My journey on the web started when I was 8 years old. That's when I learned the basics of HTML, CSS and programming... and then promptly forgot everything I had learned. But I still think those beginnings taught me a lot about thinking like a programmer.
Of course no one can ever completely understand all of software development. I still have a lot to learn and I always will have. But I finally feel like I get the gist of it now and like all the hard work has finally paid off.