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OT: Need advise. Am I too old to switch to game programming?

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Hi. Sorry for this OT. I just need advise. I have been a system programmer for 10 years. And I plan to switch over to game programming. I wonder what's the average age of game programmer? I am 32 years old. Am I too old to be a game programmer? What is your age or the oldest age of the game programming guru you know? Thank you.

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Are you to old to play games?
Are you to old to type and read a monitor?
Are you to old to learn new stuff?

If you can answer no to all of those I dont see why you wouldnt make a coherant games programmer.

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Not that I have ego or anything, but, if all other programmers are just 21 or 25, and the guru are just 28, then I would feel quite out of place. even if I can learn on the job, this might not be an ideal career switch for me. Is this not a rightly concern?

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To be totally honest I dont see what age really has to do with anything. Your not like 80 or something. If you feel you can learn to make games and thats what you want to do then atleast try.

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Quote:
Original post by MarcZen
Is this not a rightly concern?


Who cares if the guru is younger than you? Plenty of people have switched to the game industry after having worked in other fields. Go to a local bookstore, find some game programming books, and flip to the author bios (Game Programming Gems particularly). Google around to some game company web sites and read the bio pages there. You'll find people who came to the game industry after having worked as defense contractors, engineers, AI researchers, database designers, network programmers, mathematicians... at varying ages. Head over to the GarageGames site and look at some of the community members actively developing games there. Several are in their mid-30s and older, some having never worked on games before.

All it takes to get going is a strong desire, a sharp mind, and dedication.

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Well, it is hard getting a job in the game industry if you mean to just switch employeers regardless of age, specially if you're not from a game producing country, which usually means you would have to find a job abroad.

Now, if you mean as a hobby, there is no age limit.

My advice, keep your current job, do some game programming on your own on the side, and whenever you feel like your side project could get you a job in the industry, then start sending off resumes.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by MarcZen
Am I too old to be a game programmer?

The average game programmer is probably in their 20's. An IGDA survey showed that programmer's only last about 5 years. They get burnt out, it has nothing to do with age.

Here are some tidbits from IGDA's Quality of Life White Paper:
Quote:

34.3% of developers expect to leave the industry within 5 years, and 51.2% within 10 years.
Only 3.4% said that their coworkers averaged 10 or more years of experience.
Crunch time is omnipresent, during which respondents work 65 to 80 hours a week (35.2%). The average crunch work week exceeds 80 hours (13%). Overtime is often uncompensated (46.8%).
44% of developers claim they could use more people or special skills on their projects.
Spouses are likely to respond that "You work too much..." (61.5%); "You are always stressed out." (43.5%); "You don't make enough money." (35.6%).
Contrary to expectations, more people said that games were only one of many career options for them (34%) than said games were their only choice (32%).

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I'm 31 and still program games (as hobby that is). I had some years in games programming, and frankly, i never stopped to do games at home too. Right now i'm an application programmer but that doesn't stop me from still making games.

If you feel you can do games then do.

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At my company: 3 coders in their twenties, 2 in their 30's

I'm one of the 20's ones but I really couldn't care less that some of the other guys are 30+. So far its never been an issue, infact its hardly every mentioned (except when one of them tries to play bad 80's music on his sterio hehe). If you want to work in games then don't give up because you might be a bit embarassed - if your boss is 24 and your mentor is 22 will it really matter? If you want an excuse not to go for it then fine, but if you really do want in then get off your butt and make it happen! Be worried about making less money, not have the required skills, not even getting an interview or having to start at the bottom, but don't worry about age.

That said games jobs don't exactly grown on trees so you might not get in anyway - then its a non-issue. But if your 78 and realise you didn't apply for a games job because you might have to take orders from some kid how much are you gonna kick yourself?

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