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I graduated from college with a bachelor''s degree in Computer Science and was wondering what do developers really look for in a new programmer straight out of college with no work experience. My experiences so far in trying to land a job leads me to believe that right now there are alot of programmers in the entry to mid level positions with experience looking for work, thus making it hard for recent grads, like myself, to get work. I really want to stand out and above the rest and would really like any input on how to do so. So if any game veterens out there that would like to spend a few minutes explainning what they would look for in a young programmer please post here and tell me, as well as other young programmers, your thoughts and experiences. thanks ~code mole~

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quote:
Original post by Code Mole
I graduated from college with a bachelor''s degree in Computer Science and was wondering what do developers really look for in a new programmer straight out of college with no work experience.
Your lack of work experience is a bit of a red flag. It suggests that you weren''t motivated enough to look for at least an internship throughout your college career - definitely a bad thing. If, however, you were working to support yourself or something like that, put that on your resume - it''s valid work experience! So what if it was at Al''s Neighborhood Bakery and your job was moving machine-kneaded dough from the conveyor belt to the cutter in a tub with a broken wheel? It shows initiative, responsibility and dependability, which are far more important than raw skills (because you''ll get retrained on most jobs anyway).

quote:
My experiences so far in trying to land a job leads me to believe that right now there are alot of programmers in the entry to mid level positions with experience looking for work, thus making it hard for recent grads, like myself, to get work.
True.

quote:
I really want to stand out and above the rest and would really like any input on how to do so.
Do you have a portfolio of software you''ve developed on your own time? You lack work experience (didn''t you have any internships?) so that''s really the only measure you can point them to. Other than that, you''d simply have to be an amazing person who could make them react favorably to your personality, apparent work ethic and general knowledgeability.

quote:
So if any game veterens out there that would like to spend a few minutes explainning what they would look for in a young programmer please post here and tell me, as well as other young programmers, your thoughts and experiences.
If you specifically want advice for the gaming industry, I can''t really help you. I will say that you might find it advantageous to apply for QA positions, and then move up the ranks to programming. I hear it''s easier once you "get your foot in the door," so to speak.

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I''d agree with everything that Oluseyi posted. I too, am a young programmer. After finishing my studies, I found getting a job to be very difficult indeed. It really was the work experience factor that hampered my chances.

For example, I applied for a job within a local Compaq technical branch. I got to the interview stage and was told it was between myself and another person (I was 20 at the time). I had no experience, but he had 5 years worth. So, we both ended up submitting aptitude tests. Apparently I beat him hands down in it, but they still took his work experience as a much more positive thing, so I didn''t get the job.

Eventually, I did get a job and ended up as a Lead Web Developer for 3 years, although this was partly due to the fact that I decided to take on some NVQs (even if it was a step down) because you cannot undertake one without having a job, which they help you find.

After completing the NVQs (5 in the end) and leaving that position, I decided I needed a more involved programming direction, so I started studying again; this time an MCSD with core programming routes in C++ and C#.

The company I''m studying it with, are supposed to help me find a job at the end of it. How true that is, I can''t really say, but I am hoping not to have the jobseeker blues again.

The only other thing to mention, is to never give up hope. Keep trying. Eventually, someone has to realise your potential and give you a job. Even if it''s not exactly what you''re looking for, the experience all counts.

Good luck, and let us know if you get something.

-hellz

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If you know you want to work in the game industry, you should know that it''s (in my opinion) becoming more and more like the movie/TV industry. I agree with Oluseyi that it''s all about getting a foot in the door, and be prepared to do some simple, menial tasks before you are asked to contibute to the next hot game :-)

You could try looking for positions of a "Production Assistant" type, at my company we have several of those and personality is definitely a more important factor than work experience when hiring them. One of our PA''s is actually starting to get some programming tasks, he has showed that he is really interested and that he is willing to work hard and learn the necessary skills.

We also take in temporary testers whenever we are about to release a product. Event though the jobs are temporary, it would give a chance to show your face and charm people with your energy and enthusiasm, then you never know... :-)

Of course it''s hard to find these positions, but spend a lot of time browsing the job-posting websites (we often advertise positions on Gamasutra) and you''ll find something eventually.

Hope this helps,
D

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Thanks to everyone who posted a replied.

