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College/Univerisity Courses


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#1 wonebyfase   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 08:27 PM

I'm currently on my last year of High School and wish to pursue a career in game programming (more specifically physics programming for games) and would like to know a good skill set for this field. I have a basic knowledge of cpp (c plus plus) having taken computer science courses at the 10-20-30 level. This basically puts me at knowing loops, and basic functions (nothing object oriented and certainly nothing dealing with graphics or APIs). As I will be going to college or university next year, I plan on getting a Bachelor of Science in Computing Science, minoring in physics. For physics game programming (or something related) are these good requisites? What else would help me as a physics programmer, or just help me in the industry in general? I realize that taking such courses is not necessarily a requirement, but I feel that they would help me much more than home-learning on the internet and from books. This brings me to my next question: It looks as if the C.S. degrees at the colleges and universities near me mostly focus on theory and the inner workings of computers, not so much on the game programming aspect I am interested in. So, failing learning cpp from school, what are the best alternatives? If books, which would you recommend for someone with the limited cpp skills I have (preferably related to game programming)? As an overview I would like to know a solid GENERAL skill set for physics (or related) programming, or for starting off in the industry. I would also like to know of some alternative resources (such as specific books) to learning cpp as it relates to game programming and graphics. (I have seen quite a few "Programming games with cpp" books, but quite a few assume prior cpp knowledge that I don't have). I realize this is a lot to ask, but so far I haven't come across any resources that answer my (many) questions. Thanks in advance!

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9153

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:16 AM

Hello woneb, you wrote:
>I... wish to pursue a career in ... physics programming for games
>...I will be going to college or university next year, I plan on getting a Bachelor of Science in Computing Science, minoring in physics. ... are these good requisites?

Obviously yes.

>What else would help me ...in the industry in general?

Making a portfolio of physics demos.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 wonebyfase   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:08 PM

Thanks for the reply, however I was looking to find out what other skills would be beneficial to me as a physics programmer rather than how to get a job as a programmer (though that is equally important of course). Like what areas of physics/math to really focus on, or even other skill sets that would help me stand out of the crowd in an interview so to speak. For example, I've read that often physics programmers also have a good knowledge of graphics programming (like openGL) in order to apply physics in the best manner.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9153

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:31 AM

As for additional courses you could take that could help, you could also consider taking courses that you WANT to take -- or that you THINK might help.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 wonebyfase   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:38 AM

Well, yes of course I would like to take courses that I like and THINK might help, but that's just it, I THINK they may help, I don't know. Personally I don't like risking a potentially life-long career on what I think, thus my post here asking other people who might KNOW rather than THINK. I mean I know it will vary from company to company, but there's always common things that they look for, things that I would like to find out about now so I can be as prepared as possible.

#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9153

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:18 AM

Quote:
Original post by wonebyfase
Well, yes of course I would like to take courses that I like and THINK might help, but that's just it, I THINK they may help, I don't know.

It's... OKAY. Thinking you know is good enough! "Trust the force, Luke."

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#7 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9761

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 11:37 AM

Quote:
Original post by wonebyfase
I mean I know it will vary from company to company, but there's always common things that they look for, things that I would like to find out about now so I can be as prepared as possible.
If you want to talk in generalities: you need to be skilled at writing, so take a few of those writing/literature courses. You need to be able to make interesting conversation, so make sure to develop friends and activities outside of the classroom, as well as taking a few debate classes (philosophy/literature courses are often good for this). You need to be confident in interviews, so take advantage of the 'mock interview' sessions offered by many universities...

Back to the original topic, given that your major is set in stone, the rest you can mix and match at will - putting minors on your resume is somewhat dubious, and they will likely come off the resume as soon as you have work experience to add instead. If you can handle a double-major in something (or anything), by all means go for it, but don't kill yourself trying [smile]

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#8 wonebyfase   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:04 PM

Thanks a lot for the response swiftcoder, that was exactly what I was looking for!
As to my other question, were or through what can I learn the actual programming aspect (like c++) if not through schooling (I would assume books, if so which are recognized as the best?).
Thanks!

#9 dudeman21   Members   -  Reputation: 419

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:18 AM

If your school offers classes in programming, as most do these days, I would definitely take them, but that alone is not enough to make you a good programmer. Read as much as you can and most of all, practice. Spend your free time coding little things that are of interest to you. The best way to learn how to program is to get in there and do it, above and beyond what you're taught in class. There is no "perfect" way to code, and you will make mistakes as you're starting out, but doing making a mistake once isn't going to permanently brain-damage you against ever doing it the "right" way.
---------------------------Visit my Blog at http://robwalkerdme.blogspot.com

#10 ibebrett   Members   -  Reputation: 205

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:32 AM

The book "An introduction to classical mechanics with problems and solutions" is an excellent physics intro (it will kick your butt, I don't care what skillset someone has, there is a problem in there that will stump you). Also check out the MIT open courseware. There are tons and tons of excellent classes on there, physics and comp sci

#11 wonebyfase   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:24 AM

Thanks to everyone for the replies, they were all very helpful! I'll definitely be checking on programming courses at the schools near me, however I would like to get a head start, any suggestions on books that would start me in the right direction?




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