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Need some advice please


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#1 PWhermn   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 27 January 2002 - 09:34 AM

Hi all, I''m not actually new to programming, but I AM new to learning a language on my own. I''ve used computers since the Commodore VIC-20 days and have copied programs out of magazines such as BYTE, etc. I''ve altered those to include different graphics, etc. (Simple using different symbols and such so no biggie) I''ve tried to take C++ in high school, but being the only student taking that (others were taking Pascal), I didn''t receive too much help or attention from the teacher, and my personal motivation fell. I now (6 years later) work a warehouse job and am learning C++ again in my free time. I''ve applied to a distance learning course in VC++ 6 and my motivation is sky rocketing! That''s the good thing. What i''m wondering however, is when do you feel comfortable enough to actually step into a programming job? When did that comfort level hit you? I have a ways to go yet, I''m planning on working at my job still for the next few years (been there 4 already) and trying to build up my portfolio with a few applications and a few game ideas I have. But on a personal note, in the back of my head, I keep thinking what a daunting task it''s going to be to move into a world that I am new amongst those that have done this maybe since childhood and excelled at it. I''m confident in myself that I will make it in whatever industry I get into. I hope involving making games, but sometimes the amount of information tossed around is overwhelming, and the people tossing it around do so in a manner like it''s just a second language. So to end this (sorry for the long post) is there any confidence skills that would work or personal stories to share? I''m working through "Turbo C++ Programming 101" by Greg Perry and I''m doing alright from a beginners vantage point. I have plenty of books, but is there a good SECOND book to jump into after learning the basics without going too far over my head? The main problem is reading things that ARE over my head and it puts the spirits down because of lack of understanding. Thanks for reading this guys, You''lkl probably be seing a lot of me and I hope my name becomes a welcome one Mike

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#2 yb legal   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 27 January 2002 - 11:03 PM

hi,
the first ones a bit tough. it depends on the individual, and how much beliefe they have in there ability. once you get the basics down and practice a lot youll find you can apply those skills to many different types of apps games or otherwise. when i applied to do my university work placement the job required me to know VB, which i knew nothing of. but having done enough C/C++ over the years i could safely lie on the application and apply the programming concepts to a different language, because they dont change no matter what implementation you use.
as for the second question- C++ the complete reference is a great book. if you know a little(or no) C++ then this book will take you to the next level.

my advice- read, read some more, practice as much as you can. youll know when your ready.

g/luck

---------------------------
"Bingo-Bango! Sugar in the gas tank!"

#3 PWhermn   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 28 January 2002 - 08:58 AM

quote:
Original post by yb legal
hi,
the first ones a bit tough. it depends on the individual, and how much beliefe they have in there ability. once you get the basics down and practice a lot youll find you can apply those skills to many different types of apps games or otherwise.
---------------------------



First of all, thanks for the motivational speech. I hear what you''re saying there. For me, when it''s time to move into the new career change, it''s mostly high school style apprehension. Wondering if my skills will be up to par. I don''t want to get to the point of being an over perfectionist, (perfectionism isn''t always so bad) and just keep learning and learning never feeling that I know enough. But on the other hand, I don''t want to become some egotistical maniac regarding the skill level I become. At my work (I work at QVC) The computers controlling the networks, etc are located in our warehouse. There''s a big "i''m better than you and everyone else" kind of attitude with the computer guys in there that''s really offputting. That''s what worries me, getting a job and thrust into an already established clique. So I guess my anxiety about how much knowledge is enough really stems from the pressures of those who believe and practice elitism. hmm.. Thank you so much yb legal, you''ve got me started thinking. I''m starting to not be so worried already. Good pep talk! My take on life is this, it''s like a huge ladder with a lot of rest stops along the way. If you look up for to long you''ll want to take a breather and may be just content on staying where you''re at. But if you look at the rungs as your hands and feet climb them, it''s far easier to finish the journey..
Mike

