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Getting Into the Game Development Business

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ni, im about to be 17, going to be a senior in high school this year i really am interested in becoming a professional c++ game programmer, and i know that a lot of people that are on this site are actual game programmer for game companies im trying to get into as much computer stuff at high school right now as i can, this year im taking "computer systems technology" at my city's technical center
Computer Systems Technology –  A one-year course that prepares students to support personal and networked computers. Students will learn computer related electronics, operation, repair, and preventative maintenance of computer hardware. A significant part of the program will address computer operation systems as well as setting up and troubleshooting networked computers. Students can seek industry  certification through CompTIA or ETA and earn 1 verified credit. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered for this program. Strong math skills are required. Fees apply. (2 Credits - Grades 10-12)

In 11th grade some lady named marianne came to my school one day, and she is a field admissions representative for this technical college called "High-Tech Institute", so she gave my her card and whatever, and i gave her my information cause i was interested. She comes to my house yesterday and gives me some booklets about the courses they offer and stuff. I looked through, but they dont have any computer science courses, all they have is "CAD / Drafting Technology, Computer Networking & Security,Electronics Technology, and Technology Management" http://www.hightechinstitute.edu/programs/career/technology/ so no programming or anything, i think she said she was going to write me a letter of recommendation for the schoolso i could be accepted. I really dont have tons of money for those 4 year colleges to ge ta degree in comp science, and i can see in the game jobs on "this site that most companies require a bacehlors degree in CS. I think i could get into this school though, but i wouldn't be learning programming. I'm kinda interested in "computer networking & security" , setting up servers, learning linux scripts, etc. But I still want to get a degree in computer science or some kind of education in CS so i can join a game company. Maybe i can work part time doing computer networking & security, and go to school for Computer Science amybe? i doubt i'll get into one of these 4 year colleges. Someone suggested learning c++ myself, and just show the game company a good demo or something. I dunno, i need some guidance on this. Game Programming is definately something i would enjoy getting up to go to work to do every morning. But i think going into the game development career knowing networking & security is a plus. i could always do a student loan, but i dont really want to be paying back the bank for 20 something years

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It sounds to me like you're in a bit of an awkward situation there! That college doesn't sound so great either. I can tell you that you would by far find a Computer Science degree to be the most useful for your career, but dont undervalue the significance of learning at home too. I recommend you set yourself a project and just work to complete it. It always looks good if you've done work off your own back because it shows you're committed to what you do.

Best of luck anyway - it really is the best industry in the world and well worth the effort :-)

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Information Technology - Software Applications and Programming

Number Course Credit
Core Courses
IT103 Operating Systems 4
IT104 Introduction to Computer Programming 4
IT106 Programming in C++ I 4
IT116 Intermediate Programming 4
IT203 Database Development 4
IT204 Scripting and Web Authoring I 4
IT217 Programming in C++ II 4
IT218 Programming in JAVA I 4
IT219 Programming in JAVA II 4
IT250 Linux Operating System 4
IT305 College Mathematics III 4
IT306 Software Application Programming 4
IT308 Software Development Capstone Project 4
IT327 Data Structures 4
Subtotal 56
General Education Courses
GE117 Composition I+ 4
GE127 College Mathematics I+ 4
GE184 Problem Solving+ 4
GE192 College Mathematics II+ 4
GE217 Composition II+ 4
GE273 Microeconomics+ 4
GE347 Group Dynamics+ 4
Subtotal 28
Technical Basic Courses
TB133 Strategies for the Technical Professional+ 4
TB143 Introduction to Personal Computers 4
TB332 Professional Procedures and Portfolio Development 4
Subtotal 12
Total 96

that course looks interesting, its at ITT-Technical Institute, im going to look more into that

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You'll kick yourself for going to a school like that High Tech Institute or ITT Tech. Go to a real university, get a degree in CS or something similar, work your ass off, and you'll be rewarded for it. Your location says you live in Richmond, VA. Look into the universities in Virginia. Tuition is generally lower when you are in state.

Yes, going to a real university costs money. Realize that chances are the people you'll be competing with to get those jobs you want did fork over the money for the better education.

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There are two important attributes to succeed in this industry, and probably in most, in order of most relevant:

1) Attitude/Personality
2) Talent/Experience.

Education is useful when you don't have enough talent. Once you have enough talent, it becomes irrelevant as most of what you learned are outdated.

As for whether to go to a trade school or a prestigious university. It depends, most of what I use at work I learned on my own. Having a degree from a decent university did grease the wheels of employment but if I didn't have the practical knowledge I gained on my own I would not have lasted at my jobs. That's just a degree though, it does not necessarily have to be a CS degree. I work with brilliant technical people who have art degrees.

The most important thing is to know your self and to know the industry that you have laid your plans on. Try to land an internship so you can experience first hand what you are getting your self in to. Good luck.

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