing nuclear bananas.
I'm now a Linux sysadmin specializing in HPC clusters.