Beseech thy lord

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Deepfreeze32
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:26 am


Joining an open source project is a great way to get your hands in some real development and an easy way to start small and work your way up. This is something I wish I did when I was in college. You can get feedback from some very talented developers this way, too. Reading code reviews from an epic engineer can be far more of a learning experience than any class.
Not to mention, It looks great on a resume, and when it comes to competing in today's economy, you're going to need everything you can get.
I've been mulling over joining one for a while, and my biggest fear has been that I wouldn't be beneficial to the development of the project. I'm crazy insecure like that, and I know I'm nowhere near the level of coders like you and Arctic.

That and I'm not altogether sure what I would be good at. :P I've pondered assisting with hardware emulation or various graphics libraries, but the complexity of the established projects is about an astronomical unit over my current skill. XD
Independent development is great. Shows you are self-motivated and capable, and you can learn a lot about the development process in the meanwhile. If you can collaborate with someone, great! The CDN speedgames I mentioned in another thread is a great way to jump into this. The quick 2 week dev time is amazing for getting a birds eye view of a project's lifecycle and I've learned much about development, project management and how I am as a coder from it.
I'm already on this one. Currently working (Well not currently due to internet problems but...) on an RPG project and I've been trying to recruit help. It doesn't exactly come in droves from my lazy CS friends. XD

I'll have to check out this speedgame thing. My main qualm with it would be that I'd spend a vast majority of the time figuring out why such and such API isn't working. Unless the rules say you can only use the standard library for the language/SDK. :P
Network. Get to know your fellow coders. If you have a CS, software development or game development club, join it! Participate in the competitions or projects. The people around you will go places and it's good to have friends recommending you to their bosses. Or better, when one of you want to start a company, you'll have people to pull from. On top of this, working on teams and learning from one another will do wonders to your skill sets.
Hehe, this is an odd scenario. Me and a few friends basically ARE the ACM chapter on this campus. All the other coders just don't bother with us, no matter how enticing we make it. That said, I'm friends with just about every CS/IT student, and I know most of the professors really well. The downside to this is that a lot of them are lazy. I've been trying to pull several of them into this game project, but all of them either said no time, or just a straight no.

We also tend to stick together a lot for classes. The only reason we survived our OOP class was because we did homework/studying as a group. Most of the CS majors know each other really well because these hard classes are conducive to teamwork. :P
Keep an eye out for new technology. Companies love to see initiative taken by engineers having at least a handle on multiple (and new) technologies, and it gives you a whole lot of great new toys to work with. When you get in the field, you'll have to be prepared to use a variety of different tools; being accustomed to various IDEs, revision control systems and other dev tools will help you get a leg up.
Since I'm a huge open-source/Free Software supporter, I'm usually limited to what I can afford (Almost always nothing). However, I've been reading various ACM and IEEE news lists about emerging technologies, so I've been exposed to most of the ideas.

Any preferred sources for these sorts of technologies?
Get an internship as soon as you can. Don't hesitate, no matter what year you are. This saved my butt. I left college at a time when as an entry level programmer, I had to compete with people with 2-3 years of experience. I shudder to think how I would have fared without my 2 internships. On top of a resume filler, I got good experience and recommendations. I had a friend who kept bothering me to get "a better job" during college to thank for this. (Also, many dev internships pay far better than any "college job" you'd have. Experience and better pay, with a side of doing what you love? Score.)
I tried as hard as I could allot time for to get one (Which with semesters like I've been taking, is no easy task), but to no avail. Beyond the fact that I'm an inexperienced programmer, I could honestly see no reason I didn't at least get a call-back. I never got one. Not one. Since this is year number 2 of this unfortunate luck, I've just decided that I need to develop my own code since apparently no one will hire me to do it.

I only got interviewed once, and that was because they were at our school interviewing everyone. I guess I blew the interview because I'm pretty much the only CS guy they didn't hire (Who interviewed, that is).

Any advice there?
But most of all, love development and technology. No way you can compete in this field without it. But, I'm getting a feeling this isn't a problem for you. :)


I gave a pretty general advice, since I don't know how far you are. Where would you say you are as a developer and what year in college are you?
Heh, not a problem at all.

I'm a junior in college, and depending on the area of programming I'm either average or above average for my age/experience.

I love math and physics, so I do a fair amount of graphics programming. I honestly don't know any student at my university that programs graphics like I do (I'm passionate about it. My peers often see it as a chore). If I had to choose one particular area to be in for the rest of my life, I'd either do graphics or simulation and modeling.

So where am I as a developer? Nowhere near where I want to be. My main development workstation is currently crippled so I'm stuck on a laptop with insufficient graphics power for what I currently want to do. I know basic Object-Oriented programming, I'd say I have enough C++ experience to get a job, and I'm pretty good with various APIs and extensions. I also learn languages really quickly. I taught myself Javascript in about an hour and was able to debug a website within another hour after that. The paradox of learning: The more you know, the more you know you DON'T know.

