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romanMagyar

did you ever feel like quitting?

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I''ve been in a slump for like a month. I haven''t programmed, visited this site, or anything program related. I''m a senior in high school, and I thought I would continue programming as my career. Now I''m getting second thoughts. I''ve read people post here saying stuff like, "I program as soon as I wake up" or "I''ve made a 3D engine in my first year of programming", and all of this type of stuff got me thinking maybe I''m not cut out to be a programmer or maybe this wasn''t what I was meant to do. And what if I do continue programming and I can''t find a job either because I''m not good enough or by then programming want be such a big deal job? Has anyone thought like this before? just confused

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It takes a while to get the grasp of programming.don''t worry about what ohter people say,just learn at your own pace.

99% of programming jobs require you have a CS OR SE degree.
hope that helps!
p.s. I''m in the 9th grade

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you know, your a teenager, its your right to get confused. at this time of your life its pointless to do something if you dont take pleasure in it, your only your age once and if you dont make the most of it you''ll regret it. have fun while you can. really start to worry about things if your a senior in college and you have no idea what you want to do.

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When I was a high school senior I had no clue how to make a 3d engine - and now 8 years later I''m a professional game developer making commercial games - and I still don''t have any idea where to start on that 3d engine. I had no idea I wanted to get into games - I studied my CS degree because I thought I wanted to make electronic music using computers

About your fear of programming losing its status; even when I am most pessimist I don''t see this happening. To me programming is "giving formal well-defined instructions" to a machine not only on a desktop computer but on a PDA or any electronic device, or even biological entities. In this sense, programming loses its meaning and is a very vague definition that almost all people satisfy almost every day. The important part is when you decide *what* you will be programming - whether it be games, business applications, or little nano-bots swimming around curing cancer.

Hope this makes sense my writing skills suck.
Oh and also the programmers who start when they wake up and stop when they go to sleep need professional help - it is just not healthy - and they say the best developers are those who have outside interests from which they can channel energy and ideas.

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I''ve been programming ever since i can remember... when i first started learning to read i started working with qbasic... i didn''t even know what the hell i was doing... i was just writing stuff... as time went on i began to play with VB. when i get to about 12-13 i got intrested in C, i tried coding but at the time i couldn''t get none of the shit. I am now 16 and i am starting to get good at C++ and COM based programming... also... between 14 and 16 i had a long break from proramming where i felt like it wasn''t the thing for me... now that i''m back at it i''m feeling pretty good and i think i''m liking this. What you gotta do is step back a bit... take in what you have been doing, think about what you wanna do next, and then dive back in and start programming. If you keep doing the same thing yuou won''t get anywhere and you''lll get bored. Also, i have not yet been able to program a 3D engine. All i can do is just follow the tutorials and just stop at the end... what i have found out is that i can only take in so much at a time. What i''m doing right now is making little projects to practice C++/class oriented programing and when i feel i''m very fimiliar with classes i will try to make my first Direct3D engine. If you don''t see progress you will feel that you are wasting your time... and i don''t think it''s possible to make an engine in the first month, unless you spend 16 hours a day for 31 days in a row and only eat/sleep to keep you in focus. I can''t stress it that you must go at your own pace... concentrate on a small peice of code from a tutorial and really see what it does... don''t just skim it over... read it 10 times, code it 20 times, test it 30 times. and then it''ll feel like you''ve known it since you were born! also... read about assembly a bit... Programming isn''t all about C++... if you get to know assembly you''ll see how simple programming really is, it''s all about memorizing and then putting it all togheter!

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and also.. i''ve found out i get my best ideas when not at the computer... when at work i love to think about what i''m gonna do. If you spend 16 hours a day coding you WILL get bored. What you gotta do is hae some fun in between... make yourself want to get back on the computer. Right now when i wake first thing i do is turn on the computer, and then goto the bathroom and by the time it''s ready i''m out of the bathroom. combined, i get about 6-8 hours a day of programming on non-school-days and about 3-4 on school days. Whenever i''m home i feel like programming. for example, last night i got home from work at 7... took a shower.. got on the computer... couldn''t stop coding till 1am, went to sleep, wokeup at 8, and got on the computer and i''m still coding! i''m gonna be going to work in a couple of hours and i can''t wait to get back on!

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quote:
Original post by krakrazor
If you spend 16 hours a day coding you WILL get bored.


Not exactly true at all... maybe for some people where development isn''t their passion.

