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Old 04-06-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
asika
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Default post college graduation - at a complete loss

So I just recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in “game programming”

(Yes, one of those schools) and I’m looking for some guidance…

I didn’t walk out of college with a chip on my shoulder thinking I can do everything; in fact it was quite the opposite. I graduated, knowing that I knew next to nothing.


The problem that I have is that I know that I’m not qualified for even a basic entry level junior programmer position; I just don’t have enough “in depth” knowledge. For example, I had an “intro to direct x” class (essentially 24 hours of lecture) and I know that is not enough usage to be putting it on my resume or to use it in an industrial capacity. Matter of fact, many of my classes were like this, but by the time I realized this I was so close to graduation that dropping out or changing schools wasn’t an option so I pushed on.

This is what guidance I have received thus far:

Career services - “Why don’t you have direct x listed on your resume? You learned how to do that…”

< They spam my resume to every job listed on monster that contains the word “programmer”>
- AS/400 programming? 5-7 years experience? I know nothing about it – why did you send my resume there? Ugh. all but useless.

Professor 1 – “when I got my degree, I basically threw it out and did what I wanted to…”
-uhm I got a degree in something I wanted to do… or so I thought…

Professor2- “Try making your own game company, and focus on mobile games…”
-eh, an option but I was kind of hoping for a steadier paycheck and benefits.

Classmates – “I’m content with working at Best buy / GameStop and living with my folks...”
-ugh.

Wife – “Do what makes you happy… we’ll be fine…”
-eh, you say that now….

So while looking at other “non game” programming positions I seem to have even less and less experience / knowledge in the field then I would in a game programming scenario.
I am at a loss for a direction to go, if I were to (for example) goto .NET, the learning curve would almost equal a 4 year degree. I’m in my mid 30’s and not some young 20’s person so I can’t just chill with the parents until I feel like moving my career forward. I have a wife and 2 kids, even though the wife can support the household with me even being unemployed… I felt I was getting my arse in gear when going back to school to get a degree, only to find out that my degree is all but worthless and can even be detrimental in that transition from “job” to “career”.

What is the best use of one of “these” degrees?

Thanks to all that provide input - helpful or not.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:40 AM   #2
tsloper
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Hello "asika," you wrote:

>So I just recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in “game programming”
>(Yes, one of those schools)

Why? Why did you go to that school? (I don't know which of "those schools" you mean, and I don't know if you include mine in that category).

>and I’m looking for some guidance…

Too bad the school didn't give you enough! (If you'd gone to mine, I would hope you would have gotten enough guidance.)

>I had an “intro to direct x” class (essentially 24 hours of lecture)

Now I know you didn't go to my school. Ridiculous, not to have any project associated with the teaching.

>Professor2- “Try making your own game company, and focus on mobile games…”

Unbelievable.

>-eh, an option but I was kind of hoping for a steadier paycheck and benefits.

Of course!

>Wife – “Do what makes you happy… we’ll be fine…”

You are one lucky man! And she's right.

>I’m in my mid 30’s...I have a wife and 2 kids

Then you need a job. You can build your portfolio in your spare time. Where do you live? ("Location, location, location.")

>my degree is all but worthless and can even be detrimental in that transition from “job” to “career”.

So you're saying you didn't learn anything?

>What is the best use of one of “these” degrees?

Did you learn anything? (I'm betting you learned a lot.)

>Thanks to all that provide input - helpful or not.

Ridiculous. Better: ""Thanks to all who provide sincere input."
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:49 AM   #3
asika
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I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and I went to DeVry. I chose DeVry and its game programming degree because I am highly interested in becoming a game AI programmer and with its close location and classes that specifically covered game AI and game mechanics I jumped at it.

the projects associated with many of the classes were seemingly tutorials and never really expanded upon them.

for direct x it was: make a box, make a plane, put the box on the plane, move box on plane. which i think is a good intro but not worthy of putting on my resume as a key feature.

I feel that I did learn alot compared to perhaps the average Joe just entering the field, but overall I just don't think it was "complete" enough to get me into the industry even as a jr programmer and with the specialization of game programming it could have hurt me when looking into other programming fields.

Last edited by asika : 04-06-2011 at 11:58 AM. Reason: fat fingered the keyboard
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:33 PM   #4
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Well, I don't know if my response was helpful or not.
You need a portfolio now.
Read at least FAQs 24 and 27 at:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
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Short version. Learn more.

You know that you don't have the knowledge to make the entry level roles so learn more in your own time. There are a lot of resources out there on the Internet and in books. Where are you weakest? I can probably point you to a few places.

As for now, you need to get some income to support family. It can be any job for the moment, or you can try to get a job in the industry (eg Tester or Game Scripting).
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice, sometimes you just need a kick in the pants to get things moving along...
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