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Statistics on professional programmers

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I'm just curious, what's the average time it takes someone to open their first computer programming book, and start programming real commercial game? I'm not interested in feedback like "It will take you years and then some!", I want to know examples of real game programmers and how long it took them, and how much effort/time did they put in before they were up to professional level. Thanks for your time.

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It took years and then some.

In all seriousness, I went to school for Computer Science, learned to program, and then learned to make games. It takes years and then some. Oh, and lots and lots of effort.

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It's not uncommon for students right out of college to get positions at gamedev companies. So 4 years plus however much they spent before college, which is usually another 4 years of high school and then some.

I don't work in game dev, but it took me about 20 years from first book to the point at which I was hire-able for those skills. I didn't have the benefit of formal study though.

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I started programming in 1999 in Hypertalk, and developed a few unpolished mini-games. I went on to start C++ in 2000, and managed to develop and publish a commercial game in 2004.

Then, somewhere around 2005, I managed to learn how to program, by learning Objective Caml and, to a lesser extent, C#. This greatly improved my skills at both C++ and design, which were quite lacking to say the least.

So I guess it took me six years, but it would have been shorter if I had moved on to Objective Caml and C# earlier.

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Quote:
Original post by Aitxyn
I'm just curious, what's the average time it takes someone to open their first computer programming book, and start programming real commercial game?

I'm not interested in feedback like "It will take you years and then some!", I want to know examples of real game programmers and how long it took them, and how much effort/time did they put in before they were up to professional level.


Me? First Commodore 64 BASIC program entered in about 1988. First computer programming employment: 2000. There was plenty of schooling in the middle though.

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