25 Aug 2020
In this Blog we spoke to an experienced Computer Gaming Programmer to get their insights on how to improve as a programmer, highlighting lessons learnt and useful tips!
Think Like a Computer
Spending the time looking into how computers actually compute your code.
For example “What does it do with memory when I do X” or “what does it need to do to complete X”, it can really change the way you think about a problem and help you to subconsciously think more 'like a computer' and create more optimised code/ways of doing the same thing.
Having that deeper understanding is really important if you want to make more complex things that require the performance and/or ways of implementing a feature that isn't done for you or commonly done and has sources online.
Get Used to Documentation
Get used to documentation, good and bad documentation. It is normally your best friend in working out problems and the more comfortable you feel digging through and understanding the terminology, the quicker you will get at learning a new language, module/package, program etc.
This goes hand in hand with getting used to reading code, debugging code/stepping through stuff that is not yours to be able to use/understand what a particular external package/module etc is doing and how.
Knowing how can really help the way in which the setup and wrapper around your own code will work.
Get a decent chair. Honestly, if you are spending X amount of time in it at a pc, you won't know how much of a difference it really makes until you get one.
Youtube and Twich, have a good number of programmers that create videos and/or stream code, on various topics with visuals, that can help grasp the underlying knowledge of programming (whether it be language and or engine etc).
Even if the video isn't 100% what you actually want to create, understanding the way they have done it can give you ideas or snippets of code/logic to use towards your own goal.
It also helps a lot to learn/understand algorithms or data structures etc, with a visual and step through guide.
For example, knowing sorting algorithms and the differences can not only improve the performance when you need to use it and you know which one to use etc, but can also help you setup your data in a way that will be easier to handle / quicker / more efficient to process depending on what you are doing to it.
Same goes for data structures, knowing more of them gives you a better vocabulary of ways you can store your own data that may be much better suited to what you are doing rather than only knowing one or two and thinking your options are limited.
Put the Time In
Put time into your passion, even if its not coded perfectly the first time, or is slow, every bit of progress is not only bettering yourself towards your goal and improving your knowledge but is an achievement in itself.
Don't be scared to start something even if you don't see the end or the perfect way etc, just start, the rest will fall into place bit by bit.
Be passionate and spend time inside and outside of work hours, enjoy it.
Do your own projects also and try all areas, really diversify what you are used to programming and be open with your code.
Listen to advice
Listen to peoples advice and never be too attached or defensive about your code/ the way you coded, people may actually be giving good advice, it’s not to hurt you or knock your skills, it’s to help you improve.
(Same goes for artists, it’s important to be open to change with your artwork and open to criticism for you to improve).
*I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those that helped contribute to this blog, Many Thanks!*
"TALK TO US"
We hope this blog was of use and would be delighted to hear your thoughts and any further tips for programmers to improve.
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