I work in professional C# development for 8 hours a day, and up to 20 hours a day at crunch times on projects.

Now on normal days where I work 8 hours, I will go to the gym after work for an hour or two, and then come home and code for 6 hours or so in C# or C++.

So sure it''s not the 16 hours you stated, but 14 hours is damn close enough. Plus the fact that some days I will actually code longer than 16 hours.

Maybe it helps that my girlfriend works in development as well and we work on projects together, who knows =]

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romanMagyar, I''m in the exact same situation as you. Except my slump has been quite a bit longer. Everytime I try to program, something goes wrong and I feel like quitting because I really have nobody that I can talk to about it. I wish I could make a 2d engine! I wish I could set up DirectX properly! lol Right now my program is hanging and I have no clue why.

If anyone is a newbie, and are in the same position of me, contact me:

AIM: True Edge 1
MSN: batmanobile@hotmail.com

I''m sure we could help each other.

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let me tell you all though, it DOES get better ...

ALL the time we are learning, so i can''t say "i remember back when i was learning c" or anything .. but i can say, "I can remember back when pointers confused the hell out of me" and "i can remember when i never used to refactor my code and it turned into spagetti and I lost track of every significant project I worked on" .. and "i can remember when getting trying to get ALT-TAB to work with directx pissed me off so bad, i just didn''t do it"

But as I get more and more experienced, I find that every year I have less of the headaches related to stupid things not working, because those are no longer the issues after a few years ... then the issues become, finding your motivation and a project that meets these criteria:

1. Challenging / New enough to be interesting
2. Significant enough to make you feel good when done
3. Small enough to be finishable
4. In a domain which you''d like to get better at

For example I have MANY little bity things I''d like to write, but I don''t do most of them - cause they are all just about a week longer than the interest I have in them

But I am still slowing making progress on my turn based strategy game (and all the libraries I''m writing as part of the project) ... slowly ... while keeping a job programming too, and having a relationship, and playing games ...

Programming can be a passion, or it can be just a job, but for most people it''s something in between ... something you like, something you are interested in, something that can be rewarding at times and frustrating at others ... that is what programming is to most of the people who actually do it for a living (in my opinion at least) ...

some weeks we neglect life to program, others we ignore programming to live.

And by the way, don''t worry about your interests shifting around at 18 ... or even 40 for that matter ... life is not meant to follow a simple predictable path from birth to school to work to the grave ... you have enough years to explore many things. And remember this, you can be a programmer without it being your primary job ... and there are programming skills that are usefull and fun that don''t require the kind of dedication and time that writing things like 3D Engines in C do ... for one, the newer technologies like Java and C#.NET really privide a lot of tools to simply weave together into a usefull little app ... and database technologyies, and things like web servers, php/javascript/perl/python/ruby ... these things are absolutely wonderfull aids for hobbiest programmers ... try one, you may like it ...

And once you learn somthing simple like connecting to a database with PHP on a sever (and making web pages from them) .. then there are so many little things you can do, that are USEFULL by themselves ... and sellable as contract jobs too ...

don''t ever limit your horizon to just one view ... PLAY with things, EXPLORE possibilities ... then which ever don''t get left behind and forgotten ARE your future ... no need to stree over it ...

just like girlfriends .. some are just flings and fond memories, others stay with you and form lasting freindships, relasionships, or just lasting life-changing impressions on you.

good luck

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Don''t let yourself get discouraged. You must remember this very important point: most humans are not born with an innate talent in any particular field, at least not one that they can immediately put to use. They can only hope to train, learn and adapt to become fit. Remember this point, it is very important.

You see, that is how humans over the centuries have come to hold dominion over the very earth! Not through some innate skill, and certainly not through luck. We had within ourselves a desire to learn, to grow, and to create in order to aid our growth. So we have built ourselves - this species of no outwardly apparent adaptations - into the rulers and inheritors of the earth with the one adaptation that made all of the difference: the will to learn.

And so every man and woman must make the same decision, and reach the same conclusion in order to break through the hard times. Man was never born to program computers, nor was he born to think logically. It is a skill we train within ourselves, with sweat and hard work and frustration. Anyone who says that they can do this stuff effortlessly is either lying or has already payed that sweat and frustration long ago. (now, granted, there are exceptions - such as people who DO have innate intelligence... but these are a very rare exception. The odds of coming across people like that are very slim indeed, and you should not stress yourself by comparing your accomplishments to theirs)

Anyways, what I''m trying to say is don''t let your frustrations get the better of you. Don''t let it defeat you. I have thought the same thoughts that you have: I have wondered why it didn''t come easily. But it was only very recently that I learned that these things don''t come easily because they''re not SUPPOSED to come easily. We just weren''t made for them. We have to learn them through laborous study, training, and practice.

