Video game programmer/ career path

Looking for a little direction with this one.

Just finished codecademys “code foundations” course. Initially I wasnt sure where to start as far as programming/coding but my passion is video games. I just keep hearing “DUDE, you HAVE to learn C++. Thats a must!”

Should I learn about C++ right now? or should I continue down a more general path like codecademys “Computer Science” lesson plan? While it shows the general concept of computer science/ programming, it also kind of teaches the language “Python” at the same time. I figure it can;t hurt to learn python and I could probably use more of a general understanding of all this since I am completely new at this stuff, but at the same time codecademy does offer this course on C++ that keeps catching my eye.

Just looking for the best direction to continue in, as time can be precious when you have a family/kids/job haha. I’d appreciate any help with where to go from here. Thank You!

While I think C++ is a very good language to learn (in terms of teaching you how to interact with the computer), I’ve done fine without learning it (not that that’s much evidence against C++, though!). In all seriousness, if you just want to do some coding for fun, then I’d say just do whichever path you want. If you’re looking for a web dev type job, then again, C++ is probably not necessary to get you going. After that, I’m not too sure, sorry!

@8-bit-gaming any insights?

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If you want to get into programming games, C++ is as good of a bet as it gets (of course there’s C#, but C++ is a little broad in potential usefulness). The Codecademy C++ module is rather short in comparison to webdev or computer science so to improve you’ll have to build your skills outside as well… here’s a good youtube series for c++ (

You might want to watch/study this playlist (CS 50 intro to game dev):

Depending on your niche interest within development you might want to pick up some other skills. I would search job postings in companies you like to see what kind of requirements they have. This may give you a clue of other skills to also build up.


I’ll agree with @codeneutrino and @toastedpitabread, C++ is an excellent language for games and can often work in both high level and low level environments. A lot of folks are pushing C# for game development, and I can’t deny it’s made significant strides, but I think learning C++ is better off in the long run as it can be used for so much.

Another benifit of C++ is that it sets you up with a good base to learn higher level languages (Python) or, should you choose, move to lower level (C).


Yea, it could also be said it’s useful to know a language where you can test quick prototype ideas (python with pygame and lua come to mind). C++/C# are big hitters but it takes a while to get fully functional stuff happening (especially when it’s more complex).


excellent feedback!, Thank you so much! The world of coding is VAST so I’m just trying to find my through and this has been very helpful. I figured I want to definitely hammer down the basics, to a point where doing basic coding actions is like a reflex, or tying a shoe.

I got a ways into the “full stack engineering” course here on CC, as it was the first course that the website gave to me after taking that first initial survey and basically telling the system “Uh yea, total noob here, love gaming, know noting about coding, help please” AND it shoved me into a… what seems to be anways… pretty complex course lmao.

Anyways, I have downloaded a few coding apps through the use of that course. Just curious as to where I can hone/better my skills? Do I just use those apps? I see the YouTube video, I am going to give that a watch.

Greatly appreciate the help, and that goes for everyone who commented, if you’re reading. Thank You!

For bettering your skills I would break it down into 2 categories: technical (this is sharpening the tools you use) and vision (this is getting a vision for how the projects you make fit into a bigger picture).

In a way these two things inform one another: if you have a good sense of where you want your projects to go, you will know better what technical skills to refine. As your skills as more refined, you can also imagine doing more intricate things.

I like this youtube channel for game dev:… he does have a good c++ series as well (if you are curious about engines in general, the book Game Engine Architecture is an incredibly well structured overview of the matter).

If you’re looking for other type of stuff maybe look at people doing Unity tutorials and see how they work.

Another thing you can do is study actual work in github. The early quake engines are on github (GitHub - id-Software/Quake-2: Quake 2 GPL Source Release) and you can go through the c code and even debug interactively if you have a copy of the game…

I would also add to find a few podcasts on the topic to stay up-to-date with news and techniques.

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Appreciate this info, Big thank you!

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I would go to a community college go through it accelerated and then enter a university. That is if your looking for a career, I’m guessing you are. I thought I could learn coding on my own but I went back to school. I went through everything including traversy, coding dojo, tech with Tim, more and more. Nothing has helped me as much as community college has. Not sure if you have the money but get a degree if you don’t have one. No one can ever take a degree away. Plus you will get paid more with a computer science degree. Now that is indeed my path but I thought I would share. I am a big proponent of college and funny thing I used to be against it. I learned that being in my 30s with just dead end jobs on my resume, what a big mistake it was to not complete college in my early twenties. Plus in community college you’ll get networking certification and all types of goodies to go along with c++ and advanced c++ courses. If you don’t want to get a Bachelors they have job ready associate degrees.

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