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What to do?

2 posts in this topic

Right now at my college I'm studying software development but we're mostly web programing, Ruby and php. I played with c++ and the GCC compiler and have gotten pretty comfortable. I'm going to transfer schools and do game development. They teach C, Java and graphics. My question is what do I do after that. I've looked at the jobs and a lot want me to have 2 to 3 years experience doing this. How did you guys break in to it?

I've made 2D games and some CLI stuff but nothing impressive or I'd want to show a potential employer

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Can't really give much advice towards programming, as I'm more of a computer networks guy, but more general job advice.


When finding a job, it's a good idea to do some research on the company/organization and the position they need filled. Ask yourself if they line up with what you're trying to accomplish and if you believe that you can be successful there. 


A lot/most of the good jobs you're going to find will want people with experience. This means less down time down with someone newer to the industry, bringing them up to speed, and familiarizing themselves with the business. Despite this, even if you don't think you'll get it, get a good resume together, and send it in. Since you're in college, see if there are any workshops available to help you develop a good one.  A well-structured resume can get you a job. The worst they can say is "no" or just not contact you back.


Also, make sure to follow-up with you're potential employers, and relatively quickly. Just ask if they've been able to look over your resume and what they think about it in terms of the position that you applied for. If the company takes the time to speak with you, but turns you down, ask why. This can point you in the right direction of where you need to improve, or let you know if you just bad luck. Showing interest on your side is noticed and can be vital in getting the step up over your competitors for the position. 


When you speak with a representative of a company, always be sure to thank them for their time, even if they turn you down. No need to preemptively burn down bridges so early in a career. 


There is also the chance that when you're resume is looked over, it might get passed off to another department/group that has a need for new employees. 


Obviously, you want to show what you're capable of. Create a portfolio. I would recommend that you keep it updated as you gain experience and show potential employers what you're capable of. 


Don't be afraid to take a lower position than what you're aiming for. At the very least, you can get experience working in a similar environment and gain valuable experience, connections, and reputation with the company. Given time, you may be able to move up withing the organization to the position that you're wanted to get into in the first place. 


Don't pass up opportunities for things like internships for the same reason as taking a lower position in a company. This is also extra things you can put on your resume. 


Especially in the realm of computers, remember one thing...you have entered a field of change. Never stop learning or trying new things. Keep studying, get certifications, and meet new people. 


Good Luck.

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