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Geek Culture / Just wondering about life as a coder.

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hoyoyo80
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Posted: 28th Feb 2017 02:48
Hi all. I dont know where to put up this topic. I looking for a Offtopic Discussion but look like there isnt one.

Is there any thread that shows votes/statistic whether u r full time coder or hobbyist. Do u make any money from making game/tools?

Is there any of u that make off a living by making game. Solo or group? Care to share?

Thanks.
Phaelax
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Posted: 28th Feb 2017 15:44
I didn't do games, but I was a jsp developer. It's not as much fun as a hobbyist. Your opinions no longer matter. You get told to write a specific chunk of code, you may have no idea what it's used for or how. Get used to it. It becomes a game of here's what we want we don't need any further insight. Sure not all programming jobs are that way, but in my experience personal creativity no longer becomes a part of coding.

"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended." - Linus Torvalds
The Zoq2
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Posted: 28th Feb 2017 16:58
That doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Do you have that experience with many jobs?

As for myself, I am currently studying computer science and I do a lot of programming on the side as a hobby. I have had a couple of smaller programming summer jobs and I was a teachers assistant in a programming course at uni.

None of the jobs i've had have been game related however.
Say ONE stupid thing and it ends up as a forum signature forever. - Neuro Fuzzy
BatVink
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Posted: 28th Feb 2017 17:07
The most rewarding option is to work in a small team, where you get involved with everything from solution design to coding, testing and debugging.
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 28th Feb 2017 19:36
My experience is largely as a hobbyist. I enjoy it and I love the challenge of it and learning, with technologies progressing and new frameworks, tools and languages coming out of the woodwork, there is always an abundance of things to learn and always ways to improve yourself.

In a professional environment. My last 1.5 months don't count, because although I am programming at work, it is for an idea I had, that they liked, that I've coded and had the desired results and am still working on improving and building on. My idea, helps my colleague's idea, who is also a hobbyist programmer and we've been working together. He's handling the Excel VBA macro side and I've been working on the company intranet side. I was originally doing everything with JQuery and HTML code, I have put time into learning AngularJS for a more modular approach (and to help updates), which I have been gradually replacing over my JQuery stuff. I have been really been enjoying, particularly as it's going well, but that's a team of two and we're more nerds doing customer service related jobs using our nerdiness to our advantage.

However, if I were on a small team where my input matters, then I can see coding professionally being really enjoyable and rewarding. If more to Phaelax's experience, I'd find it gruelling, But I suspect it is not necessarily and industry issue, but more a question of the type of business and the business itself. Such as call centre work, like I am in now and knowing people who in different call centres, some take a more sweatshop approach, some take value of their employees.

But I do find people's experiences interesting to hear, because I do plan on getting into a professional coding eventually.
Phaelax
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Posted: 1st Mar 2017 17:50
Who's the guy that worked for EA in Canada? I bet he could chime in some thoughts.

"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended." - Linus Torvalds
hoyoyo80
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Posted: 4th Mar 2017 05:59
The main obj of me making the topic is to find out whether making money and making game for solo or small group and its relation to fulltime and part time coder eally is not only a dream.

Im following EITR game developement, they are army of two. And look like their game delay some more. I wonder whats the cause? Is it because of man power? Or due to other commitment (not a full time coder or designer).

One more point when i read somd guide on indie game industry is to have a "developement blog" . I wonder why the making jourmal is a must beside finishing the game.
The Zoq2
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Posted: 4th Mar 2017 09:24
Quote: "One more point when i read somd guide on indie game industry is to have a "developement blog" . I wonder why the making jourmal is a must beside finishing the game."


My guess is that it forces you to think about what and why you are impelmenting things which might make you realize that you spend too much or too little time on something. It's also a nice way to get a core audience.

Be careful though, a game i backed on kickstarter a few years ago called limit theory had the opposite effect from doing continuous dev logs. The developer focused way to much on having something presentable in every log and as a result got burned out and disappeared from the internet for about a year.
Say ONE stupid thing and it ends up as a forum signature forever. - Neuro Fuzzy
Jeku
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Posted: 4th Mar 2017 19:34 Edited at: 4th Mar 2017 19:37
Quote: "Who's the guy that worked for EA in Canada? I bet he could chime in some thoughts."


Ooh ooh, me me! I worked at EA for about 5 years and it was brutal.

