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  Would appreciate some advice  (Read 2994 times)
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Offline Gjallar

JGO Coder

Medals: 16
Projects: 1

Follower of Nurgle

« Posted 2012-07-26 16:16:44 »

Beforehand, I'm sorry if this is not really related to Java-Gaming but I could really need some advice from you guys, since quite a bunch of you actually earn your money with Java.

So about me, I'm 20, live in Austria and have recently finished school (polytechnic with focus on electronics). I will never ever touch electonics again... but I fell in love with programming, even though I was a bit really lazy on that part lately.

Since in school, you jump from one programming language to another and dont actually learn a single one of them, I decided to focus on teaching myself Java. It seemed rather easy to understand and since I already learned a bit of C# I figured Java would be perfect. (I also played a lot of Minecraft at that time. That might or might not have been another major factor Grin)

The child in me made me focus on crafting my own little games. I didn't complete a single one but I mostly experimented with tile-based stuff, platformers. Besides that I wrote my diploma in Java, a (way too) simple software to analyze the stockmarket. But hey, it was my first real program and I think it turned out pretty okay. You can take a look at it HERE. It is written in german but there's a static in english, so everyone gets the basic idea of it. You can also look at the pictures and take a look at the source-code if you want to. I wouldn't advice the latter, unless you want to get eyecancer.  Grin

And here I am now, done with school and I think you could say "basic" knowledge of Java. Now I would like to get a job as a programmer/software developer but sadly I have to serve in the military first, for 6 months. Starting on January. So I thought about trying to get an internship at a company to gain some experience. But... what exactly do I want to do?

I think my options are rather limited since I live in austria. When I googled for job adverts in my region, the thing that came up the most was Java Web Development. Most of them demanted work experience of 3 years minimum.. and I haven't even touched any web-based stuff yet.

So now I'm kind of clueless for what to do... How do you guys earn your money? Should I try to get into Java Web Development? If yes how? Should I try to get an internship at a company that produces software since I already know the basics of Java?

I'm sure this thread wont benefit just me but also others who recently left school and try to earn their food with programming.

Help greaaaaaatly appreciated. Thank you guys  Smiley
Offline Jimmt
« League of Dukes »

JGO Kernel

Medals: 161
Projects: 5
Exp: 3 years

« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-07-26 23:09:24 »

I really, really, should not be giving you advice because I just entered high school. However-
You could make your own company, make a polished game, and sell it, by yourself or on Steam(you'll have to get thru that stupid greenlight thing though), or you could also try to contact any one of the game-company owners on this forum. You could also go freelance (pay for job. like a bounty hunter XD), google "freelance programmer" or something and a lot of sites will pop up.
Offline Gjallar

JGO Coder

Medals: 16
Projects: 1

Follower of Nurgle

« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-07-26 23:18:55 »

Focusing on making a game sounds, of course, very tempting. But I'd like to have (way) more experience first and a steady income before I think about giving that a shot. Thanks though :p
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Offline Jimmt
« League of Dukes »

JGO Kernel

Medals: 161
Projects: 5
Exp: 3 years

« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-07-26 23:21:12 »

Work at mcdonalds and make game in free time. then release game and laugh at other employees. Grin
Offline loom_weaver

JGO Coder

Medals: 17

« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-07-27 00:16:32 »

The traditional way is through hard-work and higher education.  Go for a bona-fide bachelor's degree and during that time focus on getting *good* internships at development shops that love programming.  Do well in those internships and make some contacts and you'll have a pretty much guaranteed job when you graduate.

The contacts, work experience, and degree (pretty much in that order) will open a lot of doors elsewhere.
Offline Jimmt
« League of Dukes »

JGO Kernel

Medals: 161
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« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-07-27 00:37:51 »

I plan on making and selling games when I'm still in school, so I have a source of income when I graduate.
Offline jonjava
« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-07-27 07:29:03 »

Congrats on finishing school!

If you want to get a headstart on web development to know a bit what it's all about - I recommend .

You will learn the fundamentals of the web, i.e, javscript, html, css and jquery. Most jobs out there are managing websites and databases. "real" programming languages like java, C, python etc come in handy when you actually need to make something (i.e programs) and these jobs aren't easily acquired if you've got little experience.

But in any case you should remember that whatever coding job you get, you'll spend most of your time searching and learning about things to achieve whatever thing it is you want to do (This and debugging is what 90% of programming is about). So perhaps one of the most useful "know-how" you can have is an all round idea of how all the things comes together - and a good place to start is

The plus side of this is that knowing and learning about how all the things come together is not only useful but also incredibly fun.


Offline Cero
« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-07-27 11:47:36 »

Be smart. Stay in school.
Get a Bachelors degree.

Offline Damocles
« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-07-27 13:35:51 »

Keep studying, and work part-time in some University Job or company as programmer.
Anyway try out as many technologies as possible personally, so you get an overview of what to specialize in.

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-07-27 14:11:45 »

My first earned money from java came from java web dev. It's not much, because I sell myself cheap as first attempt of newbie. But java web dev seems promising enough for me.

