Noob needing a good direction in life.

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#1 y1p33y0  Icon User is offline

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Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:07 AM

Wall of text. But some of it is my story and thought it would help the readers to know of my background. I dont have anyone in my life to ask these questions to, so I found this forum.

Hey guys. Im new here. So sorry if this is in the wrong forum. Okay, well. Basically all my life ive been fascinated by technology. I was introduced to computers at an early age and learned quickly how to do most basic and some advanced things over the years. Im 18 now. So far the only things in my whole life that matter to me are computers, guitar, and partying. Im a pretty dam good gamer, but as a programmer I doubt it. Ive always liked the idea of making video games, because I believe we all have unique artistic abilities, rather it be music, art, programming, or anything really. So creating my own video game or helping create one has always been a dream of mine. My favorite games are an array from classic NES games to korean mmorpg's, and todays console games. Megaman X, Legend Of Zelda, Final Fantasy VIII, Pokemon, Tomba, Devil May Cry, Naruto fighting games. I also play alot of PC games from time to time Guild Wars, Freestyle!, FlyFF, and Combat Arms are a few. As far as programming or anything close to creating a game, I have done a few things. Well I have messed around with Game Maker, RPG Maker, and BYOND. All 3 are software used to create custom games and stuff. The one I mostly used was BYOND. For someone that is bad at math (probably another problem gonna hold me back) I sure did like coding. It was okay. Im not a pro or anything but I liked creating codes and making them work in specific ways. Graphics, I have used byond which uses pixel based artwork to represent icons. It was cool, but not so good at it lol. I have also tinkered with 3DS Max. But I gave up on that. I really watched tutorials and tried to learn but maybe im not experienced enough to be making 3D lol. Well anyway thats most of my backstory.

My situation now. I am 18, just got my first ticket for an MIC the other day, enrolled in DeVry, and worried about where my life is going. Before I enrolled in online devry I tried a semester at a small junior college, on campus and everything. I ended up partying almost the whole time I was there, and class just seemed to be a pain so I skipped alot. After I seen I was gonna fail the semester I moved back with my mom LOL. But anyway, I was just kicking it at my house for a couple months. Then one day I decided I should probably get in school again so I wouldnt end up working a shit job all my miserable life like the rest of my family. So I did research on the internet. Came upon Devry, called them and asked about classes. Most people on the internet were saying devry is a for-profit and all they care about is your money. But I also heard exact opposite reviews, so im not sure. But I enrolled anyway. I was going to do their Game and Simulation, but the recruiter told me they would prefer for me to do Multimedia Design and Developement, with my core being Web Game Programming. Here is the link if you wanna check it out. They said that the Game and Simulation was for people that are really good with numbers, and math. After I finished the web game programming (or if I wanted to change in the middle cuz I felt ready) I could go to the game and simulation. I dont know if they are just a ripoff school or not, but I can say ive already learned some things so im sure its worth it in the long run. I really just want a career/job in programming (or a similar field). I dont care if im making millions off of the next big console game, or if im just hardly getting by on programming flash games on a website. Im not sure about the specifics on things like this, im a noob. I mean. If you brought a computer to me with some virus's, or most of any problems, I could probably fix it. But im not so sure thats exactly what I want to do with my life. I didnt grow up rich, spoiled, or even as privileged as most kids, so I have the understanding that anywhere I want to go, there will be lots of work. I just need help on what direction. So I was gonna see if you could answer some questions to help me.

1. Is my education a good choice? Should I look elsewhere? And where? What is important education-wise when it comes to programming jobs?

2. How is the job market? Will it be possible to find a steady, paying job with the education im looking for? What are some smaller/bigger paying jobs for programmers?

3. What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Tell me anything else you think will help also. Thanks

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Replies To: Noob needing a good direction in life.

#2 y1p33y0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 23 February 2011 - 05:51 PM

Anyone?
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#3 D.Mulroy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 23 February 2011 - 07:05 PM

I've heard that DeVry is just another Diploma mill. I think that you'd be better off just getting your act together(being responsible) and reapply at state or community college and obtaining a degree in Computer Sciences. A CS degree can land you a job in many areas, whether it be software engineering, web design, game programming, etc. I myself am 18 and enrolled at Mansfield University of PA for CS. I am by far no pro at math either, but I plan to work my ass off to do as well as I can, even it means starting in lower level courses.