I don't work on games professionally anymore, but am still doing some of that stuff on the side in my spare time. Nowadays I work for a company over in Nashville, but I live in Vancouver and work entirely remotely. It's great because I can work from a coffee shop and I get to touch many different web and server technologies. Bonus is they pay me in USD and the exchange rate is pretty awesome

If anyone is interested in playing the current Work In Progress of WordTrix, playable in a browser, go here. Use the arrow keys, and click in the window for full-screen: http://wordtrix.com/index.php/wordtrix/game It's a Zen version of my old game, so you can take all the time you want. It was made in Phaser and I'm currently trying to rig it up to work on Facebook. I've emailed and messaged Richard Davey about it because it was made in Phaser, and he doesn't reply. The game is probably an acquired taste
Senior Software Engineer - RotoGrinders
hoyoyo80
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Posted: 5th Mar 2017 00:23
Quote: "Nowadays I work for a company over in Nashville, but I live in Vancouver and work entirely remotely. It's great because I can work from a coffee shop "


Why does ur job sound wonderful
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 5th Mar 2017 16:42
Quote: "It was made in Phaser and I'm currently trying to rig it up to work on Facebook. I've emailed and messaged Richard Davey about it because it was made in Phaser, and he doesn't reply. The game is probably an acquired taste"


I came across Phaser in my travels, struck me when I realised it was one of Richard Davey's babies. Given I am playing my hand in trying to get into web development these days, engines built for use with HTML5 and JavaScript are increasingly taking my interest. How are you finding using it? I may be tempted to try it out once I've caught up with my current project.

Jeku
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Posted: 5th Mar 2017 23:17
Quote: "How are you finding using it?"


It's pretty great so far, although you need to invest in some hardcore obfuscation tools if you want the game to be hack-resistant. If you view the source of my game, you'll see the JS is completely scrambled in such a way that the leading reverse-engineering tools get led down wrong paths. This is my only problem with JS--- your code is typically out there for all to see. At least with something like AppGameKit your source is compiled and difficult to reverse-engineer.

Phaser is pretty great though, and I'm still learning new things about it every day. Once I figure out how to make the game scale automatically to various screen sizes, I want to port it to tablets and phones somehow.
Senior Software Engineer - RotoGrinders
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 5th Mar 2017 23:59
I think I'll give it a go. I have noticed that they have got it set up to work quite well in the IDE I've used for the last couple of months.
easter bunny
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Posted: 6th Mar 2017 01:38
Quote: " At least with something like AppGameKit your source is compiled and difficult to reverse-engineer"

As far as I understand, AppGameKit Bytecode files would be just as easy to decompile as .net assemblies. It's just AppGameKit is so obscure nobody has made a decompiler for it

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Mobiius
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Posted: 6th Mar 2017 10:57
I use AGK2 as a hobbyist, but work full time as a Java developer for the UK Government after having spent a year as a COBOL developer (For a different branch of the government). I don't do as much hobby programming any more, as after a long day at work programming, I just want to relax and play XBox, or now Nintendo Switch games.

I'd love to be a games developer, but need more experience (Or a kick ass game demo) before I can realise that dream!
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Phaelax
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Posted: 6th Mar 2017 14:15
Quote: "spent a year as a COBOL developer"

You brave soul! I hated using cobol.

"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended." - Linus Torvalds
KingChrisGames
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Posted: 6th Mar 2017 17:51
I did some coding in college, using the unreal engine I found that I spent a lot of my time finding why something did not work and finding typos XD
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 6th Mar 2017 19:32 Edited at: 6th Mar 2017 19:33
Quote: "I found that I spent a lot of my time finding why something did not work and finding typo"


I think we all know your pain here. I broke my website with a typo, that managed to slide by the debugger unnoticed, because the piece of code wasn't in the development environment but in the production. I spent ages trying all sorts of complicated nonsense based on the nature of the errors I got. Then I discovered a tool on my host's commandline that I didn't know existed and caught the error for me and I went back to my code and there was a damn typo.

It can be so simple. It's also why I hate using Excel's VBA at work, because its debugger is mostly very non-descriptive and I have been spoiled by more comprehensive tools for debugging.
BatVink
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Posted: 10th Mar 2017 08:31
Quote: "spent a year as a COBOL developer"


I spent several years as an RPG developer (the IBM language, not the game genre). I miss the days of green-on-black screens
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
Morcilla
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Posted: 10th Mar 2017 09:58 Edited at: 4th Apr 2017 09:58
Quote: "I spent several years as an RPG developer"

Those IBM AS/400 were great

This was how programming in RPG looked like:



And this is the state of the art nowadays, Flow. A completely visual programming language, almost no writing needed:



These kind of tools are owned by big companies, and to have access to them is a privilege that only professional developers enjoy.

