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ade-the-heat

OpenGL 1 yr opengl - job possible ?

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I've been doing opengl for a year now - mostly in my spare time. I have a 3d game of about 7000 lines I've written - is this enough experience in order to go for a job using opengl. I'm guessing most of the jobs for this sort of thing are in Central London ? Also, is the pay less in the 3d world than say the Telecomsm world ? cheers

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If you do not have that "piece of paper" (a degree for the blunt), you have just as much chance as an 18 year old with 2 weeks experience. Unfortunatly :(

[edit]
This is not ~always~ the case. But concider the ammount of coders out there looking for a job. A nice fat degree under your belt will push you closer to the top of the list.

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Dreq, im sure its not that different, but remember, colleges are VERY competitive here in the US, it MAY not be like that in the UK (i dont know at all) and gawd i really hope the value of a degree drops, i mean... some people can get a degree, and yet, they cant problem solve for shit... in a perfect world your portfolio would be worth everything.

woo... there i go again...
-Dan

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if anything a degree can be a mild disadvantage, depending on the company. I've seen stories of from people on these message boards saying that when they get someone with a degree join them the first thing they have to do is de-program them from thinking like a uni student [grin]

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Quote:
Original post by _the_phantom_
if anything a degree can be a mild disadvantage, depending on the company. I've seen stories of from people on these message boards saying that when they get someone with a degree join them the first thing they have to do is de-program them from thinking like a uni student [grin]


thats for people with masters or doctorates, the ones that like spending 2 years researching one topic without actually doing anything. I'm yet to hear of a straight uni grad having such problems! And I don't know of any programers working at either my current or last job that didn't have degree's ... infact to be honest I don't think I'd trust a self taught programmer simple because I know someone with a degree has been forced to learn the basics (true that doesn't mean there any good, but there is a much greater chance they are and have a strong general knowledge). Still this is a big generalization and just IMHO :D

*throws some salt grains around*

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the problem isnt so much with degrees as such, its the amount of stock put in writing HUGE amounts of docs, i'm pretty certain its possible to get a 1:1 without having written a single working program, as long as you document why it didnt work and follow the grading precisely you could still do well, which leads to people coming out of uni, going into jobs, working on projects and producing 100 page documents of why it doesnt work, when in reality all most places will care about is getting it working.

Also, i wouldnt count on a uni taught being better than a self taught, from my own experiance alot of the people who teach at Unis are a few years behind the curve, for example in my C++ class in the first year I had a function which I exited from in two places (one at the top, early out and one at the bottom) and my lecturer went mentalist at me and we had a huge arguement, her saying 'functions should ONLY ever have one exit point' and me saying 'what the point in running the whole function, even if the loop doesnt run, when I can get out early?' (at this point I'd been programming for 6 years on an Atari ST/STe so this kind of thing was 2nd nature to me), in the end for the sake of the grade I change the code, but that kind of thing IS the right thing todo and many people carried on through the course thinking you HAD to have one exit point from a function.

So, yes degrees are good in some ways, but in others, in the UK at least, they can be utter poo

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Yes, some degree courses can be terrible, and even good ones will only teach you parts of what you need to be in the games industry. Personal learning counts for a lot. I assume, though, that your previous experience will also count for a lot. What's your CV like? A top notch CV is a must-have. I'm applying for a few game programming jobs next week, and I've been tweaking my CV for a month :)

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I got some good interviews and job offers from some top companies in the UK, such as Lionhead, Codemasters, Visual Science and PowerVR (where I am now employed). But it was 6 months after i left uni that I got any response and a year after I left uni that I eventually got a job. They were most interested in my programming experience outside of uni (and my final year project a 3d gliding simulator), companies state they require degrees and A-levels, but that is mostly just to filter down the number of applicants. I missed out on a job with MBDA (programming missiles etc) because I only had a C GCSE english and not a B. My english ability is not demostrated by a test I took in 1997, my final year report was 100 pages long and very readable. To be honest if I was hiring someone I would hire them based on their demonstrated ability and their passion for the work. I worked my ass off for my degree and I know lots of people who didnt do so well, not for want of trying, just the method of teaching is not appropriate for them.

Other engineering trades take on apprentiships, why doesnt the IT industry? most of the formal teaching you recieve on design etc, goes straight out the window, and most of peoples programming knowledge is learnt from just getting on and doing it.

Come on industry, sort your life out, there are alot of brilliant minds out there not being tapped. Like my mates James O'Gorman and Nick Thompson, ones a kick ass unix guru, no degree but could teach my university sys admins a thing or two, and the other is a software engineeing grad, has a great mind for maths, physics and graphics with some good demos in the pipeline... both are amongst the most determined people I know.

I wish you all the best of luck, my advice is just phone them up, show that your interested. If you can send them an impressive CV and demo (with very good code) then that is a first big step.

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