I have no formal training AT ALL. I started in the mid 80's with my first computer, a Tandy1000, but NO GAMES. A friend of the family came by to help set it up and showed me a bouncing ball program in basic. I was mesmerized by its simplicity-- just a few commands and I could get this ball to bounce around the screen! So I got books and taught myself how to program in basic. I made a few simple games-- Take that Dad! I quickly realized my games were becoming too advanced for basic to handle, so I asked someone about other languages. He suggested assembly. So I got a book and started using debug to write programs. If you have never used debug to write programs, count yourself lucky; it's a NIGHTMARE! Finally someone introduced me to an .asm compiler and I wrote code from there. Somewhere in the 90's another friend suggested I start using C++ and DirectX. I tried it out and it stuck ever since.
I wish I could say I work for some game studio, but sadly no. I suppose it's a combination of bad timing and lack of education. I was born in an era before personal computers or the internet. So, without the vast amounts of free information on the internet and no formal training, I struggled to get the information I needed.
I joined the military after high school. Now I have kids, so following my dream kind of went to back burner. Now I work in the oilfield and don't really have time to sit down and do any serious programming.
I would like to know how some of you landed your game programming job........