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Born for it?

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I try not to compare myself to others as I believe you should focus on developing your own skills and not competing with someone who's five years ahead of you in experience and knowledge. However, I can't help but to read some of the posts here daily and just be amazed at how much some of the people here know. It really makes me think, were you born for programming or did you struggle? I know for me it’s the latter. Right now I'm totally terrible at programming (C++). I can't help but think if I will ever really land my dream job of being a gameplay programmer. But everyday I keep myself up and just keep working and working and working until I finally get it right. It’s tough not seeing the point where you know you can finally relax and really enjoy what programming has to offer, rather than the labor it takes to learn. I’m not looking for advice or sympathy or anything like that. Rather, I always love hearing people’s stories of how they got into something and if it was hard for them or they were just born for it. Plus it could turn into an interesting topic. :)

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How much experience do you have? How much experience do they have?

A lot of the experienced people kicking around these forums have been programming for a long time. If that's substantially longer than you've been programming, then i'd say it's fairly obvious they'll be better at it than you [smile]

Don't give up
Jack

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I would argue that i was destined to be doing programming in some form since i grew up with the first useful home computers. My dad did it etc.

But there are alot of people on here younger than me that know more than me. I'm 20 BTW.

ace

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you can't be born for it. you can be of reasonable intelligence, and you can learn it.
personally, i struggled with programming up until I was 15, then between 15-17 I started actually learning programming techniques, rather than struggling with C++ and its collosal feature-set.

I'm nearly 19, doing 2nd year Software Engineering at the University of Auckland. Stick with it, only took me 7 years [wink]

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I was taught basic back in like 3rd grade. Just enough to do stuff like

10 print "whats the capitol of california"
20 input a
30 if a <> "sacramento" goto 10
40 print "some other random question"
50 etc

That was all I knew until my freshman year of high school, when I took a basic class that taught for loops and functions, etc. From there it took a few years of tinkering with C before I was anywhere near proficient. Thinking back on it, I have to say that I think the programming mindset is learned. I wasn't much of a computer freak at all before mid-highschool.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
1 rule of learning: learn at your own

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Quote:
Original post by silvermace
you can't be born for it. you can be of reasonable intelligence, and you can learn it.

Firstly, I *completely* agree with this.

Moving back to the authors original comments, I don't share the 'struggle' point of view with you. I'm but a begginer in the world of programming (in comparison to the gurus), however if i don't know how to do something it's a challenge, something to make me better. I'm big a fan of competition with someone who you might class as better than you, in the words of Survivor...
Quote:
Survivor - Eye of the tiger
... it's the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of our rivals...
I think that summarises it really well. I really feel the competitiveness is a huge drive, but that might be just me??

Starting early really seems to help (that or some people have too much free time), I did some basic stuff (like a command line quiz/dos apps) in C when i was about 14, then left it for a few years (my mistake I wish I didn't now, I feel I'm playing catch-up with some students in some areas).

Maybe changing your perception on learning could be an option... Everyone was at some point a beginner, and have not always been gurus in the area, so you could aviod pulling yourself down just because you can't do something that 'they' can.

Also while learning I've found if you have the right materials (im my case my book collection), the task of learning can become that of a labour of love.

Anyway back to my demo I'm writing (need it finished to pass to a company tomorrow...)

Catcha later,
Add

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I feel your pain!

I too wonder how some of the people are able to do stuff in like half the time it takes me. I think to an extent you are born into programming, or at least have a mind with a natural aptitude for it. You can often see the type too - generally naturally good at physics, maths and computing too. I myself have none of these traits and will be giving up soon (as my uni course ends in like 9 days) before selling my soul to the devil and doing an MBA :)

*duh duh duh... another one bites the dust*

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Quote:
Original post by gazsux
I feel your pain!

