Yes, when I was a kid we had a CPC 6128 as well. It came with a few games, and a big manual that explained everything about the machine. In that time, it wasn't easy to get new software or games. And as a kid I didn't have any money to buy them. So I followed the same path (except I luckily didn't end up doing JAVA/SQL).
Immediate access to a programming environment + a real manual. That made it really easy to start programming. Unfortunately it's something you don't see much anymore.
Best game I wrote on the CPC was a split-screen two-player math game, where you had to solve simple equations by entering the answer using the joysticks. Configurable difficulty level for each player (so I could play with kids of a different age), and background music. And all of that in the excellent Locomotive BASIC, no need for PEEK/POKE/OUTB/CALL.