I looked at their program description for web game programming.

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Using a scripting language, students in this course design and script basic interactive web page components and web-based games. Topics include basic programming fundamentals and object handling techniques.

They are going to teach html, css, and javascript. All of which can be easily learned on ones own. It would surprise me if they threw in php/mySql

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Students in this course use multimedia authoring tools and techniques to create web-based games and dynamic web pages. Integrating and controlling multimedia assets such as movie clips, sound effects, images, and animations are addressed. ]

They're going to teach you how to use expensive adobe software(flash) that will not be industry standard once html5 is fully supported.

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Using an object-oriented game engine with libraries, students in this course apply game design principles to develop sample games. Technical considerations and industry best practices are covered.

In a good cs curriculum you will have many classes covering OOP, design patterns, theory etc. Not just one using a pre-developed engine.

All in all it looks a bit sketchy. Since i'm only 18 and haven't started my education yet I can't vouch for much. But I know enough that you would be better suited obtaining a CS degree. With the skills you learn in a Cs program you will be able to easily pick up game design.

This post has been edited by D.Mulroy: 23 February 2011 - 07:06 PM

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:01 PM

I agree with D.Mulroy. Go to a reputable college and get a degree.

Many people started out the software development path wanting to be a games programmer. A games programmer spends many hours working late trying to meet that impending deadline. It is satisfying when you see the end result of your labour, but before you get there, you'll spend many frustrating hours working out how to get your code to perform that intricate logic. Having said that, I have never worked as a games programmer, but I did spend 2 years of my last 15 years developing interactive multimedia software. Now a days, I do mostly business applications. Hours are not as arduous and solutions can be found in almost any corner. It isn't quite as exciting to see the end result, but the job fits better with family life.

So to cut to the chase, if I were 18 again, I'd go to job websites to see what kind of programming roles companies require, then pursue those qualifications. That way, you'll gain a higher chance of being employed after graduation.
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#5 finalfantasyfreak15  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:30 PM

Hmm...DeVry is one of the chain colleges right? I think it's good that you want to pursue higher education, however I do not believe it is a good idea to get a degree from a place that is not a reputable university. The reason is that employers really care about where you got your degree. Even if you excelled in all your current courses, the weight of the degree at DeVry will not look like much compared to a degree from say UCLA or University of Illinois; and you have to think about what the competition has (i.e. other people competing for jobs). Most people who are going to apply to places like Microsoft, EA, etc are going to have degrees from good universities. Your best route would be to go to a university in your area which is known for their computer science program, particularly universities which are research intensive because then you can ask the professors if you can join in on their research which looks really good on resumes and interviews.

The next thing about your partying...well the bald facts are, if you really want to make something of your life then you are going to have to buckle down, go to class, and study outside of lecture hours. That's the fact of life, especially if you are going into CS, because it really is very time intensive when you are coding (a regular assignment for the classes I'm taking at the University of Utah takes about 5 to 10 hours of coding; and the upper division levels require projects which take days and days of all nighters to put together). Also, because CS does require quite a bit of math, you will need to devote time to make your math skills better (which is entirely possible! Math is also not my forte, but if you find the resources you can learn math and be good at it.)

Here is a website I like to use for really great lectures: ocw.mit.edu

They offer video lectures on a lot of different courses (pretty much everything!). You can use the math lectures as a tool to learn math better and they even have CS lectures too. So you can check those out and see if you still wanna do CS.

For video game design, I say go for it! At the U of U, they actually have a separate video game/film track for CS majors (which I'm currently taking, because I think it's much more interesting). And the price for the U of U tuition isn't bad either. It's actually #1 in the nation for a starter school (great for undergrads) because we have a lot of research going on.