I too wonder how some of the people are able to do stuff in like half the time it takes me. I think to an extent you are born into programming, or at least have a mind with a natural aptitude for it. You can often see the type too - generally naturally good at physics, maths and computing too. I myself have none of these traits and will be giving up soon (as my uni course ends in like 9 days) before selling my soul to the devil and doing an MBA :)

*duh duh duh... another one bites the dust*


That does make me think...
My A-levels were Physics, Maths + Computing... (not a fan of education, would rather spend the time teaching myself...)
Regarding the time it takes to do tasks, i feel this is all down to experience, after all - "Practice makes prefect", well something like that... :)

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Dude. I started when I was 9 with VB. I progressed to C++->C->Java. Now I do mainly C++, though school requires Java(10th grade). Most of the information comes from doing everything yourself, so you eventually learn awesome stuff. Also, just reading other peoples programming woes and tricks helps as well. Gamedev is a great place to better your skills. It might seem like others are talking about extremely advanced stuff, but once you start studying it, it gets easier. Oh, and you never realize that you are advanced too, because by then, the material seems too easy.

Cheers!

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First, if you love it, and enjoy it, then by God, do it!

This type of stuff is not easy. The first programming language I ever really learned was C++ when I was a junior in highschool. I can't tell you how much time I spent banging my head, but eventually (and it can take a while), it just clicks, and all of the sudden, you just get it. It just makes sense one day. It like that with a lot of things. Programming and software engineering are no different. The more you do it, the better you get. Practice and diligent study do pay off with this stuff.

That said, some do have a natural propensity toward programming and engineering. I myself have always loved problem solving, and thankfully, I have a natural aptitude for it, which does make it easier. However, once you understand the concept of semantics, syntax, and language commonalities, programming in any language becomes trivial (unless the language really sucks). The focus then shifts toward more problem solving, which is the really fun stuff for me anyway.

Unfortunately, the reality is, not everyone is created equal. All our brains are wired differently. Some people make natural artists. Some people make natural scientists. Some make natural programmers. That said, if you really love something, and are passionate about it, and are diligent in your pursuit to understand it, then you'll be successful. Good luck, and enjoy the journey. And remember, success depends more on diligence than on ability.

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For me it is a neverending process of learning the depth of my ignorance.

I leave my room to enter the house, I leave my house to step outside. From people I learn of other towns, then cities and states, countries and continents, continents and planets. Planets and solar systems, galaxies and galactic clusters...Unfortunatly for me I think there only enough time in life to leave at best, your state.

It seems that all I am doing is educating myself especially well in how much there is I dont know.

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Quote:
Original post by chad_420
When you start getting down about it just compare yourself to a laymen and see how far you've come.


I think that inappropriate, "laymen" live in other states and even countries with different cultures and habits you know little about and would be meaningless to compare.

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Well, firstly, let me concur with the natural aptitude group. People think differently. Some of those thought processes are naturally better at programming [and worse at other things] than other people's way of thinking.

Let me also concur with the group that noted that most of the big names around here, and even some of the medium level names have been programming for a long, long, long time. Moreover, they've been programming most if not all of that time. Also remember that programming is one of those odd beasts where the more you know, the more you learn. If someone is fairly adept with C++ [and by extension OOP usage, and other CS concepts] they'll learn say... Java easier since a good deal of the concepts and patterns cross over. If someone has been programming for three times as long as you, expect that they'll know far more than three times as much. Don't let it dishearten you.

Further, there's [it seems to me at least] quite a few "leaps" where programmers really learn something, and it changes almost everything about their programs. "Get"ing pointers, finally putting a template to actual use, understanding why functors are cool...

But! I know for me at least, it was never a struggle. Or at least not in the way you [the OP] describe. Learning was never laborous for me. Still is never laborous for me, despite the fact that the topics have only grown more difficult and the tutorials more scarce. Certainly it's frustrating at times, and personally I've very little actual games or even apps to show for my [copious] time spent. Still, it was never laborous. I've never had to force myself to program.

It's hard to judge your level of aptitude. In every one of my programming courses, I've done exceptionally well. Here, it is harder to tell. After my last bout of learning, I can at least understand almost every post. Better yet, I really understand the majority, and feel confident enough about my skills to participate actively. Unfortunately, there's always a few people that come by that actually produce pretty respectable games, despite being fairly neophyte programmers. They always give me pause, since I've actually finished very little.

Perhaps I'll actually be able to get back to school one of these days; learn the computer science-y things I really seem to be missing.

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