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Old July 5th, 2010, 09:26 PM
skondrk skondrk is offline
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I Graduated, but Now I Feel Slow At Programming

I graduated from college about eight months ago (~3 GPA @ Full Sail University), and I've been trying to get a programming job. Any programming job really, just to get on that first stepping stone. Mainly the positions I researched involved game development, but there were a few other places I tried as well.

However, a lot of the places I apply to either ignore me or throw me away for a better candidate (could blame globalization/job market, but I won't). I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm just not that good, despite other people telling me how smart I am. Back when I was young, there was a lot of talk about autism and all that, but I don't really want to blame that either... so I'm not sure how I feel about people putting down my skills!

Two programming tests that I've taken so far that should have taken me 1-3 hours have ended up taking me 4-6. I typically design programs on paper before I feel comfortable about moving to the compiler, but I still run into snags on both paper & computer. I tend to get stuck between the design and code phase, and try to reference books with little closure.

I feel like I just work very slowly, or that minor distractions (noise, light, heat) take up way more of my time than it does for other people. I'm good with math and writing, but reading can take a while sometimes if the subject is complicated. Sometimes I have a hard time explaining myself, or I'll get frustrated and blame my feelings or confidence. My workspace at home is problematic as well, sometimes (too much noise, light, heat; those distractions!).

Some ask what languages I know:
I had a few high school courses for Java and VB.NET. I used VB a little at the time, and then I went into some scripting with NWN. (After that, some depression about my late father, lost practice, etc.)

Then I went to college and jumped into VB, C++, C#, LUA, XML, OpenGL, x86 (pretty good with that), Maya, some Direct X, some IP/TCP/UDP, and several dev studios... I learned ActionScript 3.0 and FlashDevelop on my own time.

I'm not sure what other applications of programming I'd be interested in trying. (Any suggestions are great! Thanks in advance if you have some.) Since I studied a lot for gameplay/3D dev, what might be a good stepping stone for a programming job?


TL;DR, How do you know if you're not a quick enough programmer? What should you do if you're not, and are there any good practice problems for a journeyman like me?

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Old July 23rd, 2010, 04:56 PM
progone progone is offline
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Make your own programs and sell them your self!! Why make money for someone else if you are the brains?

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Old August 11th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Bobidybob Bobidybob is offline
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Getting a job is more than just your skills. There are several factors that may be contributing to why you haven't found a job yet. Here are some things to consider:

Your Resume
Perhaps the thing thats holding you back is your resume. One way to determine this is by first looking at how many jobs you've applied for and how many have actually contacted you. If very few have contacted you after giving them your resume, then perhaps thats the problem. Make sure your resume has something on it that differentiates you from other candidates. Also, DON'T forget a cover letter. Cover letters are super important, especially if your resume itself is lacking.

Presence
Once you get your resume in check, you need to consider if it's getting in the hands of the right people. Places like Monster.com and Cybercoders.com are decent places to start putting up your resume. Make sure you take the time to make sure it's visible and loading properly. Also, make sure you take time to fill in all the profile information for your account. Additionally, check with your college's career center (assuming they have one). Many colleges offer tools and services to help you find a career. Local/Nearby career fairs are awesome as well.

Your Hobbies
What do you do in your spare time? Sure, going to movies, hiking, playing fooseball, and volunteering at the local YMCA are all great activities to do in your spare time. However, none of them are technical. Have at least one technical hobby. Develop some program on the side. Contribute to an open source project. Create (and maintain) your own personal website. Employers like hearing about your side projects. In all honesty, you should WANT to have technical hobbies like that.

Your Attitude and Behavior
You have to have the attitude of someone who is thriving to learn and work hard. Especially in interviews. If you seem like a fun person who wants to work hard and learn as much as possible, employers will have no reason not to hire you. Especially if you're qualified. If you're boring to talk to, it doesn't matter what you know, no one will want to work with you.

Jobs are out there. You just need to know where to look and can't have unrealistic expectations. If you do your part, everything will fall into place.
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