#4 yb legal   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 28 January 2002 - 10:14 PM

i guess when ever you go into something new its only natural to be nervous, but dont discount an entire industry on the account of a few guys in a warehouse. Youll find ,as with all walks of life, there are peple with good attitudes and people with bad attitudes.From your post, it seems you have the first- so youve already got a head start. Over here i always try and treat people with the same respect- wether they forgotten to put the plug in(heh this happens more often than one would think) or wheather i have code inspection.
but If you find yourself working in that situation just remind yourslef youve worked hard, they dont _give_ IT jobs away, yove earnt it for a reason. Hard work *will* pay off, evan if you have the worst interview in the world(ive had a few), take it as a learning experience- use the positives and forget about the negatives and the next one will be much better. i like your ladder analagy. .heres something thats stuck with me- "nothing is impossible. if you believe you can do something, you will" - andre la mothe

heh now *thats* a pep talk

g/luck


---------------------------
"Bingo-Bango! Sugar in the gas tank!"

Edited by - yb legal on January 29, 2002 5:24:56 AM

#5 abdulla   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 28 January 2002 - 10:56 PM

never give up, have a clear goal in mind, you''ll do great

#6 hapaboy   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 28 January 2002 - 11:15 PM

Hi Mike,

To tell you the truth, I feel the same way you do, nervous, a bit unsure. Ive asked the questions you are asking before in these forums and I have had several nice replies that seemed to miss the point.

After joining this special program in school, Im surrounded by people that know what seems like everything about everything to do with IT. I can truthfully say that when I took part in our first meeting(last week). I didnt understand half of what was said. At first I was affraid I could never understand what they were talking about. But I learned, I spent the whole week searching the web trying to understand the subjects discussed. I taught myself HTML for the first time, then went on to VBScript, now Im teaching myself ASP. I can say that I had to backtrack several times until I found the beginning point(HTML). But I can safely say that if the same subject is discussed during the next meeting, I will probably understand a great deal more then last time.

My point is that it does seem very overwhelming when you hear these techies write about this stuff using what seems like an endless stream of achronyms coupled with incomprehensible terminology. But when it comes down to it, most of it really isnt all too difficult. I wouldnt be surprised if the hardest part of most of it is just remembering the terminology.


As for the job aspect....to tell you the truth, most programming(aside from game programming and some other types) is not very difficult. The hardest part is always figuring out the algorithm or the design. This means that if you understand the theories behind programming languages and you are good with logic and solving algorithms, you dont actually need to know every language or even every aspect of a certain language. Since I already knew how to program in java, I learned VBScript in no time. It was just a matter of remembering the commands which are very similar in the first place. When you look at a job's requirements and you see something like "must have a good knowledge of visual basics, Java..bla bla bla" keep in mind that even if you do not know them, a few tutorials or a quick learning book or two that you can finish in a couple of weeks(or longer depending on the language) may do it.

O my god Ive done it again...written a book when a paragraph was needed. Its just that I see someone that is very much like I and I know that Ive suffered with these anxieties for the last year. I still do to a certain extent.

Good luck on whatever you do Mike and dont stress =)
Take care





Edited by - hapaboy on January 29, 2002 6:18:27 AM

#7 CaptainJester   Members   -  Reputation: 523

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Posted 29 January 2002 - 02:07 AM

It''s the same with almost any type of career choice. If you know nothing about it, the people talking about it are going to sound like wizards. I bet the first time someone said the word RAM or ROM, you thought what the hell is that. Now you know. It''s the same with programming. Just never give up and it will come.

---
Make it work.
Make it fast.

"Commmmpuuuuterrrr.." --Scotty Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home

#8 PWhermn   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 29 January 2002 - 06:50 PM

I''m posting here my most sincere of thanks. i''ve been living in false contentment for too long. It''s rough getting a job right after High School, you grow to depend on those earnings while your dreams take a very far back seater.I''ve been creeping around these boards for awhile and without meaning to sound sappy and gushing, this was one of the reasons I finally joined. Thanks everyone for taking the time to pull up someone that had fell a few rungs.
Mike




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