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Piggy Smalls
Jun 21, 2015

YOSPOS


Alder posted:

I have a strong understanding of algebra but I admit, I was still totally lost on pure math and higher college math courses. Math is something one must practice constantly otherwise once you start slacking all a sudden you lose some basic math skills. The good part of college is that they often have math centers where you can bother the grad students and volunteers to help solve problems.

I love all this advice. Thank you goons! I send my son all your advice!

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KillHour
Oct 28, 2007


Piggy Smalls posted:

If he wanted to go down the path you chose what sort of college education would be needed? Would you need a degree?

I don't have a degree but I'm very lucky to get as far as I have without one. The honest truth is for most corporate jobs, MA > BS > BA, and other than that it doesn't really matter what they're in - they just get you past HR.

My job has nothing to do with programming or video games, and the path I took was very much an opportunistic one. I'm the kind of person that craves variety in my work, so I just kind of take whatever interesting things come my way rather than looking for something particular.

Edit: The fact that he has someone willing to go through this much effort to help him figure out how to achieve his goals plays a big part in his chances of success. You're a good parent.

KillHour fucked around with this message at Jun 30, 2017 around 06:11

Piggy Smalls
Jun 21, 2015

YOSPOS


KillHour posted:

I don't have a degree but I'm very lucky to get as far as I have without one. The honest truth is for most corporate jobs, MA > BS > BA, and other than that it doesn't really matter what they're in - they just get you past HR.

My job has nothing to do with programming or video games, and the path I took was very much an opportunistic one. I'm the kind of person that craves variety in my work, so I just kind of take whatever interesting things come my way rather than looking for something particular.

Edit: The fact that he has someone willing to go through this much effort to help him figure out how to achieve his goals plays a big part in his chances of success. You're a good parent.

Thank you! I try my best. I can say that this thread has given my son so much information and I'm so grateful to all you goons.

Khorne
May 1, 2002

Goonstone Champ x2

Piggy Smalls posted:

Such awesome answers. My son said he appreciates all the advice. He is worried because he's not so strong in math.
Lots of game programming doesn't require math, and most non-game programming jobs don't require math. Anything involving rendering is going to involve math unless it's being hand waved away by the engine/libraries you're using. And good news, it often is.

Also, let's strangle the "I'm not good at math" thing in the cradle: no one is good at math until they do it a bunch. It's not like English, chemistry, or history where you're told something and you spit it back out. In the case of English, you practice it every time you read or speak. Math is about going to class, taking notes, reading a chapter if necessary, and then you try to work through problems and fail and keep going back to reference material, asking people to explain it or reading/viewing a website like khan academy for the same problem type, reverse engineering problems you have the answer to, and doing more and more problems until you get:
  • The ability to identify that specific type of problem
  • How to solve that type of problem
Then once you get it you are good at that type of math problem if you can identify it. Most people who are "bad at math" just don't get the process. You won't know what the answer is going to be and you won't really know how you're going to solve a problem until you work at it. Programming anything complicated is often a lot like that, too. And in the future, if you approach the same type of problem, you'll have a good idea of how it's done. It's getting past the initial phase of dealing with a new problem type that's hard, and it's why people think they aren't good at any subject that involves that type of problem solving.

Once you take the time to learn a specific problem type, or get exposed to it enough, it's like doing addition and subtraction. You know, those now-simple things you spent literal years learning and using.

edit: vvv that post is true as hell too. And once you solve it once you can reference your old code solution in the future.

Khorne fucked around with this message at Jul 6, 2017 around 02:54

Bruegels Fuckbooks
Sep 14, 2004

Now, listen - I know the two of you are very different from each other in a lot of ways, but you have to understand that as far as Grandpa's concerned, you're both pieces of shit! Yeah. I can prove it mathematically.

Piggy Smalls posted:

Such awesome answers. My son said he appreciates all the advice. He is worried because he's not so strong in math.

One of the issues with middle-school / high school / early college level math classes that discourages students is the preoccupation with memorization, and timed quizzes and tests. In the real world, you can take days to work through a math-y programming problem and no one will really care, you can read whatever book you want, and you only have to solve the problem once and the computer will remember it forever. You don't have to knock the math classes out of the park - it's ok to muddle through linear algebra and calculus with B's - you just need to learn enough from the classes to know what books have the answers to the problems you're trying to solve.

nielsm
Jun 1, 2009




Fallen Rib

Bruegels Fuckbooks posted:

One of the issues with middle-school / high school / early college level math classes that discourages students is the preoccupation with memorization, and timed quizzes and tests. In the real world, you can take days to work through a math-y programming problem and no one will really care, you can read whatever book you want, and you only have to solve the problem once and the computer will remember it forever. You don't have to knock the math classes out of the park - it's ok to muddle through linear algebra and calculus with B's - you just need to learn enough from the classes to know what books have the answers to the problems you're trying to solve.

That's very true about any subject, it's most important to know what can be known, than to actually know all the details. This helped me immensely in learning programming. I spent lots of time just reading the manuals/help files for the tools I were using at the time (Visual Basic and later Delphi), browsing from page to page and just reading about random things I had no immediate use for. I sure didn't remember any details, but I did learn that ideas existed and could be looked up for later reference.

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brothertim
Mar 6, 2013


Bruegels Fuckbooks posted:

One of the issues with middle-school / high school / early college level math classes that discourages students is the preoccupation with memorization, and timed quizzes and tests. In the real world, you can take days to work through a math-y programming problem and no one will really care, you can read whatever book you want, and you only have to solve the problem once and the computer will remember it forever. You don't have to knock the math classes out of the park - it's ok to muddle through linear algebra and calculus with B's - you just need to learn enough from the classes to know what books have the answers to the problems you're trying to solve.

I wish this was how it went, not "learn a new concept on tuesday, have a hard-as-gently caress quiz on thursday."

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