So when you start telling yourself that you''re not good enough, and when you start wondering why it takes so much effort, always remember that you ARE good enough. The ability is within you, because the ability is nothing more than the application of desire. When you feel that effort, when you feel like it is difficult, it is at that moment that you are using that desire, that is the moment that you are applying it. Remember that it is that desire that makes your potential LIMITLESS, and you will defeat it.

I hope this made some sense. It''s what I tell myself whenever I feel the way that you do (and believe me, I have). And, based on my observations of others and myself, the theory I have stated proves to be true. So believe in yourself, and know that you are limited only by what you percieve that you cannot do and what you do not attempt. Remove the false perception. Engage in the attempt, and treat temporary failed attempts as just that: temporary, a learning lesson in your steps to success. You will succeed, as man has succeeded throughout time.

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quote:
Original post by romanMagyar
I''ve been in a slump for like a month...

I''m a senior in high school...
You haven''t been in a slump. Slumps are for people who have established themselves as consistent producers of professional, finished product. You''ve merely been learning about other things. It''s normal. Abnormal would be single-minded, 8+ hours a day programming for an extended period. It''s just not sustainable.

quote:
I''ve read people post here saying stuff like, "I program as soon as I wake up" or "I''ve made a 3D engine in my first year of programming"...
People frequently lie to impress others. Unless you''ve seen the proof - and been able to determine that it was not plagiarized (eg copying the NeHe basecode and saying they had a 3D framework up) - take everything you read on the Internet with a grain of salt. Search the forums for the posts of a rodneyldixon, IIRC. His posts may not even have been archived.

quote:
And what if I do continue programming and I can''t find a job either because I''m not good enough or by then programming want be such a big deal job? Has anyone thought like this before?
Yes. I changed my major from Computer Science to Cinema and Cultural Studies at the end of last semester. Not because I was apprehensive, but because I was bored. I''ve been programming now for over 10 years; I''ve been fiddling with computers for over 15 (I''m 23, for reference), and very little of that was spent playing games. I had no games on my XT for the first 5 years; my Pentium I had a crappy VGA card; my Athlon had a Rage 128 Pro and my laptop (current machine) has Intel "Extreme" (yeah, right) integrated graphics. But I learned so much more because I didn''t have those distractions. The downside was that I came into the CS program at my current school (I started out an EE major in ''97; started over in 2000 undecided, then CS in ''01 and then transferred to my current school in ''03) too advanced, but without the requisite classes in their system. Conflicts and boredom, classic recipe for success - not.

The lesson, of course, is that everyone has a different path. I''ve kept coming to this site (largely because I''m a moderator) over the last 2 years, but had zero interest in making games until this last Holiday, after I changed my major away from CS. Go figure.

You''re only a high school senior. Don''t listen to the crappy advice thrown about on forums like these that say you have to study X to be Y; your undergraduate degree determines very little, if anything, about your employment options. Most companies that are particular about field require advanced degrees anyway.

Enjoy life. Play sports. Talk to girls. Hack all sorts of machines. Learn different languages, operating systems and approaches to software development (it''s not exactly a craft, but it''s close, which means there is no One True Way&trade. Above all, have fun.

Good luck.

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Now, also to acknowledge what others have said: if you find yourself think that you do not WANT to program, then by all means don''t bother with it. If you find something else that you would find more joy in doing, then go for that with the same determination that I have prescribed to you. Just know that whatever you do, you can succeed in it. Within you, within me, within us all burns the same fire that first was sparked by man. Within us is the drive to see and conquer, as Alexander and Khan. Within us all is the ability to learn and percieve beyond what we can see, as Socrates and DaVinci. Within us all is the gift to create, as the man who first fashioned a pointed rock to the end of a tree branch and the man who fashioned the first ship to propel us beyond the stars. It is in US, that determination that sets us above the living things of the earth. You have but to choose your path.

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quote:
Original post by MPG
99% of programming jobs require you have a CS OR SE degree.
Lies.

(Was I the only one who yawned at VThornheart''s prose? An interesting article in Friday''s New York Times wondered why there had been no great articulations of where we (New Yorkers in particular) as a people were three years after the Evil, and came to the conclusion that our society is increasingly bored - and befuddled - by grandiose eloquence. An image of a dead firefighter''s kid holding daddy''s helmet speaks to us more, with just a sentence or phrase - soundbite culture. Hmm.

