Well, I used to be an electronics hobbyist. Heathkits, Popular Electronics, Radio Electronics, books, etc. When the 8008 and 8080 computers appeared, I somewhat lusted after them as the sort of ultimate electronics project. But they were pretty far out-of-reach, financially speaking.
It was the 1976 publication of the COSMAC ELF project that made me realize that almost all of the electronics projects I had built COULD have been programmed on such a computer. But even $100 was a lot of money, in those days.
Also about 1976 I took my first programming class, which was BASIC via dialup to a mainframe. That was cool too!
I went to university to get an EE degree ("I want to build computers!"), but it turns out that that pretty much wasn't what they were teaching in EE classes in the late 70s. And there were still those distracting mainframes; some of which were connected to networks, which were even cooler! And apparently, I was better at coding than I was at doing EE stuff. So I spent the next 6 or 7 years programming mainframes. And the 20 years after that programming relatively large "things" to do networking.
That kept me pretty busy, and mostly uninvolved with small microcontrollers or even "personal" computers, though I retained an interest and "followed" some of the stuff that was going on. I even bought chips, and programmers, and stuff ... that mostly sat in drawers. Sigh.
But in ~2006, Arduino came along, and the effort required to play with microcontrollers went down significantly, because it put all the tools together into a package that ran on ... pretty much everything. Besides, the "networking gig" was getting ... less fun.
In ~2012 I retired, and pretty much spend most of my spare time "playing" with microcontrollers of various sorts. Arduino is a big part of that.