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hexman

What if........................

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hexman    122
What if you *really* want to get into a certain field of work (Programming, Graphics, Design, etc.), but, like me, you don''t have the money to continue on to your 3rd and 4th years of college? I can only afford to get an AA Degree right now and I have several ideas to pursue but each one has a huge roadblock: 1. I would like to be a programmer, but I can''t, because I have very poor math skills. 2. I would like to be a modeler/animator, but i can''t, because 99% of the places I wanted to work for only accept people with Bachelor''s Degrees. 3. I would like to be a Journalist for a magazine that covers either Games or Movies, but I can''t, because (1) there are no good magazines that cover movies, and (2) I''m starting to fall behind in the world of games. I haven''t been playing them as much as I used to, but i''m trying! Any ideas? Thanks in advance. See what i''m getting at? My question is, how could one, such as myself, overcome on these *big* obstacles and pursue a career? Hexman

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Rob Loach    1504
There are many people successful in the industry who were/are college drop-outs. But, unfortunately, they already were masters at what they did/do.



- Rob Loach
Current Project: Upgrade to .NET and DirectX 9

"Do or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda

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S1CA    1418
quote:
Original post by hexman
My question is, how could one, such as myself, overcome on these *big* obstacles and pursue a career?


I don't have a degree, but knew from the age of about 9 (seriously!) that I wanted to work as a programmer in the games industry - 20 years later and I am...


For a company employing someone, that person having a degree shows a few things:

- that the candidate is intelligent

- that the candidate has covered certain basic topics in their field

- that the candidate can work hard

- that the candidate can be given an advanced task/project and be able to do their own research etc


In the games industry, the following are as important as a degree, and at some companies much more important:

- Enthusiasm for the job, games and the industry - someone who dreads going into work and doesn't enjoy the job isn't going to do very well when they have to work 18 hour days at crunch times

- Talent/Knowledge - for an art job for example you could present diplomas and certificates showing you've done courses in 3DSMax etc - but they wouldn't mean very much. Doing an amazing sketch using a cheap pen on a piece of paper while waiting in the reception area for an interview shows MUCH more than any qualification does...

- Commercial Work Experience - if you've worked on published games, then you are much more employable. However, having worked at ANY company producing software IS worthwhile, particularly if that software is sold at retail.

- General Work Experience - what do you do with your spare time? If you want to be a games programmer - then PROGRAM, learn as much as you can, try things out, make demos, make games, make utilities, get GOOD as a programmer. Likewise with an artist, draw, paint, sculpt, etc (don't fall into the trap of believing that you can only be a 3D artist if you have experience of the major packages - their interfaces are evolving to try and emulate things like sculpting, and the most important skill is an artistic eye [in the same way that being able to use MS Word doesn't make you an author]).

- A demo/portfolio which shows you're competent in what you say you are.

- Ability to work in a team. Work on one of the many projects in the "Help Wanted" section here. Work on a mod. Do a team sport etc.


Now look over the above points, including what a degree gets you (you'll notice some overlap). ALL of those can be achieved for little or NO money [I grew up on a poor housing estate in an unemployed single parent family etc - you CAN overcome any obstacle - just be ambitious and keep FIGHTING blah blah blah...].

How do you improve your maths skills? - by writing programs in your spare time which make use of maths. By going to a public library and borrowing beginners and intermediate books about maths.

Professional journalists usually have higher qualifications in English. Most aren't so specialist, they work on many different magazines and then end up at one which specialise in things they're interested in - a good writer is what's important. How do YOU get some experience which might be of interest to a magazine? - a few ideas:
* get a job as an office junior at a magazine or newspaper publisher
* get a job as an office junior at a PR company
* look at the free newspapers in your area, write articles for them and see if they publish any
* if you're still at school/college it's likely there is a school newsletter and/or newspaper - find out who's behind it and ask them if you can join
* write _opinionated_ letters to magazines and see how many get published
* start your own magazine, maybe locally, maybe on a website


The world is never as rigid as it seems - I know it feels that way when you're younger, it certainly felt that way when I way 16-17 and couldn't afford to do a degree and all doors seemed closed. Do a degree later if you want (I'm 29 and considering a part time degree now...).

If you've got TALENT, then apply for those jobs which say you need a degree, what have you got to lose?, the price of a postage stamp and maybe a portfolio/demo CD?...

