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Education Feature: 'So You Want To Be A Game Programmer?'

Education Feature: 'So You Want To Be A Game Programmer?'

April 7, 2006 | By Quang Hong

In today's main educational feature, game industry careers specialist Marc Mencher provides this guide on how to become a game programmer, which may be one of the most difficult and challenging of all the programming disciplines.

In the following passage, Mencher highlights some of the qualities that are desired in any programmer:

"Follow-through: The ability to see tasks through to the end, on both a micro and macro level, is a highly valued quality. There is a thrill with the beginning of every new task you take on. It is something new and exciting and you generally don't have any difficulty getting started on it. Sometimes, however, the last 10% of a task can take 90% of the time. When you are working on that last 10%, it can be a bit painful. There will be times when you will be getting feedback from designers and artists that forces you to retread old ground, revisiting the same code/functionality over and over again. It can become tedious, but rarely do you nail something such as AI character behavior the first time around the block. Perfection will come with time.

Communication: Communicating -- and communicating well -- with others in a team environment is extremely important. One of the biggest tendencies that programmers have when communicating is to slip into “programmer speak” or jargon. This can glaze over the eyes of nearly any artist, designer, or producer. It is a rare gift indeed for a programmer to be able to communicate to others in a language that they understand. This isn't easy; it can take time to perfect, but it is well worth the effort."

You can now read the full Gamasutra educational feature (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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