Just to follow up on a few questions aimed at me. I didn''t have an internship, since I went to school 60 hours a week. I went to a private school called DigiPen, that is focused on teaching video game programming, as well as 3d animations. I took the programming course, which was 4 years (it really should be 6 years since some semester you have to take 7 or 8 classes to be able to graduate in 4 years) the school was not easy, most of the classes are project based and its the norm to have 4 projects due at any given time (think that you have on average 21-25 hours a week of just class/lecture: 20+ hours a week on your team project game: homework is done on your own time (if you have any time left) ). the main projects class of the school is working in teams of around 6 programmers to produce a ''profesional'' game by the end of 2 semester of when you start (1 game due every 2 semester) the school has a 75% drop out rate, since you can not slack at all.

The game that I worked on my senior year is called Crazy Cross, it was a student finalist at the 2003 GDC.

During the summers I did product testing at NoA, about 5 months worth, spread out in 2 summers. I also tutored and graded at the school since I really needed money (so add 10 hours into my weekly schedule).

I''ve had about 7 phone interviews for entry level jobs since graduating, but I never land the job since I have no experience. I''ve been thinking about interning (even for free) so i can get some experience under my belt. However, most places won''t take interns unless they are still in school.

I would like to test again, for any company, however I live in Michigan and I really need to relocate to an area with more software companies. I''ve been working, saving up money to move, but I''m not making much, plus I''m paying back loans so its gonna be awhile before I save enough to relocate myself. I know most companies that need testers only look for people that are local.

so during all this time, I''ve been working on my own project trying to iron out any coding problems I still don''t have down. I would like to make contacts with people in the industry. Not even for a job, but just to learn what they did to get where they are and to just learn from them (I''m always ready to listen when it comes to free advice).

man, I''ve just been running on here, I guess that about does it. thats my story. oh I hope to get my own game done in time for GDC 2005 (i have an artist working for me for free, I met the guy at GDC 2003, showing him Crazy Cross) Its a bigger challenge then I first thought, but It keeps me learning.

oh, so if anyone else would like to share how they got into the industry or any advice, please keep the posts coming!

~code mole~

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Oh, you went to Digipen? Sweet! I remember dreaming about going there when I was just in High School. Was it pretty cool?

Hey, I thought that place sets you up with an entry level job when you graduate... at least that''s what I took from what I''d read about it when it first opened up. I guess they''re not doing that anymore... suckfest. =(

You''ll want to make a portfolio out of the stuff you did at Digipen... and especially stress that Crazy Cross game. Independant work like that shows even more initiative than work at an actual "job", as the former offers no immediate benefit while the latter is generally money motivated. It sounds like, though the Crazy Cross game was for credit in class, you put enough extra time in it that you could consider it an independant project as well.

Focus on that, and you should be able to land something I''d imagine. If not, then we''re all in trouble aren''t we? =)

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DigiPen was cool. I know from people who dropped out and took programming courses at other colleges, were doing things we did our first year at dP. Its alot of work but you end up in total submersion (if that even is a word) of programming and its like you do it 24/7. Its like learning a language, the more you speak it, the better you become at it.

DigiPen never hooked up any grad with an entry level job. When the school openned its doors in ''97, alot of the programmers were getting entry level job offers from companies in the seattle area (where the school is located) since companies really needed entry level programmers back then. Also Nintendo Software Technologies (NST) right next door to dP, was picking up the artist grads, since they really needed artists, but thats pretty much all done with.

The school doesn''t help getting your foot in the door, and they explain that to you when you sign up for classes freshmen year. Its not a surprise when you graduate from there. I went to school there when it really started to get press, its amazing how writers will just add in what ever they want to the facts to spruce it up. so my advice is never fully believe what you read or see on tv

which brings me to ask: "has anyone read the rolling stone article on DigiPen, in an issue about a year ago?" Cos that article focused on 3% of the student body and just made the school look silly. The writer spent a full day with my team, while we recorded the voice acting for Crazy Cross. We sat down with this guy and explain to him what the school was and how our lives were while attending dP. None of that made the article at all.

well i guess now I''m ranting on, so I''ll stop

once again I''ll ask peeps to keep posting their advice here and maybe one day we''ll have a nice good history here that will help everyone get prepare for job hunting!

thanks everyone

~code mole~

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After junior high, I was faced with the decision of going to College or trying to enter the work force as a programer, I really hated school so i figured four more years of it wasn't what I wanted. I was confident of my programing skills, so instead of going to a standard highschool i enrolled in a technical highschool, they didint have a computer course though, so i went into graphic arts. This school allowed you to do work study (one week of school one week of work, on off on off...) durring junior and senior year, durring junior year i participated in a robotics competition, and through my competancy was elected team captain, i was able to network with many engineers, and through one I gained an interview with a online health company, and landed a part time job as a programer while in school, so once highschool ended I had a full time job waiting for me and i've never looked back.

