Home Business Insights & Advice Advice on how to become a video game programmer

Advice on how to become a video game programmer

by John Saunders
23rd Mar 20 4:15 pm

If you’re a teen in high school then it’s about that time when you need to start thinking about what kind of career path you want to follow. Even though you may want more time to decide, the earlier you start planning, the better, because the more time you have to develop the skills you need, the more prepared you’ll be.

It’s no surprise that a number of teens love playing video games – not only are they fun, but gaming is a hobby that helps people feel connected, get creative, and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. If you’re a gamer at heart, you may be considering a career in the video game industry as a video game programmer.

Video game programmers are the ones responsible for writing the code that makes up the game. They basically work on the skeleton, and without them, nothing would be possible. The path to the role of a game programmer is admittedly not easy, but if you follow these tips, you’ll have an easier time getting there.

Learn how to code

This one sounds obvious, but if you haven’t already, it’s time to learn how to code. It’ll give you a huge advantage when you go to college or university for whichever program you decide to enrol in (video game development, software engineering, etc.).

Learn to code this summer by signing up for coding camp. You’d be surprised to discover just how much you can learn in just a few weeks. Find a coding camp for kids that specializes in game development, that way you not only learn how to code but also get some hands-on experience which will be useful down the road.

Practice, practice, practice

After you’ve gained some experience from coding camp, it’s time to practice during your spare time by making your own video games using what you’ve learned. There are a number of free game dev tools that you can find online and use to practice your programming skills.

The process of learning programming has a lot to do with trial and error, as well as experimentation. The more you do, the more you learn, even when you run into road bumps along the way. As you overcome challenges, you’ll also develop resilience as the job of a programmer requires a lot of patience and troubleshooting.

Never hurts to network

Something you may not have considered doing is networking. If you know anyone in the industry, or have a mutual connection, try reaching out to them to see if you can connect and ask some questions like:

  • What is a day in your job like?
  • What sort of skills should I learn if I want to be a game programmer?
  • Which school and program do you think I should apply for?
  • Is there anything I can do now so that I can get noticed by employers later?

Having insider insight could help you navigate your path towards your dream career. If you don’t know anyone personally, then follow some game devs on social media and try to ask questions there – they might just be willing to help you out!

Follow these tips, and you’ll definitely have an easier time becoming a video game programmer.

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