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Late Decision

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Hey guys.. Let me start off by saying that in august I will begin my first year of college..A little bit behind, seeing as how I am 20. Unfortunately I will be taking automotive classes this semester, but that is something to be addressed later. I have been a gamer my entire life, RPG's, MMO's, RTS, you name it, I've played it. At 16 I decided to look into programming as it was something that interested me greatly and even now I want nothing more than to make a career out of game programming. Here is my dilemma. At registration this semester I chose automotive, but recently realized that if I don't aspire to become a game programmer I will never be satisfied with myself. Now it's a little late for me to change my course schedule for the semester and I don't think I can begin Computer Science until next fall (might be able to knock out electives and the like in the spring semester though). So heres my question. After 3-4 years of school to get my degree I will be 24-25, and it makes me a bit uncomfortable that I will be applying for jobs at that age with no experience in the field. I feel that the younger applicants would most likely be chosen over me. Basically what I'm asking is, should I be worried about this? Or am I overreacting?

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No, you shouldn't be worried. Personally, I think older people going into the field are going to be seen as more mature and perhaps more responsible. There is many reasons people don't get into college right away. I would suggest you to start you core classes this semester rather then automotive.

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If it makes you feel any better, your years of gaming is in part a form of field experience. You can't be a game programmer without playing some games. That's the law around here.

As for your concerns, your three year setback won't matter much. If you have the skills and the motivation, you'll do just fine. It's 80 year-old gramps and grams that have age problems when applying for such a job.

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More important, is show some solid interest. Don't wait for your classes to start, start doing some programming now. There are tons of great tutorials on this site, use them! IMHO, employers look the best on actual personal projects. You would be surprised how rare that is.

J

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When I got my university degree I was 26 (ow.. and still am :-P) and quickly found a great job, so you should not worry about your age. Just practice a lot and make yourself familiar with programming and everything will be fine after you finish college.

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I appreciate the quick responses guys and you have made me feel much more comfortable about my situation.

To DevLiquidKnight due to my current registration I am unable to start my core classes at the moment. Not because it is too late to change classes but because I would be going into the college as a student planning to transfer, and in order to register as such I would have to schedule another appointment with an advisor which could take up to 3 weeks.
While typically this wouldn't be a problem, I have to be able to schedule my schooling around my work hours and 3 weeks from now all the desire positions in the classes will surely be taken. Otherwise I'd definately start my core classes now.

To Esmo2000, I have started programming again, C++ actually. That may change though. The college I will be transfering to has dropped C++ as a core class and switched to C. C++ is now offered as a last year specialization course. I'm assuming this is due to students having a hard time grasping C++ as a first language. So I may switch over to C, not only because it will be a core class, but because I imagine I will be able to pick up on it quickly, then learning C++ will be much easier.

I am currently reading 'Beginning C++ Game Programming' by Michael Dawson.
Do you think I should drop C++ for now, grab a new book and take up C?

On a side note: While I regret taking automotive, atleast I won't have a ton of homework and can concentrate on programming ;)

Thanks for the support guys.

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I think a lot of people would say different things but I would recommend you continue on with C++. C++ seems to appear pretty much everywhere, and if its your true desire to be a game developer, think about what you WILL be using, and not the courses you will be taking! If you know C++, C should be a breeze and you need not worry. Actually, i went into my last job not even knowing it and I didn't bother reading any tutorials or anything, I just did it. It wasn't a problem (as everyone says, most languages are the same!)

There have been some really good tutorials online for C++, I suggest you go ahead and read through them. And practice! Make a project or something, its a lot more gratifying.

J

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