I say real because I did learn how to program when I was in college but that was disaster.
Yes, I will confess that not only did I hate programming, I failed quite a few of those classes.
I learned to program on a Univac 1108 using punch card and chads. The first language I learned was ALGOL then it was FORTRAN-IV and COBAL. I could do the logic diagrams that were required as part of our assignments; I could write up what I thought the program should be but being dyslexic and having to type out punch cards did not help either.
But all those strange problems to be solved (Imagine a bull in a circular field 12 feet diameter and is fenced. The bull is teathered on a 6 foot chain to the fence. What is the area of the pasture that the bull can eat?) had no relevance to anything I was actually doing and so I just "did not get it".
I gave up on programming.
Advance 13 years in time to 1991; I had a programmer working for me and she was modifying the ERP software at the company where I was the manager of manufacturing engineering (a medical startup). Once day I was looking at the code and I was "reading the code" and I realized there was a bug staring me in the face.
I was reading code and I "couldn't do that". Over the next few weeks I realized that even though I had failed those programming classes, I really did know how to program.
I then came across Visual Basic 1.0 and got a copy to play with plus a teach yourself to program in 21 days type of book. I went through the book in one weekend and tt was then that I realized that "I GOT IT".
I never looked back.
I then went to work at the company that produced the ERP software because we had modified it to meet certain FDA requirements and the software company wanted to go after the medical manufacturing business and what better way than to have a Biomedical Engineer as one of their consultants who had not only worked in that industry but had experience with the software.
Then I earned my Microsoft certifications and moved into Big-Six consulting (Coopers & Lybrand, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BearingPoint); then software and engineering consulting and then full on software engineering and software development at various other companies.
And here we are, this is the 25th anniversary of the release of VB and I have seen it in all it's variations.
It has been a fun and wild ride. There have been times I have questioned if moving into software was the right move and should I have stayed in manufacturing engineering. BUT, then again maybe not as I have been able to learn so much, traveled so many places, and it has paid me really really well.