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Benjamin GD

Starting a Business vs College?

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Okay, now it's been on my mind for a while, should I start a software business from scratch, or go to college first?

Now before you say that this "starting a business" idea is crazy, consider this:

The problem with college for me is that, well, let me put it this way; it's designed for CPU like minds (people with precise, orderly thoughts based on throughput logic). I have a GPU like mind (officially called Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), which allows me to churn through ideas over and over, and to do tedious tasks which require many iterations (I naturally love to program complicated systems), but I am getting Fs right now at my high-school because my mind has trouble with doing the "CPU-mind" assignments, so I doubt going to college would work for me.

This has been an issue between my parents and I for quite some time. I don't think they understand how severe my OCD is.

Now consider the replies I have posted in this topic for myself. What do you think? Am I delusional?

Original post:
It's annoying how most colleges try to teach you all of that bogus IT stuff with the poor languages such as Java and .etc

I live in Utah (a state of the US), and I'm looking for a nearby college that goes heavy on Computer Science, not that yuck stuff that people try to claim as real computer science (IT industry).

There is this good one, http://www.neumont.edu/programs.html

However I know it costs tons of money! My brother went there and now he's going to be paying back the loans he took for quite a while. So what would be a better option?

[Edited by - Benjamin GD on November 10, 2010 10:38:08 AM]

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Why does education cost a ton of money? Because it's worth it.

Probably the closest top flight schools are Stanford and some of the University of California campuses. I imagine there's others closer that provide the more academic focus you're looking for, but I'm not personally familiar with that part of the nation.

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For one Java isn't a poor language, actually one of the absolute best places to go for Computer Science, Carnegie Melon, does start with Java. The big reason that schools do start with Java is because it doesn't have as much overhead thought in the beginning. Java has nice garbage collection so you don't have to worry about deleting items, you can worry about what you are coding.

Plenty of schools start with Java then move on to other languages, since once you know Java (a C style syntax language) you can easily learn C++ and C. Then moving down to assembly.

edit: Yes college does cost a lot, but there are tons of grants, scholarships and the likes. If the school you are looking at is involved with STEM, they give out rather large scholarships. I know at the school I attend its around 4k a year.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Why does education cost a ton of money? Because it's worth it.


I'd like to disagree. Imho, it is more like:

Because they want it for reasons they know (research, greed, whatever) and in their opinion don't get enough from the state (do they get any in the US?).

Anyways, it is like it is, don't wanna start a dispute on that one ;)


To the OP: If you have some really original ideas, some conferences also accept papers from non-univ people. Though you should build up massive knowledge before ever submitting something, read hundreds of papers, and all.

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Okay, well I certainly know that my brother is poor as dirt now that he went through that college, but at least he has a job. I hear he's very good at programming. Its come to my ear that he is the fastest, smartest, and most productive person at his work. But that's just a rumor from my parents. *licks lips*

So even though he's doing well with his job, I don't think he'll be able to support anybody except for himself (no wife or kids) because his student-loans are very big.

This is what my backup plan has always been, and because I really have my doubts in education at the moment, I've been executing it:

If I don't go to college...
I will start a software-development business.
1) Make a game engine and keep building it up.
2) Find some people who can make the assets for my games for cheap (or even free).
3) Finish a game. See how well its doing and improve it. etc (go through polishing)
4) Improve my game engine and start work on a professional and commercial quality game.
5) Finish the game, try to market it and if I succeed, the rest is history (or is it?)
6) Go for making more software and games .etc keep trying to make money.

I've made game prototypes in Game Maker since I was 8. I understand how to bring the player to an immersive state with game-mechanics, graphics, audio and so forth. I'm confident that I can make a good game! I am good at problem solving and my games should work flawlessly. No bugging flaws. I've played some games made with Unity that had all kinds of problems, and I thought "This person expects to become good enough to sell for money?" But I ensure quality. So again, I'm confident.