If you ask me it has to do with your drive to suceed you have to get out there and make contacts and show employers you have what it takes, a killer portfollio exhibiting a few pieces of your best work is a must. For my interview i provided a CD which contained a sample of source code, graphic art samples, and a few compiled *game oriented* programs. Even though most of the content wasnt geared twoards health it showed my competancy in programing above and beyond what would be required of me in such a position.

so, aproach interviews with confidence and convey to them that you can get the job done, it's all that will save you in the absence of no experience.

Hope that helps, it worked for me=)



Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com



[edited by - EDI on March 24, 2004 4:37:05 PM]

[edited by - EDI on March 24, 2004 4:40:28 PM]

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As with anything, I'm sure it can be learned in a book. Maybe these would help:

1) Game Developer's Market Guide (Game Development)
2) Break Into The Game Industry: How to Get A Job Making Video Games
3) Game Plan: The Insider's Guide to Breaking In and Succeeding in the Computer and Video Game Business

Now you didn't specify what programming job you wanted, but this is a GD web site right?

Also, doesn't your college have a career placement department. Even if you have already graduated, I'm sure they still offer this service to you.

You need some credentials and a demo. Why not just start applying your knowledge and create something big. What do you have to lose? Also, you could join the open source community and work on a project. Or you could even start your own open source project (a 3D StudioMax clone would be nice ).

Some say it's not what you know, but who you know. Try going to job fairs and network. Join well-known communities (IGDA).

You could check out these sites:

1) U.S. Department of Labor (if you live in the US)
2) GameJobs.com
3) Monster (a lot of people say this site really works--but who knows)

The job market is not the best as of right now (hope it gets better by the time I graduate) so maybe it's just a matter of waiting.

According to CNN Money:



So you're definitely in the right area. Just keep flooding HR departments with you resume and work on your demo or project so that when you get that interview, you have something to showcase your skills/talents.

"Do not flame people you don't know in a public forum. Only amateurs do that. Professionals in the industry know they will run into each other over and over. The person you flame this year may the person you want to do business with next year. Don't burn your bridges," (Diana Gruber, http://www.makegames.com/chapt6.html) .

[edited by - DIRECTXMEN on March 24, 2004 5:41:58 PM]

[edited by - DIRECTXMEN on March 24, 2004 5:42:48 PM]

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quote:
Original post by VThornheart
You''ll want to make a portfolio out of the stuff you did at Digipen... and especially stress that Crazy Cross game.


That, my friend, could certainly boost your chances of employment a great deal. That one item about GDC, makes yourself stand out from the crowd, because it''s something different.

Definitely work on producing a portfolio including that, and I think you''ll find employment will be a lot more likely to come around.

Again, good luck!

-hellz

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I just wanted to say why I dont'' have a ''Digipen'' portfolio.

1: alot of the single projects that we did in our CS classes had to do with graphics and the teachers always had frame works for us that we could just write code for what ever the assignment was and that everyone would start at the same page. problem with that is, that is not 100% my code, so i''m not gonna show case it.

2: I do show off Crazy Cross alot. However since it was an RPG and my teammates started work on that project before i joined it when it became a school project (it wasn''t much done but it was enough). I wrote code for the game but its nothing like a graphics engine or anything that really show cases my ablities. most of my time was working on content for the game and doing the voice acting directing/sound effects. I worked really hard on the short amount of time (less then 8 months), but it just wasn''t all code. Its hard to show and express how important I was to the team, but believe me if i didn''t do what i did, then the game wouldn''t have been successful at all. (everyone at the school was waiting for it to be finish, it was that popular)

here''s the link to the Crazy Cross web site (check it out!)
http://www.worksintheory.com/crazycross/

3:The school keeps ya busy, so alot of things that i did was rushed and i''m not pleased at how some things came out.

