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What is there to learn?

Other than IT support industry, careers involving computers are fairly similar, if you want to get into the Computer Games Industry (which has seen the biggest growth recently) as a programmer there are several ways in which you can do this

  • You can get a qualification that will develop the necessary vocational skills and academic qualifications
  • You can obtain a degree in a relevant discipline that includes work experience to get you those all important contacts 
  • You can try to apply directly through job-centres or by getting yourself represented through an agency
  • Of course there are also vendor based qualifications like Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA

All of which will cost you money and if you can afford it then it is a worthwhile process to pursue. Most reasonable computer games companies advertise the requirements of what they are looking for including experience and qualification, most of which is a minimum of three years just to be considered for an interview

But then everybody else will have these same skills and qualifications in C#, C++ and Java etc. and will also be pursuing these same careers!

So what can make you stand out? what can make you noticeable? what can make an employer think "this persons different, this person's interesting"?

Well, a knowledge of retro computing; skills in a procedural language; being able to program in other languages as well as those expected; showing that you can learn other programming methods that are not 'run of the mill'; an understanding of command line intrepreters (like those found within online gaming); error trapping command line instructions, all of these are just a small start that could make the difference

The Sinclair QL programming language SuperBasic, the operating system QDOS or later ones such as Minerva, SMS based, may just be the thing that gives you that 'edge', it's retro and there is a wealth of utilities, applications, games and other vertical software available for you to try and keep for free

Its command line interface and interpreted language are very easy to use (sometimes qwerky), however unless you own a Sinclair QL then you will not be able to access the software potential or run the programmes. Searching around the internet you could buy one second-hand one but your are still looking at around £100 to £250

Alternatively with no QL in your possession you will need an emulator, and some of these are free, so if you want that something extra, if you want to do something that will stimulate your brain or just want to do something just for fun then one more click will start you on that journey (click here)