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CrueltyInc

Getting my boat off of dry land

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CrueltyInc    122
Is there anybody who knows of entry-level positions that I could apply for in the Vista, California area? My experience is 0, so I am looking for somewhere I can get started in games development. My goal is to become a programmer, so anybody who can give some tips as to who to network with and what classes to take, your help is greatly appreciated. P.S.:If this is in the wrong forum, I apologize, I just signed up and am new to the system.

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samuraicrow    325
If you want to learn to program you can get your start by downloading the Python programming language from Python.org and the PyGame extension from PyGame.org. There are example programs on the PyGame site and a free textbook for Python that you can download from GreenTeaPress.com/ThinkPython/. If you run into trouble post back here to the beginners' forum and we'll see how things are going.

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Most "entry level" positions in game programming require either a computer science degree or experience equal to that.

That said, getting started with PyGame is a good suggestion to get things going for you.

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pjcast    311
While I don't know of anything in Vista, there are plenty of studios in surrounding areas. However, getting a job without any expereince is difficult. You could try getting in as a QA tester (which just requires PC experience and a love of games). And in your spare time, work on learning programming.

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Hi,

I am also interested in this topic (getting started).
Of course one can find job offers nearly everywhere, but are there also websites or something for internships? I am looking for one :)

Sorry for thread hijacking.

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CrueltyInc    122
To elaborate on my original post, anybody think this is a good career plan for becoming a good programmer?...
1)Graduate high school (of course)
2)Finding a job as a QA to earn money
3)Go study for a bachelors in computer science with the money from QA position
4)Land a first job thanks to the experience given through QA
5)Go from there...

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remigius    1172
Quote:
Original post by CrueltyInc
To elaborate on my original post, anybody think this is a good career plan for becoming a good programmer?...
1)Graduate high school (of course)
2)Finding a job as a QA to earn money
3)Go study for a bachelors in computer science with the money from QA position
4)Land a first job thanks to the experience given through QA
5)Go from there...


It sounds like a good plan, though you're quite at risk of getting stuck in QA if you don't move on to step 3 (personally I found working before studying didn't improve my motivation for studying much). I'd say you're probably better off taking the bachelor course while trying to balance the QA job AND spending some of your free time coding games. After all, if you're after a coding position having something to show off your coding skills will be a bigger plus than having worked in QA.

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Tioneb    139
I'm in an almost similar position as you. Except that I've been working as a web developer for almost 4 years now. But I decided to put all that behind and go back to school to get a bachelor in computer science since this is usualy the minimum requierement to land a programmer job in the game industry.

So here's my plan
1) Get accepted at university for a Bachelor in Computer Science \o/
2) Get involved as a on-site volunteer at the IGDA Chapter in Montreal to start networking early
3) Study, study, study!
4) Try to land an intership in the game industry using my network of contacts
5) Graduate
6) Land a job
7) ...
8) Profit
9) Take over the world ... did I say that out loud?

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coderx75    435
Quote:
Original post by CrueltyInc
Is there anybody who knows of entry-level positions that I could apply for in the Vista, California area? My experience is 0, so I am looking for somewhere I can get started in games development. My goal is to become a programmer, so anybody who can give some tips as to who to network with and what classes to take, your help is greatly appreciated.
P.S.:If this is in the wrong forum, I apologize, I just signed up and am new to the system.

It's great that you want to get into programming. Now, I'm not in any way trying to be discouraging (quite the opposite) but I think you may be getting a bit ahead of yourself here.

First, if you haven't tried your hand at programming yet, do so. Before setting out on a life long career as a programmer, it may be a good idea to find out if programming is actually for you. Anyone that WANTS to be a programmer CAN be a programmer but not everyone really wants to be one. My suggestion: Try writing a tetris clone. If you get warm fuzzies from completing this task, you're a programmer. If you feel it was just too tedious or you don't finish the task, you're not a programmer.

Second, life after high school really isn't "accomplish A to get B, accomplish B to get C, accomplish C to..." Throw any plan you have out the window. Start programming immediately and try to be the best you can be at it. Of course, plan to go to college, but not just for a computer science degree. Go to meet people that are also interested in computers, programming, games, etc. This is where you'll do your own networking. From this point, you're just grabbing at opportunities. You may land an internship, land a job before college, after college or whatever.

There are other routes you can take, such as game dev schools or just becoming a slacker until you actually finish a game in your parents basement. However, the above seems to be the ol' tried and true.

Good luck! [smile]

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Palidine    1315
If you haven't graduated HS yet, you're thinking too much about this; though the fact that you have the next 15 years planned out would be a good indicator that you may be a programmer...

In HS I KNEW that I wanted to be a doctor; now i'm a game programmer. so much for planning.

I'd also suggest that QA testers make approximately zero dollars so there is almost no chance that you'd be able to save college money. Far better, IMHO, to:

1) graduate HS
2) go to college (paid with financial aid & student loans)
3) graduate college
4) get programming job (now you have the extra cash to pay off your loans)

That's what 90% of people I know did.

Student loans are the closest thing to free money that you'll ever get. The interest rates are crazy low and there's no interest while you're still in school. A programmer salary can handle the loans no problem; as a QA tester it will take years and years and years to save up college money. Working at McDonalds would give you a higher income than a QA tester and having been a QA tester won't really help you land a programming job anyway.

CS Degree >>(much greater than) QA test experience.

[EDIT: plus college is one of the most fun experiences of life. Waiting to get a degree until you're old & crotchety would take a lot of the fun out of that experience. College isn't just a stepping stone to a career, it's an amazing social experience (social = networking and jobs down the road too if you're obsessed with everything needing to have "real world" consequences)]

-me

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CrueltyInc    122
Okay, since this has been working so far...
I've been studying the Java programming language seriously for the last two years, even over the summers! (I'm not obsessed...) I haven't actually been able to produce large-scale game applications as of yet, I still have a few issues with multithreading and picture implementation, but I have grasped the basics of OOP and the such. Would it be worth it to continue with Java, or should I go with a newer language? I know that Java is considered limited in some circles, but I've also played awesome games that utilize it (RuneScape). Basically, I'm at a crossroads and I would like advice from more experienced people.

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remigius    1172
As many folks will tell you, the specific language doesn't matter that much, since the concepts and skills you learn in one language mostly translate well to other platforms. If you're aiming to land a job in game development though, I'd say it a good idea to get some C++ under your belt. Most game coding job offers I've seen require some years of experience in C++.

Come to think of it, most job offers actually require some years of experience in commercial game development in C++. Making non-commercial games in your spare time may help impress your potential employer, but I'd say the best way to land a gamedev job without commercial experience is to try and get an internship at a game development company, preferably the one where you'd like to work of course.

Be that as it may, I'd like to point you to Palidine's and Coderx75's replies again. Of course some carreer planning is good, but I don't think you should feel you're at a crossroads and are forced to take action now. Most of my friends got good jobs that aren't even remotely connected to their education, or they decided to get some more degrees on other subjects first, so the choice you make now isn't necessarily going to govern the rest of your life. Make sure you enjoy the path and you'll get to where you're heading just fine. If you focus too much on your goal and miss most of your journey, you may be in for some disappointment when you get there.

Now there's some early-morning philosophy for you [wink]

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