Of course, the prose was actually rather poor...)

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quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
quote:
Original post by MPG
99% of programming jobs require you have a CS OR SE degree.
Lies.


Indeed. I've only high-school, and I've worked in IBM, Visa and the Internation Airport, among others.

PS: That's the common thought, people tend to belive the phallacy that people with degrees is smarter (or more efficient) than people without them.

In my experience, dregrees are only usefull to get a better salary and to take away responsability from your boss.

[edited by - owl on January 18, 2004 10:03:39 PM]

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A quick question to go along with this thread...

If you have taken computer science and got a BS degree... then decide you don''t want to program, without going back to school what other jobs could you get in CS... I think that if I ever made that decision I would try to get a editor''s job or just be a writer (i realize thats really low pay for writer but hey, I am only 14 what does it matter





It''s Maxd Gaming, put in an underscore and I will beat you with a rubber ducky!
{ My Great Site (with content) } { My First Space Art (Ever) }{ My .Net Information }{ A upcoming space RTS codenamed Gruntacktica . }{ . }

Not following the new trend:
Looky here mommy! No cow pic!


Slumps are caused by rushing to do something else, thinking that what you are doing isn''t exciting.

Also, there are lots of platforms to program on. In my experience, the GBA is a LOT easier than DirectX. You want to know why? Because you control everything!!!

Everything is laid out for you. Its a lot easier to make a game for a system thats designed for games in mind. But there are limitations. And you get an extremely good feeling when you successfully get AROUND those limitations.

Maybe what you need is a good slap in the face to see what you''ve done.

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quote:
Original post by maxd gaming
If you have taken computer science and got a BS degree... then decide you don't want to program, without going back to school what other jobs could you get in CS...
Any job that requires a modicum of intelligence. Most jobs are more about overall intellectual acumen and hustle than about formal training. What's the formal training to work at the National Captioning Institute, writing "*door slams*" and so forth for hard-of-hearing movie/TV viewers? What's the formal training to be a Congressman's/Senator's aide/intern? What's the formal training to work in the pressroom at a newspaper? To be a receptionist or administrative assistant for small- to medium-sized businesses?

quote:
I think that if I ever made that decision I would try to get a editor's job or just be a writer...
Start fixing your grammar, lexicon and ability to phrase your thoughts clearly. Your writing's pretty poor.

[Edit: Fscking formatting.]

[edited by - Oluseyi on January 18, 2004 10:41:10 PM]

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this has nothing to do with the thread, but i am worried about big US companies moving tech jobs over the india and other countries. i agree with you about accounting, however i tried it and its really boring (to me). i do hope that once i finish my electrical engineering degree i can still make a decent living in the US, canada or the UK, but the way things are looking im not sure if i wont have to move to hong kong to make ends meet.

also i have to disagree with what Oluseyi said about college - "your undergraduate degree determines very little, if anything, about your employment options." This from my experience is not true at all. if you get a bullshit degree and just go through the motions at uni it wont get you anywhere. i for instance had no idea what i wanted to do and ended up majoring in advertising. what kind of job offers did i get with this degree? nothing good i can tell you that. what i should of done was spent a few years working to figure out what i did and didnt enjoy and then majored in that. instead i wasted a lot of time and now i have to go back to school. going to university can cost a lot of money so make sure that once you graduate it can set you up for a while, or at least pay back your student loans. I have a friend who majored in humanities and right now hes working for $11 an hr and hes been out of school for 5 years. i recommend avoiding liberal arts and doing business, engineering, comp science - something that will get you a decent job.

[edited by - asdasd12345 on January 18, 2004 11:24:11 PM]

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Sorry Oluseyi, but that wasn't "prose". I was stating exactly how I feel. If you misinterpreted it as that, then now it's cleared up. I was just typing whatever I could think of to try and get the point I was thinking in my head across. I don't care how it sounded, just that the point was made.

And also, of course it was "poor". I wasn't intending it to be "good", I was just trying to put into words how I felt about the situation by writing down whatever went through my head. But thanks for the intended insult nonetheless.

[edited by - Vthornheart on January 18, 2004 11:51:58 PM]

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quote:

Start fixing your grammar, lexicon and ability to phrase your thoughts clearly. Your writing''s pretty poor.



