What should my Next step as a programmer be?

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#1 Ty Meador  Icon User is offline

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What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:49 PM

My Name is Ty Meador. I'm 18 years old and am a senior in high school. I have been programming in C++ for 2 years now and feel as though i have a descent grasp on the languages Syntax and Semantics. My number one priority when writing code is optimization. I want programs to be small, and run quickly. It is because of this that i have avoided many interpreted and VM oriented languages such as visual basic and Java. I would like to be a video game programmer and am wondering what my next move as a programmer should be. I have considered learning the windows API, so that i may make GUI programs in C++ instead of just console applications. I am also heavily considering learning Assembly. what i DON'T want to be is the guy everyone comes to in an office building for help because their computer "just quit" or "broke". (not that there is anything wrong with that job, its just not for me) I would like to be a part of a team of programmers with similar goals and priorities. any suggestions?

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Replies To: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

#2 GunnerInc  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:54 PM

Stick with C/C++ and use the Windows API which encompases everything from disk access to DirectX for your games. If you think you can write better code than the compiler (which you most likely won't at first) then instead of using Assembly to write a complete game in, just write some functions in Assembly, plop into a dll and call em.

I have sample games around somewhere written in Assembly, I could dig em out to give you a start... not for the faint of heart though.
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#3 Ty Meador  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:00 PM

I very much appreciate your reply. More specifically, i would like to write Console games (IE for X-Box, not pc) whether or not that help i don't know. i didn't expect to write better code than the compiler. lol. at least, not at first. i WOULD however, like to be a professional in both C++ and assembly, in case i needed to squeeze a little more performance out of a C/C++ program. i intend to learn both the windows API and Assembly. Would learning assembly make me more competitive when looking for a job as a video game programmer? and can you provide some resources for the Windows 64API? I can't seem to find any online anywhere.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:03 PM

*
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View PostTy Meador, on 31 October 2011 - 09:49 PM, said:

what i DON'T want to be is the guy everyone comes to in an office building for help because their computer "just quit" or "broke".

Don't help friends or family with hardware issues. No joke, once you become 'that guy', you're tagged.

I would also recommend that you join a local user group for homebrew game development, &/or an online community of homebrew developers. You'll learn way more about specific technologies (such as console game development) this way, imo.
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#5 DimitriV  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:05 PM

If you truly believe that you have a grasp and can truly do something with your skill, consider getting a job or writing a program that you could release to the world.
A job means valuable income which can be used to fund projects and the like, and if you send a program out to the world that's good enough you'll make money from that too.
J-Bo
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#6 Ty Meador  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:09 PM

but again, i have only 2 years experience. there is still MUCH i need to learn before i can release something on my own. though, i have started a few long term C++ projects.

View PostTy Meador, on 31 October 2011 - 09:49 PM, said:

what i DON'T want to be is the guy everyone comes to in an office building for help because their computer "just quit" or "broke".

Unfortunately it is far too late to heed your warning. This is why i made the above statement XD
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#7 DimitriV  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:15 PM

Well the best place to get help is our very own C forums! Chase your dreams!
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#8 Ty Meador  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:21 PM

View PostjimmyBo, on 31 October 2011 - 07:15 PM, said:

Well the best place to get help is our very own C forums! Chase your dreams!

Where can i get help using the 64bit Windows API? i can only find 32Bit API tutorials online. from what i understand, there are very few differences though, i may be misinterpreting the text. Also, what exactly IS the WIndows API? this is something i have difficulty getting a straight answer to as well. From the look of a program written using the Windows API, one would think that it was not C++ at all, but some proprietary language all it own.
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#9 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:26 PM

The MSDN will indicate on each page which version of Windows that the API command is compatible with.
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#10 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:45 PM

Learn "proper" object oriented analysis and design, including design patterns.

I think they will help you become a much better programmer.

I recommend reading works done by Martin Fowler, such as "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code."

As well as other books-- such as the Gang of Four's Design Patterns.
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#11 DimitriV  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:51 PM

It might be good to read up on the API before you go doing anything.
http://en.m.wikipedi...iki/Windows_API
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#12 DimitriV  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:58 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 01 November 2011 - 12:03 PM, said:

View PostTy Meador, on 31 October 2011 - 09:49 PM, said:

what i DON'T want to be is the guy everyone comes to in an office building for help because their computer "just quit" or "broke".

Don't help friends or family with hardware issues. No joke, once you become 'that guy', you're tagged.

I would also recommend that you join a local user group for homebrew game development, &/or an online community of homebrew developers. You'll learn way more about specific technologies (such as console game development) this way, imo.

Hmmm. I've been the computer guru of my class for years and only now do I get told its a bad idea? You're right, #2, I am tagged because even my computer teacher comes up and asks me what to do!

Find something you want to do. If its C, chase your dreams and follow them to wherever they take you. If you need help deciding, we're here.
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#13 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:20 AM

If you want to test your skill level against real world needs you can watch the coder for hire web sites such as vWorker and oDesk.

Don't accept any of the contract offers. Just see how many you feel you *could* do. Then pick one and do it. Time yourself. How many hours did it take. How much would you have needed to bid to make it worth while? How much did the winning bidder charge?

I'm a big advocate of timing yourself on everything you code. If you don't know how long it takes to build a widget, or code a gadget component, then you don't know if you can earn a living at it or not. And you don't know what to tell your boss when he asks "How long will it take you to code up a thingiemajig?"
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#14 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 01 November 2011 - 06:40 AM

If you're interested in creating games for XBox360 like you mentioned, you could always try XNA as well. I'm not suggesting that it would be better than any other path to game development, but it would certainly be a start and could give you a good idea of the requirements of writing games for consoles and the limitations involved.
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#15 farrell2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: What should my Next step as a programmer be?

Posted 01 November 2011 - 05:20 PM

View PostTy Meador, on 01 November 2011 - 02:00 AM, said:

I very much appreciate your reply. More specifically, i would like to write Console games (IE for X-Box, not pc) whether or not that help i don't know.


I'd also recommend XNA. If you're familiar with c++, c# will be easy for you to pick up. It costs less than $100 to start making xbox 360 games, and if you do well, you could possibly even see one elevated to a LIVE arcade game. It's really never been easier to break into the console market.
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