so right now I''m working on my own game, the sequal to crazy cross. When I''m done working on that in a year. I''ll have something in my portfolio to show off, that I can say is 100% mine and no one elses. these are my ablities, straight out. if the game isn''t done in a year or i''m not satisfied with it, then i''ll just keep working and learning. I don''t mean to sound impatient or a pre-madanna, incase if i did, but I have the rest of my life to be a programmer, so i don''t mind waiting awhile before getting my first job. I''m using these posts as a guide to better myself. I always want to keep learning and do things better and faster then before. It just takes time and effort. I also wanted to make sure other people are reading these posts to help them out, cos we are a comminuty and we need to work together.

lol once again i''m running on. I''ll get off my soap box now.

oh i forgot one thing: dP didn''t not have a placement program. They did point me to some very good web sites though ;\. I would like to point out to everyone that I have been looking on my own and sending out resumes. I''ve had interviews (more then one with some companies). I once heard you must send out 100 resumes before getting a job, so i''m getting there! like i said in an earlier post, i''m just looking for something that will make me really stand out, and I dont'' think its gonna be just one thing.

ops there i go running on again lol

Every just keep on posting your experiences, keep them coming!

~code mole~

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I''ve been on the hiring end of this question several times.

What we''re looking for is someone who''s smart, who paid attention in school, and who used extracurricular time to develop and deliver working code to real people. If you slacked off enough to have bad grades, that''s a bad sign. If you didn''t pay attention in school (i e, don''t remember how to differentiate a function, say), then you''re unlikely to pay good attention at work. And, if you don''t have the innate drive to develop and deliver working software, well, why are you trying to be a programmer? :-)

Other companies may have other needs for their recent grad hires, but that''s what we''re looking for.

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quote:
Original post by asdasd12345
according to this link
http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/05/pf/college/lucrative_degrees/
the most lucrative degrees are
1. comp eng
2. chem eng
3. ee
4. comp sci


Weird...I guess they should update their picture. But hey $50,000 out the gate is nothing to shake your mouse at.

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quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
I will say that you might find it advantageous to apply for QA positions, and then move up the ranks to programming. I hear it''s easier once you "get your foot in the door," so to speak.


Wouldn''t that be nice? The problem is, from what I''ve seen, QA positions really won''t pay the bills. Not mine, at least, and I''m sure I''m not the only one with a boatload of student loans and such. It would be nice to start at a QA job paying $9/hr and work my way up, but unfortunately, I wouldn''t be able to pay my rent.

I''m also a recent graduate looking for work as a programmer. Heck. At this point, I''d take anything remotely computer related. So... you''re not alone, Code Mole.

Maybe my resume just isn''t up to par. It would also be nice to dedicate my time to creating a killer demo, but unfortunately, I have to spend most of my time actually looking for a job. So that will just have to wait.

Oh well. No use complaining about it, I guess. Just have to keep looking at the want ads. Over and over again. Anyone want to hire me? I''ll work cheap.

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WARNING! Extrememly long and boring post!

I''ve been following this thread but have been reluctant to post. Not sure why, but maybe because I lack much in the way of formal programming education. I can sympathise with you deeply, however.

"Will Code For Food" seems to be our rallying cry around here. And I don''t think it''s going to get better any time soon. I personally don''t see the light at the end of the tunnel anyway... Here''s a bit of history on myself, while we''re telling our stories...

I taught myself to program in AppleSoft BASIC way back in the day on an old Apple IIc. My dad showed me the LIST command and from there I had literally thousands of programs I could look at the guts of. We''d bought our IIc used and got tons of software with it - much of it written in BASIC. Before that, I''d screwed around just a bit with some ancient Texas Instruments "computer" that connected to a TV and had a keyboard a lot like you see on a microwave. More of a "touch pad" kind of thing really. But it also supported some flavor of BASIC and that''s where the spark started.

In the 9th grade, I took a programming class using BASIC on Apple IIe systems. That was a nightmare. The class was so boring, but worse, the teacher knew nothing of comptuers. She was just going from whatever curriculum they had handed her. She saw me typing $ characters instead of typing out PRINT in whole and she flipped out! She wouldn''t stand for it, even though I told her (and showed her) that it was the same either way to the computer. So, when she would come by, I''d LIST my program so the computer would replace all those $''s with PRINT''s... LOL! By the time the class got to advanced topics I could have used, I was so frustrated and disappointed that I''d lost the thread of things.