I'd also like to point out that if I could go back, I'd probably have majored in Computer Engineering instead of Computer Science. I've taken the low-level courses, and I find subjects like processor architecture, operating system-hardware interfaces, and hardware development to be fascinating. My favorite course at school wasn't even a Computer Science course; it was an Electrical Engineering course (Circuits I). I love hardware. XD


So with all this information, any extra advice or suggestions?

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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:10 am

I wouldn't worry about switchig. If you want to do programming, stay with CS. One of my fav classes was hardware and operating systems design (the computer engineering classes for my major), and most of the CS classes were a bore, but working as a developer is fantastic. Not sure if I would have liked doing more hardware based work. If you want to work more in hardware, maybe go ahead and switch, but if you want to stick to development, don't let the classes get you down.


As for technologies, some of the best are free :) Free versions of visual studio and sql server are available for college students through Dreamspark. Eclipse (okay, I don't like it, but it's a decent IDE for java, and it's extendable) is free. Good revision control systems like Git and Mercurial (and if you want a central repostitory, which is going out of fashion for developers, SVN) are free. Probably the only development tool out there I am considering actually spending money on is .NET reflector (pretty awesome at decompiling). And of coruse, never forget Notepad++. Sweet, sweet notepad++.
I've been mulling over joining one for a while, and my biggest fear has been that I wouldn't be beneficial to the development of the project. I'm crazy insecure like that, and I know I'm nowhere near the level of coders like you and Arctic.
This has been and still is a huge issue for me, and it's been something I've struggled with. I've always felt inadequate and it takes conscious effort to bring myself forward and contribute. Focus on your ability to accomplish and learn, and you'll find problems began to fall away as you feel confident in yourself. Also, the advantage of joining an Open Source project, you can begin by just grabbing some low hanging fruit. Small bugs that are left there, and slowly work your way up to bigger issues. No pressure, work at your own pace.
And don't forget to focus on the brightside! (besides, you don't know if I'm any good as a coder :P )

This is especially important for job interviews! Pump yourself up when going into it. Tell yourself that you can handle whatever they can throw at you. This makes a world of difference. I'm not a great public speaker and a poor interviewer, but thinking positive and confident allowed me to really nail some interviews. Sometimes it helps to keep in mind that the interview is both ways; you're always interviewing the company to see if you want to work there.
Now, the first job is always the hardest to land. No doubt there. Stay on the look out. Get on sites like monster, careerbuilder, cybercoder, simplyhired, indeed, etc and get your resume out. If you want, I'll look it over and give some pointers and such. (no need to send me any personal information.)
Keep a look out for internship opportunities, or better, make some. The advantage of an internship is the company knows you're coming to get experience, all you need to prove is that you have what it takes to take advantage of the opportunity.
And remember, don't let the job search get you down. So much of this is a mind game.
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Chozon1 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:36 am

What's your ranged weaponry like?
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:30 pm

I don't own any. Not out of principle, I'm a big 2nd amendment rights supporter, I just never got any.
My wife does own a bow, say I guess by proxy, so do I.
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Chozon1 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:49 am

Odd. We actually do own guns, but I've never shot one.

NERF guns?
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:44 pm

Vulcan cannon. Maverick Revolver. 10 shot automatic. Little derringer thing. Some BuzzBee (pretty nice knockoffs, really) ones, too: bolt action rifle and double barrel shotgun. I used to have more, but they're gone.
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Chozon1 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:56 am

Nice armory. XD I use to have more when I was a kid (including a green one that would shoot a very long ways), but at the moment I've only got a four shot revolver type deal.

What is it that makes NERF so much fun?
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:51 pm

This, of course:
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Chozon1 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:28 am

I couldn't help but vote for IT. But if work was really like that...hoo.

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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:08 pm

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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:01 pm

In a world where C# exists, why is there J#, and have you ever worked with it?
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:15 pm

Never used it. I saw it, wondered why it existed, and then moved on.
But now you bring it up again, I think I'll see what it's all about.
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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:37 pm

Ruby?

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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby Truthseeker » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:54 pm

Is it possible for a human being to control what he or she believes?
Brokan Mok

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek . . . to be understood, as to understand.

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Re: Beseech thy lord

Postby ArchAngel » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:18 am

Deep: Played with it a little bit, but it never interested me enough to follow with it.

TruthSeeker: Oh, man. That's quite the question. On a very surface level, yes. But as it so happens, it's through your beliefs that they are modified and in that they evolve naturally as a combination of forces from one's own self in combination with their environment.
There is undoubtedly the illusion that you have sway over your own beliefs, just as we have illusion that we can choose our actions freely.

Perhaps I make consciousness too passive of an observer of the unconscious, but ultimately I don't know, but I'm leaning towards "no, you can't actually control what you believe" and that any change in belief has already occurred subconsciously.
But this is an impractical mindset to hold, more suited for theory than exercise, since all we truly are aware of is the conscious and any apparent impressions from the unconscious and in the end, you just keep living your life and doing the best you can.
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