Anyway, these are the things I know that a business man should know:
1. Never cheat your client/customer.
2. Always take decisions smooth and slow. It's common for people who decide to take immature-initiative to fail before their goal.
3. Don't fill your plans with hot air... thinking that everything you're going to get done will be "super awesomely mega epic" and nothing will go wrong.

[Edited by - Benjamin GD on November 20, 2010 4:36:57 PM]

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I'd say if you want to start your own company a degree is a must. Not only will it teach you some things that you'd not figure out on your own (basically because its coming at the same problem from a different angle). You will have time to work at games, and the thing is a lot of programming jobs are nothing more than code monkeys so they get paid rather little compared to other programming jobs. The area I live in the closest city is Erie, Pa, the average starting salary there for a programmer is around 35k a year, so no more than a school teacher in this area, if I drive 2 hours south to Pittsburgh its around 55k+, it also has some offices for larger companies (one being google).

A lot of it is area, and I'll be coming out with around 30k to repay, realistically speaking at 55k+ a year starting out, I could easily pay back all my loans and live (considering I was raised in a family that was used to 15-18k a year to support 5 people). It all comes down to the area you want to find a job in and if you are willing to relocate.

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Quote:

It's annoying how most colleges try to teach you all of that bogus IT stuff with the poor languages such as Java and .etc

I live in Utah (a state of the US), and I'm looking for a nearby college that goes heavy on Computer Science, not that yuck stuff that people try to claim as real computer science (IT industry).

All this does is demonstrate that you have a very, very long way to go before you are minimally competent enough to do something like start your own business (remember, most people who graduate college are minimally competent at best in their field).

You are laboring under the delusion that afflicts most people who want to pursue a technical career that involves programming or software development, this foolhardy assumption that you already know enough to be useful. But your ideas are off-base -- Java is a fine and useful language (objectively), and there are some areas where the IT and CS discipline overlap a bit, for example. There are even more areas where CS overlaps with mathematics and where general education will be useful -- will you spurn those, too? As somebody who has graduated many years ago and has been working in the industry for many years now, I can tell you you'd be demonstrating precisely the characteristics of the people that don't get hired.

Computer science very often turns out to be very different from what most people think. It isn't about programming -- that's incidental, it's a tool used to convey the more fundamental ideas.

If you don't learn to accept the idea that you might be wrong, that you might not already know everything, then you shouldn't go to college because you'll waste your time and money.

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Yes, understanding how to use a programming language is not difficult. But understanding how to apply it with mastery is something I love to get better at.

I know a lot of 3D-space mathematics required to make a game, and if I need help with the math I can just ask a friend (perhaps someone from these forums?).

As I said, I've prototyped and have practiced a lot; I've even made a prototype game-engine which is comparable to Quake (but without all of the neat tools). I mean, after I wrap the API I choose and prepare it for more rapid development, I can build games very fast!

I've built VERY COMPREHENSIVE systems. Inventory-interface systems (similar to World of Warcraft), menu systems (which parse CSS/HTML like markup into interface for the menu), and now I'm working on my latest; an AI system.

I still have confidence. Just say I'm wrong, and I'll debate for justification.

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Quote:

I know a lot of 3D-space mathematics required to make a game, and if I need help with the math I can just ask a friend (perhaps someone from these forums?).

You can ask for help, but unless you learn the fundamentals you will always be limited to the aid that others are willing to provide you -- and at the mercy of the quality of that aid, without necessarily being able to determine if it's accurate or good.

Quote:

Just say I'm wrong

Wrong about what? I already told you want I thought you were wrong about. All this posturing about the "complex systems" you claim to have built (which are, incidentally, content-free statements until you actually show somebody those systems and explain them and is also a different beast entirely from working with complex systems built by others, as you would in a real production environment) is entirely irrelevant to what I told you you were doing wrong. This is a different discussion.

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I changed the topic. Reread the top post. But anyway, give me examples of what college would teach me that I don't know. What, trigonometry, quaternions, vectors, matrices? I believe I understand those well enough. But maybe your right, I think there's many times when I have to research more math before I can get straight to work. But can't I just use the internet? That's what the internet is for.

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