After that, I drifted away from programming entirely. Then, when I was 19, I was in a car that was plowed by a drunk driver. If that had never happened, I probably wouldn''t be programming. I had a crushed vertebrae, but was otherwise ok(ish). But I had learned how close we all are to the edge every day. The drunk punched out, but myself and my friends all survived. And, aside from covering my medical bills, the drunk''s insurance left me with enough cash to get a new car, a decent guitar and stack and still waste the following summer hanging out in the local pool hall. Man, the money I spent on Mortal Kombat 3 that summer! :D But the important thing was, I also had enough to buy my first PC...

I had never even seen a mouse before that. Never used Windows. Never seen a CD-ROM or used a hard drive. I didn''t even know that software had to be installed on the hard drive! LOL! But inside a year, I had discovered C++ and was well on my way to teaching myself with a decent book and Turbo C++. Funny, that book specifically stated that only my mom would be impressed by Hello World, and she was, but she was the only one... LOL! The book was right!

Just under 7 years ago, I met my girl and we got married. We have 2 kids as of now. The past 7 years have been rough financially. I worked on my parent''s farm for a while, but I''m not cut out for that Green Acres crap. I couldn''t take it and finally quit. But money has always been incredibly tight. If not for the charity of my parents, we''d be homeless I guess.

About 5 years ago, I decided to get some paperwork to show that I knew how to program. I had realized that it''s what I wanted (needed) to do with my life. And all the conventional wisdom tells you, you gotta have that paper in order to get a job. I could never afford a real college, but my parents (ever charitable) offered to pay for night classes at the local community college. This was when I was still working for them on the farm, in fact. So I signed up for the Computer Programming Certificate Program. Starting with Intro to Programming & Logic. This class used qBasic and the first hint of trouble was when the instructor told me to stop "embellishing" my programs with ASCII graphics and just stick to the lessons as he taught them.

Meanwhile, I was writing a hobby program (a character generator for the MechWarrior RPG) in qBasic just for practice. When it got too big to run in qBasic, I switched over to C++.

Eventually, I had a question about some issue or other with this program. So, I took a printout of the code to school and showed it to the C++ instructor across the hall. She couldn''t understand it. She didn''t know what getch() was! I knew then I was screwed.

Later, I tested out of her class. I ended up with enough credits to get my certificate, but I never did. I couldn''t see spending the money on it when there was no hope of getting work programming. That''s what I''d decided anyway. In short, I was rather depressed and had nearly given up.

So here I am, years later. I looked for programming work off and on for all that time but never got so much as a call. Part of my problem is that I''m in a rural area. Also, being self-taught means I don''t have a degree. But I''ve found that there''s more to it than that.

A few months ago I talked to a computer repair tech here locally about a job working on computers for him. I mentioned that I''m actually a programmer, but can''t find work in that field. He pointed out something I hadn''t thought of: EVERYONE is a programmer these days. See, when I was in school, people were deciding that you if you wanted to make money, you had to learn computers. Comptuers were the future, and if you didn''t get on board, you were screwed. The result was that colleges were pumping out CS students in droves. Now programmers are a dime a dozen. In the old days, there were guys who made $100 an hour. Now they''re working for minimum wage. On top of that, there are so many programmers out there with experience that companies can afford to demand that their new hires have 5-7 years of experience and work for peanuts.

Now, the new problem is India. No offence to Indian programmers here. Indians gotta eat too, I guess. But here in America, programming work is going the way of the dodo. And it makes good financial sense. Why pay some guy $70,000 a year when you can get your programming done overseas for half that? I read a statistic that 2 out of 5 Fortune 500 companies outsource their IT departments and that number is growing. That statistic was something like 2 years old.

At first, this pissed me off. But after fretting over it for a while, I realized something. Two things actually. One, I don''t work for any of these companies anyway, so what have I lost? Can''t lose a job I never could get anyway... And secondly, just because those jobs are going overseas doesn''t mean anything to me. They can''t stop me from programming. If I decide to write the next killer app or the next Quake, then who''s to stop me? It''s like someone else said: It''s a lot like the music industry or the movie industry. Indie developers can make a success of it. It might not be likely, but it is possible. With skill and determination (and maybe charitable parents) anything can happen.

