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# Where should I be?

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I know this isn't something that has a definitive answer, but I was just curious on where my skills should be at by now. I first started programming in C++ 2 years ago, since then I have messed around with C#, then checked out XNA. Then I tried out some DirectX programming in C++, through the whole time I still been using C++ for some projects even when I was checking out C# and XNA. I know I should just stick with one, but I was curious about the others as I heard more about them. So basically, 2 years of programming, where should be I be skills? What were you doing about 2 years in for you?

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There is honestly no real way to respond to your question, because it is drastically different for everyone.

I myself have been using C++ for about 3 years now and even though I have a pretty good grasp of C++, I have yet to release anything huge. As of right now, I just program for pleasure.

I wouldnt say its a bad thing to familiarize youself with multiple languages. I use C# every once in a while for projects where its appropriate and speeds up development time.

Ive seen people pick up languages like its nothing, and ive seen others struggle for years and still not have a grasp of the language what so ever.

But I come back to the start again, there really is no way to answer your question.

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You should be black belt 1st dan by now, and break about 5 bricks with a single while :)
Sorry that's not a definite answer at all, but how do you evaluate skill ...
Maybe you could try to program something known to be very hard, and describe your difficulties. Then you could ask whether you are supposed to meet such difficulties after 2 years (but it would be more constructive to try to solve those difficulties!).

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Quote:
 I know this isn't something that has a definitive answer

Yes, this is very true.
Quote:
 but I was just curious on where my skills should be at by now.

This does not have a definitive answer. It depends. The answer depends on yr background. Are you 16 and started to learn to program because you have an unquenchable curiosity? Are you 18 and starting yr freshman year at a university in a comp sci program? Are you 30 and wanting to program games as a creative output? And so on and so on...
Quote:
 I first started programming in C++ 2 years ago, since then I have messed around with C#, then checked out XNA. Then I tried out some DirectX programming in C++, through the whole time I still been using C++ for some projects even when I was checking out C# and XNA. I know I should just stick with one, but I was curious about the others as I heard more about them.

So you have been jumping around. You might feel like you're spinning yr wheels. But, that is not the whole truth; you have been learning and expanding yr programming outlook.
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 I know I should just stick with one

This statement should be examined more closely. You need to examine yr finished products. Are you finishing things? Production is very important. You can say I made all this....
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 So basically, 2 years of programming, where should be I be skills?

Are you talking about 2 years of games programming after you had a working knowledge of programming or are you speaking of 2 years of learning to program and make games simultaneously. I think there is a distinct difference there.

But as a general answer, in two years you, working alone, could have made a a few simple games; maybe working on a more complex work, making progress everyday. It depends on how much effort and time you allocate for this activity.

I wouldn't worry so much about how you compare to others, but rather how much you're improving and what you're producing. Yr post reads as though you had certain expectations and goals from the outset, yet you are failing to meet them. Care to enlighten us on what these goals are? Maybe you need to define them more thoroughly or tailor them to be easier to accomplish with yr current skill set.

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Well I have managed to make a few simple games, I have made pong with XNA 2.0 with more then basic 2d graphics (like real looking paddles, and a ping pong ball with my logo on it, which that actually changed anyways). I made a basic pong game with DirectX and then I made a space shooter game with only the main stage of enemies coming down and then moving onto a boss stage also used game states to control the different screens. When I usually start something that is in my grasp I complete, I took a few months off from programming to clear my thoughts and I am ready to get back into it. I am starting off with a primer again something to refresh my basic concepts and so far I am breezing right through it. My main program learning started with the main focus of making games so it has mainly be learning the basics and then using that to make games. For the age question im 26 so I got a late start on it that is for sure, but I am going to school for computer programming hence the 2 years so far.

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If it helps, I can tell you my own story.

For me, my objective is Continuous Progress.
"Every game I finish must be better than the one before."

As long as that is true, I am happy. And so far, it is true. I started with 4e5 contest entry (18th place), then 4e6 contest entry (2nd place) and now a complex 2D turn-based strategy game. Then, maybe, Ill try an RTS :D
What was the most difficult thing to learn was to persist. After two weeks of instensive programming of a game, I play what I have done until done, say "This is crap; No gamer would ever bother himself with this for more than 2 minutes" and want to quit. But I dont give up and continue.

---
I started programming 8 years old, cca, with a game authoring tool called Petr (gemtree.com)
9 years old, I still didnt have any real success. My best accomplishment was an avater controlled by arrow keys.
10 years old, the avatar was able to open doors and activate switches.
12 years old, I tried to use some "real" languages like PHP, Java, C.
14 years old, I made a game (using Petr) for GameDev.nets contest in one month.
15 years old, I made a game (using Petr) for another GameDev.nets contest in six months.

and now, I keep getting better.
But my story will be drastically different, our age difference is too big.
---

And if you made a DirectX space shooter game like the one you described in C++, I think youre doing quite well. And especially well, if its true that "If you begin something thats in your grasp, you complete."

Good luck in learning to program.

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My objective is to become better and good enough to ever get a real job doing gaming or in the career path at least. I have checked out internships in my area, but I don't think I am really at the level I think I should be so far. I have read the requirements to get a gaming job and 3 years of experience at least as well as sending in work to show your skills. So far what is true is I do complete what I start if it is in my grasp if I find that there is a lot I end up not knowing I go back to it later. I guess my next big adventure here is maybe to create that 2D space shooter in DirectX but with a complete menu system, way to keep score, more levels and my own art work instead of borrowed stuff. I might have to outsource the art though since my programmers art isn't so great... haha anyways thanks for all the input you really made me feel like I am where I should be right now. In the next year I guess ill have to make more goals for myself maybe turning that 2D space shooter into a 3D space shooter, that would probably be my ultimate goal. Writing efficient code is what is most important to me though.

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Quote:
 Original post by wicked357I know I should just stick with one, but I was curious about the others as I heard more about them.

There are advantages to the multiple-language approach as well. Once you understand the basic idea of how writing a program works, the benefits of sticking with a single syntax start to fade away, and you start to realize the benefits of exposing yourself to multiple ways to solve a problem.

Quote:
 So basically, 2 years of programming, where should be I be skills?

A fifth of the way there. ;)

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Zahlman,
I read that link, it was very interesting, thanks for posting it.
One of the points brought up is to "Read other programs", and this is one thing I haven't done, how would I go about finding programs (or games) that I can read?

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