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Could I make it as an algorithm programmer? Would you hire me?

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I don't have a degree, I don't have work experience, and I don't have much knowledge.

What I have is a pretty exceptional problem solving ability. I don't have a portfolio, but I will work on it. I believe I could do well in the gaming industry, or any IT stuff that requires algorithm programming/design. Does this kind of work even exist? I'm a mechanical engineer at the moment (pretty talented in it), but I'm thinking about other possibilities too. So I'm just curious.

Would anyone of you guys consider hiring me, could I be one of the few who could get a job in the industry without a degree?

You can check my signature for some stuff, maybe some of you remember my posting history.

Just wondering, I'll take a look at the FAQ:s too, of course.


Thanks for any feedback!

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I believe I could do well in the gaming industry, or any IT stuff that requires algorithm programming/design. Does this kind of work even exist?


Not really. There's not really such a thing as an "algorithm programmer" that is one who just spends all of their time considering and directing others to implement algorithms. Obviously this is something that all engineers do and which certainly senior engineers do more of. However it is always accompanied by "writing code" and "implementing features" or at least a storied professional career that has merited you a position as "chief architect" or whatever that has earned you the role of someone who spends more time planning and directing than actually coding.

Your hire-ability depends on your experience and education and the extent to which you can demonstrate them: either through a resume of finished work with other companies or a well polished portfolio. Simply stating you have ability isn't enough to get an interview. You need to be able to demonstrate it and you need to demonstrate concrete skills: can you program, if so what languages and to what level of competence. Can you pass a programming test, do you know the inner workings of your language, etc.

But you definitely can't get a job in any kind of software engineering role if you don't know how to code and can't pass a programming test. Luckily, it's trivially easy to: [a] get a degree teach yourself how to do things in this era of the internets. Community college is also basically free, and loans are pretty easy to get. The process just takes time.

Definitely not having a college degree at all these days presents you with a harder path then having one.

-me

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I'm 25, and being stupid (i.e. not going to study again). I'm working as a machine designer/constructor, I'm just wondering. I can code to some extent of course (after all, I coded the stuff and implemented everything in C that you can see in my sig ).

And I wonder if my skills (maybe those you can see on the forums some way) can get me something if I bypass the résumé stuff (by knowing someone in a company that gets me in an interview directly).

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I'm 25, and being stupid (i.e. not going to study again). I'm working as a machine designer/constructor, I'm just wondering. I can code to some extent of course (after all, I coded the stuff and implemented everything in C that you can see in my sig ).

And I wonder if my skills (maybe those you can see on the forums some way) can get me something if I bypass the résumé stuff (by knowing someone in a company that gets me in an interview directly).


Yeah. I definitely know you on the forums and, I think, have a fairly high opinion of you (I'm bad with proper nouns but not a lot of names are super familliar to me). But without at least a kickass portfolio you definitely aren't going to get anywhere even with a good internal reference. A degree, whether it's justified or not, "proves" to people on some level that you have some skills. Without a degree you need to provide your own proof. These days it's just a log tougher to get over the "I don't have a degree" hurdle. It's definitely a very hard uphill battle especially in this economy where people with 5+ years of industry experience are having a hard time finding work.

If you're dead set against getting a degree (something which I personally think is crazee) you better have a mind-blowing portfolio and either some published indy games or a ridiculously awesome tech demo: at the level of procedural grammar city building, real-time deformable terrain on a large scale. Like make the next Minecraft and I promise you'll get a job... :)

-me

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And do you think "finishing" the paper modeller program would be enough (for um... something)?

Well, it's really just wondering about things, maybe I'll be a carpenter instead (which has to wait). But (at least now) I really feel that i don't want to be a tech student again any time soon (5 years was enough)...

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And do you think "finishing" the paper modeller program would be enough (for um... something)?


Finishing it is definitely infinitely better than not finishing it. Specifically, I'd focus on polishing whatever features you do better than other modelling programs and/or what features are unique to your tool, if there are any. Whether or not it's good enough has to do with the specific position to which you are applying and what the other applicants look like. There's definitely no guarantees ever :)


I think a good and realistic way to look at getting a job is that it's not about whether or not you are strictly qualified. It is a competition between you and the other applicants. You can't just be good enough for the job, you have to be the best of all the people applying for the position.

-me

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I don't have a degree, I don't have work experience, and I don't have much knowledge.
...
[color="#1C2837"]Would anyone of you guys consider hiring me, could I be one of the few who could get a job in the industry without a degree?

The job market is tight right now.

Your application is just one in a rather tall stack of applications. Most applicants have a full bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Many in the stack have work experience. Many in the stack can strongly demonstrate that they have knowledge.


The ones who get a job without a degree usually have other items to show. They generally have a very strong portfolio and also know key people, and use them both as evidence that they can do the job well.

What evidence do you have that you can do the job well? Contrast it with the evidence other candidates are presenting.


You will need to do something to show an employer that you are the most valuable candidate.

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I know well that my application would be thrown out in the first place. I know about the degree stuff, I already have a profession and have a good job, I'm just considering other possibilities. One reason is that I want to move to a country that is much more an IT country than an engineering country.

"They generally have a very strong portfolio and also know key people"

I'm talking about this. I will make a portfolio, I have finished and polished projects (games), the paper modeler is going well, by march 2012, I will have stuff to show. (just an example: would "Sculptris" get a job for the guy developing it? I believe I can make the paper modeler like that in quality and usability, although the number of the target users would be much less)
And based on the forums and experiences in my own profession about the quality of the "professionals", I know that I'm better than most of them, even without the degree... I guess you know what I'm talking about when I say "quality", there has been lots of discussions about that.

Does knowing you guys from the forum count? (I know other persons too in the industry of my target country).

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1. Does knowing you guys from the forum count?
2. (I know other persons too in the industry of my target country).

1. Count for what? Probably not.
2. How do you plan to make use of this "knowing"?

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Does knowing you guys from the forum count? (I know other persons too in the industry of my target country).


The only game jobs where simply "knowing people" can land you a job are QA and IT.

You will not become a programmer unless you have solid evidence that you can program games. That evidence comes in the form of college degrees, certificates, work experience, and completed games.

"Knowing people" can put your job application in the short stack rather than the tall stack, but you still must be the best fit among all the applicants.

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