I took my first programming baby steps at age 12 or so, but it's something that takes forever to get good at. I'm still at the point where I'm embarrassed at the things I made a year ago.
Although it's a lot of fun in itself, and although I value things like code cleanliness and performance, I see programming as a means to put your ideas to life. I'd rather not get stuck in technical debates or use cutting-edge technology for the heck of it — above all, I like to get stuff done.
I haven't worked on any large-scale projects, but I do wish to make some kind of game some time.