So, the way I see it, keep looking for a job (I do, off and on). Work freelance. I''m trying to - guru.com seems to work. And keep coding. We can only get better.

Wow, that was long and boring, but what the hell... we''re all spouting off anyway. Not sure why I decided to say all that, but maybe it will be interesting if not useful to someone...

As a footnote, I did eventually find programming work of a sort. I got hired by a small company doing add-ons for Microsoft''s Flight Simulator. The past 2 years or so I''ve been working in C# (which is nice in a lot of ways), but the money just ain''t there. We''re a dot-com in the age of dot-bombs and they just can''t afford to pay me much at all. Not until our primo stuff goes live anyway. Until then, I''m living on what little I can scrape together from freelance stuff (so far almost nothing) and my wife''s paycheck from working at a video store. It ain''t great - heck, it''s not survival even. But we still have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. And that''s nothing to sneer at!

I guess the point of all this is that no matter how bad it gets, it''s all ok. All you need is a PC, a compiler and an idea and you''re all set. I have so little beyond that, but when I look at my wife and kids, I know just how rich I am. Being able to code and dream, I''m just that much richer...

Rattlehead

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My generalised plan for entering the programming job market is:

1. Complete my Computer Systems Engineering Degree and pass well.
2. Do shed loads of DirectX practice as well as C++.
3. Build a professional quality resume/CV along with all examples of any DirectX i have previously made showing that i am not only capable of programming but the write up as well.
4. Let every company know that im good and that im intersted in this career.

hehe

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this is a reply to hplus0603:

What we''re looking for is someone who''s smart, who paid attention in school, and who used extracurricular time to develop and deliver working code to real people. If you slacked off enough to have bad grades, that''s a bad sign. If you didn''t pay attention in school (i e, don''t remember how to differentiate a function, say), then you''re unlikely to pay good attention at work. And, if you don''t have the innate drive to develop and deliver working software, well, why are you trying to be a programmer? :-)

I just want to state my case and see if I''m out of luck or if I would make the cut.

I never develop working code to real people but I did go to a school where I took 6+ classes a semester for 4 years straight (over 20 credit hours a semester). Besides about 3 electives all these classes are geared and focused at programming technics for video games. Let alone having my senior project a 2003 GDC student show case finalist, a fully playable 3D (open gl) RPG, 8+ hours of game play.

To be honest, I can''t remember how to differentiate a fucntion. I probably covered that in school over 3 years ago. But I know i can open my handy dandy C++ book and re learn it in no time. Does that make me a slacker cos I can''t remember everything? In my 4 years of school I only missed 2 classes (1.5 hours sessions each) due to illness. I''m no slacker.

I hope i''m not coming off as complaining or yelling or anything rude like that cos i''m not. I just really want to know if my case holds any weight or if I should just start memorizing c++ books cover to back so I can''t get anything wrong during interviews. I did bad my first year of programming, cos I never done it before, but my junior and senior years was all As and Bs.

I would just like to add, for me personally, I learn by doing things and not by lucture (ie. someone standing infront of 100 students talking about code syntax: cos it is boring face it) i take really good notes, but it doesn''t make sense to me unless I use it and see it work in action. That just takes time, time I didn''t really have much of in college but I did learn it, and I''m still learning new things every time i go out to figure out a solution to a new problem.

I really hope i don''t sound like i''m whinning (yes i would like some cheese at this point!) cos I really don''t mean this in a bad way, this is just how I am and it seems to be different then what people look for and I want to know if I need to change. I honestly think that I shouldn''t need to and the proof should be that i graduated a very difficult college and games that i coded in that period.

so i just want to know what hplus things of my case and I hope to hear back from him soon.

~code mole~

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quote:
Original post by Code Mole
I just wanted to say why I dont'' have a ''Digipen'' portfolio.

1: alot of the single projects that we did in our CS classes had to do with graphics and the teachers always had frame works for us that we could just write code for what ever the assignment was and that everyone would start at the same page. problem with that is, that is not 100% my code, so i''m not gonna show case it.



I disagree with that reasoning. I think you should showcase everything that you worked on, and just explain to them explicitly which parts of the program were done by you.

Part of being a professional programmer is being able to understand and work with other people''s code. You''re going to be working in a team after all. So I think it would actually help your case to show examples of work that you only did a portion of.

