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#Actualjbadams

Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:50 AM

Skilled professional developers are able to avoid some common bugs and design mistakes due to their experience -- and that will come to you with practice if you write enough software -- but they still have plenty of bugs, and do not always choose optimal designs.

So why isn't their software buggy like yours? Simply because they took the time to fix the bugs, either before release (perhaps using a metric such as user pain to decide when the product was acceptable for launch) or in post-release patches as they discovered more problems. Fixing bugs can be tedious, and it isn't always a very exciting part of software development -- but it's something you have to do if you want to release a quality product.


It isn't a problem that your software is buggy. That's perfectly normal, and as a beginner it would be pretty surprising if there weren't lots of bugs.
It is a problem that you don't want to spend time fixing those bugs -- if you want to finish your game, you have to spend the time and effort to do so -- skilled professionals have to spend lots of their time fixing bugs.

Maybe Counter-Strike/Half-Life/Quake, StarCraft, and Rappelz are historical accidents where the developers got it right the first time.

They didn't get them right the first time -- they made mistakes during development, but they made the effort to fix those mistakes before they released the games to the public.


Formal education will probably help you in three ways:
  • You'll learn different techniques you can apply to minimise bugs and make it easier to find and fix them when they occur.
  • You'll hopefully write more code along the way, which will give you more experience. It is only by having first-hand experience of why certain designs are bad that you can learn to avoid those problems in the future.
  • During your course, you will be forced to do things (homework, classes you don't particularly enjoy, etc.) you do not find particularly interesting. If you want to release complete and polished products, you have to do the bits that aren't fun such as debugging, not just the interesting parts where you figure out how to make the game play work efficiently and implement cool effects.

If you already have an almost complete game that mostly works, then you've done better than many other people who set out to make games. If you want a finished game, you'll need to do the extra work to finish it.

The only way you can become a "pro" is through continued learning, effort, and practice. You will make hundreds, if not thousands of mistakes along the way -- every skilled professional has. You will get to solve lots of interesting problems, but you will also have lots of tedious work, and will sometimes encounter problems that make you want to punch a hole in the computer.


If you do all that, one day you will be a pro.
If you don't do all that -- because it's boring, or you think it's not worth the effort, or it's too hard, or any other reason -- then you will be a beginner or intermediate coder forever.

The choice is yours.

#1jbadams

Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:48 AM

Skilled professional developers are able to avoid some common bugs and design areas due to their experience -- and that will come to you with practice if you write enough software -- but they still have plenty of bugs, and do not always choose optimal designs.

So why isn't their software buggy like yours? Simply because they took the time to fix the bugs, either before release (perhaps using a metric such as user pain to decide when the product was acceptable for launch) or in post-release patches as they discovered more problems. Fixing bugs can be tedious, and it isn't always a very exciting part of software development -- but it's something you have to do if you want to release a quality product.


It isn't a problem that your software is buggy. That's perfectly normal, and as a beginner it would be pretty surprising if there weren't lots of bugs.
It is a problem that you don't want to spend time fixing those bugs -- if you want to finish your game, you have to spend the time and effort to do so -- skilled professionals have to spend lots of their time fixing bugs.

Maybe Counter-Strike/Half-Life/Quake, StarCraft, and Rappelz are historical accidents where the developers got it right the first time.

They didn't get them right the first time -- they made mistakes during development, but they made the effort to fix those mistakes before they released the games to the public.


Formal education will probably help you in three ways:
  • You'll learn different techniques you can apply to minimise bugs and make it easier to find and fix them when they occur.
  • You'll hopefully write more code along the way, which will give you more experience. It is only by having first-hand experience of why certain designs are bad that you can learn to avoid those problems in the future.
  • During your course, you will be forced to do things (homework, classes you don't particularly enjoy, etc.) you do not find particularly interesting. If you want to release complete and polished products, you have to do the bits that aren't fun such as debugging, not just the interesting parts where you figure out how to make the game play work efficiently and implement cool effects.

If you already have an almost complete game that mostly works, then you've done better than many other people who set out to make games. If you want a finished game, you'll need to do the extra work to finish it.

The only way you can become a "pro" is through continued learning, effort, and practice. You will make hundreds, if not thousands of mistakes along the way -- every skilled professional has. You will get to solve lots of interesting problems, but you will also have lots of tedious work, and will sometimes encounter problems that make you want to punch a hole in the computer.


If you do all that, one day you will be a pro.
If you don't do all that -- because it's boring, or you think it's not worth the effort, or it's too hard, or any other reason -- then you will be a beginner or intermediate coder forever.

The choice is yours.

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