Here is the university website if you wanna check it out: www.utah.edu

For the job market, if video gaming isn't your only interest a new growing field is big data. It involves managing huge databases like Google. Another area is parallel programming; pretty much everything is going to be coded to use multiple processors, which also brings in another field which is algorithm verification. I'm not sure how far you have gotten in programming, but when you make a thread one of the problems is data erase. The program will reach into a memory location at the same time and will rewrite the previous data because if multiple threads are running that is a possibility. Verification is a way to write programs to check if that occurs.

Well anyways, I feel like I've been talking way too much! If you want to know more about CS, then feel free to message me through the forum message system. Since I'm not too far into the CS program yet and you would like to know more about advanced topics, I would be more than happy to get you into contact with people who are doing research in different areas like ML, NLP, AI, etc.

Best of luck.
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#6 y1p33y0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:09 PM

Thanks guys you gave some good answers. But. Im not exactly sure how to look for a good university. I know a university kinda close (not sure bout its computer degrees). But, im broke. No vehicle. No money (Idk what all financial aid would cover if I dropped out of devry then switched). I dont have any family to help me. Im 18 yrs old, awkward and dont have very great social skills lol. What should I do though? I appreciate your answers guys, aint got anyone to talk about this kinda thing in rl.
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#7 TMKCodes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:59 PM

Here's a suggestion. Work few years and get that car and money for tuition. Stop partying too much it's a waste of money. While you are working do self studying about the topics you want to learn, this way your studying at the university of your decision will be easier and you will have some time for actual partying, but still don't do that to much. Myself I'm 21 and finishing my first semester and I'm studying IT engineering.
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#8 bonyjoe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:25 PM

It seems like that course has it's fingers in too many pies, it's teaching you basic flash, basic web design and basic use of a game engine. All of these things can be done with ease from home, it most likely isn't going to help much with programming games.

I don't know what financial aid you can get in the US for university but surely if you are on your own there is some sort of student loan/grant/bursary scheme that can help you get a real education.
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#9 RLB31384  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:21 PM

If you are 18 and living with your mom your financial aid will be dependent on what she makes. Id assume you have applied for the fafsa before? Did you get a pell grant at the university you attended? You can likely just find a small university near by and the fafsa will probably cover it if you get one. You could take out a bit loan and use it to by a cheap car and commute from your mothers. Its tough not having anyone to help out. I wouldn't recommend putting college off however I did, as I had no car. However if I could I would have just went sooner and took out a loan for a car.

I never had a problem with partying though...you said you were awkward and not great socially? That doesnt sound like someone who parties a lot =) You shouldn't drop out of the program you are in,just finished up your term but apply to some near by colleges as well. I have recently gotten into XNA game coding if you want to take a look at some tutorials and see if it looks interesting to you.

http://www.xnadevelo...tutorials.shtml
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#10 y1p33y0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:57 PM

View PostRLB31384, on 28 February 2011 - 07:21 PM, said:

If you are 18 and living with your mom your financial aid will be dependent on what she makes. Id assume you have applied for the fafsa before? Did you get a pell grant at the university you attended? You can likely just find a small university near by and the fafsa will probably cover it if you get one. You could take out a bit loan and use it to by a cheap car and commute from your mothers. Its tough not having anyone to help out. I wouldn't recommend putting college off however I did, as I had no car. However if I could I would have just went sooner and took out a loan for a car.

I never had a problem with partying though...you said you were awkward and not great socially? That doesnt sound like someone who parties a lot =) You shouldn't drop out of the program you are in,just finished up your term but apply to some near by colleges as well. I have recently gotten into XNA game coding if you want to take a look at some tutorials and see if it looks interesting to you.

http://www.xnadevelo...tutorials.shtml

Yea that sounds like an idea. But how could I get a loan for a car? lol And yea I not a very social person unless im drunk/high, thats how most of the people that I party with are too. But yea I know ill have to quit that, or at least slow down on it.
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#11 RLB31384  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:06 PM

Just take out the maximum student loan your school gives you. If you arent living on campus usually theres quite a bit left over. I assume you could commute from your moms house and could use the left over money to get a car with. You should go for something cheap though as a lot of people get the money and think they need to go get a new car that they can't afford.
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#12 Nikitin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:12 AM

