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CordFly

Is it impossible to become a programmer?

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I have made several attempts over the years to learn programming. After months and months of studying and practicing, I find that I still cannot design and write a useful practical program. So, I get discouraged, and move on to new hobbies. However... I keep coming back to try again... and I think I know why. My dream- since childhood, is to become a computer programmer, and more specifically, programmer of video games. But for some reason, I cannot seem to grasp the field. Many people say 'programming isn't hard', that 'anyone can do it'... Well obviously... I can't. Has anyone else had similar experience, or know of a way to help me?

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First tell us a few things. How did you try to learn programming? What kind of games have you tried to make or tried to learn how to make? What problems did you run into? What has stumped you about programming in the past?

We need information before we can help you, we aren't mind readers.

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Very few things in life are impossible... As far as coding goes , just start small , work slow ( need be ) and above all , be persistent. Set realistic goals for yourself given your experience and background. And you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

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Original post by CordFly
So, I get discouraged, and move on to new hobbies.
There's your problem, you have to stick at it if you want to get anywhere. Anyone can learn to program. Some people will have more difficulty than others. Noone will pick it up without at some point facing difficulties and sticking with it rather than giving up.


Quote:
My dream- since childhood, is to become a computer programmer, and more specifically, programmer of video games.
Is your dream to be a programmer who creates videogames, or to create videogames? Depending on the games you wish to create you may be able to do so without programming, or with a simple scripting environment or language rather than fully learning to program. Software packages such as Game Maker, INFORM, 3d Game Studio and many others can allow you to create games using point&click interfaces or scripting rather than having to do all the programming yourself. Even packages such as these require you to stick with them if you want to learn to use them to their full capabilities however.



If you do really want to learn programming you're just going to have to stick with it. Practice as much as you can, read over all the learning materials you have available, and continue trying to build on your knowledge.

Hope that helps. [smile]

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Original post by Possumdude0
First tell us a few things. How did you try to learn programming? What kind of games have you tried to make or tried to learn how to make? What problems did you run into? What has stumped you about programming in the past?

We need information before we can help you, we aren't mind readers.



Sorry for not being more specific, but here's the details:

I tried learning through tutorials and books. I've tried going head-on and writing my own programs. I tried to make an adventure game. Problems I ran into: Couldn't design it. So I tried to code it, without pseudo code, and got stuck and lost and eventually gave up. I don't even know how to design.

What has stumped me about programming in past: How do things work behind the code itself? How to make code readable and reusable? And everything related to graphical programming is a complete mystery to me.

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everything related to graphical programming is a complete mystery to me.


If you use C or C++ I'd suggest checking out the Allegro library. It's easy to learn and has functions that make 2D graphics a breeze.

Quote:
Problems I ran into: Couldn't design it. So I tried to code it, without pseudo code, and got stuck and lost and eventually gave up. I don't even know how to design.


Sounds like a major problem you're having is with design. Try looking up some information on that.

Quote:
I tried to make an adventure game.


Start simpler. Make a basic Tetris or Breakout style game. Work your way up to the more complex games.

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If you don't manage to grasp C++, try C# for a while.
Once you get a hang of it, check out XNA and do something small and funny like a Pong-clone. Don't bother polishing it, just get the basics of it up and running.

Then you can move on back to C++ and check out the Game Creator's DarkGDK, a complete game development kit, including a DirectX 9.0c wrapper.
Rewrite your Pong-clone and move on to a Breakout-clone, before you do something like Space invanders.

The best part of XNA and DarkGDK is that it's completely free and aimed at beginners.

Send me a PM and I'll help you out.

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Try taking a software engineering course at your local Community college (if they offer it, my local one does.)

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Original post by neonic
Try taking a software engineering course at your local Community college (if they offer it, my local one does.)


I definitely recommend this too. They're cheap, you can withdraw very late in the period if you hate the course, the books are usually inexpensive, and the classes are small. This is really a HUGE benefit, especially for classes where they teach you basic concepts like software design. You get a ton of one-on-one time and small group projects, and it's just a lot more focused than a huge lecture course from what I've found.

Right now I'm taking a software design and development course at my local college in addition to my regular university courses.. and I actually look forward to my design course every week. There are 6 people in the course and so we feel very comfortable asking questions and going over other topics that relate to our work. It's a great team environment, really, especially when compared to similar university courses with 50+ students per class with one professor and one very nervous TA.

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I agree with the last two posts as well. Taking a class is much easier. I've found Java to be easier to learn than C++, mostly because I'm in a Java class and I had to teach myself C++.

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