Wow, what''s your problem anyways? Are you in a bad mood or something? I mind when people attack me, yes, but I can at least see where you might have made the mistake in thinking that my post was something it wasn''t... but that guy who you made the comment to was obviously just making a post like everyone else. No matter what''s going on in your life right now that might be causing you to lash out at people, it''s not our fault. Give the kid a break, he didn''t come here to be scolded. And neither did I.

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quote:
Original post by asdasd12345
this has nothing to do with the thread, but i am worried about big US companies moving tech jobs over the india and other countries.
Why?

People who make arguments about tech jobs moving tend to have a very incomplete understanding of what free trade entails. If two countries A and B engage in free trade and country A can produce everything more cheaply and efficiently than country B, country A will still focus on the products it is best at because doing otherwise would spread its resources too thin. The competition forces country A to focus on its core competencies while country B develops its abilities in the other products.

Of course, this is simplified. It only considers two countries, and it ignores issues like worker exploitation (country A, if it has any humanitarian dignity, would refuse a free trade agreement on products from country B which it knew were made using illegal labor for example). Anyway, the point is that this is actually good for the US; it''s competition, and aren''t we supposedly the biggest proponents of capitalist competition? The pressure of competing with cost-effective workers overseas will force out all the sub-standard software developers that the market tolerates today, resulting in higher quality products in the future (because in most instances, country A doesn''t actually cease production of the given god; it merely reduces it to the minimum which must be locally produced for whatever reasons).

quote:
also i have to disagree with what Oluseyi said about college - "your undergraduate degree determines very little, if anything, about your employment options." This from my experience is not true at all.
I started college in 1997 and while I have lingered, my (original) peers have graduated. I am constantly tickled at the numbers of people who work in industries other than the ones in which they received formal training. I have a very good friend who got a BA in Architecture, but now works for an IT outsourcing firm. I know a guy who has a BS in Accounting but makes a living as a web designer. My point? Everyone''s experience says different things. That''s why we ignore anecdotal evidence and try to look at invariants.

I asked a few questions about the formal training for various jobs. Considering that most jobs require far less in the way of specialized training and more of "common sense" - the kind of thing any liberal college education provides (and incidentally the reason for the existence of the concept of a liberal college education), and given the fact that many firms re-train you when hired, then constantly have you taking courses and attending seminars, it would appear that your degree served mostly as a barometer for raw ability. Again, this is at the undergraduate level.

quote:
i recommend avoiding liberal arts and doing business, engineering, comp science - something that will get you a decent job.
There''s a problem in that approach. Why do we work? A proper examination of such an existential issue is outside the scope of these forums, but an interesting perspective can be found in Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. The perspective that your job provides you with fiscal security is an outdated and outmoded one, but it lingers and informs the rush to degrees in CS, etc ("Go do CS. That''s where the money is." "With a degree in CS, you''ll be able to get a good job!". I wonder how that fares given today''s uncertainty re IT job outsourcing...

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quote:
Original post by VThornheart
Sorry Oluseyi, but that wasn''t "prose".
Prose:
n.
  1. Ordinary speech or writing, without metrical structure.

  2. Commonplace expression or quality.

Um, it would appear that it was, indeed, prose. If you were just "stating exactly how you feel", then why the contrived language? In any case, I have the right to make orthogonal observations. And no, it wasn''t intended as an insult. It was more of a comment.

quote:
quote:
Start fixing your grammar, lexicon and ability to phrase your thoughts clearly. Your writing''s pretty poor.
Wow, what''s your problem anyways?
Nothing. Apparently you failed to notice where he said "I think that if I ever made that decision I would try to get a editor''s job or just be a writer...", despite the fact that I quoted it. If he wants to be a writer, or worse, an editor, then he better be damn good at it. Nothing is worse than a pretentious author who lacks the skills of his supposed trade. It was constructive, if clinical, criticism.

quote:
Are you in a bad mood or something? I mind when people attack me, yes, but I can at least see where you might have made the mistake in thinking that my post was something it wasn''t... but that guy who you made the comment to was obviously just making a post like everyone else. No matter what''s going on in your life right now that might be causing you to lash out at people, it''s not our fault. Give the kid a break, he didn''t come here to be scolded. And neither did I.
Blah blah blah blah. Whenever someone doesn''t cow-tow to the "let''s all get along and be friends" line, near-oafs begin to suggest an emotional or real-world imbalance of some sort. How insipid. My comments were perfectly in line; yours weren''t - neither of them.

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