So, you can do both things, work full time for a company and make games and things you like in your spare time, as a way to express yourself
easter bunny
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Posted: 10th Mar 2017 13:28
Quote: "A completely visual programming language, almost no writing needed"

Tbh that sounds horrendous who would ever code like that?? I mean I don't even get what the advantage of that over like C# is

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Ortu
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Posted: 10th Mar 2017 14:45 Edited at: 10th Mar 2017 14:47
We still use an AS400 eSeries as our primary business (inventory, accounting, etc) system

I work on a green screen daily, and we've got an amber monochrome terminal for the phone system. I've always preferred amber
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Morcilla
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Posted: 10th Mar 2017 14:49 Edited at: 10th Mar 2017 14:51
Quote: "who would ever code like that??"

Well, many many big companies use this technology, like Coca-Cola, Fujitsu, Disney, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Chevron Corporation, Lufthansa, Bank of Tokyo, British Telecommunications, or even Ferrari company, to name some.

Advantages are easiness of development, which allows to shorten development times, and easiness of maintenance, which reduces maintenance efforts.

The point is that services can be developed and integrated flawlessly with this approach.

Quote: "We still use an AS400"

It is a formidable platform.
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 10th Mar 2017 19:49
Quote: "Advantages are easiness of development, which allows to shorten development times, and easiness of maintenance, which reduces maintenance efforts."
The real question for me is this: does using that kind of development compromise software quality? Or perhaps it makes it better, because no human error is involved in writing the code? Because gosh, there are some programs I use on a daily basis *cough* Spotify *cough* that have got to be some of the most poorly developed, most horrendously quality control lacking pieces of software I have ever used.

With Spotify, for instance, there are a myriad of UI bugs that haven't been fixed literally for years (and it's not on my end, I've experienced the issues on multiple installs of Windows on multiple computers). And then errors where you click one song and another one plays altogether. Or even loading an artist with a lot of songs seems to be enough to bring the UI to a nearly unusable crawl. Or of the program has been sitting too long even, it pretty much freezes up. Memory leaks galore. Oh and then automatic updating... Ahh, I could talk about how crappy I think Spotify is allllll day long. But then again the service is quite handy. Just the software it's implemented on is not.
"I do quite enjoy quoting myself, and I do so often. It's very fun." - Myself
BatVink
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Posted: 11th Mar 2017 16:55
Quote: "This was how programming in RPG looked like"


That's RPG IV. You have free format EVAL statements there.
It was even more structured in RPG/400 and previous

Quote: "We still use an AS400 eSeries as our primary business"

I work with many companies running iSeries (aka AS/400). The original solution was RPG-based then moved to Java. It's multi-platform now but customers choose iSeries over Windows and Unix for it's stability and sheer power.
@Ortu are you running one of the usual suspects: BPCS, MAAPICs, Baan, System/21, Movex?
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
Ortu
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Posted: 12th Mar 2017 00:52 Edited at: 12th Mar 2017 01:39
It's an iSeries eServer sorry, a 9406, one of these guys:

http://www.global-itcorp.com/products/ibm/ibm-as400-iseries-systems/as400-9406-models-720730740/

We use MMS by JDA with a good bit of custom modification
http://games.joshkirklin.com/sulium

A single player RPG featuring a branching, player driven storyline of meaningful choices and multiple endings alongside challenging active combat and intelligent AI.
Phaelax
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Posted: 13th Mar 2017 14:18
Years ago I wanted to learn RPG after I saw how much those jobs were paying. Unfortunately, I couldn't really find a way to practice it at home on a normal computer.

