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jacko629

New to programming

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Im thinking about going to college in majoring in computer science in hopes of maybe becomming a game programmer some day. with no prior programming exsperience at all, is this a realistic choice? what can i do to prepare my self for this major.

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Depending on the school, intro-level programming courses assume no prior experience. I started at a community college (transferring to a larger school after the initial work is out of the way) and the first class required, which is a pre-req for all their other CS courses, is a course on logic and program design, taught entirely in pseudo-code.

As far as prep work, how strong are your math skills? Have you ever looked at code before, at all? You might want to take some initiative in that regard and try checking out the library or bookstore to see if there's a language that interests you.

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Im pretty good in math. im taking calc now. i just bought some C++ programing books and i am just starting to look at them now. but some ppl have said that c++ isnt the best language to start on.

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C++ has more things that will trip up a beginner (syntax issues, vague error messages, undefined behavior, etc) but the question "which language should I start with" gets asked a lot, and the ultimate answer is "pick a language, any language, so long as you start." I started with C++, and can certainly appreciate the smoother workings of C# when looking back at everything that's tripped me up so far, but you ultimately get to the same place.

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As a current CS student, I figured I'd drop a line in on this one.

A lot of kids in my major had never programmed before they came to college. If you've never programmed, don't worry, you'll get a thorough introduction when you go to college.

However, if you have some experience, it will make those first few classes a lot easier, since it will be review.

If you're serious about CS, I'd recommend learning either Java or C++ because most classes use one of those. Java is a little bit easier, so I'd recommend that if you've never programmed before.

If you choose Java, you will need to fill in some gaps, such as pointers, bitwise operations, and a few other things, but Java will get you where you need to be without being too confusing.

However, some classes will say, you're going to use language X for me in this class. Here's a 20 page introduction, now go write me something... So don't be too concerned too much about a specific language, because you'll get all the tools you need to succeed.

Just my two cents.

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As said above, CS is pretty much targeted at people who have never programmed before. Of course, it's something you'll have to learn sooner or later, and if you've played around with programming previously some of it might come easier, but don't think you have to be a programmer *already* to study CS.

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school doesn't just give you the skills you need to do the job you want... you have to learn it of your own volition, whether there are teachers mandating your demonstration of the ability or simply your own resolve. so why not just start learning a language now and see if you like it?

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Quote:
Original post by Shakedown
If you do take CIS courses in college, they will most likely be taught using Java.


That's actually an interesting point: My core CS courses (i.e. Comp Sci 1 and Comp Sci 2) at the college I'm currently at are taught in C++, but when I transfer to the larger school, their Comp Sci 3 course is being taught in Java.

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Quote:
Original post by BCullis
Quote:
Original post by Shakedown
If you do take CIS courses in college, they will most likely be taught using Java.


That's actually an interesting point: My core CS courses (i.e. Comp Sci 1 and Comp Sci 2) at the college I'm currently at are taught in C++, but when I transfer to the larger school, their Comp Sci 3 course is being taught in Java.


That is interesting. Back when I went to college, all the normal courses were in C++. Then there were the assembly classes, and programming languages, which was in Scheme. I never had to take a java course.
When I started work, they paid for me to take a couple Java courses, yet I never need it for me job.
Instead I use perl, python, php, and any other flavor of the week. The language is never a big deal, but adjusting to everyone elses writing styles (formatting, naming conventions, how they loop and their choice of algorithms) takes more work.

jacko629: It isn't unrealistic to start college with no programming experience with a future goal of becoming a game programmer. On the other hand, you should pick up a language (please not php, it is awful) and give it a try.
Once you get past the syntax and learning the keywords and all the basics and can write a few basic applications, then maybe you will know whether it is enjoyable enough to make a career out of it.

Personally I won't make a career of game programming because I'd have to specialize in one part of the game and once I do that, it just isn't fun for me. [smile] It is a great hobby though.

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