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Troy Walker

i made a critical error, life has no try catch?

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so, here i am about two months into my career re-development and i think i may have been focusing to much on what appears to be a dieing (or already dead) technology effort...

I have been so focused on learning C# and Visual Studio, even going to the windows 8 dev camp to try to get a "leg up" on things (i skipped the hackers day, cause well.. i honestly couldn't code something near useful). I finished reading a complete reference on C#, put in dozens of hours of training videos, and read the "XNA game studio 4.0" book published by Tom Miller and Dean Johnson (foreward by Shawn Hargreaves).. eventhough the information contained within I could not possible apply in any practicle sense, i actually understood the concepts presented... I felt pretty confident that I had planned and was executing the right steps.

But, after connecting the dots related to the lack of information (apparently for sometime now) to DirectX, C#, XNA, and Windows 8... my heart sank as the light went off in my head.

"There is none, and there will not be any."

I even asked a question about this at the dev camp... with no real response other than "keep an eye on the blogs". (not sure now if that was a hopeful directive or kind redirection)

I completely have failed to understand the history and state of all things XNA.

I am about 5 or 6 years behind the curve on this one? talk about a slow learner huh?

I feel stupid.

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my first post sorry, i suppose this should have been posted in the beginners area.


ya, you're right.. the knowledge can translate. I guess this is a good lesson.

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my first post sorry, i suppose this should have been posted in the beginners area.


ya, you're right.. the knowledge can translate. I guess this is a good lesson.

Everyone has worries that they might be backing the wrong horse when starting out learning programming. Hell, I remember being a teenager in the mid 90's fretting about whether C++ would be obsolete in the near future thus my investment in learning would be a total waste of time. Well, even if C++ had become completely obsolete, the skills are still translatable but of course I couldn't see this as I lacked the knowledge and experience to know this at the time. Just soldier on if you're enjoying it. Short of a post-apocalyptic reboot of society, your skills will be translatable.

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[source lang="csharp"]try {
LearnC#();
LearnXNA();
} catch (XNAIsOutdatedException) {
SpendSomeTimeLovingUnity3D();
}[/source]

Seriously tough, don't be so bummed out. First, a solid understanding of programming is unbelievably useful. Second the biggest requirement i see on job boards these days is Unity3D experience. Actually, 2 of my last 3 jobs made the shift from console games (N3DS) to iOS games with Unity3D. The job market is full of those opportunities. Aaaaand, all the studios i know about that are using unity are using C#, not javascript. So, maybe you didn't make such a mistake.

On a personal note i'm a complete ass and don't believe anyone to be a real programmer unless they have an intimate understanding of hardware. But again, i'm an ass.

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Even if there's no new release of XNA on windows 8, legacy windows applications will still be supported, we're still good for a few years. And there is no waste in learning, only in ignorance.

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Look, I spent the better part of a year when I was younger, learning how to write fast assembly routines to blit sprites in EGA, CGA, MCGA and later ModeX. I'm still glad I did it, even though it's now about as relevant as animal-skin trousers (as sexy, too; rawr). Why? Because at the time it was interesting and challenging. It seems to me like you're too focused on the destination. Sit back, learn shit and enjoy the journey. Stop worrying so much about so-called "critical errors" because you spent a couple months learning something that you fear might not be all that useful in some vague, nebulous future. And calm down a little bit. If you're reading stuff that contain information you couldn't hope to apply in a practical sense, maybe you're in over your head and you should back up a little bit and work on the basics. The basics are the basics, and will always be applicable.

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[source lang="csharp"]try {
     LearnC#();
     LearnXNA();
} catch (XNAIsOutdatedException) {
     SpendSomeTimeLovingUnity3D();
}[/source]



(that was pretty damn funny)thanks for the feedback all...  i'm going to keep at it, and agree FLeBlanc.. fundamental are important.it was just one of those /facepalm moments that i've often found myself in.. and as normal, regarding myself.

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Welcome to the industry, where everything changes every couple of years. It's just the way things are. You will always be learning a dying technology, because there's always something better that'll replace it in a year or so.

Luckily, it's generally pretty easy to transfer the knowledge you have to whatever new technology you work with, so as long as you stay up to date and continuously transfer your knowledge to your current working state in this eternal cycle, life will go on, and "every little thing gonna all right."

So no, you haven't wasted your time, even if C# were dead (which it's not; it's still a very active language).

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Two months invested in something which is possibly going to be discontinued at some point in the future is hardly something to be concerned about. From two perspectives:

1) Two months in the grand scheme of things isn't very much time. After two months of intense study you're still barely scratching the surface.
2) In computer science every new thing is built on something old. Language syntax and API's may become obsolete, but the core concepts of programming and the skills associated with them don't. API knowledge isn't the mark of a good programmer, anyone can use google.

A related anecdote: 15 years ago the only programming languages I knew were C and QuickBASIC. I started a new job using visual basic. After 3 years I moved to a new job where the language of choice was Delphi. And then more recently I took up C#. I don't consider anything I learnt in any of the previous languages a wasted effort, even though arguably C, BASIC, Visual Basic and Delphi are "dead" - in terms of new project uptake. I'm a far better (and more adaptable) programmer now for having taken the journey through all those languages than if I've stuck with just one thing for 15 years.

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