"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended." - Linus Torvalds
BatVink
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Posted: 13th Mar 2017 16:46
The reason why it pays so highly is that you can't learn it at home, school or university.
You only get your hands on it when you get a job in a company using it.
The other reason is that it's a bit of a legacy language now. There is very little new development in RPG. It's a shame, because it's one hell of an efficient language on a beast of a machine. We have customers with 3,000+ users working on one one iSeries server, and dozens of batch jobs running in the background. The iSeries is also the web server, delivering web interfaces to all of the users.
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
TutCity is being rebuilt
CJB
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Posted: 16th Mar 2017 17:07
I spent 5 years as a COBOL / JCL developer for a large credit card processing company about 20 years ago. I'm currently working mostly with PHP for an insurance company. My dream would be to form a small team of AppGameKit devs and have the most awesome office on the planet, knocking out great little games and apps all day long.... If I have a win on the lottery it will become reality.
easter bunny
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Posted: 17th Mar 2017 05:45
Quote: "My dream would be to form a small team of AppGameKit devs and have the most awesome office on the planet, knocking out great little games and apps all day long.... If I have a win on the lottery it will become reality."

Man that is basically my dream too. When I finish my CS Degree in three years time we should talk

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CJB
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Posted: 17th Mar 2017 16:01
Okay pal... but why wait!? Haha. Let's crowd-fund it Who's in?
Dazzag
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Posted: 20th Mar 2017 10:36 Edited at: 20th Mar 2017 11:15
Depends. Throughout my professional coding career (about 22 years now) I have had to cover a range of tasks outside of just programming. I always prefer programming, but I learned to also love the processes involved in every other part of software development. When you have pretty much complete control of the whole process, then it's much more rewarding when developing something new, rather than just coding blindly (sometimes you don't even know what the code is even for, or what it really does in the scheme of things) exactly what somebody else decided was right . Supporting 20 year old code though, trying to find a bug, can be a nightmare.

Overall though I still love my job (same one from 1995), as I work on a massive system where a new task or amendment is nearly always something new. I so wanted to work on games professionally when I came out of Uni (CS degree), but ended up working in the travel industry (many various types of booking systems from Teletext type efforts to Web based).

I know a few people who worked for game companies, and overall it seems like it can be a bit boring and extremely stressful (compared to what I do). I mean what if your main responsibility is creating menus or the high score chart. For every single game. Yawn. Even the main game dynamics can get a bit taxing if you are testing with QA people day after day on one little thing. Put it this way, one game I put on iOS took me one excited Sunday to pretty much get 95% of the gameplay in place. It was a simple game, so the graphics only took another day or two (note was working full time as well). Adrenaline pumping, and I should have got it submitted by the end of the week surely. Nope. Took about 3 weeks putting together a Nintendo inspired draw your own signature high score table, which while neat was a git to get working fast enough on multiple device types (mainly iOS and WebOS at the time). Another week or two for the menus. In the end I took about 3 months from start to finish, with the remainder mainly fixing bugs or polishing the odd thing. At least two months of that was tedious repetitive testing, which was more annoying with different platforms that didn't quite work the same way.

Then again, an old Uni friend of mine worked for EA in SF on a few big titles, and it sounded pretty good, but he now works for Amazon on Lumberyard, and looks pretty damn happy. All that 1st class travel to conventions around the world probably helps He was the guy coding raster routines on the Atari ST in assembly when the rest of us were playing games. Heheh, possibly should have taken more notice Then again the guy was like a kickboxer, and was learning to fly planes with the RAF (side thing while doing a CS degree). Hard to keep up to that level, when getting out of bed at 12pm was an effort...

Also I think it depends on how into programming a *lot* you are (try putting in 5-10 years and see if you feel the same enthusiasm), the job you get, and the people you work with/for. Coding professionally can be hell, boring, and depressing, but in the right environment with the right frame of mind, then it can be the best thing ever. At some points I wouldn't have swapped my job for twice the pay. I had the chance a few times too, but look back at the people who took the opportunities and don't regret it (eg. 90 hour working weeks for months/years on end was one example). Personally I'm happy with my balance of work (4 days a week from home in a hot country these days), relaxation (3 day weekend helps), and hobby programming, even if I rarely get a game out these days

Oh, and I'll also add it depends how nice your company is. I worked for years in a company that felt like family, then 911 hit, and the owner got cold feet and sold up to our main competitor. A year later and half of my colleagues (quite a lot were good friends) were redundant. Something like 5 years of large scale redundancies after that doesn't do your stress levels much good.... For that period I probably would have been much less positive in describing my job to you. Fun times! Heheh, you can almost see the bitterness and general ground-down-iness on experienced professional coders if you look over some of the old job discussion threads here. Hell, I'd only been in my job about 5 years when I joined here (2000 when the original forum was used), and loved everything about my job. Even doing nuts hours for 3 months in Dubai just made me love it more Ah, it was like prequel shiny Star Wars me, compared to battle worn X-Wing me nowadays

Sigh. And now to think about writing that damn book I always wanted to (I took 3 years of my life writing novel writing software to write my book as all other software was a massive rip-off and rubbish at the time (2001-ish), before giving up at the last hurdle (needed to upgrade everything to .NET from VS6) and getting married instead )...

