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saqib abbas
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Hi there every one..,this is my first post on this forum. I am a beginner at programming i have started learning programming from my university and to be honest things are not going to well i am barely surviving the university some times i wonder whether programming would be the right choice for me as a career. Its not that programming doesn't interest me in fact i remember the time when as a kid i use to dream of becoming a video game designer(Go figure!) its just that i just cant seem to get a grip of the concepts its takes much more time than other students to write programs.

I admit that i am not intellectually gifted person i have painfully average IQ is it just that i am not talented enough to be in this field? I hate being uncertain about my future i want to know whether i can become a decent programmer or not some friends have advised me to work on an individual project, according to them that would help me asses my self and see whether i find programming interesting enough to be considered as a career, i have just finished my exams and now i have about 2-3 months of free time on my hands so i am wondering whether there is any beginner level small project that i can do on my own to really get a better grip of the situation? By far i have covered following topics of java

The very basics(Loops,conditional statements, classes and objects, methods etc)
Inheritance
polymorphism
Sockets(just basics)
GUI
Event Handling
Stream
Exception handling
Serialization
also some JDBC

I would love to find a project that would help me practice even if it is beyond the scope of things that i have learned. I am looking for a quick and honest response thanks in advance.
 
K. Tsang
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Welcome to the Ranch

Are there any particular project you want to write or develop? A game or algorithm perhaps? Developing something you have interest in is more fun than "given an assignment type project".

If you really can't think of any, try out the Cattle Drive on this site
 
Randall Twede
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some times it takes me forever to come up with an idea for a new project. for you it will be easier. almost any project will help you as a beginner. make a JFrame, add some components, maybe a JMenbar, handle the events....
 
fred rosenberger
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First, I don't think it takes an above average intelligence to be a programmer. It takes discipline, the ability to focus in on a problem, deconstruct it into smaller tasks, and to repeat that over and over until the code comes easily.

Also, I believe a video game DESIGNER is different from a video game PROGRAMMER (although I'm sure there is some overlap). There are lots of pieces to making a game, including the artwork, the character design, the mechanics, the sound, etc. I'm sure that not all of these require you to be able to write code to connect to a socket..

I say look around and see if there is some other component to video game design that may interest you more. If not, and you want to do it, just know you may have a harder time than others, but that's going to be true no matter what field you choose - programming, playing the cello, or being a financial adviser.
 
saqib abbas
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fred rosenberger wrote:First, I don't think it takes an above average intelligence to be a programmer. It takes discipline, the ability to focus in on a problem, deconstruct it into smaller tasks, and to repeat that over and over until the code comes easily.

Also, I believe a video game DESIGNER is different from a video game PROGRAMMER (although I'm sure there is some overlap). There are lots of pieces to making a game, including the artwork, the character design, the mechanics, the sound, etc. I'm sure that not all of these require you to be able to write code to connect to a socket..

I say look around and see if there is some other component to video game design that may interest you more. If not, and you want to do it, just know you may have a harder time than others, but that's going to be true no matter what field you choose - programming, playing the cello, or being a financial adviser.



Thanks everyone for the quick replies

As i have stated i do find this field interesting and i got into it due to my interest in video games but right now i am not learning programming specifically to become a video game designer i wouldn't mind getting a job as a programmer or web developer although i would like to develop some video games some times in my career and i would greatly appreciate it if you could give me more information about video game design\development.

As far as discipline and persistence are concerned i admit that i haven't been the most disciplined person but even when i am giving 100% i just can't seem to get the job done and more i fail the worse it gets. Most of my class mates don't seem to struggle that much i feel like i am way behind everyone. Am i the only one having so much trouble in the beginning? does programming become harder or easier as you go on? Has any body else gone through the same situation? Some times i feel its only a psychological issue and i can become a successful IT professional if i can get ever some psychological barriers things would work just fine but i just don't know how to do it.
 
Karl Barek
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As cliche as it sounds, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."

Sure, some people will learn faster than others, etc. However, a lot of those people that seem to learn faster most times are simply putting forth more effort than others.

You are not alone. Will it get easier? I can only speak from experience(limited as it may be) and I say it doesn't get easier. That's what makes it interesting. The challenges that always arise and discovering new or old ways to solve those challenges.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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saqib abbas wrote:As far as discipline and persistence are concerned i admit that i haven't been the most disciplined person but even when i am giving 100% i just can't seem to get the job done and more i fail the worse it gets.

Well, one thing to remember about computers is that they aren't judgemental: They don't care how many times you fail, and will never scold you or tease you because you do.

I remember a good friend of mine put together a simple visual program for his 6-year old daughter - who was having trouble with basic maths - to help her with addition and mutiplication; and within 3 months she was top of her class, simply because she liked playing with something that didn't tell her off or make her feel stupid when she got things wrong.

And that's probably the most important thing: Enjoy it. If you don't, you'll never be a programmer, because it takes time and effort. It's not a race, and some things come slower to some than to others.

About the only other thing I can add to Fred's good advice is that computers are STUPID. No matter how "average" you think you are, believe me, you're a genius compared to a computer. And that's where much of the discipline part comes in:

Computers do EXACTLY what they're told; so you better be darn sure you KNOW what you're telling it to do.

Even simple things like spelling are beyond their capabilities, so you need to be very accurate when you're writing code. Long is NOT the same thing as long, and if you get it wrong, you can end up with very subtle errors.

So:
  • When you write code, check it, double-check it, and compile it every 10 lines or so (Fred would probably say even less ).
  • Don't try to take on the world all at once. If you want to write a video game someone can play over the network, start with one you can play yourself on your laptop - and DON'T start with chess. Deep Blue took a team of programmers years to build, and cost millions of dollars.


  • And finally: read THIS. If it doesn't put you off, then maybe you DO have the stuff to be a programmer.

    Whatever, best of luck.

    Winston
     
    With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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