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Original post by Code Mole
To be honest, I can''t remember how to differentiate a fucntion. I probably covered that in school over 3 years ago. But I know i can open my handy dandy C++ book and re learn it in no time.


Wrong book By the way that is a whole semester class.

I''ve been working as a programmer since you were in plastic pants if not before. Nobody expects you to remember every detail in all your classes and the extra-curicular books you read. Just the gist of them and where to find it if you need it.

I look for four things as a bare minimum when I interview someone for any position.

1. They have to be smart.
2. They have to get things done.
3. They have to communicate very well.
4. They have to have good people skills (once crunch time hits you''ll be seeing more of these people than anyone else in your life).

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Sup,

although I do not yet have a full time career in my chosen industry here is what I have done (I am very modest and enjoy the rare opportunity to boast about myself ).

I was born in ''84 (20 this year), my father is (or was) a software engineer for 12 odd years (and now teaches it). I wrote my first game when I was 9 or 10 (Pascal) with all the functionality that branching would allow.

School never taught me anything I was interested in (as the education system is in shambles), but gave me a great bunch of friends who all felt the same about stuff. The only subject I wish I would have paid attention in was maths as I am finding learning trigonometry very frustrating.

Anyhow onto SE. My Dad brought me into his work one day and sprung the idea on me that I could go on his applied software engineering course. The first year I spent learning Pascal\Object Pascal and more importantly SE\OOP fundamentals I outgunned everyone but failed because I treated it like high school.

I came back for a second year after deciding that it was what I wanted to do, and finished my leftover assignments relatively quickly which gave me plenty of time to master OOP, Pascal etc. I got work with an ex student of my dads doing a stock/work order management software solution, and taught that years class PHP (and learnt myself) for an assignment.

I have just recently mastered C# and started on the DX SDK, there are screw all SE jobs in New Zealand, and I have seen an absolute moron with absolutely no talent whatsoever get a cushy IT management job that has set him up for life.

The point is this: its all down to luck, and keeping motivated and once your in the industry that’s that. Just stick with it and keep doing something on the side, and one day we will both have jobs.

Unless I am completely wrong about everything, in which case I would ignore myself.

No wait now I am confused,

Toby.

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Original post by null_void
Wouldn''t that be nice? The problem is, from what I''ve seen, QA positions really won''t pay the bills. Not mine, at least, and I''m sure I''m not the only one with a boatload of student loans and such. It would be nice to start at a QA job paying $9/hr and work my way up, but unfortunately, I wouldn''t be able to pay my rent.
Well, most college grads in America still get some assistance from mom & dad - living at home, for instance. People like you and I (I''m an independent), while not unusual, are not the majority. In fact, most independents are adults who are returning to school.

Speaking of which, I''m looking for a job, too. But I''ve got a year to go in school, so I''m hitting up the local grocery stores, video stores and gas stations. Gotta do what you gotta do.

quote:
Original post by alnite
guys, does starting your own business ever come to you?
Interesting. Starting your own business is risky; the reason people seek jobs at other people''s companies rather than starting their own is that it lowers their risk and financial burden, at least in the initial stages. It is far more common for people to start companies in mid-life (40s, 50s) not just because they have more money (and maybe are half-way through educating their kids), but because they have more experience and are thus more reassuring to potential customers. Would you buy a car manufactureed by a startup company helmed by a recent graduate? I wouldn''t. Would you purchase a Content Management System for a Fortune 500 company from a kid with a BA and no prior corporate experience? I wouldn''t.

Starting one''s own business is a great idea - at the right time.

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quote:
Original post by alnite
guys, does starting your own business ever come to you?


I''d agree with Oluseyi that most people would want to buy from the experienced, but that applies to existing technologies, if you have an origanal product/service that people want one would have a better chance of success

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quote:
Original post by alnite
guys, does starting your own business ever come to you?


Believe it or not, yes! I actually have a small company of my own, with registered tradename and everything. It even has a commercial product to its name, though it only ever sold two copies.

As much as I''d like to keep it going and work for myself... that also won''t pay my bills while I develop something new that''s commercially viable (if that ever happens).

Anyway, I''m in a bit better mood than I was when I posted my last post. I mean, I''m still desperate for a job, but hey. Life could be a lot worse. I can''t be doing too badly if I still have a net connection and a roof over my head. I just hope to find employment before that changes.

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