Cheers
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Phaelax
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Posted: 20th Mar 2017 10:53
Quote: "My dream would be to form a small team of AppGameKit devs and have the most awesome office on the planet, knocking out great little games and apps all day long"


Let me know when you start hiring!

"I like offending people, because I think people who get offended should be offended." - Linus Torvalds
bushido
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Posted: 23rd Mar 2017 19:41
[quote= "Well, many many big companies use this technology, like Coca-Cola, Fujitsu, Disney, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Chevron Corporation, Lufthansa, Bank of Tokyo, British Telecommunications, or even Ferrari company, to name some.

Advantages are easiness of development, which allows to shorten development times, and easiness of maintenance, which reduces maintenance efforts.

The point is that services can be developed and integrated flawlessly with this approach. [/quote]

I went into the Infosec realm anything that is coding is easy to exploit or find 0 days. Something like this sounds like a dream come true!
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TheComet
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Posted: 29th Mar 2017 00:13 Edited at: 29th Mar 2017 00:15
A little late, but here's my two cents.

I appear to be reaching that critical part in my life where my experience and knowledge is advanced enough to actually create useful tools (IK solver, various scientific front-end applications, bug fixes in large open source projects, etc.) but I'm still too dumb to realise these projects could be turned into business opportunities, so instead of trying to make money like a smart person would, I'm releasing all of my code for free because I believe sharing is caring.

The programming market is saturated, making money is hard unless you're in the top 1%. One bad experience I made was writing small software tools for a hacker community. Making decent money was impossible, it seemed like whatever deal I could offer would easily be trumped by some Indian dude who could barely write code. Quality was irrelevant, it was all about meeting the minimum requirements. I saw some of the code and it made me scream (if you're interested, see here, I mirrored one of the projects from one of these Indians).

Another bad experience I made was tutoring IT students. Again, the market was flooded with Indians or Russians who could easily bid a third of my minimum price. There's just no way to survive down there.

I told myself to never get a job where I develop software. I feel like it would be hell due to the lack of quality and the overall ineptness of teammates. I keep programming as a hobby and I enjoy coding. If I ever do decide to take up programming as a career, it will be in a startup company or as a freelancer.

TheComet
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Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 29th Mar 2017 23:05
Sounds like a difficult time for coding. What are the jobs like for it in the area? Sounds like your endeavours have been through the internet, where the advantage goes to those in countries with people whose economy means they get paid less.

The reason I've been working on web development is that I often see web development related jobs pop up in my local area and I enjoy coding it. A quick search just now for a 20 mile radius has given me quite a few, a number of them junior roles. However, I do live just outside of Cambridge, so might be a place with a higher demand for them, but worth looking if you haven't, assuming it's what you'd want to do. And the jobs don't pay too badly either, £20-25k for a junior position, going up to £45-£50k, some senior going to £60-70k.
Conjured Entertainment
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Posted: 30th Mar 2017 01:58 Edited at: 30th Mar 2017 02:08
My experience is similar to TheComet., as in the best coding I have done was for free, so I am just a hobbyist as well.

I did have a little experience with COBOL back in the early 90's, and I didn't mind structured programming.

I worked on Mersenne prime numbers with my own code until I found one longer than general public accepted as the longest one.

I also like to work on creating my own encryption algorithms just for fun, and I am getting close to my own compression method for videos.
The trick that eludes me is combining the two.
I am getting close with something I have worked on for over a decade having little epiphany every year or two that gets me one step closer.

I have OCD and ADD, so everything has to be perfect, but not for long. -         -         -
I jump back and forth from ideas to brainstorms, so I rarely finish many things other than casual games that can be coded in a few days or a week or so.
Not much good on teams, because I like doing things my way, so I stick to the indie route usually.

All hobby for me so far, until I have my compression breakthrough, and then it is Patent time to ca$h in.
Hang on to your dreams man, because they can be the key to happiness when the world is trying to take a dump on you.

