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Is it to late?

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Hi!

I always wanted to be a game programmer so I started a computer degree in university
I couldn't continue because of personal issues so I moved to a vocational training (I'm not sure how it is said in English, I mean Formacion Profesional or Ciclo Superior) about computer systems and network. I finished it this year, actually, I'm in Italy as Erasmus, working in a company as an assistant of computing

But I realised that it doesn't have anything to do with what I want to be
I'm 22 years old and I decided to reenter university next course.

Is it too late to start learning game programming and then enter the industry??

I have read some posts here saying people start learning programming languages at age of 10 or less, I feel too old to start now



I discovered this website some years ago, but I didn't signed since yesterday
Today I saw an old topic about C++ programming (that's the language I want to learn) and I am going to buy the book to start the course

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You're 22 years old, the only thing you're too old to do is to join a junior sports team. biggrin.png

Me, I'm 30 years old and even that's not too late, but I obviously got a TON more stuff breathing down my nexk because by the time I reach 35-40, I'll get thrown in the garbage bin in favor of youngsters like yourself, because they're being employed on potential as well. The competition in the industry is damn tough. But again, you're 22 years old. Just start now, and it's not going to be too late.

Plus, a computers degree means you'll land solid jobs outside of game design too. Go get'em, gurrl! wink.png

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Not even close to too late, I am 35 and still working on getting into the industry (working as a software engineer in the day). Age is irrelevent, talent is everything. As long as you have the drive to push yourself forward and the the talent to offer you will be fine. Start now, and don't stop!

....and DrMadolite....35 is not too old thanks lol.

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it's not late, but do not expect to learn programming by going to university. Programming is something you learn alone, at school you learn a lot of useful stuff but raw coding skill comes only with pratice.
So you want to be a game dev? Start programming a game, tonight.

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Age is irrelevent, talent is everything.[/quote]

Age plays a crucial factor for the following reasons.

Entry-level jobs don't pay well, so unless you transition into a position, you'll be fighting with recent grads with no salary expectations and all the time in the world.
Alternatively, you do internships/apprenticeships and transition into job from there.

The question you need to ask yourself here is: In X years, after you graduate, can you afford the chance to start at the very bottom of the foodchain. Consider that your competition will have 4+ years of demos and examples to show that they were building during spare time.

Second very important question is: How is the industry near you? Do you live in a place where you can even get hired? What about relocation abroad?

Here the first problem comes into play. Assuming you find your local options limited, but to move abroad you'll need several years of experience. Moving at 30+ is much harder than at 22.

Regarding quality of local employment, there's a simple way to verify your prospects. Look at local companies, look at their hiring requirements, look at their age demographics for individual positions as well as turnaround rates. it should give you a good indication of your prospects.

Next you'll need to examine your prospects at those companies. Career is 30+ years, how will you handle that.

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....and DrMadolite....35 is not too old thanks lol.


tongue.png Nah, I'm just saying that there exists the phenomenon of people hiring younger people on potential, whereas 35+ or maybe 40+ need to stay more updated on things. It's just something I heard from a guy working in the industry, but maybe it's specific to certain types of jobs though, unless it was just him QQ'ing because he got laid off, I'm not sure.

It does make sense though, because I know for a fact that it happens in most other industries, and game development is arguably the biggest entertainment industry out there save for the sex industry.

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Thanks a lot for the answers

I started to read some programming books and I know basic programming, but not how to orientate it to game programming.
Wright know I'm learning Python, I think it's really easy, I started last friday because the company where I work (practice Erasmus) asked me to learn to do some stuf, but the thing is what I said earlier, I don't know how to use it to develop games...

And I know that by going to university I won't learn how to program, but it will serve to become familiar with the world and the industry and meet people like me(?), because what I am doing wright now is security, network and database, nothing to do with programming

I feel more encouraged to continue learning what I always wanted and not to give up
Thanks everybody

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I only know UPV (Universidad del Pais Vasco) public university
There are 4 different degrees and then you specify in a branch, like AI, robotics...
But there aren't too many people entering there and they are thinking of taking some of the degrees out

I know there are also some private universities offering courses, but where I live there isn't anything related to programming, only designing... and the one in Bilbao (digipen) is too expensive for me


I'm not sure if that's what you were asking

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The reply by Antheus is the only one that focuses on the real issues here.
Everyone else, including the original topic poster, seems to be focusing on the, “Is my learning ability still up to the task,” side of things.
Answering from that side of things, yes I would agree with what has been posted.

But the hard facts of life are as pointed out by Antheus. Imagine graduating at 26 and all you have open to you is to compete with fresh-graduates (who are 24 or 23) who are willing to accept any wage offered. That means you too must accept any wage offered and from my experience that is not going to be a reasonable wage for a 26-year-old.
A 25-year-old and I joined on the same day at my current company, but he decided to go through 4 years of University while I decided to simply drop out of high school, get a GED at a simple 2-year collage, and start on actual work experience right away (which was overseas by the way, from the start (meaning I have never worked in my home country (America), so although it is not common it certainly is possible to get an entry-level position in a foreign country, if you speak English, and you do)). The result is that my department requires actual work experience on 2 shipped products, and so he is technically in my department but temporarily assigned to a different department until he ships 2 games from that department. Until which his salary is basically half of mine.

The considerations on how well you learn now as apposed to how well you learned as a child are really not for us to answer. We have no idea whether you spent your younger days learning specific things, or learning how to learn (which would be the best way to go, and remove all of your doubts as to whether or not it is too late for you to do anything, regardless of the subject).

In fact I think you might have asked the wrong question but subconsciously you were asking the question answered by Antheus, because you probably know for yourself how well you can learn things.

And with his reply being the most meritable, things might seem grim for you. But I would like to offer some more uplifting words of advice that are based off my own life.


In my case I am quite happy making video games, so that part is a bit different from your case (in which you are not so happy in your current line of work), however despite this I am pursuing other careers on the side, just as you are.
#1: I play classical piano and 2 of my recordings were used in a movie. I would not mind switching to such a career if an opportunity presented itself.
#2: I am not famous, but I appear on Japanese TV often. I would love to switch to full-time acting if I were to become popular enough to do so.

Basically, I am older than you but I am not questioning if I am too old to get into a different career. And the reason is simple: Even if I fail I already have a career.

I practiced piano and acting all on spare time while doing a full-time job. My advice is to absolutely forget going to school and use your spare time to enhance your skills. Keep your job as a means of guaranteeing that you still have something should you fail at another goal. I am not worried if I never release a CD or become a famous person in Japan, because I already have a job making games on which to fall back.
As long as you have your current job, pursue what you like in your spare time, and hopefully with passion (I have no musical talent and I can’t compare to someone like Ronald Jankees, but my passion at piano has allowed me to go farther than I ever thought I was capable of going) you will be able to get what you seek.

But again, by the realistic factors pointed out by Antheus you should aim for sooner rather than later, which is specifically why I suggest no schooling this time around.


L. Spiro

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