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michael_killingbeck

Am I too old?

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Hi guys, I'll start with the usual apologies for posting a question which may have already been asked somewhere else....sorry! Anyway, my question is this...Am I too old to think seriously about a career of someform in programming? I've been a fairly big fan of games since forever, and in my [very] younger days I seriously enjoyed programming games on my old spectrum and with my mate on his pc, although the 'games' were never anything special, it was something i really enjoyed. But then for one reason and another it tailed off and now I'm 23 [not shockingly old I know], but have basically no recollection of anything I used to be able to do, and as such am going to have to learn it all again... So, is it worth my while, or by the time I've learnt enough, which from what I've read, could take a fair few years, am I going to be too old to be taken 'seriously' enough by the 'industry'? Or should I just settle for a more casual pursuit, I.e. making games purely for my own enjoyment ? Thanks, MK

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#1: 23 year old "am I too old?". hahahaha. that's a good one. =) you've only lived for 1/4 of your likely life span yet... every little thing you've done so far in life you could do 3 more times before dying.

when i graduated college i was 23 and had a biology degree. I'd taken exactly one programming course in college (required for my major). I certainly played around with computers and taught myself programming but no official training.

Out of college I got a frontend web programming job (had to teach myself Java/JSP to pass the interview). Now I'm 30 and am working as an AI programmer for a big game publisher.

So no, not even remotely too old.

In fact, just as a random anecdote about age and career. A friend's father decided at the age of 40 that what he really wanted to be was a doctor. So he went to med school and became one.

There is no age beyond which career change is impossible. Your only limitation is within your own brain.

-me

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Yes.

There is a particular neural pathway in the brain that is necessary for truly learning to program. This pathway is eventually consumed by the brain to construct the pathway for eros. If you have not become a master programmer before this point, it's too late. Your head will be full of distracting thoughts that will prevent you from becoming a competent programmer; at best you can expect to learn to copy and paste in Visual Basic.

I recommend giving up and trying gold farming.

In seriousness though, this sort of situation is no different than anyone else trying to switch from Career A to Career B. Certainly, it may be easier if you start young (more time provides more opportunity for experience), but this does not magically infer a person competence. I've met plenty of people that have had years of experience and still weren't much above the aforementioned copy-paste level. The ability to stick with it and actually figure things out is what will help you the most.

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I'm going to be 31 when I graduate. I already managed to get a games programming job though and I'm considering doing a Masters degree too (but thats as far as i'm going to take it I don't intend on being a lifetime academic). 23 is young. Whilst everybody seems to think that theres a certain age where your brain picks up the most information, it seems to me that most of the people who have dropped out of my course have been the kids in the 18 to 21 age range who just arn't mature enough to realise that they need to put effort in to get something back. Pick up a book have a flick through and then if it all comes flooding back then go for it.
Seriously the only thing that you haven't got going for you is living in Scunthorpe :p

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This isn't boxing man. You can become an engineer/programmer anytime you like.
Thats the beauty of being in a career where you use your mind not your hands.
there is not Age factor.

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My mom became a network administrator when she was 61 and had never worked on computers before. She is now very good at her job.

So if you think at 23 years old you are too old, you really still just a kid.

theTroll

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I'm going to be 30 this year, and I only recently dropped the VB6 torch and finally decided it's time to make a foray into modern programming (which to me means C# and .NET). I'd thought about it for a couple years and just didn't feel like it was important enough to invest the time it would take to relearn basically everything I know about programming. Well, I got tired of waiting on myself.

The worst part of growing old is losing interest. I went through the worst part of my life feeling like everything I ever aspired to be was immature and frivolous. I had to remind myself that there are a great many professionals who make games for a living. They love doing it, and they get paid major bucks. Computer games consume an enormous part of people's lives, even for casual gamers. They're really no different from movies, television, music, or even books in that they fulfill a basic need for entertainment. Computer games are the best medium of all because they can be far more interactive than books or movies. That's to say nothing of network gaming, my favorite past-time of all (that involves keeping your clothes on).

Age isn't the issue. Motivation is the issue, and you'll find it declining as you get older. It's like a fire, and you have to keep feeding it. Even if it goes out, you can always start a new one. Your first problem is figuring out what motivates you, and then you'll be free to do whatever makes you happy.

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If you have the desire and are ready to work hard enough you can do ANYTHING. Hard work can do wonders, no matter what age you are, and as Palidine said, 23 is not even remotely too old for anything. Do you want to be a game programmer? No problem, all you need to do is start working on it right away.

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wow it seems everyone here is 30 something (like me) oh I wish I had 23... but hey just take into account that some jobs have certain requirements specially in the IT industry such as "looking for programmer 24 - 29 years old" oh crap and then you start thinking you are too old...

I remember I touched my first computer at the age of 16 or so... now, at 16 some kids are already making games damn!

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