My first computer was a Commodore 64, which my parents gave me for Christmas in 1985 when I was in fifth grade. My grandfather bought me a matching disk drive. I was a lucky kid to get these gifts because my parents were and still are working poor. I now suspect that my grandfather also paid for the computer. In 2017 dollars, it was something like a $1,000 Christmas for me.
I didn't set aside my gifts after a few months like many kids do. A year and a half later I was published in RUN Magazine and received a royalty check for my efforts at the ripe old age of 12. I spent virtually every dollar I had on programming books and magazines. I managed to get on the Internet with my first post to Usenet in 1992 but otherwise I was isolated from any other programmer. I was and continue to be a self-taught, natural programmer. I took all of the requisite computer science classes at the university, but more often than not they managed to suck out all of the enjoyment I had been experiencing programming since I was a pre-teen.
More than three decades later, I'm still doing programming. I switched to 100% Linux in 1994, so I've been doing Linux development for almost exactly 23 years. I still remember those early days.