There's a saying which, in time, you'll see the wisdom of:
YOU make YOUR own chances in life

--
Simon O'Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

[edited by - s1ca on April 30, 2003 7:26:22 PM]

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cMADsc    122
Do not give up on programming if you really want to do it. Math can be ambigious but keep practicing. Search google for math tutorials sites. I remember when I first start Win 32 programming, it was like greek to me. Now after continuous practicing the burden is no more. As for college try and get a scholarship or just take one or two classes. Maybe even try to get an intern, even if you do not get paid, the experience is priceless. Hard work will pay off, not over night though. Nothing beats a failure but a try! Good luck!


-----------------------------
"There are ones that say they can and there are those who actually do."

"...u can not learn programming in a class, you have to learn it on your own."



[edited by - cMADsc on April 30, 2003 7:55:08 PM]

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PrincessDaisy    194
quote:
Original post by hexman
*sighs*



TRY READING THE FIRST TWO CAREER PATHS I MENTIONED!!!! THEY *DO* RELATE TO GAME DEV, DON''T THEY???????


Errr... If your looking for people to help you out, thats probably not the best way to go about it.

Pretty In Pink

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cMADsc    122
Futhermore, try getting a job at a local school, they are always needing people to repair pcs or install something. Or try subsituting teaching during the day and taking night classes.


-----------------------------
"There are ones that say they can and there are those who actually do."

"...u can not learn programming in a class, you have to learn it on your own."

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stilltjack    122
Hey there,

If you are that poor, getting student aid in the form of grants (preferably) or student loans is trivial. I wouldn''t give up on school if you have done well in community college since you are already half way there.

-stilltjack

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CWizard    127
quote:
Original post by hexman
1. I would like to be a programmer
2. I would like to be a modeler/animator
3. I would like to be a Journalist
No one else who find that unusual? I''d have considered them mutually exclusive .

From a personal point of view, I think that a degree says about nothing about a person''s programming skills. Getting a degree might be useful, but you don''t learn programming in school; you do that at home (mostly) by yourself. The ability to educate yourself, to not need someone to hold your hand, and being flexible is more important than showing a diploma (IMO).


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Caroline_M    181
Hexman,

You sound a little negative. Everybody faces obstacles at some time or other, and games development is not the easiest of industries to break into.

Follow some of the specific advice given in this thread, but above all - DON''T GIVE UP! If you *really* want to achieve something, and you set your mind on it, you''ll get there...

Well, thats what I''m counting on anyway

Caroline M.

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Village Idiot    122
Maybe a little off topic, but really important -

YOU HAVE TO PAY UP FRONT FOR YOUR DEGREE IN AMERICA??????

That''s ridiculous! America is capitalism gone HAYWIRE!

Doesn''t the American constitution say something about the right to education?

I though things were bad enough where I live (England). People complain that all courses should be free (like in Scotland). Now I realise how lucky I am - over here you don''t have to pay a penny untill you''re earning £16,000 a year, in which case it''s part of your taxes.

That really sucks for you.

Does seem a little odd that you''re at degree level and you''re still not sure which field you want to specialise in -

Have you written any games?
Have you written any magasine articles?

If not, you should try it before deciding whether the career is for you (writing articles is harder than it sounds).

Stuffing feathers up your ass does not make you a chicken.

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zer0wolf    1022
I think hexman's main problem here is his lack of perseverance and willingness to work. I hate to sound like an ass here, but I hate it when people say they can't afford to go to school.

You can do the whole working fulltime while schooling fulltime thing, which sucks, but if you really wanna keep schooling you'll do it. You can join the military, which'll take ya away from your schooling for maybe six months and then will pay for you to go back and finish the rest. There are tons and tons and tons of grants out there, you just have to go to the library and do some research.

How do I know these are all feasible ways to pay for your schooling? Because this is exactly what I did! I didn't receive a dime from my parents or start planning for college in the eighth grade, actually I wasted a year before I decided I needed to go to college. I had a very low paying job, but I wanted to go to school. So I had to do both full time. Its strenuous and I did it over a year, then I decided enough of that, I'm joining the military, so I did exactly that. I've had to take about 9 months away from college, but you whats going to happen now, especially since I'm going to do the ROTC program on top of my enlistment? My tuition will be fully paid for, I'll be receiving nearly $500 a month for two days of drill, and I get $10,000 in student loans paid for me by Uncle Sam. Once I enter my junior year the money I'll be getting from Uncle Sam will shoot to over $800 a month, simply for drill weekends and a little bit of drilling during the week. I don't even have any additional grants right now, but I will be having them when I start back up in the fall.

I know its long winded and seems like alot of work, but if you really wanna go to school and become a game developer, you'll do what it takes.



[edited by - zer0wolf on May 2, 2003 9:09:22 PM]

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