I didn't finish college because of money and transportation issues, but one Christmas while I was attending university, my parents bought me the Sims 2 game for the PC.
I played it a little, and liked creating sims more than anything. I liked making stuff like houses and cool personalities. I soon found out that you can add your own content to the game. So I found the modthesims.com site, and dived deep. First 3D program I used was called milkshape, because it had the best support at the time. I didn't have money to pay for it, so I found wings3D. We had to use the SimPE editor, which was confusing to use for the complex stuff. I just used it to import a 3d model into the game. I used the BodyShape addition to the game to make my custom clothes, and I used a very old version of Photoshop (pre CS) to edit the texture maps.
That is how I got into 3D and the computer world. From there on it was non-stop learning and discovery. Next I found Daz3D which was an easier way to get into the animation world. Then I found Poser, which was better. I wanted to make my own characters though. I found Blender 3D. Hated it. Deleted it. Downloaded it a few more times over the years, and finally looked at it for real after the interface change. Learned of G-Max, then of 3DSmax, then of Maya, then of Zbrush, then of Google Sketchup, then of ___(fill in the blank with bunches of miscellaneous software). All this time of downloading software, I never considered making my own.
Then I thought of a software I could make that would bring all of the good parts of the software I have used into one place. Turns out, I had thought of a game engine. I wrote down the idea in great detail. Then I wondered how I would make it. I had to learn programming? Too complicated, that idea would never happen in reality. Even discovered Game Maker and Unity (older versions). Deleted. Too complicated.
My first introduction to programming was Actionscript for Adobe flash. Watched bunches of tutorials (bad ones). Compiled what I had learned into a document that made it easy to grasp by using an analogy of comparing a program to a movie script. The analogy wasn't complete. Stored that file away for a while. Eventually deleted it.
Few years later felt I could attempt to make that idea. Searching... (tutorials.. written documents...videos.. lectures). Compiled all of that information into another tutorial on basic programming. Python IDLE and PYGAME and WXPYTHON. Ruby for Google Sketchup. CodeCademy. Downloaded Game Maker again. Cost too much to develop stuff if I wanted to publish it to the masses. Delete. Downloaded Unity 3D again. Same issue. Delete.
Found Maratis 3D. PEREFECT! More tutorials on Blender. Sculptris as a Zbrush alternative. Quidam Studio and Makehuman. Joined a few game development sites. Found this site. Signed up. And here I am today.
I still think that software idea is far beyond me. But who knows what I will have done next year.