Coding things my way since 1981 -- Currently using AppGameKit V2 Tier 1
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 30th Mar 2017 11:48 Edited at: 30th Mar 2017 11:50
Quote: "I also like to work on creating my own encryption algorithms just for fun, and I am getting close to my own compression method for videos."
Ahah, you're my type of guy! It's been a while since I've done much programming, and even when I did it wasn't much, but a lot of it was this type of stuff.

For instance, I managed to render a 3D rotating cube in DBPro, not using any libraries and using only the dot command to draw to the screen. It even had transparent polygons, but that was just because I forgot to implement Z buffering early on...

I also created a very simple program that drew a circle and then anti aliased it, again all with only the dot command.

Those two are the main ones I've done that I can think of. I've dabbled with compression before but got frustrated and gave up before long...

And then there's been all of the different kinds of computer architectures I've wanted to create. Just recently, I developed a design for some water and gravity based logic gates -- grr, I really need to get my 3D printer working!

Quote: "I jump back and forth from ideas to brainstorms, so I rarely finish many things other than casual games that can be coded in a few days or a week or so."
Just like me too. I become interested in something, brainstorm the crap out of it and become nearly consumed by it, and often even start a project... Then just a couple weeks later, I've moved onto other things. And it's not just coding, it's literally just about everything I've ever been interested in.
"I do quite enjoy quoting myself, and I do so often. It's very fun." - Myself
Conjured Entertainment
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Posted: 30th Mar 2017 17:07
Quote: " I've dabbled with compression before but got frustrated and gave up before long... "

lol
I nearly gave up on it early on too, when I was still in the binary mind set.
I move on to the other things until an idea pops in my head while thinking of something else.
It's like, oh man that might work for my compression method, and then I jump back in until I get another brain cramp and put it on the back burner again.
My work with prime numbers has helped a lot, and I am so close its hard to stop now, then I discovered Bitcoins... ugh
That is a good sidetrack though, so I am rail hopping back and forth at the moment. (yes, I get headaches more often now)

Coding things my way since 1981 -- Currently using AppGameKit V2 Tier 1
Jeku
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Posted: 1st Apr 2017 20:31
There's definitely great salaries to be made being a software engineer for US companies... that's why I relocated to the USA twice before settling back here in Canada. If you have a few years experience you can easily get close to or over 6 figures of income, and the tax rates are typically low. If you think you can't make money in software dev then you're doing it wrong Just learn what's in demand, start as a junior and work your way up from there.
Senior Software Engineer - RotoGrinders
nz0
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Posted: 15th Apr 2017 21:00
Interesting thread.

As an old'un, I've been involved with many technologies, languages and environments. I've invested time in ideas and tech that went nowhere as well as things that were successful. I've had my 15 minutes in the software world, so I'm satisfied
Right now, I operate a development company with over 40 employees and 25 years of presence, but no longer code commercially.

I do though, however hire new talent. If anyone is looking to get into commercial application development I would be interested in anyone who is experienced in c#, ASP.NET, especially with relational database experience. Currently, i am looking for 4 "apprentices" to join an established, expanding team.
If you are interested, the location is Cheshire, UK.

I've interviewed 100's of aspiring developers and here's my results:

I have some great developers because I have selected the right people. Unfortunately, it is a saturated market and all number of churned out graduates turn up expecting an automatic career because they have a degree. Not the case.
There's a lot of jobs for sure, but it's all churn and burn. The big employers damage aspirations through bad team management and individual development. In our business, we develop the strengths of our developers because we recognise the value of retention.

It's a problem when the market is buoyant and the talent pool is full (but not necessarily full of talent).

Many programming jobs are dreary - coding bits of stuff you have no idea what they are for and more importantly being made to code in a way that doesn't engage you. Be careful where you start your career and don't compromise on your goals. Before you know it, you can make yourself employable only as a journeyman without fulfillment.
If you are the type of person who just chases the £, then that's fine, but developers I hire want to "make" something and care about the end user and even the purpose of the product that they are making.

When I first started off, I wanted to make a mark - make the killer app, get fame and recognition. I probably made choices which although they helped me later, didn't help in the short term. Some people just want to get on the ladder and start earning ££. Be careful though, as you may become disillusioned and hate coding. You should always enjoy your work.

Glad to see there are other "mature" users on here. Experience is priceless.

I hope our staff development model continues to work. We still have graduates working for us which I recruited in 1997-1999. It's great to see people develop and grow. I have worked for big companies in the past and don't have fond memories. Useful experience yes, but not preferable to smaller, efficient and focused companies.

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