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Offline gimbal

JGO Knight

Medals: 25

« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-07-27 14:24:12 »

It's not much, because I sell myself cheap

hur hur hur. Taking things out of context on purpose - the joys of life.
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #11 - Posted 2012-07-27 14:27:01 »

I dont understand what you meant.

Offline Gjallar

JGO Coder

Medals: 16
Projects: 1

Follower of Nurgle

« Reply #12 - Posted 2012-07-27 15:13:11 »

Congrats on finishing school!

... ...

Thanks and thank you for all the info, will definitely check it out.

Be smart. Stay in school.
Get a Bachelors degree.

Yes, I see and understand that it would be the smartest thing to do that, but no... I can't take it anymore. I barely passed my last exams and am really happy that I'm finally finished with school. Of course I know that there's still much more hard work ahead but at least I can focus on stuff I enjoy studying.
Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

« JGO Overlord »

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Exp: 16 years

Hand over your head.

« Reply #13 - Posted 2012-07-27 15:29:17 »

If anything, a degree shows you have dedication and discipline. (oh, and a higher pay for the same job)

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Offline Cero
« Reply #14 - Posted 2012-07-27 16:39:37 »

Besides all the obvious advantages, you get to meet a lot of people how are very similar to you
you get friendships, connections to even companies and organizations, you will do projects in groups

beside the degree and the lectures there is a lot good stuff going on

and its nothing like school, you can do whatever you want, well compared to work or high school
show up or not, write an exam or not, do a project with whoever you wish

of course you will hate yourself forever if dont do it - people are superficial - no matter how good you get in programming and whatnot, someone with a bachelors degree will always look better to people
even if the actual lectures were useless

and like I said you do get experience at working on a project with a schedule, in a group - learn new technologies and all

I always see life like starting a hard RPG has a MAGE.
In most games its like: you start out with very limited spells and mana, you have no defense whatsoever, its quite hard - but all the hard work will pay up later

well I actually need a bachelor also to have an international degree, since anything below that isnt really anything in other countries...

Offline Gjallar

JGO Coder

Medals: 16
Projects: 1

Follower of Nurgle

« Reply #15 - Posted 2012-07-27 21:12:30 »

well I actually need a bachelor also to have an international degree, since anything below that isnt really anything in other countries...

Now that part is a gigantic thorn in my eye since I'm planning to move to England later on...
Online theagentd

« JGO Bitwise Duke »

Medals: 474
Projects: 2
Exp: 8 years

« Reply #16 - Posted 2012-07-27 23:21:31 »

Help people out and post interesting stuff on JGO! Worked for me, it seems!  Grin

Offline Gjallar

JGO Coder

Medals: 16
Projects: 1

Follower of Nurgle

« Reply #17 - Posted 2012-07-30 19:41:34 »

Looks like I'll go for the Bachelors degree after I'm done with military.

Thank you very much for the advice, guys  Smiley
Offline jdgamedev

Senior Newbie

Medals: 1

Chillin Like a Villin

« Reply #18 - Posted 2012-07-30 20:28:14 »

I'm a little late to the discussion it would seem but I'd still like to give it a shot.

From the looks of it, you have two options. 1. Go back to school or 2. Forego the degree and try to get a job

It sounds like you don't really want to go to school. It also sounds like you are a little nervous about option 2. What I would recommend is finding out what YOU WANT. Once you really figure out exactly what you want your life to look like you can take the steps to getting there.

If you choose option 1, the decisions are pretty simple. Go to school, get some experience through internships etc., then just get a job after you graduate.

However, if you choose option 2 you have quite a few different paths to take. You can get a job that isn't related to programming so that you have an income, and spend your free time getting good at your craft. There are a ton of jobs out there that don't require a degree and if you are truly good at what you do, there are many opportunities (jobs or business opportunities).

One exciting path would be to get a job for now and start working freelance to get the experience that will make you stand out. Once you've done quite a few jobs and are comfortable with your experience, you can easily quit the temporary job and either do freelance full time or just start your own business. Millions of people run their own business and the freedom is a big driving force.

Anyway, the main thing you should take from this is that you need to go for what you really want. Don't just get a degree because people say it's what you should do. If you really think an education will get you closer to your dreams, than great! If you can accomplish what you want through other means, than make sure you consider it.

Lastly, check out this video. It is the best advice around for young ambitious programmers who want to make video games.

I'm on a quest to become a better game developer, check it out.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #19 - Posted 2012-07-31 06:29:14 »

@jdgamedev -- I liked the "Ask the Experts" talk, found it encouraging. Thanks for posting it.

One thing about college--see if there are "Independent Study" classes you can take. Basically, it usually means creating your own topic and getting a prof as a sponsor. I found time to do three at UC Berkeley when I was there. That was some of the best time I spent in school, looking back.

I wish I had taken a bit more math, though.

"We all secretly believe we are right about everything and, by extension, we are all wrong." W. Storr, The Unpersuadables
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