Apply to your state universities. Take out as much loans as you can to pay. Look at Federal Stafford Loans. I am strongly encouraging you to drop out from Devry.
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#13 finalfantasyfreak15  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:40 PM

hmm...well idk where you live, but it's always best to go to your state university. if you have no car, then i suggest finding a university which has a good public transit system. i don't drive much myself (i take the bus everyday), and usually in a larger city you can find bus routes to the places you need to go; plus, a lot of larger campuses have a shuttle system which takes you to different places on campus. as for increasing social skills, that is something you are going to have to practice. i wasn't very social myself (very shy and too intimidated to talk to anyone in my classes first) but the reality is that you have to buck up and just talk to people. everyone is too afraid to be the first person to say something, so you have to be the initiator. when you become that person, more and more people will want to talk to you because you will be the go-to guy who knows everybody. it is scary and sometimes it's hard work (especially if you are trying to get the smart people to be friends with you), but even if the person doesn't seem too talkative at first, just keep talking to them. even if they don't say much at first, they will warm up to you and start talking more and more. it just takes time and patience, but it'll pay off because when you need help with something you will have a pool of contacts you can ask for help. and if you're awkward, then don't sweat it! everyone gets a little embarrassed once in a while, and besides, you are in CS, pretty much everyone is a little socially challenged ;) for money, you might be able to find a job on campus, or you could look into doing a co-op with a local cs company that is working with your school. a good place to find out about cs related part time positions are through your professors and counselors. i think a co-op would be ideal because then you could have a more flexible schedule and usually a higher pay.

the most important thing to remember: it doesn't matter what age you are or if you are awkward as long as you have confidence! confidence is the key to success! i don't know how many times i've just forced myself to be more confident than i felt and have it pay off. like they say, 'fake it, til you make it'. if you don't feel genuinely confident, then just act like it and eventually you will become confidence naturally. another thing to remember is, 'it's not what you know, but who you know', so it is really important to get closer to your professors, upperclassmen, and your smarter peers because those are the connections who are gonna propel you to newer heights. a good way to get involved and to get to know people is through a club. get involved in the club, try to join a committee and really be proactive in promoting the club, cuz then you will get to know people who are already in good standing with professors and other students, and in this way you will build connections with their connections. also, when making new acquaintances, it really seals the friendship when you help them before they ask for something. a really great way to help someone is to send them an online pdf of a textbook you guys are using in class. surprisingly enough you can find pretty much any textbook and solutions manual online for free and people really appreciate it when you find that sort of stuff and pass it along (cuz it is a kind of a pain to look for, but i'll make it easier for you: google heroturko and you will have access to pretty much any textbook; and it will also save you some money too cuz you won't have to buy every textbook you need).

try your best, put your best foot forward, and always have a smile! you can do it, just believe in yourself. even if you go to a community college, there are still programs that community colleges coordinate with state universities to make merging into the state university easier. where i live a lot of people start out at the local community college and then later on merge into the state university. don't sweat it too much, but make sure you plan ahead and keep your eye out for good opportunities like internships, research, or scholarships.
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#14 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:21 AM

I'm going to disagree with a few people here. Do NOT take out as much as you can. Take only as much as you need. What a lot of people forget is that, at some point, they will have to pay all of their loans back with interest.

Stop partying. Get a job. Go to a REAL school. Where do you live? I'm sure the kind folks here at DIC can recommend one of your state universities. If a university isn't an option right now then consider doing your basic studies at a community college where the tuition is a lot cheaper. During this time you can work and save up enough money for a car.

One more thing. I'm not trying to discourage you, but hearing someone say they want to make video games for a living is like hearing they want to be a rock star to me. The chances of it happening are very low and its not as fun as you might think.
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#15 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Noob needing a good direction in life.

Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:04 AM

Read OP, rest of the thread tl;dr



Sorry, but this is kinda how everyone sees them. It's good in a sense that it will get your foot in the academic door and get you back into the "school mindset" I suppose, but try your hardest to go to a better school. For reals. I don't mean to insult your career choice, or school choice, but get a degree in general computer science, not gaming. It's a horribly closed market and almost nobody who goes to school for it get's in, because they're focusing too much on shinies and not general programming concepts that is required for debugging, testing, etc.
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