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tom_mai78101

Do you need a computer certificate or some proof to be a computer game programmer/designer?

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I have been asked by someone recently a question about programming in a hurry during class breaks. He asked if he needed a certificate of some sort for him to be able to program games or not.

Haven't thought about this prior to this moment, I wasn't even sure how to explain to him about this, so I told him, "You can start programming games anytime you wanted."

I regret telling him that I don't know the actual answer to his question, as I might have pave him a different path right about now as he went back to his hometown.

Do you suppose you need to take a programming test to prove yourself that you're capable of programming? Do you also need to take a test on game programming and designs? What else do I need to do?

Thanks in advance.

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There is no such thing as a 'programming test', unless we're talking about a specific company performing an interview/test to see if you carry a particular set of skills, so no - you don't need one because you can't actually get one. What you need is a CS, SE or other degree in computer science, mathematics or software engineering - but all that does is set the minimum bar for what you know. Degrees get your foot inside the door, after that it's all up to the interview, programming test and whatever projects and tidbits of interest is in your CV.

If, however, your question is more along the lines of 'is it legal to program without a certificate?' then the answer is YES. This is not like a doctor's license, you can program applications and software without needing any form of test done or passing some bizarre 'regulations'.

Hope that helps clear it up a bit.

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I have been asked by someone recently a question about programming in a hurry during class breaks. He asked if he needed a certificate of some sort for him to be able to program games or not.

Haven't thought about this prior to this moment, I wasn't even sure how to explain to him about this, so I told him, "You can start programming games anytime you wanted."

I regret telling him that I don't know the actual answer to his question, as I might have pave him a different path right about now as he went back to his hometown.

Do you suppose you need to take a programming test to prove yourself that you're capable of programming? Do you also need to take a test on game programming and designs? What else do I need to do?

Thanks in advance.


You only need to prove yourself if you intend to be hired by someone else and the requirements they put on you is up to them.
Having a CS or similar degree is the easiest way to do this as it tells the employer that you know the basics, If you don't have a degree you need something else to put at the top of your CV, Having shipped one or more profitable well known indie games can be a good thing to put up there, as can significant contributions to high profile FOSS projects.

As an independant developer all you need to make games is a computer and lots of time to spend, Being able to live off your work takes hard work, some skill and a bit of luck (Being your own boss has its advantages but in general the working hours are awful and the pay tends to be inconsistent)

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Having a programming-related university/college degree will make it much easier to get interviews at games companies. Besides that, it's not necessary.

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be good and competitive and you'd do fine in corporate environment.

I suck at that.

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1. He asked if he needed a certificate of some sort for him to be able to program games or not.
2. I told him, "You can start programming games anytime you wanted."
3. Do you suppose you need to take a programming test to prove yourself that you're capable of programming?
4. Do you also need to take a test on game ... designs?
5. What else do I need to do?

1. For a programming candidate who does not have game industry experience or portfolio, a degree is necessary on the resume. Someone who has game industry experience and a portfolio does not have to have a degree on the resume.
2. You told him right.
3. An employer often gives a programming test to job applicants. This test is given by the company, not by any certifying organization.
4. There is no game design test.
5. That depends on what you want to accomplish, and what you have already done towards your goal.

BTW, I moved this thread to Breaking In.

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Some companies look for self taught first. Having worked on open source projects or having a game you can demo is required for this though, then a test.

Seen several studies that showed college/university graduates tend to make the same as high school graduates but are saddled with that lovely debt in most cases. All the companies I worked for didn't pay based on education level but on ability. College is good for making corporate drones though ;-) Yes, I'm biased, I am self taught.

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